The whales are here from roughly Christmas to Easter each year. We have many boats in our fleet to see them from and we have the perfect one for you.
|Whale Watching Tours on Maui|
|Aloha Blue Charters - 40' Power Catamaran|
|America II - 12 Meter Sailing Yacht|
|Captain Steve's Rafting - 28' Rigid Hull Inflatable|
|Frogman Charters - 55' Power Catamaran|
|Gemini - 64' Catamaran|
|Hawaii Ocean Rafting - 30' Hard Bottom Inflatable Raft|
|Hula Girl - 65 Foot Sailing Catamaran|
|Kai Kanani - 65' Sail Catamaran|
|Kaulana - 65' Power Catamaran|
|Maui Adventure Cruises - Ocean Rafts|
|Maui Diamond II - 38' Wilson Power Driven Vessel|
|Pacific Whale Foundation - Motor Yachts|
|Pride of Maui - 65' Maxi Catamaran|
|Scotch Mist - 50' Sailing Yacht|
|Teralani - 65' Catamaran|
|Trilogy Catamarans - 51' Catamaran|
|UFO Parasail - Custom Speed Boats|
|Ultimate Rafting Maui - 30' Aluminum Hulled Inflatable|
|Wailea Boating Company - 36' Power Boat|
|Wake Maui - 23' Power Boat|
Whales in Maui - Maui Whale Watch Tours
Whales in Maui can be seen during the Maui Whale Watch season which runs from December 16th to May 15th. If you book nothing else, seeing the Whales on Maui should be on your list!
Some Amazing facts about the Whales on Maui!
Humpback Whales swim to Maui from Alaska, spend the whole winter here, and then make the long journey back home leaving Maui in April and May.
The Humpback Whale has come for generations to this area between the islands of Maui County and spends its days here mating, giving birth and nursing their young.
Humpback Whales don't eat a thing during all the months they are away from Alaska.
Whales' lungs are the size of a Volkswagen!
Whales' babies, born here on Maui, grow at a rate of 100 pounds a day!
Adult Humpback Whales lose about 25% of their body weight during this period.
Humpback Whales spend the majority of their day below the surface of the water and just come to the surface to breathe. Though these whales can stay down for as long as 45 minutes, their average dive time is about 10 minutes.
We can hear the whales "song" on hydrophones from Maui's whale watch boats. Remarkably, all male whales will sing the exact same, but very complex, song at the beginning of the whale season and this song will change in the same way for all of them as the season progresses. The next years song will begin where this year's song left off.
No one really knows exactly why the Humpback whales sing these songs or what they mean.
Why Maui is the undisputed best location to see whales in Hawaii.
Whale watching tours abound on Maui! In fact Maui is the undisputable epicenter for whale watching tours in Hawaii. Maui and its surrounding islands of Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe are actually the very top of one mammoth underwater volcano and just at the very peak of this mountain are the various islands delineated by shallow waterways which separate each of the islands. These channels between islands provide shallow and warm waters for the Humpback Whales to enjoy after their long and arduous journey each year from Alaska and Canada. The Lahaina Roadstead area and Maalaea Bay are something akin to a resort to these amazing whales. Rather than spending all day pressing on in their incredible marathon swims from Alaska or spending all day searching out food in their home environment they instead spend their days lounging in these protected waters slowly swimming about in pods, going through the mating rituals as they court one another and giving birth to whales that were conceived the previous year. This yearly visit proves to be a blessing for us as we are able to observe them in their relaxed state on one of our many whale watch cruises. Our whale watch tours are truly the apex of our boating season as visitors wait with anticipation to be able to arrive this time of year to observe this spectacle on one of our whale watching vessels. Throughout the year we are barraged by questions as to the exact time the Maui whale season begins and ends so people can plan to arrive at a time when a whale watch cruise will be available for them. Maui's whale watches depart dozens of times during each day during the winter whale season to view the spectacular Humpback Whale.
Maui Whale Watching Tours can be taken on a variety of different types of boats.
The waters around Maui are a legislated sanctuary for the Humpback whale, and since these Humpbacks whales are treated with such great respect, they keep coming back year after year. Pods put on a spectacular show, playing, slapping their flukes, waving their tails and “breaching” (leaping high out of the water into the air) and the large number of Maui whale boats travel out into the shallow waters between the islands to view this amazing spectacle. Many different types of vessels will take you to watch whales for several hours, but these whale watch boats are basically divided into two main categories………large boats and small boats.
Many people would prefer a large and stable Maui whale watch vessel often with an upper deck suitable to see whales in the distance.
Others will prefer the smaller Maui whale watch boats such as the extremely fast and maneuverable zodiac or rigid hull inflatable’s or even kayaks which provide an ocean surface vantage point to meet the whales "one on one".
Maui's whale watches depart from Lahaina and Maalaea Harbors as well as Kaanapali, the Kihei Boat Ramp and from the Makena coast.
All Maui whale watch boats will provide narration and explain the whale behaviors you will be seeing.
Most Maui whale watches will provide hydrophones so you can hear the "whale song" first hand.
Most Maui whale watch tours last about two-hours in length
Tom's Tips - Maui Whale Watching
The most comfortable Maui whale watch tours are on the larger and more stable boats. Make sure you get a boat that is fast because an important part of any whale watch is about getting to the next pod of whales after the ones you are watching "sound" or dive below the surface.
Watching whales from the surface level of the ocean like on a zodiac or a kayak gives you a better sense of the enormity of these whales. The zodiacs or rigid-hulled inflatable’s are extremely fast, take smaller groups and are very personalized.
Coast guard regulations require all boats to remain at least 100 yards away from the whales so don't expect to be getting right up next to them. The whales however, can and do, come up close (sometimes under) the boats on their own volition.
Morning time is usually the best time for Maui whale watching as the ocean waters are generally calmest and allow for better viewing and the whales are easier to see in the distance as they break the surface.
Go whale watching with Aloha Blue Charters on their forty-foot power catamaran "Hokua" They depart from Maalaea Harbor, which is located right next to the Aquarium. The "Hokua" is an eco friendly vessel that is powered with jet drive motors. They take small groups of no more then thirty passengers.
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The America II is a 12-meter sailing ship that was designed and built solely for the 1987 Americas Cup race. She offers sailing trips year round and whale watches during the winter. During whale season whale sightings are guaranteed. The channel between Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe is much calmer then the open ocean and makes for an ideal spot to go for a relaxing whale watch sail. This channel is a global phenomenon of sorts. It is an epicenter for migration of the Northern Pacific humpback.
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Captain Steve's speedy boat the "Canefire" is an ideal platform to whale watch from. This thirty foot rigid hull-inflatable zodiac boat is very fast (it is so fast in fact that people who cannot handle a fast ride like pregnant women or people that have recently had surgery or back problems are not recommended to go). The expert crew of Captain Steve's Rafting will get their speedy boats as close to the whales as lawfully allowed. From here they have to cut their motors and if the whales approach the boat. The zodiac design allows for the riders to be very close to the surface of the water and if the whales approach the boat it is possible to literally have an encounter with one of these great creatures at arms length. Captain Steve's Rafting offers all their whale watching tours out of the Mala Ramp. During whale season (Dec-May) whale sightings are guaranteed!
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Frogman Charters is a company of long standing on Maui that operates tours to Molokini as well as offers dinner cruises and sunset cruises and whale watching in season, from Maalaea Harbor. Their tours have always been exceptional in terms of customer service and client approval. Value has also always been a special consideration they provide for their clients and their continued attention to customer satisfaction has made them an excellent choice for ocean voyages on Maui.
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Whale season on Maui is something like you will not find anywhere else in the world. It is estimated that over one third of the entire population of Humpback Whales in the North Pacific Ocean make their way to these waters to give birth and mate every year. It is possible to see them from the shore but the sightings you'll have will most likely be limited to activity that is far off in the distance. From the vantage point of a boat you can see whales from a much closer perspective. The "Gemini" is a classic sixty-four foot Sea-Runner sailing catamaran that pulls up on the sands of Kaanapali Beach right in front of the Westin to depart for their whale watching tour.
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One theory on whale watching is to go on a really fast boat. Although all boats are required to cut power at a safe distance from the whales there is a method to the fast boat theory. By observing the whales from a distance and seeing where the whales are going and then positioning yourself to be more in front of them then cutting the motors it increases the likelihood of having the whales approach the boat. The thirty-foot rigid hulled inflatable boat owned by Hawaii Ocean Rafting certainly makes the speed requirement, and in recent reasons the whales have come in record numbers. So chances are if you go out with these guys, you'll probably get to see the whales put on a good show.
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The Hula Girl is a brand new 65x35 foot, state-of-the-art, multi-million dollar, custom sailing catamaran with a 90' Wing mast with Spectra Sails and seating for up to 49 guests. The vessel is stunningly beautiful, with sleek lines and hand painted graphics, including a larger than life Hula Dancer on each bow. A Fly Bridge that houses the helm station has couch type seating for 12 guests with 2 cocktail tables. This area gives the feel of a VIP lounge.
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During whale season the Kai Kanani offers Whale Watching trips that depart form the beach in front of the Makena Beach and Golf Resort, which is in Makena, just south of the Wailea resort community. Humpback Whales come to Maui to give birth and breed before they migrate back to the waters off of Alaska to feed. These magnificent creatures can be spotted exhibiting a variety of behaviors such as: pectoral fin slapping, tale slapping, spouting, or if your lucky you might even see one breech out of the water before coming back down with a colossal splash! The experienced captain and crew will do all they can to make your whales encounter something you will never forget.
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The "Kaulana" is a sixty-five foot double deck power catamaran. She offers whale watches daily, departing from the Lahaina Harbor. This boat is very large and stable. There is an enclosed lower cabin as well as an open-air upper viewing deck. The waters off of Lahaina are a breeding ground for humpback whales, they come here to mate and give birth. Often times you will see the giant humpbacks slapping their pectoral fins or tails on the surface, spouting water as they breathe through their
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Maui Adventure Cruises offers whale watching tours aboard their large Explorer class boats. These forty-nine foot explorers resemble a zodiac style boat (the kind that was made famous by Jaques Cousteau and is also used by the Navy Seals) but much larger. These large boats are designed to be able to travel quickly through rough water and make and ideal platform to race around the channel on in search of whales on.
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The Maui Diamond ll diving boat on the island of Maui also doubles as a wonderful small and personalized private whale watching tour during the winter months when the giant Humpback Whales come to visit. The Maui Diamond ll offers you the opportunity to just take your own private group of family or friends on an exclusive adventure to see the whales in the area of Maalaea Bay. A maximum of twenty-four persons can enjoy this whale watch tour.
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The Pacific Whale Foundation has been a major player in the boating industry of Maui since 1980. They are perhaps best known for their whale watches and for their commitment to the environment, and more specifically to the whales that migrate here seasonally. The Pacific Whale Foundation is consistently involved in local education, research and clean-up projects. On most of their trips you will find a host of Marine Naturalists and Research Interns that are on board working on their projects and when they're not busy they are available to answer questions from guests. The Pacific Whale Foundation has trips departing from Lahaina as well as Maalaea Harbors. Each of their locations is complete with a retail store that sells a variety of different Pacific Whale Foundation merchandise as well as a variety of different books and other informational resources. The humpback whales migrate to Hawaii annually and at one point in time they were on the brink of extinction. At their low it was estimated that there were as few as sixteen-hundred whales left on the entire planet. Fortunately, due to a great deal of international cooperation to put a ban on whaling and make commercial whaling illegal and different conservation efforts by such groups as the Pacific Whale Foundation the populations of the humpback whales are rising significantly. In recent years it has been estimated that the Northern Pacific is home to over thirty-thousand humpback whales. Researchers estimate that about a third of all humpbacks in the North Pacific migrate to Maui County annually. The humpback whales come here to give birth and mate in the protected waters of the ocean channels that sit between Maui and the surrounding islands of Kahoolawe, Lanai and Molokai. The mating rituals of the humpbacks involve a complicated system where the males prove their dominance over each other. This is often observed in acrobatic display that involve the male whales breaching out of the water and in some cases even landing on each other to prove dominance and earn their mate. Thanks to the work of groups like Pacific Whale Foundation countless visitors to Maui are able to witness these majestic creatures firsthand.
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One of the great whale watching boats on the island of Maui is the Pride of Maui. The Pride of Maui is an ideal boat for a whale watch for those who like large and stable vessels. Not only is the Pride of Maui stable but it is fast as well and can get between the pods of whale quickly. The large decks on the "Pride" make it un-crowded and from the top observation deck you will have the height to spot whales at a distance and to get the best vantage point for viewing them
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The "Scotch Mist" was initially brought to Maui in the 1984 Victoria to Maui sailboat race. After she completed the race in first place the owners decided to retire her from racing and use the beautiful sailboat to offer sailing charters, snorkel cruises, whale watches and sunset sails on her. The "Scotch Mist" is a classic sailboat and is a must do for any sailing fans that are coming on a Maui vacation. "Scotch Mist" departs out of Lahaina Harbor, which is conveniently located within a short drive of the major resorts of Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kahana, Napili and Kapalua.
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The Teralani is a luxury catamaran that is known for their snorkel trips, sunset sails and dinner cruises. During whale season they also offer whale watching trips aboard their large sixty five foot power catamaran. The humpback whales migrate to the waters off shore of Maui beginning in late November and normally stick around until early may. While they are here they give birth and mate. During the mating rituals of the humpback whales is when the majority of the whale activity takes place
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Trilogy Excursions has been taking Maui’s visitors on snorkeling excursions, sailing adventures and whale watches for over thirty years. Trilogy Excursions is a family company that was started by the Coon Brothers and is now being run by their many sons and daughters. The large sailing catamarans that are used by Trilogy Excursions are a classic design that is well suited for the trips that Trilogy offers and have remained almost unchanged throughout the years and each new one that they get is
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UFO Parasail features custom built power boats with comfortable individual bucket seating that can accommodate up to 12 passengers on a personalized whale watching tour.
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Seeing the whales from any kind of boat that is low to the water will make them appear much larger then from a boat with an elevated deck. The "Wiki Wahine" is a thirty-foot aluminum hulled raft with an inflatable surround that has huge engines that are pushing over four hundred horsepower to the propellers. The advantage of going whale watching on a fast boat such as this is that you will generally spend less time looking for the whales and more time watching the whales because you can cover
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Wailea Boat Company offers private charters aboard their thirty-six foot powerboat “Xian”. The four hundred and fifty horsepower vessel is ideal for whale watches, snorkel trips, booze cruises and sunset sails. They depart from the Kihei Boat Ramp, which is very close to many excellent snorkeling and whale watching locations. With private charters you can be in control of where you go and what you do for the day. If you want to watch whales then go for a scenic tour or stop for a snorkel, you can
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In addition to their wakeboarding tours Wake Maui also offers private whale watches aboard their twenty-three foot Ski Supreme V232 boat the "Grad School". During whale season sightings are guaranteed. The speedy and comfortable "Grad School" will get you to the whales quickly, so you can spend more time watching whales and less time getting out there. Wake Maui also offers a variety of wakeboarding packages for beginner through advanced riders.
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Whale Watching Tours in Maui - Whale watching in Hawaii is not to be missed. The Humpback Whales come here, but only in the Winter months roughly between Christmas and Easter. Their main home is in the Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska and Canada but they make the mammoth swim here to Hawaii once a year to mate, bear their young and to generally cavort about and enjoy life. They are absolutely intriguing animals. They for the most part eat krill and plankton which is found in their home waters and is not found here so for their entire five month or so journey to Hawaii and back they do not eat. They literally lose tons of weight during this time and the babies they bear are nourished by their mothers milk and actually gain about 100 pounds a day. They cruise the waters surrounding Maui and the neighbor islands of Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai, Lanai and Molokai but really don’t travel much once they reach here. Dozens of pods of whales can be found in the waters surrounding the islands during the Winter months and the pods often consist of three, four or more whales. The baby whales are beyond cute and are usually seen right next to the mothers. Whale sightings on our whale watches during these months are almost a given and during the peak season it is literally impossible not to find them. If you didn’t do anything else while you were here in the Winter you should do a whale watch. And by the way, don’t forget your camera.