Do It All on Kandoo Island

A new Waikiki attraction offers many activities in one offshore location

By: By Marty Wentzel


Kandoo Island
General Admission: $20 (adult), $10 (child) for four hours. Some activities cost extra. A $20 credit ($10 per child) toward any activity is available.
Half-Day Pass: $150 (adult), $75 (child) for four hours of activities (parasailing and banana boating cost extra).
Full-Day Pass: $300 (adult), $150 (child): eight hours of activities (parasailing and banana boating cost extra).
Sunset Admission (after 6 p.m.): $30
Commission: 100 percent on general admission. There is no commission for activities purchased onboard.

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What’s that large object floating off Waikiki Beach? It’s called Kandoo Island, and it’s turning heads. A two-story catamaran measuring 150 feet long by 50 feet wide and weighing 70 tons, the ocean amusement oasis serves as a single launching point for a long list of activities.


Kandoo Island offers helmet diving as one of its many activities. // © 2009 Kandoo Island

Holding up to 400 guests, Kandoo Island offers a sea-full of aquatic adventures as well as onboard food, drinks and evening entertainment. Its underlying philosophy is simple: Rather than driving from location to location on Oahu, friends and families can spend the day together onboard Kandoo, with each person picking the pastimes with the most appeal to them.

“I have four kids, and I know that when we go on vacation there is no one thing we can all agree on doing,” said Kandoo Island CEO Robert Maynard. “So, we created a place where there’s something for just about everyone on and in the water. At last count there were 22 different Kandoo Island activities, and we’re always thinking of more.”

Every 15 minutes, a free shuttle boat runs between Honolulu’s Kewalo Basin and Kandoo Island. Once on the “island,” clients have unlimited access to all of its features, including a water slide, kiddie ocean pool, swimming, snorkeling, water trampolines, marine education classes and a sun deck. Guests can also pay for additional activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, scuba and helmet diving, banana boating, sailing and parasailing. Kandoo also lays claim to the only fleet of luxury full-service private yacht charters in the Hawaiian Islands.

A series of packages provides clients with a choice of rates and inclusions. Between activities, clients can refuel courtesy of Kandoo’s menu, emphasizing wraps, salads and an assortment of drinks.

Clients hanging around Kandoo at sunset get a great view of the Friday night onshore fireworks. Come evening, the attraction turns into Waikiki’s only floating night club — called Konstellation — with dancing until midnight.

Created with sustainability in mind, Kandoo has no paper onboard, and all transactions are paperless.

“With our unique technology, once guests are checked in, all they need to do is present their wrist tag to purchase any activities, food, beverages or items in the retail outlets,” Maynard said.

And personal locator technology monitors the safety and whereabouts of each guest.

“We have been fortunate to forge some great partnerships with longtime players in the industry,” said Maynard. “This may sound trite, but I want to help people from around the world create memories that will last a lifetime — without video games or televisions.”