Vida Mia at sunrise — Photo courtesy of Marla Cimini
In Hawaii, your morning coffee will get a whole lot better when you step aboard the historic yacht Vida Mia for a scenic cruise off the coast of Oahu.
Many visitors (and residents) of Hawaii agree that the best way to start the day is near (or on) the ocean. And Honolulu Coffee, a Hawaii-based gourmet company, is making that happen with its recently launched coffee and breakfast experience on the water. Through a new partnership with a newly restored wooden yacht, Honolulu Coffee offers 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 (meaning “My Life” in Spanish) is a classic 61-foot sailboat that was built in the 1920s. It has been completely renovated inside and out and returned to its original elegance. Today, the ship is based at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor in Waikiki and recently began offering new luxury cruises for individuals and intimate groups. For those who have seen the HBO series, “White Lotus,” The Vida Mia appeared in several scenes, transporting guests to the elegant beachfront resort.
Vida Mia’s Diamond Head Sunrise — Photo Courtesy of Marla Cimini
This luxury cruising experience is unique in that it blends vintage sailing with modern conveniences, presenting an exquisite ship with a stunning teakwood interior that includes a galley, living room, bathrooms and two bedrooms. Visitors to Hawaii looking for an exclusive, upscale activity on the water will certainly appreciate this rare and relaxing cruise aboard this (nearly) century-old ship that invites guests to step back in time and enjoy the stunning views of Waikiki and the 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. Located on the picturesque slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano, this agricultural destination is considered by industry experts to be one of the best places in the world to harvest the highest quality coffee beans.
Vida Mia yacht interior — Photo courtesy of Marla Cimini
Abigail Joslyn, director of operations at Honolulu Coffee, says it’s a unique opportunity for coffee lovers to enjoy an amazing sunrise morning cruise. She explained: “It is truly a full sensory experience, and we love sharing a true ‘spirit of aloha’ with our guests. You’re sipping Waikiki’s freshest roasted coffee, paired with locally grown seasonal fruits and artisanal handmade pastries. Guests are rocked by the gentle waves as they enjoy the musical styles of Kapono Wong, one of the best ukulele players on the island.”
The partnership came about in the fall of 2021, when Vida Mia 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 has been an ideal opportunity for passengers to enjoy a quiet and relaxing morning cruise, having a cup of delicious coffee surrounded by nature (sometimes dolphins and whales seen) and in luxury. She said: “There aren’t many other options in Waikiki to get out on the water first thing in the morning. Brynn introduced the idea of offering our locally grown and roasted coffee, combined with the highest quality pastries to create a truly unique experience. Needless to say, once we saw Vida Mia in all its glory, we knew this was a partnership it was meant to be.”
quietly in the water
Breakfast on the yacht Vida Mia — Photo courtesy of Marla Cimini
The Vida Mia Morning Breakfast Cruise departs from the marina at 7am and guests on the yacht immediately gain a sense of tranquility and morning calm. Says Rovito, “I think what makes this cruise really special is that there are no other ships out on the ocean so early…everything is very quiet and there is no water traffic. It is lovely to be able to appreciate the beautiful sunrise and see the island from a different point of view.”
Rovito noted that the Vida Mia has a friendly and experienced crew and is the only yacht on Oahu that is certified to carry more than 12 passengers (the ship is authorized to sail with a maximum of 36 people). He added that he 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 meetings on board. The Vida Mia offers special discounted rates for Hawaii residents, by the way.
She says: “We are building a great community with this yacht. And some locals remember our ship from years ago and are excited to learn that she has been restored and is still sailing. I heard that some of our residents drive from all over the island to catch our morning cruise, which is great. And a lot of people are fans of Honolulu Coffee, and that’s what brought them to our boat.”
Vida Mia Yacht — Photo courtesy of Marla Cimini
The Vida Mia yacht has quite a storied past (it had deteriorated several times over the years). She was commandeered by the coast guard in San Francisco Bay during World War II; Years ago, various celebrities, including Elizabeth Taylor and Louis Vuitton, used the yacht as a means of transportation between the Hawaiian Islands. Eventually she was docked in Maui and was not used for years. The ship’s restoration process took several years and was carried out by skilled craftsmen who specialize in the restoration of wooden sailboats. Rovito participated in part of the restoration and says that the yacht has many original and recently rebuilt pieces.
After sailing for several months in the morning with Honolulu Coffee, Rovito says he still enjoys every minute of it and looks forward to meeting passengers and showing them a memorable cruise. He also revealed his favorite Honolulu Coffee breakfast treat. “It’s definitely the ham and egg croissant,” she says.
Post Cruise Coffee Adventures
Brynn Rovito, owner of Vida Mia and Abagail Joslyn, Honolulu Coffee, aboard the yacht (with her dogs) — Photo courtesy Jasmine Brooke Photography
In addition to enjoying this sunrise coffee cruise, Joslyn encourages visitors to Oahu to visit the recently opened Honolulu Coffee Experience Center nearby. This stunning cafe features a beautifully designed interior and a 1940s Probat coffee roaster as its centerpiece. It is 12 feet tall (with pipes rising through the ceiling) and was imported from Germany. In addition to a full menu of coffee, tea, pastries, and light bites, this spot offers a self-guided tour that showcases the history of coffee in the islands.
If you go
In addition to this breakfast-on-the-water experience, the Vida Mia yacht is available for private charters, including snorkeling activities with prepared meals, sunset cruises with live music, weddings, and custom cruises with overnight stays (the yacht has sleeping accommodations for six). For more information, contact Vida Mia.