Bring your Full Face Snorkel Mask to Hawaii

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Hawaii Snorkeling Tour Holidays

The growing popularity of full face snorkels means there are many people who have invested in these, and are keen to use them when traveling on holiday, especially to Hawaii

This article is for anyone thinking about buying a full face snorkel mask to take on their Hawaii holiday, as well as anyone who already has one. We provide a brief explanation on why some tour operators are not letting people use their full face masks on a snorkeling tour. 

Below you'll find a the of the most popular Tour Operators on the Hawaii islands and where they stand on this issue. This gives you the opportunity when planning your holiday to work out if you want to pack your full face mask, and support a tour company who's happy to have you and your full face snorkel mask along. 


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Hawaii Hibiscus Flower

So you want to use your full face snorkel mask on your next holiday?

Before you head off on holiday with your full face snorkel mask, you need to be aware that there are some snorkeling tour operators who are refusing to let people to bring their own masks. Alongside these operators, there are plenty who are more than happy for you to bring yours along with you. 

Tribord Easybreath Full Face Snorkel Mask

Their tour, their rules - but why is this an issue?

For around 18 months now, there have been stories shared on the internet and social media, of full face snorkel masks causing the deaths of snorkelers in Hawaii.

These click bait headlines are making it sound scary. Enough so that some people are now not even considering buying a full face mask due to the headlines and misinformation. The stories have also stopped some tour operators in popular holiday destinations, such as Hawaii and the Florida Keys, from allowing people use their own full face mask. This is regardless of how experienced a snorkeler or diver they are. 

If you have any concerns at all about the safety of these masks, please click the link have a read of the article below. It will take less than 5 minutes and you'll be better informed and able to make a choice that you're comfortable with.

Why did we do this list? So you can have a great holiday!

We've contacted snorkeling tour operators in Hawaii and asked them if snorkelers can bring their own full face snorkel mask with them. 

Listed below are the companies that will happily let you to bring your own mask. Below this are businesses which are mostly-okay about it but would prefer it if you used the equipment they supply. This is followed by companies who flat-out refuse to let you to use a full face snorkel mask. 

We will be continually updating this page. If you have any experiences of tour operators, both good or bad, please let us know as we'd love to hear from you. 

There are also now many resort hotels in Hawaii who are now providing full face snorkel masks in large qualities for use by their guests. These will be added to the list as we're able to confirm them. 

Ko Olina Resort Hawaii
Hawaii Hibiscus Flower

Hawaii Snorkeling Tour Operators

Snorkeling is about drifting or floating on the surface, and enjoying the view. Most snorkeling tours will run for around an hour, to an hour and a half. You need to be relaxed and not over-exert yourself. 

You'll find when booking a snorkeling tour, operators in Hawaii will provide the snorkeling equipment. This generally includes traditional snorkels and masks, fins, and buoyancy vests. Some also offer wet suits at an additional cost. 

You supplying any of your own gear won't reduce the cost of a tour. If you own a full face snorkel mask, you know these can give you a more comfortable snorkeling experience. This is especially true for people who suffer any teeth issues or jaw fatigue after biting down on a snorkel tube, or men with mustaches. We want to avoid the disappointment of you supplying your own full face mask and booking a tour with an operator who won't let you use it. 

Operators on the 'YES! - Bring your Full Face Masks' List 

The tour companies listed below confirmed that they are very happy for you to bring your full face snorkel along with you on their tour. 

Those on the 'Ah okay, BUT we'd prefer you use our traditional gear' List 

The companies listed below will allow you to bring along and use your own snorkeling gear, including full face snorkel masks. When it comes to the full face masks, they'd still prefer you use their equipment.

Hawaii Snorkel Tour Operators

The 'Nope, Nope, Definitely Not' List 

The companies listed below will not allow you to bring your full face mask citing 'safety and liability reasons'. These operators provide traditional snorkels and masks for your use. 

  • Pure Aloha Adventures
  • One Ocean Diving 
  • Na Pali Coast Hanalei Tours
  • Hawaii Real Nature Tours
  • Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Tours
  • Captain Andy's Sailing Adventures
  • Hola Hola Charters
  • Island Star Maui Sailing Excursions
  • Ko Olina Ocean Adventures
  • Maui Kayak Adventures LLC
  • Mauna Lani Sea Adventures
Stick to areas patrolled by Lifeguards, and stay between the buoys.

Snorkeling is fun, but...

One thing to remember is that different people have different snorkeling experiences regardless of whether they're swimming with a conventional mask and snorkel, or a full face mask.

Some people tire quickly with a traditional snorkel and mask, and the same applies with a full face mask.

Full face masks have some really great advantages overall, but snorkeling in some popular spots does require a good deal of energy. It's a not a bad idea to consider using a snorkel buoyancy vest to take some of the hard work out of it for you. There's no need to feel embarrassed about wearing a snorkel buoyancy vest. Even seasoned, fit young snorkelers wear them to conserve their energy extend their time in the water.  

Beautiful Hawaii Islands

Poll - Do you have a favorite Tour Operator in Hawaii?

Below is a list of our favorite Hawaiian Snorkeling Tour Operators. Let us know if you agree with this Poll.

Poll - Add your Vote for your favorite Hawaiian Snorkeling Tour Operator.

Do you agree with what others have said?

If you have a new location that's not included here, let us know in the Comments section below, and we'll add it to this list. 

Hawaii Beach Holidays

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Safety First: Best Snorkel Techniques and Tools for a Safe Swim

Our Guide to Buying the Best Full Face Snorkel Masks for Kids

Full Face Snorkel Masks – How to pick the correct size

Learning to Snorkel? Take the stress out of it with these tips

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About the author

    Sharon McKenzie

    Sharon has always enjoyed beach holidays and snorkeling. She loves to share knowledge and tips with fellow travelers whenever possible. Sharon believes this is all part of the journey and makes for better travel experiences for everyone.
    Author Web Link

  • I love the full mask, I think I would definitely try it out the next time I would in Hawaii, Thanks for sharing what are the best things ones can do to get most out of snorkeling!

  • Lisa Wood says:

    We haven’t tried a full face mask as yet – sure sounds like if you know what you are doing it would be ideal. I haven’t heard of any deaths from it – but everything sounds like it comes with a positive or a negative. I used to snorkel when I was younger, and my older sons love snorkeling but I haven’t tried it in a while. Hawaii looks so good – would love to visit there one day : )

  • Albany says:

    For My Next Snorkel!

    I was lucky enough to get the chance to snorkel once when I was in Lanai. If I ever get that opportunity again, I will definitely have to resort to your post here!

  • Dr. Mark Wolter says:

    We are planning a trip to Hawaii

    Thank you for the up to date information you have provided Sharon.

    We used good quality Ocean Reef Aria full face snorkel masks during our recent family trip to Florida, and my teenage girls assure me it is a whole new world of adventure.

    We are planning a trip to Hawaii, and after reading through your posts, I see that some tour operators are very much against these masks before the full facts are presented.

    I believe it has a lot to do with cheap Chinese knock-offs.

    After all, would you buy in direct from China, a face cream, a food additive, or a hair conditioner that could actually be fatal to humans?

    Well, the same principle applies to any product including these snorkel masks.

    Get a good known brand, and enjoy life. Don’t be scared of the negativity that some people have thrown onto something they basically know nothing about.

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