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Captain Bruce Sandbar Tour

Ready for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Hawaii? Prepare to be swept away by the wonders of the Captain Bruce Kaneohe Sandbar tour! This thrilling excursion took us on a journey through the crystal-clear waters of Kaneohe Bay, where we experienced fantastic snorkeling Turtle Reef, and standup paddleboarding, all the while surrounded by stunning views of Oahu’s east shore.

Captain Bruce Kaneohe Sandbar Catamaran Tour approaching the sandbar.Kaneohe Sandbar Catamarans Boat Tour

Kaneohe Bay is the perfect setting for an unforgettable day filled with fun and excitement. Imagine gliding through the warm, crystal-clear waters of Kaneohe Bay, surrounded by vibrant coral reefs, fascinating marine life, and the stunning backdrop of Oahu’s lush mountains.

The Kaneohe Sandbar is one of Oahu's natural wonders that most visitors don't even know exist. You won't find it in many Oahu attraction guides or popular must things to do in Oahu lists. The island like stripes of sand only surfaces during low tide, and there are only a couple good viewing spots on the Windward side of the island to see it.

The best way to experience the sandbar is through a chartered boat ride, such as the Captain Bruce Catamaran Boat Tour. You just need to sign up for one of their scheduled daily excursions and make it onto the boat where the fun begins.

I think of the Captain Bruce Tour as a 3 part adventure. A fun catamaran boat ride that exposes the beautiful coastline, experiencing the amazing Kaneohe Sandbar in the middle of the ocean, and exploring one incredible Oahu snorkeling adventure in the area.

The Captain Bruce Crew

Captain Bruce CrewCaptain Bruce Crew

The Captain Bruce tour boats depart from the He'eia Kea Boat Harbor. They provide complementary transportation from Waikiki Hotels, but we elected to drive to the harbor since we were also visiting other Oahu attractions in the area, including the Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden and Heʻeia State Park (where you can also view the Kaneohe Sandbar from a hillside).

I can't say enough about the crew... the hospitality was warm heartfelt from the start to boarding the catamaran and prepping us for voyage, to guiding us throughout the journey.

Once we boarded and settled in, placing our belonging below our seats in container bins, we listened in as our captain gave safety instructions and help familiarize us with the boat. They're use of timely humor, laughter and friendless made it easy to understand and engage with them. You can tell they really enjoy what they do!

Explore the Kaneohe Sandbar with Captain Bruce

Kaneohe Sandbar Turtle ReefKaneohe Sandbar Turtle Reef

When signing up for this Kaneohe Sandbar Tour, you would hope and expect a beautiful sunny day with light blowing tradewinds. Well with our luck it just happen to be a stormy day. Not only did rain, but it stormed came down hard the whole boat ride out with pour visability. Thank goodness the boat was covered to help keep us dry. With a little luck the rain subsided as it usually does, just as we arrived to the sandbar.

We also had high hopes of walking onto a raised dry sandbar, but the tide was rising and we were able to wade in the water waste deep and slowly move around the sandbar. You might be thinking what bad luck and not the best experience, but just the opposite...it was a blast!

Kaneohe Sandbar Paddleboarding around it.Kaneohe Sandbar Paddleboarding

I learned that there are different types of activities take place for high and low tides. We were heading into high tide, which meant more water activities for us. Captain Bruce Tours has a floating barge anchored at the sandbar that is loaded with all types of water sport toys and gear.

Grab a paddle board, water tube, or noodle for starters and explore the vast area. I personally enjoyed their 12-foot long water pad that you can walk on or simply sit back and relax.

Captain Bruce Sandbar Water Toys

When the sandbar is raised during low tide you can walk more freely about and explore. It's a wild phenomenon to just experience it, knowing it will disappear back underwater in a moments time. Feel free to throw a ball or freebee around, set up a volleyball net, or enjoy a few rare selfies while you can.

Snorkeling Turtle Reef

Kaneohe Sandbar Snorkeling ReefKaneohe Sandbar Snorkeling Reef

Once you've had time to settle in and enjoy the magic of the Kaneohe Sandbar, the adventure shifts below the surface to a huge wondrous coral reef called Turtle Reef, located near the northside drop off of the sandbar.

The water toys are put away and we start to gear up with lifejackets, masks and snorkels which are also provided. The Captain Bruce Team then leads us out to the reef and keeps a watch while we turn our attention to the sprawling reef below.

I've explored many reefs snorkeling around Oahu including popular Hanauma Bay and Sharks Cove. Each spot offers unique experiences, and I must say the Kaneohe Sand Bar has a beautiful hidden gem just below the water on the north side. You can be experience just steps away from the sandbar.

Snorkeling Turtle Reef at the Kaneohe Sandbar. Green Sea Turtle resting in a reef cove.Snorkeling Turtle Reef at the Kaneohe Sandbar

I would describe Turtle Reef as a long curving brain coral that spirals down into the deep. It attracts an array of colorful tropical fish, including large parrot fish and schools of fish that travel in packs.

This special coral reef is also home to some green sea turtles, that you will most likely see swimming about, hiding in coves, and eating algae growing on the coral. Make sure to not touch the reef as it is very delicate and prone to being damaged. The lifejackets will help keep you buoyant, but make sure to watch your feet as you move about.

Finishing up snorkeling, we swam back to the Kaneohe Sandbar where we could wade back to the Captain Bruce Catamaran Boat. We took off our snorkeling gear once back on board and showered ourselves with fresh water from a filled big barrel. There was also an array of drinks and snacks waiting for us, including popular SPAM Musubis.

Private Speed Boat Charter Options

If you’re looking for a more personalized experience, Captain Bruce’s Kaneohe Sandbar tour also offers a variety of private speed boat charter options. These tailored packages cater to your preferences and group size, ensuring you have the perfect adventure for your needs.

Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a special celebration, the private charter options provide the flexibility and customization you need for an unforgettable day on the water. From luxury vessels to customizable packages, Captain Bruce’s private charters offer something for everyone.

Family-Friendly Charters

Captain Bruce Catamaran Boat going to the Kaneohe Sandbar

For those traveling with family, Captain Bruce offers family-friendly charters specifically designed to cater to guests of all ages. These charters provide a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone, with friendly captains and deckhands who are always ready to assist and make sure everyone has a great time.

The family-friendly package includes: Water Toys, Snorkeling Gear, Life Jackets, Soft Drinks & Snacks

This ensures everyone is well-equipped for a day of fun on the water. With activities and amenities designed to keep everyone entertained, a family-friendly charter is the perfect choice for creating lasting memories with your loved ones.

Customizable Packages

For those seeking a more tailored experience, Captain Bruce offers customizable packages that allow you to design your perfect day on the water. These packages can include various activities, transportation options, and tour durations, allowing you to create your own itinerary for your adventure.

Choose from activities such as snorkeling, standup paddleboarding, and scenic sightseeing to build the perfect package for your group. With the flexibility to design your ideal adventure, you can ensure that your Captain Bruce Kaneohe Sandbar tour is a truly unforgettable experience.

Booking Your Captain Bruce Kaneohe Sandbar Tour

Kaneohe Sandbar at low tideKaneohe Sandbar at low tide

Booking your Captain Bruce Kaneohe Sandbar tour is easy and convenient, with a variety of options to suit your needs. Be sure to consider transportation add-ons, departure points and times, and booking requirements when making your reservation. Whether you’re looking for a morning tour or an afternoon adventure, there’s a departure time and location to suit your schedule.

From hotel pick-ups to self-check-in options, you can choose the transportation arrangements that best fit your needs. In addition, be sure to review the booking requirements such as group size, age restrictions, and cancellation policies to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience on your tour.

Transportation from Hotel

When booking your Captain Bruce Kaneohe Sandbar tour, you can choose between convenient transportation options to make your day as stress-free as possible. 

Complimentary hotel pick-up is available from select Waikiki hotels, making it easy to start your adventure without any hassle.  The tour offers other hotel pick-ups for an additional fee, or you can opt for self-check-in at the Heeia Kea Small Boat Harbor.

If you prefer to make your own way, the self-check-in option provides the flexibility to arrive at your convenience and explore the harbor before embarking on your tour.

Departure Points and Times

Captain Bruce DockCaptain Bruce Dock

Captain Bruce’s Kaneohe Sandbar tour offers a range of departure points and times to suit your schedule. Departure points include Heeia Kea Boat Harbor, with specific departure times available.

With morning and afternoon boat tours available, you can choose the time that works best for you and your group. Whether you prefer to start your day with an exciting adventure or enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the water, there’s a departure time and location that will fit seamlessly into your vacation plans.

Booking Requirements

Kaneohe Sandbar at Low Tide and surrounding crystal clear water.Kaneohe Sandbar at Low Tide

Before booking your Captain Bruce Kaneohe Sandbar tour, it’s important to review the booking requirements to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. These requirements may include group size limitations, age restrictions, and cancellation policies.

The tour is suitable for all ages, making it a great option for families and groups of friends. In addition, full refunds are available if cancellations are made 24 hours in advance, providing peace of mind as you plan your Oahu adventure.

Be sure to review all booking requirements before making your reservation to guarantee a hassle-free experience.  Book Your Reservation Now

What to Bring and Expect on Your Tour

Captain Bruce SnacksCaptain Bruce Snacks

As you prepare for your Captain Bruce Kaneohe Sandbar tour, be sure to bring all required items and attire to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. In addition, familiarize yourself with the food and beverage options available on the tour, including provided snacks and the option to bring your own refreshments.

When packing for your Captain Bruce Kaneohe Sandbar tour, be sure to include essential items like sunscreen, swimwear, and towels for a comfortable experience. Sun protection is particularly important, as the Hawaiian sun can be intense, especially during the warmer afternoon hours.

In addition to sunscreen, it’s highly recommended to wear a rashguard or long sleeve swimwear, particularly for guests with sensitive skin. Hats and umbrellas are also strongly suggested to provide additional sun protection. By ensuring you have the necessary items and attire, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your day on the water without any discomfort or inconvenience.

Recommended Items and Attire

When packing for your Captain Bruce Kaneohe Sandbar tour, be sure to include essential items like sunscreen, swimwear, and towels for a comfortable experience. Sun protection is particularly important, as the Hawaiian sun can be intense, especially during the warmer afternoon hours.

In addition to sunscreen, it’s highly recommended to wear a rashguard or long sleeve swimwear, particularly for guests with sensitive skin. Hats and umbrellas are also strongly suggested to provide additional sun protection. By ensuring you have the necessary items and attire, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your day on the water without any discomfort or inconvenience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kaneohe sandbar worth it?

Experience one of the most spectacular natural wonders on Oahu - the Kaneohe Sandbar! With crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, and gorgeous views, it’s definitely worth the trip.

Are there sharks by Kaneohe sandbar?

Yes, Kaneohe Sand Bar has harmless hammerhead sharks swimming in the bay! So be sure to stay aware if you’re planning a visit.

Can anyone go to Kaneohe sandbar?

Yes, absolutely! Kaneohe sandbar is an incredible place to visit with stunning views of the Koolau Mountains and shallow waters that make it family-friendly. Don’t miss it on your next trip to Oahu!

How deep is the water at Kaneohe sandbar?

While the Kaneohe Sandbar has a maximum depth of 40 feet at the mouth, you can expect the water to reach just your waist at high tide while standing on the sandbar, and possibly only your ankles during low tide.

At high tide, the water is deep enough to swim in, and at low tide, the sandbar is exposed, making it a great spot for beach activities.

How long is the Captain Bruce Kaneohe Sandbar tour?

Experience the thrill of a lifetime on the Captain Bruce Kaneohe Sandbar tour - lasting for a good 2 hours and 45 minutes!

This tour is the perfect way to explore the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands and experience the unique marine life that inhabits the area. You’ll be able to take in the stunning views of the islands and the crystal clear waters.

In the Area

Chinaman’s Hat

Chinaman's Hat is a small, cone-shaped island off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, resembling a traditional Asian hat and providing a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities and scenic views.

There are some Iconic landmarks around Oahu, and Chinaman’s Hat is one of them.  Also referred to as Mokolii (Hawaiian origin name) is owned and protected by the state & federal government. 

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