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Smith's Wailua River Cruise to Fern Grotto with Live Entertainment

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Visit one of Kauai's top attractions. Cruise along the beautiful Wailua River to the lush Fern Grotto, and learn about the history and legends of the valley.


One of the most popular spots on the Garden Isle of Kauai since the 1940s, the Wailua River is an area rich with history and legend. The Fern Grotto, a naturally-formed lava cave named for the ferns that grow from the roof of the grotto, lies at the base of Mauna Kapu (forbidden mountain), the legendary peak that overlooks the south bank of the river. Enjoy captivating stories and live music brought to you by the Smith Family.



  • Guide

  • Cruise fee
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River Cruise Package

Duration: 2 hour(s)
Available: Daily
Pick-up: Not available
Inclusions: / Guide / Cruise fee

The boat ride was very relaxing with the great music, and the grotto itself was gorgeous. cant wait to go back and see it again.

Mr. Anonymous

Read our 163 review(s)
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Starting time: 09:15 - 15:15 (Show more)
  • 09:15


  • 09:30

    Wailua River Cruise

    Enjoy a two mile river journey & hear songs and stories of ancient Hawaii. At the Fern Grotto landing, you’ll enjoy a short nature walk through the rainforest to the lush Fern Grotto.

  • 10:50


  • 10:45


  • 11:00

    Wailua River Cruise

    Enjoy a two mile river journey & hear songs and stories of ancient Hawaii. At the Fern Grotto landing, you’ll enjoy a short nature walk through the rainforest to the lush Fern Grotto.

  • 12:20


  • 13:45


  • 14:00

    Wailua River Cruise

    Enjoy a two mile river journey & hear songs and stories of ancient Hawaii. At the Fern Grotto landing, you’ll enjoy a short nature walk through the rainforest to the lush Fern Grotto.

  • 15:20


  • 15:15


  • 15:30

    Wailua River Cruise

    Enjoy a two mile river journey & hear songs and stories of ancient Hawaii. At the Fern Grotto landing, you’ll enjoy a short nature walk through the rainforest to the lush Fern Grotto.

  • 16:50


  • (For Check-In) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 09:15:00

  • (For Check-Out) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 10:50:00

Check-in Time & Location

  • (For Check-In) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 09:15:00

Check-out Time & Location

  • (For Check-Out) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 10:50:00

  • (For Check-In) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 10:45:00

  • (For Check-Out) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 12:20:00

Check-in Time & Location

  • (For Check-In) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 10:45:00

Check-out Time & Location

  • (For Check-Out) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 12:20:00

  • (For Check-In) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 13:45:00

  • (For Check-Out) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 15:20:00

Check-in Time & Location

  • (For Check-In) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 13:45:00

Check-out Time & Location

  • (For Check-Out) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 15:20:00

  • (For Check-In) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 15:15:00

  • (For Check-Out) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 16:50:00

Check-in Time & Location

  • (For Check-In) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 15:15:00

Check-out Time & Location

  • (For Check-Out) Wailua Marina Park (3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI, United States) Time: 16:50:00

Price & Options

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  • Wheelchair Accessibility: Must be able to go down 5 steps into the boat with assistance. Wheelchair is usable on the boat.

  • Family Friendly: Infants, toddlers and strollers are allowed on board.

  • You must bring a copy of your voucher as proof of purchase to the activity or the activity provider may charge you again in full. will not be liable for any additional charges.

  • Children of all ages can participate in this activity.

Additional Note(s)
  • The activity schedule is subject to change or cancellation due to weather or traffic conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I bring bug spray on this tour?

Yes, bringing bug spray is recommended.

Is the Smiths Tropical Paradise Luau nearby to where the river boat cruise ends?

Yes, the luau and the Smiths Motor Boat Cruise are both held at the Wailua Marina State Park.

Can I bring my own snacks and drinks?

Yes, you can bring your own snacks and drinks to enjoy while on the cruise. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed.

Is this activity family-friendly?

Yes! This is a great activity for families!

What type of boat is used for the river cruise?

Powered by a rear engines, boats that cruise the Wailua River are designed to be spacious and open-air, allowing you a panoramic view of the beautiful scenery as you cruise by.

Please click HERE to send an inquiry about this activity.


The boat ride was very relaxing with the great music, and the grotto itself was gorgeous. cant wait to go back and see it again.

Mr. Anonymous

A very relaxing ride. The entertainment was a lot of fun. The Grotto was very beautiful.


Wonderful trip, class act, very good value.

jim hyde

We had a great time. The Smith family was great! Beautiful place.

Mr. Anonymous

The boat ride was so-so, the comentary was great but with a covered ride it was difficult to see the attractions. Upon arrival we ...were amazed at the folage and the Fern Grotto, very impressive, would I do it again ? no, been there done that but would reccomend to first timers to the Island. more

Carol A

We had a great time and really enjoyed the cruise.

Mr. Anonymous

On time, friendly, engaging. Always worth a trip to see the Grotto.

Mr. Anonymous

The cruise was very relaxing with the cool breeze on your face. It would even be better if you had hammock, but i do realize that... maybe impossible. more


great view, good history lessons

Mr. Anonymous

The boat tour was more than we expected. The dancer was talented. The entertainment and wedding song were lovely. The garden aroun...d the Grotto was lush. And it came with a nice price tag as well. I would recommend this to anyone. more


This cruise is great for older people who are not able to walk very well - the staff is very friendly, the entertainment is fun an...d relaxing, the river is beautiful, and the walk to the Fern Grotto was very nice also. We did this before going to the luau at Smith's. It was a wonderful combination! more



rom de guzman

This was an amazing Cruise down the Wialua River to the Fern Grotto. The staff was great and told of the history of the river and... the grotto. The return trip included hawaiian music and hula lessons. I would really recommend this trip to everyone. more


This is the first time we took the boat trip up the river. I was impressed with the family involvement in every aspect of the luau... and boat tour. They are very gracious people and must answer the same questions thousands of times yet they show an interest each time to make everyone feel special and not like some more

Betty Kaszula

We had a great time.This is worth the money.

Mr. Anonymous

Enjoyed very much.If you have never done it you should.

Mr. Anonymous

Very informative, interesting and enjoyable. Would recommend to everyone


We enjoyed this lazy trip down the river and learned a lot about the river on the way from the captain. The fern grotto was beauti...ful, though not quite as lush as it had once been (so don't expect it to look like the postcards you see! I guess the hurricanes did some damage). The entertainment at the grotto was also lovely - hearing the traditional Hawaiian wedding song (in Hawaiian) with beautiful harmonies was enchanting. I also love that this is a family run business, putting money back into the traditions of Hawaii and the families that reside there. We took our seven year old boy and nine year old girl, and grandma, and everyone enjoyed the trip. more


The boat is kind of boring, but also very scenic. The grotto does make it worthwhile. I suggest doing the Smiths luau right after ...this, they are right together, so why not! more

Daniel & Christine

Better than expected, best laua I've been to. The gardens are beautiful, go early so you can spend some time walking around ...the beautiful location. more

Mr. Anonymous

Great experience. Enabled us to see a unique part of the Island which we would have missed. Staff was great and made the experie...nce very enjoyable. more

John Osheka

The Smith family embraces you with their Hawaiian charm as soon as you meet them! The river trip to the Fern Grotto was a beautif...ul experience. We were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary so when the singers sang the Hawaiian Wedding Song it was very special! The Hula dancer on-board was not only beautiful, but very talented as well. Even my husband participated in the learning of the Hula dance - much to my delight! I would do this trip again if ever given the chance. Truly memorable! more


This was my second trip and I loved it as much the second time as I did the first. I will highly recommend it to anyone who is to Kauai. more


We totally enjoyed the river cruise and the fern grotto. We were a little disappointed we could not actually go into the grotto b...ut totally understand. It will be good to come back and see it again after a few years and some more fern growth. more


Six of us just returned from Oahu and Kauai!! Had a WONDERFUL time!!! And the Fern Grotto boat ride was just really nice!! The ...staff was WONDERFUL, and they made us all feel so welcomed!!! We just really had a GREAT TIME!!! I would recommend this to anyone!!!! The walk to the fern grotto was EASY, and the photo ops were priceless!!! Just alot of fun with my friends!! more


Enjoyed the cruise ... Thank you

Mr. Anonymous

We thoroughly enjoyed this informative and beautiful cruise. The Captain shared much information and was very entertaining. On the... way back, the entertainment was excellent. Good time! more

Carl O

A relaxing experience with beautiful views and great entertainment.


Smith tours did a great Job with the boat ride. The grotto. The entertainment was a nice touch and very well done. Would recom...ment this trip to all One of the good values exploring Kauai more

Salt Lake City

This is an awesome activity. I love the leisurely cruise up the river, the beautiful tropical foliage, the traditional Hawaiian m...usic and the hula entertainment. This is the best bang for your buck in the islands. Definitely a must do! more

Kauai Val

We learned about the island, how to hula, and took some amazing pictures. The Smiths were great


free shuttle picking up, great river scenery, live music, magic grotto, great service!


I really enjoyed this. The staff were friendly, but not pushy. Nobody tried to sell me something else or tried to get me to to something else. The boat ride was pleasant, scenic, and informative. The grotto is pretty, but I think the benefit is the boat ride, music, and hula demonstrations. I would definitely do this again. more

Kelly Crain

Awesome time! We were very pleased with our experience!

Dan and Holly

We would recommend to everyone. Really enjoyed the view. If you for to Kauaii you have to see.


Very lovely experience and I would recommend everyone participate in this adventure.

Sharon Norris

This tour is awesome! So much more than expected! The family/crew were all very nice and very entertaining! I would recommend t...his tour to anyone looking to learn a little bit of island history and relax on the comfortable boat! more


This is a must entertainment was awsome and the cruise up the river was great very relaxing weather couldnt have been better and ...the Luau is a must execellent food and drinks more


Every time we come to Kauai we take this River Cruise. It is so relaxing and the ride on the Wailua is calm and you don't to paddle! We love the entertainment at Fern grotto as well as the fun on the way back to the dock. Everyone we have taken has enjoyed it! We always take this cruise right before going to the luau. A wonderful value too! more


The performers we're so friendly and entertaining. you could tell they enjoyed presenting the music and dance show. the river... ride was scenic and relaxing. the walk to the grotto and back was beautiful. highly recommend. don't book online with another company for $40 each. its only 20 when you book on this site. more


The Cruise Is On A River Not IN THE Ocean FOR Anyone Worried About attire. It is very laid back atmosphere so any clothes are appr...opriate. The staff where authentic and made you welcome. I combined with smith laaui. more

TN traveler

Great excursion at a very reasonable price. The crew were exceptional and talented. I would definitely do this again.


The Smith Family Laua will not disappoint! I've seen five Lauas and this was far superior to all others! Food and the show ...was amazing! The grounds of the facility were very beautiful and the tram ride showed all the land had to offer! Many photo opportunities! The Fern Gratto was beautiful and the musicians were great! Very pretty! more

Family of Five

Driver picked us up so we didn't have to worry about drinking and driving, fun and informative boat ride to Fern Grotto with, singing and dancing then delivered right on time to the Luau and brought back to our condo afterwards......Al fun, no worry more


This was a great adventure, perfect for everyone! The guides were wonderful and the entertainment on the way back was fun. For $20... this is a great deal. I will definitely do it again! more


A must if in Kauai... Beautiful sights and a wonderful staff!

Melissa & Pat

Enjoyed the Hawaiian show immensely which I was not expecting. Enjoyed the show despite the rain at the grotto. You should highl...ight the entertainment with such a pleasant show. more

Jef,Terry Saperstein

Great value for your money. Got to experience a lot of the culture, food, boat ride and much more . Learned about the Island we ...were visiting as well! It was an excellent item to spend on. more


We loved our afternoon river cruise! The entertainment was great and the fern grotto was breathtaking! Staff members were warm and... very inviting! We will recommend this activity to others! more

Kim Wood

I really feel like this river cruise is special, you get to see and hear how this culture has evolved.. The singing is fantastic a...nd the commentary is great as well. Such a nice family! more


Wonderful time very peaceful. All the people were very friendly like family.


My wife and I took her mother on this scenic cruise. The were very friendly and attentive to all their guests. The pilot did a g...reat job noting the points of interest. The singing and dancing during the cruise added a nice entertaining local flavor. more


Was awesome to return to fern grotto after 44 years. Well done!


When we booked our trip to HI my husband had been 3-4 times already. I hadn't been at all. He convinced me not to book a luau.... We really like food and figured we'd save the money for something else. Once we got to HI I was really-really bummed we didn't have a luau on the docket, and it was too late to book anything. This cruise was amazing and once we did it we weren't so bummed about missing the luau. The cruise is so peaceful. The guide is a smith family member and his family owns the land surrounding the river. He knows so much about the land and has tons of stories he tells while you cruise up and down the river. You stop at the fern grotto, which is so cool. It's a must see on any trip to Kauai. The musicians on the cruise play songs and play a special song to people who have just gotten married or celebrating anniversaries. Then on the ride back the musicians play native songs. It's the next best thing to a luau. Already did it once but will do it again! more


This 1 1/2 hr activity is really good for those who doesn't have upper body strength to do kayak to get to grotto which is a ...beautiful mystical place. The whole family enjoyed very much the ride and the entertainment whose voice is the future IZ. The staff were all awesome! Thank you all for making our day great! more


Extremely pleasant, and affordable. Beautiful, must see fern grotto. We ate our imaginary Poi.


Nice boat ride. Great entertainment and historical info. The Fern Grotto was a Beautiful place and glad they have preserved it so ...nicely.liked it was not too long. more


Relaxing, informative, and entertaining...great value

Alvin lunsford

Such a beautiful part of the island! We had a great time on the tour, our guides were amazing.


We took the morning tour and really enjoyed it. We were entertained by musicians on our way to the Grotto and was even taught a si...mple hula dance. The Grotto was beautiful and we thoroughly enjoyed the history lesson of the area. I would definitely take this tour again. more

Jackie Benavidez

This was my 3rd trip to Fern Grotto over the years and it never disappoints! The entertainment is awesome! Everyone is so friendly... and accommodating! There were 18 of us on this trip and most were first timers, they loved it! Can't come to Kauai and not see the Fern Grotto!! more


Enjoyed the relaxing boat ride. The ride back was extra fun with music and my crazy mom who got up and intertained everyone aboard.... The workers seemed to enjoy it. more


The singing the dancing the engagement and kindness of the staff is what makes this the best boat ride around


Lots of fun. Entertainment was great. Narrative was very informative. Grotto was awesome. We included the laua which was most fant...astic. Food beverage and entertainment was great. My first laua and my best. Thank you for a great evening. All the staff were very friendly more

Bob D

Beautiful, interesting, very enjoyable. Crew were wonderful!


The Smiths river boat trip to the Fern Grotto was wonderful. We loved the live entertainment, they were great.


We have been to Luau's on all the islands but none of them can compare to the Smiths. The place is gorgeous. We felt like we... were walking around in Disneyland. The food, service and show was excellent! more


What a fabulous time! Loved this luaua show. It was best I've seen! Ate way too much but thoroughly enjoyed my evening!


My wife and I loved the quite trip down the river the music was great and the scenery was beautiful. Highly recommend to all to relax and escape it all! more

Happy camper

Four of us thoroughly enjoyed the river cruise to fern grotto and Smith Family Luau experience afterwards. We had researched luau...s on the Hawaiian Islands, and I am convinced we found the ideal one. Loved the gardens and cultural dance show! more

Leslie B.

He most beatiful views I have ever seen!!....will definitely return!!


Such a great experience- travel up the Wailua River, learn about history (Hawaiian and movie), visit the beautiful fern grotto, an...d learn the hula on your boat ride back to the dock. Easygoing and enchanting, photographic and peaceful. more


Wow, what a wonderful experience! The fern grotto was breathtaking and I loved how they taught us how to hula!


Nice crew, entertainment (Hula and hawaiian music)


Enjoyed the river cruise very much It was nice to see some traditional dancers and music and the grotto was definitely worth more

Lois jenken

Beautiful boat trip up the Wailua River, scenery and stories of the area spectacular. Fern Grotto an incredible natural creation.... Well worth the money. more

Neal Reader

Nice river cruise. Did it before going to our Luau next door

Ron M

Who could pass up a tradition of Hawaiian tourism that has been in operation since 1947?! The Smith family was awesome. They were... very friendly and kind. We were fortunate to be on the first boat of the day and in a small group. The morning was cool yet very comfortable. While we waited for our tour to start, the on-board talented trio of musicians were taking requests, joking and visiting with the passengers. Once on the river, the captain gave us an overview of the points of interests along the way as we passed stand-up-paddle boarders and kayakers enjoying the quiet river too. We were treated to a beautiful hula demonstration, native music and an improv hula lesson! After a short walk to the grotto, our "guide" explained some of the history and folk lore about the grotto, afterwards, they sang the Hawaiian Wedding song to us. It would be fun to go back again! more


The cruise was amazing. Very relaxing and welcoming. The crew, including all singers/dancers/captains, was phenomenal!


5 years ago I came to Kauai and kayaked up the Wailua river. This time I'm taking family here who are not all physically fit ...and it would be a pity if there was no other way to see the Wailua river and Fern Grotto! Fortunately there's Smith's River Cruise! It offers a relaxing way to see the river, take a boat ride, and walk around the Fern Grotto. Well worth the ticket price! You also get to see a fun performance by the crew there and on the boat ride back, and get to join in the dancing. more


''This is the second time we have been on the Fern Grotto adventure. Beautiful place and you learn something too! Thank for sharing your family history Smith Family. more


What made this trip enjoyable was the entertaining crew members!

Mr. Anonymous

We really enjoyed the entertainment aboard the boat. It was nice to see the fern grotto even if it wasn't as spectacular as ...the picture shown. Mother Nature has a way of changing things. more

Mr. Anonymous

This is the second time I have taken this cruise, and I remember it being better before. Granted, part of the reason is not being... able to go up to the actual Fern Grotto (one was able to walk through it before). It is a very pretty site, but I'm not sure that it is worth the price. more

Mr. Anonymous

Great experience and value.

Paul and Danita Kennedy

The cruise was short but sufficient for the price. I recommend taking the 3:30 cruise and then going to the Smith Luau right besid...e the docks. Excellent site and entertainment and also worth the price. more

Maria Lee

Smith family were great

Mr. Anonymous

Rained out on Wednesday and we were not notified until we got there. Rescheduled for Friday and all went well. Had a good time.

Mr. Anonymous

Our family enjoyed this short boat ride to the Fern Grotto. The Grotto itself has changed since our last trip to Kaua'i. Si...t on the left side of the boat while it is at the dock (which will then be the right side going up the river). That way you can see most of the sights the guide points out on the way to the Fern Grotto. It was informative, especially for first timers. Next trip, we will probably kayak up to the Grotto. more

Mr. Anonymous

It was a relaxing and enjoyable trip down the river to the Fern Grotto. The staff was fun and we enjoyed learning to Hula. It was ...a good value! more


As first-timers to the Fern Grotto, my husband and I had a great time!The boat ride, hula instruction, music, and entertainment typically Hawaiian, which is just what we wanted to experience! We took the 3:30 Fern Grotto trip so we could follow it up with the Smith's Family Luau (in the same location). The Luau cuisine was great followed by a spectacular music production professionally presented providing us with a greater understanding of the traditions and heritage of the Polynesian culture. WHAT A SHOW! We recommend BOTH of these for your family and friends. You will not be disappointed!! more

The Nicholas'

We enjoyed the cruise and the beautiful flowers and foliage but were disappointed at the actual "Grotto" since we couldn...'t see inside the cave. We weren't aware of this until we were at the site. more

Mr. Anonymous

The trip was listed as a short, rugged walk, but is handicap accessible. I would have liked this information ahead of time, as wa...lking on concrete is very painful for me, and I would have taken my scooter if I had known there was a paved walk way. I would like to go again sometime, when the ferns have recovered from the damage of the 2006 Hurricane. Cruise was informative, entertaining and fun! more

Mrs. Harless

Smith's River Cruise was well done. Unfortunately the Fern Grotto sust ained damage which no longer allows people to go more

Linn A

The cruise is vary relaxing, vary beutiful, and the staff is vary informative and the hula dancer was wonderful. But be warned th...e cave at the Fern Grotto is now closed, but you can still see it and take pictures of it wich is beutuful. recomended to first timers. more

S. Denning

We loved this tour. The ride up the river was informative and absolutely beautiful. Walking the Grotto was amazing. So many of plants. You will be amazed. Be sure to walk through slowly. Look at every flower and in between leaves so you don't miss the giant bumble bees or the beautiful birds. Some people walked too quickly and missed these wonders of nature. The ride back was pleasant with the staff playing music and dancing. They were great guides and great people. One of the guides walked slowly with us and told us all about the different plants and what the natives used these plants for. Super informative. I felt sorry for those who didn't take the time to listen to his wealth of knowledge. more


Our guide was excellent. I'm not sure anyone other than a local could have given us a tour as insightful or interesting.


We had a good time

Good Time

Fern Grotto was absolutely beautiful.

Mr. Anonymous

This was a relaxing river ride. Our guides were knowledgable. We enjoyed the singing and dancing on the boat. We rode this tour the Luau. Overall It was a great 1st day on the island. We would all do it again! more

Mr. Anonymous

The Wailua River Cruise to Fern Grotto was enjoyable. I recommend taking the last cruise and then going to the Smith Luau.

So Cal Beaches

A very informative excursion. Truly relaxing and the staff were insightful and fun. Would highly recommend this to anyone.


The employees were very friendly. The Grotto was not all that I expected it to be in my imagination, but it was still very beautif...ul and I would recommend to check it out more


The wailua river cruise is very unique, we saw a lot of Kauai we didnt know was there, and learned a lot from our guide. The pace ...of the tour is slow and relaxed. more

Mike B

Our first time to Kauai and we decided to try the Wailua River Cruise to Fern Grotto and we absolutely loved it! it was kinda slow... but very relaxing, and such beauty surrounding you how could you not like it.. I know its got some bad reviews and I cant understand why, if you appreciate the beauty of Kauai then you will love this short and sweet experience and you can get some really great pictures too. more

The Anchondo's

Our group enjoyed the music as we cruised the river. The scenery was outstanding and the staff provided good service.

Mr. Anonymous

no comment

Mr. Anonymous

Loved the staff, they were great, fun, and informative. However, was not what I expected. I am not sure what would have made it ...a better experience. The Fern Grotto itself was beautiful, but there were too many people on the deck to enjoy it. Made it crowded and uncomfortable. more




We loved the pace, entertainment and narration. Our entire family had a good time. Thank you!

Karen S

The Smith's Fern Grotto tour was a good way to see the fern grotto and understand some of the history. There was a 20 minute... boat ride to the fern grotto landing, time to take pictures, presentation of a Hawaiian Wedding song, complete with hula interruption and demonstration of various hula dances on the boat ride back. All in all - recommended tour. more


The Grotto is beautiful. A must see for all visitors.

Mr. Anonymous

I think this trip was reasonably priced and you get a variety of things: river, hula performance, and the fern grotto--not a dull ...moment for this trip. more


Truly enjoyed the smooth ride up river with explanation of the local culture and sites. Musicians and dancers obviously enjoyed th...eir craft and were top notch. Very pleasant way to spend the afternoon. more


The cruise up the river on the barge was well narrated and very enjoyable. A great deal of history and general information about ...the area was shared with us, and various landmarks were pointed out. Once we reached the Fern Grotto, we were entertained by the Smith family as they played the traditional wedding song, and we were given additional information about the Fern Grotto itself - including it's history and how it was made famous. The return ride on the barge included the entertainers joining us and continuing the music and dancing. Visitors were encouraged to learn to hula and taught various moves. As someone who tends to get very seasick, I had no issues at all on the cruise. Not even in the slightest. more

Deb L

The cruise was not too long, about two hours in total. The Wailua River is beautiful! The crew did a great version of the island &...quot;wedding song" while at the Fern Grotto. It was amazing to learn to hula from such talented dancers! Such a beautiful art! more


Great! For $18 each, picked up at resort, trip down river to the Fern Grotto. We knew that previous rains had altered the view, s...o there was no disappointment. Live entertainment on the way out and a great island history lesson on the way back. A good, short tour of this part of Kaua'i more

deborah cothran

Beautiful trip down the Wailua River with great entertainment! Fern Grotto was spectacular!!! A must see when in Kauai!!


It was a nice way to start the afternoon before the Smith's Tropical Paradise Garden Luau


We enjoyed the lush surroundings, however, it cannot compare to our previous trip which was many years ago. At that time we were to actually walk into the Fern Grotto and listen to the singers in the grotto. We did enjoy the entertainment on our return trip back to the dock. more


Was definitely worth the time! I would have liked to be able to approach the grotto, but our guide was magnificent & the boat... team made it a very enjoyable trip. Talented dancer & singers! We will cherish this memory! more


It was fun. Polite, professional staff, Enjoyable performance; however the stop was somewhat short at fern Grotto.

Shirin Khosravinejat

If you don't know what to do with your time allotted to satisfying curiosity, take this cruise. It offers usual Hawaiian fare... of beautiful scenery not accessible otherwise, enthusiastic entertainment complete with hula dance, and a photo op against inaccessible fern grotto more


Nice trip for a reasonable cost. Entertainment at the Fern Grotto was a nice touch. Entertainers then return on the boat with y...ou for the trip back, singing and dancing all the way. Easy on and off access. more

Kauai Girl

This was an interesting trip. A lot of fun and a good "part" of the luau.

Gordon Edmonton

The river cruise was relaxing and informative. We loved the traditional Hawaiian music that was sung.


Excellent! Good music, good stories, wonderful local flavor!

Bud & Babe

the river trip was fun, they had entertainment on our return from the fern grotto. The grotto was very nice to see, with ferns gro...wing upside down. I recommend doing this at least once more


We are newlyweds, so the cruise to the Fern Grotto was very cool since weddings used to be held there!


A great way to spend an afternoon. A slow relaxing ride up the river with a leisurely stroll through the tropical plants to the gr...otto. Once at the grotto the songs of Kauai serenade you while the beautiful and awe inspiring sites fill your senses. more

Glen Hayden

Just as I remembered as a kid. Thank you for a great experience.

Carri Cheek

The staff and Captain were very nice. The musicians were outstanding! Loved the walk back to the boat, down the path through rai...n forest. A little disappointed in the viewing distance from the Fern Grotto. It was explained that in 2006, the area received torrential rainfall and suffered a mudslide. Since that time they had to built back the tour area, which means a viewing stage/deck, quite a ways away from the Fern Grotto itself. You can no longer go to the mouth of the cave, and pictures did not turn out well. more


This activity works for the whole family. The river is lovely and passengers get a bit of entertainment and a bit of history.


Enjoyed trip up river much. Very nice crew. I wish they knew more about physical science of area. The history they shared was g...reat. thx! more


On a lovely sunny morning the cruise up the Wailua river to the Fern Grotto was a lovely experience. The entertainment was delight...ful and all staff friendly and helpful. Explanations about the history and nature were good. more


Smooth, interesting and all round pleasant ride to a beautiful place.

Chris P

It was lots of fun and informative. The staff was really nice and it was a very kid friendly adventure


We had to U-turn few mins late since GPS couldn’t find the Wailua Marina location - Waze app had “Wailua River State Park” but it... took us down a tiny steep road... luckily we arrived on time for the 11am tour. Had great photos along the way! Enjoyed the boat ride; aside from the humidity and brown muddy water due to the rain night before...bring a fan or baby wipes. We saw 2 kayakers and 2 paddle boarders. Nice boat attendees and Hawaiian musicians. A lovely, less than 2 hr tour with lots of time to explore rest of the island! Mahalo! more

Oahu Vacationers

It was definitely worth the time to visit the Fern Grotto. It was enjoyable and we even got a bit of Hawaiian history!

Tom H.

I don't regret doing this, however, I would not do it again. Decent activity for first timers.

Mr. Anonymous

Not what I expected, could have skipped it to spend more time at the Smith's laua.

Mr. Anonymous

We thought the Fern Grotto was beautiful and the river cruise scenery was spectacular. Entertainment on board was so so.

Mr. Anonymous

Great for kids.

Mr. Anonymous

Good for families with small children.

Mr. Anonymous

20 years ago this was a really great trip as you were able to go inside the cave and the water fall there was more than a trickle.... Since the Iniki Hurricane in the 90's that is no longer possible. The landslide that happened ended the cave tour part and ended the waterfall being as it was. I would recommend this to any one who has just landed in Kauai, older couples perhaps, who have never seen a fern grotto of any kind. For kids it is boring. Heard that a few times :) As for a wedding... I would honestly not recommend this particular trip as it is average or just okay. The boat trip up and back in the boat was the best part. For wedding parties I would honestly recommend arranging something with the Smith Family or one of the local Resorts and doing it as part of a Luau. That would be better. Hawaii Activities can help you find many other events that would be better for a wedding. They rock! This is a nice easy trip and okay to see. But if you have limited more

Peggy - Global Traveler

My new husband and I went on this River cruise as recommended by our travel agent as the most romantic thing we could do for our h...oneymoon. The only romantic thing about it was the Hawaiian wedding song while we stood on a deck with 100 other people. This would not be my idea of romantic. Maybe it used to be a romantic place to go when you could go inside the cave but now it just looks like a rock wall with some ferns in it. We didn't get the best start to our boat ride but we were both disappointed when we arrived to our location. The entertainment was fun and were really the only reason the trip was worth it. I wouldn't recomend it to anyone as a place to see on their honeymoon. The only thing that redeemed it was that it was probably the cheapest thing we did while we were there. Since this site won't let me pick wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I chose families. more


I was disappointed. I had been there about 4 years ago and the Fern Grotto was beautiful with lots of beautiful flowers to look a...t. It was so over grown you could hardly see the water fall. I also felt rushed, no time to admire the flowers that were there. I would not recommend this. more


I was disappointed that we could no longer go up to the fern area due to damage beyond the River Cruise control.

Gladys Perry

River was calm. Performance was nice, but overall not so exciting. Won't do it again.


I was not particularly excited about this excursion because the fern grotto is all dried up and you can't go in anymore. Howe...ver the entertainment was great. I dont think they could have made the excursion better with all the story telling, music and dancing. It was alot more than i expected and it was a great start to the luau we saw after! more


This was 2 hour boat tour to Fern Grotto and back with live music. The tour was average, nothing special.


Everything on Kauai has a beautiful plant variety. It is awesome


Hurricane Iniki did in the fern grotto which I had not been aware of so was disappointed in that as it was always so beautiful. Ot...her than that the river ride is always nice and Wailua such a beautiful place. The crew and entertainers were delightful and all in all it's a fun ride but as I said the fern grotto which is what most come to see was pretty much done in my mother nature. I had been on this ride more than once and first time as a child as my father was born in Lihue so I knew the grotto as it had been years ago so this most likely is what led me to my disappointment but first time goers will still find it a lovely trip and fun for all. Aloha more


It was nice, although it was short. I rented a kayak for the same river. Hindsight I should of did my homework.

Gary & Elvia

This is a great tour for those that want an easy, non-strenuous ride up and back on the river. I just did not enjoy being packed i...n with that many people to see the attraction after hiking and adventuring all week and then going on a garden tour directly before this one. I thought it was the only way to get to the grotto, and didn't like being herded in a huge group to see the ferns and hurry and take a photo. We really wished we knew that renting kayaks from the same company was an option because that looked way more our style. Aside from that, the staff was nice and gave an informative tour and musical entertainment for the ride. Best suited for older or more conservative tourists. more


This was a very throw back to the past type of experience. Simple fun, nice people, old fashioned hospitality. The river is in f...ull sun, would not recommend kayak option..not enough interesting flora along the way. Hula and Hawaiian music on the boat ride fun. Fern Grotto was devastated in 1992 and a shadow of it's former glory. Guide gave good local information in an entertaining sort of presentation. I'd take grandma and grandpa or very young kids on this tour. more


It was something to do on a rainy day to fill a couple hours.


The staff was very nice and the boat ride was relaxing but the Fern Grotto itself was less than I expected, and I wasn't expe...cting much. You don't go inside the cave. You just look at it from a distance. You can see ferns growing from the face of a rock cliff where the cave is located. You view it from a platform where weddings are performed these days. You can't go inside to see the area where 100 people can gather. more


Our tour had no enthusiasm and excitement in his voice. The crew seemed like this was a task. The Hawaiian dancers were good, the ...singer was good. Had been on the Fern Grotto tour a few years ago and was much better. more

Love Kauai

We bought the river cruise as an add on to the Luau. It is a pleasant ride on the river with a tour guide and some hula dancing. ... Honestly we could hardly understand/hear what the guided was saying on the ride. The dancing was nice. The whole experience was just a little underwhelming. Would not sign up for it as an individual event. more


The location was very hard to find. Price was fair. The man entertaining was kinda corny. I was expecting more.


Boring... Crowded and fern grotto was pretty but....


The fern grotto is a piece of Hawaiian history. Originally the site of a huge waterfall, before the river was diverted for irrigat...ion, and originally the site of hundreds of ferns, before being battered by cyclones, this place is not what it once was. It would have been a very impressive tourist attraction in the early 1900s but unfortunately ferns need water to grow and as it is with the river not going through here this place will never be as impressive and at the moment the tourist operators are trying to flog a dead horse. Unless they divert the river back through here and let the ferns regenerate I would not recommend it. Time to put this activity out to pasture! more


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