If you have exhausted your local dive sites and are ready to get on a plane to anywhere but home, Maui may be a good option. With travel becoming more secure for people, and Hawaii maintaining relatively low COVID-19 numbers, we are starting to see an increase in visitors. As the island’s leading dive operation, Lahaina Divers is committed to providing amazing adventures, as safely and responsibly as possible. Here is a quick update for those planning their dive trip to Maui, plus a few other island tips.
Boat operations on Maui are still limited to half capacity. While this makes for plenty of room to social distance on Lahaina Divers large boats, it does mean planning in advance. We strongly encourage you to schedule your dives 3 to 4 weeks out. If your plans change, we have a flexible 48-hour cancellation policy.
When you book online through Lahaina Divers website, you will see real time availability for all charters. With less seats available, the boats have been filling up fast. We hate when someone is sad because they didn’t get to go diving with us! So, we added an online waiting list to most charters. If it fills up in time for us to schedule in a second crew, we may have the flexibility to add another boat. One of the benefits of having two large dive boats ready to go out! Bottom line—if your desired charter is filled up, join the waiting list.
COVID-19 Precautions Still in Effect
Lahaina Divers was very proactive about putting an enhanced cleaning and sanitizing policy in place, that exceed requirements. Maui still has a mask mandate in effect as well (see Rule 5). Wearing a mask when required is routine now, and doesn’t seem to affect guests’ enjoyment of the dives. There are no new restrictions or changes while you are underwater!
Pre-testing and Vaccinations
A “vaccination passport” is being considered by the State of Hawaii, allowing those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 more freedom of travel. An interisland travel program may roll out as early as April, and transpacific is expected to follow sometime later. However, for now negative COVID-19 test results are still required 72 hours or less before boarding the last leg of your journey to Maui.
For those having difficulty finding a local or convenient testing resource, check with your airline. Alaska , American , Hawaiian, Southwest and United airlines all offer an expedited service for a fee. Major airport hubs may also have rapid testing right at the airport. Just ensure whatever testing resource you choose is on the State of Hawaii’s approved list.
What is it Like to Visit Maui Right Now?
Maui is back up and running, though you will notice a few businesses that didn’t make it through 8 months of shut down. Advanced reservations are critical for other types of businesses too, not just scuba diving.
Restaurants are also still at reduced capacity. If you want to have a few special occasion dinners while on island, you will want to book reservations a month or two in advance. Note that some people are overbooking- choosing several places and deciding later. This is not kind for everyone else, but last-minute cancellations do open up the possibility of getting in on a walk-up basis
A rental car is another item to book well in advance- 3 months or more. During the pandemic, rental car agencies shipped thousands of cars off island. It has been hard to predict how fast tourism will recover, and right now there are not enough cars to meet demand. Many people have gone to smaller, off-brand rental companies or Turo—a service where individuals rent out their personal vehicles.
Some attractions, such as Wainapanapa State Park require advance reservations. See this article for ideas about what to do on Maui now, as well as restrictions and reservation details.
We Welcome You Back
It is way more fun when you join us and we share our passion for exploring the underwater world together. We’ve missed our “regulars” over the past year, and missed making new connections too. Hopefully, with Lahaina Divers commitment to helping you safely dive the best sites around Maui, you can start planning your next diving adventure with us right now!