Maui to Lanai ferryYesterday, my wife, son and I had the opportunity to take the ferry from Maui to Lanai. I couldn’t find a lot of information online and I had so many questions about the journey. I’ve cobbled together the answers and I thought you might find them helpful too if you go! BTW: The only way to travel between Maui and Lanai is either by ferry or plane. The commercial flights are via Honolulu so will take much longer.

How to travel between Maui and Lanai by FerryThere’s only one ferry company that does the transfer between Maui and Lanai: Expeditions Lanai Ferry. It’s for passengers only (there are no car ferries). You can make reservations in advance either online or by calling 808-661-3756. Even though they say to use your confirmation number, they just asked us for a last name at the dock and I didn’t need to show ID. The ticket booth didn’t open until about 45 minutes before departure and they start boarding the ferry 30 minutes prior.

Ferries depart from Front Street in downtown Lahaina. The address is 658 Front St #127, Lahaina, HI 96761. It’s directly across the street from the Pioneer Inn.

The Maui-to-Lanai ferry schedule is below:

  • Lahaina to Manele: Departs at 6:45am, 9:15am, 12:45pm 3:15pm, 5:45pm
  • Manele to Lahaina: Departs 8:00am, 10:30am, 2:00pm, 4:30pm, 6:45pm

Prices are $30 each way for adults and $20 for children 2-11. Kids under two ride free.

How to travel between Maui and Lanai by FerryThere are a lot of shops within a couple of blocks of the dock, including a Lappert’s Coffee & Ice Cream that also sells shave ice and the popular pineapple Dole Whip (a small is $4.50).

How to travel between Maui and Lanai by FerryThe Maui-to-Lanai ferry takes between 45 and 50 minutes dock to dock. I asked if the waters would be rough, and the agent told me no, that the ocean was calm, but it could be rough in the channel, which is about 20 minutes of the ride. It was slightly rough.

How to travel between Maui and Lanai by FerryThe ferry uses a hydrofoil boat that goes 20 knots. There’s both indoor and outdoor seating (the indoor section is air-conditioned). The most popular seats are up top in the first few rows where there’s some shade. There aren’t a lot of seats up there so if you want them, you better be first in line. According to the ticket agent, the most stable seats are inside and the furthest back. You can go in and out or up and down during the journey but not during departure and arrival.

How to travel between Maui and Lanai by FerryThere are storage racks for bags but no porters. We had two big bags and a few little ones. Obviously, we placed our valuables in the smaller bags and kept those with us the whole time.

How to travel between Maui and Lanai by FerryMy T-Mobile cell service worked the entire time, which surprised me. Keep your eyes peeled for whales and dolphins. I saw one breach off the back deck and snapped the above photo. The boat doesn’t stop for whales and they don’t make any announcements.

There’s a bathroom onboard downstairs. They don’t sell food but they do sell water and soda for $2 (cash only).

Overall, it was a great experience, and although one of the deckhands was not friendly, the other two were.

24 Comments On "How to Travel Between Maui and Lanai by Ferry"
  1. George|

    Love reading such posts even I won’t make it any time soon to Maui. But still, it makes me have itchy feet and a thirst for wanderlust. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Xoom|

    Well, if you’ve ever given your used clothing, or household appliances, or outgrown toys to the Good Will or Salvation Army,

    1. Johnny Jet|

      All the time

  3. Meena|

    I love Maui! I will have to head to Lanai next time. Looks beautiful and quiet there.

  4. Alex|

    Great post to travel Maui to the lanai ferry

  5. Anonymous|

    Do the ferries fill in advance? Do I need advanced reservations?

  6. Tina|

    Thanks for the great info. We are going there next week. Very helpful.

  7. catherine Collins|

    thank you for such helpful information, it is much a ppreciated. We just landed on Maui yesterday and were hoping to make this trip.

  8. Rhonda|

    Hi Johnny
    I am going to Maui for10 days next February. If I take the ferry to Lanai is it worth it just to go see it and walk the town and head back a couple hours later? Other than the off-road tours etc is it worth the trip? $60/rt per person?

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Probably not.

  9. Kristi Volz|

    Thanks for the great info! Did you rent a Jeep over on Lanai? A 4×4? Trying to decide if it’s worth the trip over. I couldn’t find much info on what to do there except golf.

  10. reg|

    Even for a few hours it would be worth the trip. Lanai is one of the last non-commercialized Hawaiian Island. It’s not an amusement park style island and the adventure is what you make of it. Go! you won’t be disappointed. I’m going back for my second time this summer.

  11. Bonnie|

    Great post, Johnny!
    I live here on Maui and as a massage therapist & concierge I will refer clients/guests toyour descriptive post.

  12. Bryce|

    Does the ferry “sell out” at either departure time? We are going in 2 weeks and are trying to decide if we should buy tickets in advance. However, we’d like to not lock ourselves into a date and have flexibility to go when we want.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      I’m not sure so I would call to find out.

  13. Marge|

    Going to spend the night in Lanai and couldn’t find the phone number for the Ferry, as online sign up wasn’t working at all. So glad I stumbled across you informative blog. Thanks for taking the time to do it for the public.

  14. Cathy|

    Is this where the cat sanctuary is? also
    How do you get around on island with Family? The family who like yo explore

  15. Jo|

    Would like to hear about your time on the island of Lanai, along with how much time you spent on the island and if you rented a vehicle. Details on activities please & thank you in advance, Jo

    1. Johnny Jet|

      We spent most of the time at the hotel. Here’s my post

  16. Linda K|

    Question: 5 family members will be in Lahaina in mid April. We would like to deposit our son’s cremated remains in the water, in a biodegradable box (urn). Will the Maui – Lahaina ferry be able to accommodate us?

    1. Johnny Jet|

      I’m sorry to read this. You will need to call them directly to find out. Prayers with you and your family

  17. Michele|

    Now that there is one airline flying between maui and lanai wondering if it makes more sense to fly then ferry? We are spending 4 nights in Maui. Picking up and returning car at OGG. This is where it gets messy. To take ferry to lanai for five nights we will book transportation back to Lahaina Marina and take ferry. We will picked up by hotel upon docking at lanai. 5 nights and then back to ogg. We can reverse process to get to airport or get a ride to airport and fly back to ogg. 3.5 hours before mainland flight. Thoughts on what makes most value sense. We would not book super expensive but would book nicer than bus.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      You have to figure out the costs but I bet it’s cheaper and easier to take the ferry

  18. John Harp|

    Mahalo Johnny Jet, for the information. My family and I live on Maui and will be taking a day trip to Lanai with my sister, who is a visitor to Maui, this upcoming November 2022. This will be our first time ferrying to Lanai and back.
    For Hawaii residents, there is the Kamaaina rate of $25 adults and $10 children each way.
    Much cheaper and faster than having to fly to HNL then to Lanai.
    We will spend the better part of the day trip on the beach, visiting the town, having lunch, and stopping in at the Cat sanctuary. Aloha!

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