Educational Programs at the Institute: CEP

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do tours last?

Tours last about 2 hours — a little less if the students are young and find lengthy scientific explanations difficult.

Are children allowed on tours?

The research focus of the tours and the uneven surfaces of the paths make the tours unsuitable for very young children. We prefer to limit tours to 5th graders and above.

What does a tour cost?

To assist with program scheduling, reservations, and program tour materials and upkeep, we have a fee structure.

Walking tours: $60 for the first 10 participants, $6/ additional participant, 40 participants maximum.

Lab programs such as the “Expedition to Moku o Lo‘e”: $75 for the first 10 participants and $7.00 per additional participant.

Marine Science Overnights: $35/ person.

Hawaii school programs are approximately half price. There are a limited number of fee reduction waivers available for school and community groups that have special need.

Family Sunday tours are donation based. We appreciate any donation ($6/ participant suggested).

Groups of 13 or more participants, those that choose a lab program such as the “Expedition to Moku o Loe” and other groups that want simple logistics and a scenic cruise across the bay use our larger boat for transport to the island. Boat fees are $75 from He’eia Pier.

How do we get from the shore to the island?

With a group of 12 or less we can use the small water shuttle for the ride from the Lilipuna Pier to the Island Lighthouse; but parking and logistics can be daunting. For groups of 13 or more (max of 40), groups participating in a lab program and others that would like simpler logistics and a more scenic tour we require use of the Honu Kai (our larger ship), which leaves from the He'eia Pier. Advance scheduling is required for the Honu Kai, and there is a service charge to cover our expenses.

Where can we park?

Lack of parking space at the Lilipuna Pier is a major problem. There is no guest parking at our Pier except on weekends (if you sign up for a Family Sunday tour we will send you information on parking). Weekday group tours have to drop off their students and let them walk down, or opt to be picked up by our larger boat at Heeia Pier, where there is parking. Please review our “Planning a Visit to Coconut_Island” guidelines.

What is the optimum group size?

20 or less is an excellent size for a single group. The maximum number of people we can accommodate on a single tour or program is 40 (legal capacity for the Honu Kai). If the personnel are available we split them into small groups with their own tour guides.

What is the best time to start our tour?

This depends mostly on your group’s logistics. A 9:00 am start is suggested as we tend to have our best weather in the morning. Weekday starting times can be flexible, but weekend shuttles run only on the hour and so Family Sunday tours are limited in start and finish times.

What are the lunch options on the island?

Food is not available for purchase on the island, so you need to bring your own. There is a facility available called the Beach House, which has a view and bathrooms. The Beach House can be reserved for your group if it is available, otherwise, groups can have lunch on one of our lawns, which are also very nice.

Do we need special equipment?

For a general tour all people need in addition to raingear, are good walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen and a water bottle. Bathing suits are not needed.To avoid disturbing the research projects underway on the island’s fringing reef tours do not include swimming or snorkeling off the island. You may wish to bring a camera. We have HIMB hats, shirts and other items available for sale.

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