Vida Mia at sunrise — Photo courtesy of Marla Cimini
In Hawaii, your morning coffee will get a major upgrade when you step aboard the historic Vida Mia yacht for a scenic cruise off the coast of Oahu.
Many Hawaii visitors (and residents) agree that the best way to start the day is near (or on) the ocean. And Honolulu Coffee, a gourmet company headquartered in Hawaii, is making that happen with their recently-launched coffee and breakfast experience on the water. Through a new partnership with a newly-restored wooden yacht, Honolulu Coffee is offering the ultimate coffee and breakfast cruise, creating the only tropical sunrise voyage of its kind in all of Hawaii.
As Hawaii’s only commercial wooden yacht, the Vida Mia (which means “My Life” in Spanish) is a classic 61-foot sailing vessel that was built in the 1920s. It’s been completely refurbished inside and out and brought back to its original elegance. Today, the boat is based in the Ala Wai small boat harbor in Waikiki and has recently started offering new luxury cruises to individuals and intimate groups. For those who have watched the HBO series, “White Lotus,” The Vida Mia was featured in various scenes, transporting guests of the posh beachfront resort.
Diamond Head sunrise from Vida Mia — Photo courtesy of Marla Cimini
This luxury cruise experience is unique, as it blends vintage yachting with modern comforts, featuring an exquisite boat with a stunning, teak wood interior that includes a kitchen, living space, bathrooms and two bedrooms. Visitors to Hawaii who are seeking an exclusive, upscale activity on the water will certainly appreciate this exceptional and relaxing cruise aboard this (nearly) century-old boat that invites guests to take a step back in time and enjoy the breathtaking views of Waikiki and majestic Diamond Head.
Honolulu Coffee is an award-winning company that grows quality beans on its own farm, located on the Big Island of Hawaii. Situated on the picturesque slopes of Mauna Loa volcano, this agricultural destination is considered by industry experts to be one of the world’s premier spots for harvesting the highest quality coffee beans.
Vida Mia yacht interior — Photo courtesy of Marla Cimini
Abigail Joslyn, Honolulu Coffee’s chief operating officer, says that it’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity for coffee lovers to enjoy an incredible morning sunrise cruise. She explained, “It’s truly a full sensory experience, and we love sharing a true ‘spirit of aloha’ with our guests. You are drinking the freshest roasted coffee in Waikiki, paired with locally-grown seasonal fruits and handmade artisan pastries. Guests are rocked by the gentle waves while taking in the musical stylings of Kapono Wong, one of the best ukulele musicians on island.”
The partnership came about in the fall of 2021, when the Vida Mia’s owner, Brynn Rovito, asked Honolulu Coffee to host a morning cruise because the tranquility of the ocean was something she wanted to share.
Joslyn agreed that it’s been an ideal opportunity for passengers to enjoy a relaxing and peaceful morning cruise, sipping a cup of delightful coffee surrounded by nature (sometimes dolphins and whales are spotted) as well as luxury. She said, “There are not many other options in Waikiki to get out on the water first thing in the morning. Brynn pitched the idea to offer our locally-grown and roasted coffee, paired with the highest quality pastries to create a truly unique experience. Needless to say, once we saw the Vida Mia in all of her glory, we knew this was a partnership that was meant to be.”
Tranquilly on the water
Breakfast on the Vida Mia yacht — Photo courtesy of Marla Cimini
The Vida Mia morning breakfast cruise departs the marina at 7 a.m. and guests on the yacht immediately get a sense of tranquility and morning calm. Rovito says, “I think that what makes this cruise really special is that there are no other boats out on the ocean so early…it’s all very quiet and there’s no water traffic. It’s lovely to be able to appreciate the beautiful sunrise and see the island from a different vantage point.”
Rovito pointed out that the Vida Mia has an experienced, friendly crew and it’s the only yacht on Oahu that’s certified to carry over 12 passengers (the boat is authorized to cruise with 36 persons maximum). She added that she has been pleasantly surprised to discover that in addition to tourists, many locals are booking cruises on the Vida Mia and booking family events, birthday parties and company get-togethers on board. The Vida Mia offers special discounted rates for Hawaii residents, by the way.
She says, “We’re building a great community with this yacht. And some locals remember our boat from years ago and are excited to learn it’s been restored and still cruising. I learned that some of our residents drive from all over the island to take our morning cruise, which is fantastic. And so many people are fans of Honolulu Coffee – and that’s what led them to our boat.”
Vida Mia yacht — Photo courtesy of Marla Cimini
The Vida Mia yacht has quite a storied past (it had fallen into disrepair several times over the years). It was commandeered by the coast guard in San Francisco Bay during WWII; years ago, a number of celebrities, including Elizabeth Taylor and Louis Vuitton used the yacht as a mode of transportation between Hawaiian Islands. Eventually, it was docked on Maui and was left unused for years. The boat’s restoration process spanned several years and was completed by expert craftsmen who specialize in refurbishing wooden sailing vessels. Rovito was involved with some of the restoration and says the yacht features many original and newly rebuilt parts.
After cruising for several months in the morning with Honolulu Coffee, Rovito says she still enjoys every minute – and looks forward to meeting the passengers and showing them a memorable cruise. She also revealed her favorite Honolulu Coffee breakfast treat. “It’s definitely the ham and egg croissant,” she says.
Post-cruise coffee adventures
Brynn Rovito, owner of the Vida Mia and Abagail Joslyn, Honolulu Coffee, aboard the yacht (with their dogs) — Photo courtesy of Jasmine Brooke Photography
In addition to enjoying this sunrise coffee cruise, Joslyn encourages visitors to Oahu to visit the newly opened Honolulu Coffee Experience Center nearby. This stunning café features a beautifully designed interior and a vintage 1940s Probat coffee roaster as its centerpiece. It’s 12 feet high (with pipes soaring through the ceiling) and was imported from Germany. In addition to a full menu of coffee, teas, pastries and light bites, this location offers a self-guided tour showcasing the history of coffee in the islands.
If you go
In addition to this breakfast experience on the water, the Vida Mia yacht is available for private charters, including snorkel activities with catered meals, sunset cruises with live music, weddings, and custom cruises with overnight stays (the yacht has sleeping accommodations for six). For more information, contact the Vida Mia.