Molokini Crater Tour on National Ranking Lists

July 11, 2019, 7:14 AM HST · Updated July 11, 7:16 AM
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Redline Rafting Co.’s  Molokini Crater Adventure is included on two national Readers/Travelers’ Choice ranking lists.

The company is among 20 being considered on USA Today’s Best Tour Company in Hawaiʻi list. The four-week voting period has since ended, with the winning tour companies, as determined by public vote, to be announced on Friday, July 12.  The list is among those featured for consideration in the publication’s 10BEST Readers’ Choice travel awards.

A panel of experts including editors from USA Today and a team of travel authorities provided 20 nominees for the category.

The company was also ranked number 7 on a top 10 list of US Experiences compiled by TripAdvisor.

Molokini. PC: Redline.

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The company’s Molokini Crater and Green Sea Turtle Adventure were ranked No. 7, behind a Zipline Tour of Oʻahu’s North Shore by CLIMB Works Keana Farms.

The awards recognize experiences, tours and activities globally, highlighting the world’s top travel experiences overall.

The list was topped by the Chicago Architecture River Cruise at No. 1, Red Rock Canyon Electric Bike Tour in Las Vegas, NV at No. 2, and Hell’s Revenge 4×4 Off-Roading Tour from Moab in Utah at No. 3.

According to a company press release, Maui’s Redline Rafting provides “consciously curated snorkeling adventures” of Molokini Crater and South Maui’s coast “focused on education combined with ecologically-responsible and marine-life friendly practices.”

The rafting business operates two red, zodiac-boats, with a maximum capacity of 24 and 15 passengers respectively, and limit their tours to one five-hour snorkeling trip per day for a total of 39 guests “to minimize its environmental impacts.”  The company also provides complimentary reef-safe sunscreen and wetsuits to all of its guests.

Redline Rafting’s boats depart from Kīhei Boat Ramp every morning by 7 a.m.

This comes on the heels of reports that new evidence suggests that some marine predators are being displaced by high human use at the Molokini Marine Life Conservation District, which in 2018 attracted more than 360,000 snorkelers and divers.

This week, Governor David Ige vetoed an item relating to tours at Molokini that would have limited the number of commercial use permits at the site to no more than 40, and prohibit the state from issuing new permits. It would have also limited access at any given time to 50 percent of the current number of permit holders.

Gov. Ige said the measure was unnecessary as there are already limits in place.  He said language in the bill was counter-productive to state efforts to address overcrowding.  According to the governor, DLNR is in the process of working with the commercial use permit holders to adjust the operating schedules to coordinate access to better manage the impact of commercial activity at the site.

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