Maui has some of the most beautiful sunsets whether you’re picnicking on the Pali or viewing them from the South or West Coast. If you’ve seen a few Maui sunsets, you know that they’re never quite the same, depending on the time of the year and your vantage point. If you want to witness a truly spectacular sunset, seeing one out at sea is an extraordinary experience. It’s one thing to see the sunset beyond the ocean, but the beauty of being on the water is absolutely breathtaking.

Luckily Maui offers up several ways to catch a spectacular sunset at sea out of Maalaea or Lahaina Harbors. Maalaea is roughly half an hour from Kihei and Lahaina, and about 20 minutes from Central Maui. If you’re just interested in catching the sunset, you may want to check out a sunset cocktail cruise. Some cruises offer a sunset dinner cruise as well.

I had the opportunity to take a sunset cruise on the Alii Nui. The two-hour cruise departed from Maalaea Harbor, motoring out into the bay where the yacht was sheltered from the wind. We had gorgeous views of the West Maui Mountains, the south shore, and azure Pacific Ocean. The vast ocean was calm and clear, and the perfect expanse for a glorious sunset. While the sunset was amazing, don’t leave the deck too soon. You don’t want to miss the beautiful pink, red, orange and yellow hues that highlight the sky once the sun has settled below the horizon.

A little over a year old, the Alii Nui is a custom built, luxury sailing catamaran, measuring 65′ from stem to stern and 36′ port to starboard. Because of its size, the number of passengers is limited to provide plenty of room to relax and enjoy the scenery. The cabin area is completely covered, which provides shelter from the wind and sea spray, and houses a seating area and bar. Assorted appetizers included braised beef short ribs, shrimp cocktail, roasted potatoes, pita and hummus, green papaya salad, veggie platter, fresh fruit and cheeses.

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