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Dolphin Tours on Maui

Where can I swim with dolphins on Maui is a most asked question.

There are 18 tours in this category with adult prices that range in price from $41.90 to $2359.99 Skip Directly to Tours.

Maui Dolphin Tours

Maui Dolphin Tours are among the most popular category of activities we have on Maui. It is no surprise then that dolphins on Maui win the award for being the most popular marine mammal. People love to view the dolphins from one of our many boats on Maui and people love to swim with the dolphins however on Maui this is not generally offered as an option. Many of the dolphin tours on Maui are offered here at a discount price.

Here are some interesting facts about Dolphins:

  • The life cycle of dolphins is similar to that of other cetaceans.
  • As mammals, dolphins bear live young and the mothers nurse them on milk and provide care.
  • A dolphin calf is born tail-first with eyes open, senses alert and enough muscular coordination to follow its mother immediately.
  • At birth, the mother helps her calf to the surface to get its first breath.
  • While nursing lasts between one and a half to two years, the mother will remain with her calf for a period between three and eight years.
  • There is some variation in the age at which sexual maturity is reached, the reproduction rate and the life expectancy among the different species of dolphins.
  • Most species tend to bear one calf every other year or so during their reproductive active years.
  • Dolphins are believed to have an average life expectancy of about thirty years.
  • Dolphins' brains are about the size of our own.

The two most popular species of dolphins located in Maui waters are the Spinner dolphins and the Bottle Nose dolphins:

  • Spinner dolphins are the smallest of Maui's common dolphins. Dolphins are generally between five and six feet in length and weigh 130 to 200 pounds. Hawaii has its own subspecies that is easy to recognize by its distinctive "three-tone" color pattern which consists of a sharply defined dark gray "cape" on their backs, a stripe of lighter gray on their sides and a white or pink belly. This species gets its name from its spectacular habit of leaping high into the air and spinning several times on their tails before falling back into the water. Researchers are not sure why the dolphins spin, but most people who have had the opportunity to watch the dolphins don't seem to mind, and find it a real treat.
  • The Bottlenose Dolphins are not seen as frequently but there are lots of them out there. They usually travel in smaller pods and are much larger dolphins. They are usually well over six feet in length and weigh in excess of 400 pounds.
  • Unlike Maui's famous humpback whales, dolphins are year-round residents of Maui and can be seen swimming off all the Hawaiian islands during virtually every month of the year.

Where are the best places to see dolphins off the coast of Maui?

Around Maui, dolphins congregate at night in large herds in the deep channels between the islands to feed. During the day, dolphins break up into smaller groups and come near shore to rest and play.

A few of the places where dolphins can commonly be seen on Maui are:

  • Along the southern boundaries of Maui especially the La Perouse Bay and Kanaio area
  • Off the coastline of Lanai.

Swimming with the Maui dolphins.

One of the most asked questions regarding Maui dolphins is 'Where can we swim with them?' Unfortunately this is not a viable option for Maui visitors. The islands of Oahu and the Big Island are such areas however as they have dolphin populations that frequent specific areas and can be seen at the same locations time and time again with a high degree of regularity.

Pride of America Cruise Ship:

Dolphin Excursions on Maui do not pick up at the cruise ship but may be reached via Rental Car on the Sunday afternoon o Monday morning of your Maui visit. We can arrange for you to be picked up at the ship by your Rental Car on the day of your choice. View the 'restrictions' area after you click on each of the Maui Dolphin Tour companies listed below for specifics regarding the cruise ship itinerary.

Look for this symbol in the tour descriptions below to indicate if it is Pride of America compatible.

Dolphin Tours Sorted by Specific Tour


Dolphin Tours Sorted by Company

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(7 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Hawaii Ocean Rafting

2 Activity Options

30' Hard Bottom Inflatable Raft

Hawaii Ocean Rafting has been operating in the waters surrounding Maui and Lanai for many years. They offer personalized snorkel and marine life excursions departing from Lahaina Harbor on hard-bottom inflatable rafts similar to zodiacs. These adventure touring vessels are fast and maneuverable and you have a great likelihood of seeing whales, dolphins and other marine life up close and personal.
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(5 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Ultimate Rafting

2 Activity Options

30' Aluminum Hulled Inflatable

Ultimate Rafting offers very exciting trips for snorkeling and whale watching off of the island of Lanai and the coast of Maui on their thirty-foot aluminum hulled rafts with inflatable surround. The engines on this boat are enormous, cranking out 400 horsepower that will get you there quick. Dolphins are commonly seen year round as are the Humpback whales during the winter months.
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(2 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Frogman Charters

1 Activity Option

55' Power Catamaran

The charter boat company Boss Frog's is also known by the name Frogman Charters and it operates Molokini tours, whale watches, sunset sails and dinner cruises from it departure point of Maalaea Harbor. It's two main boats are the 55' power catamaran Malolo and the 55' power catamaran Quicksilver.
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(15 Reviews, 4.9 Stars)

Maui Adventure Cruises

2 Activity Options

48' Explorer Class Raft

On Maui, 'rafting' equates with adventure, and Maui Adventure Cruises has just about all the adventure you could want. Speeding rigid hull inflatables varying in length from 34' to 49' whisk their way from Maui over the channel to Lanai. Maui Adventure Cruises comb the shoreline looking for great snorkel spots, playing with the dolphin population, snorkeling, and viewing the whales.
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(25 Reviews, 4.9 Stars)

Trilogy Excursions

2 Activity Options

64' - 55' - 51' Sailing Catamarans, 55' Sailing Catamaran, 55' Catamaran to Molokini, 55' Sail Catam

One of the most popular and respected boating companies on Maui is the Trilogy which has been in operation here since 1973. Though being a large company now, operating six or so 50' range sailing catamarans, they are still the family owned operation that was begun by Eldon Coon and his two sons, Jim and Randy. Today they offer sailing tours to Lanai, Molokini, the West Coast of Maui and an assortment of shorter sunset and sailing options and whale watches.
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(10 Reviews, 4.7 Stars)

Captain Steve's Rafting

1 Activity Option

28' Rigid Hull Inflatable, 30' and 38' RAIV

If you're longing for some ocean adventure on the high seas Captain Steve's Rafting departing off the West Maui Coast may be an excellent choice for you. Specializing in taking small groups, you'll be treated to extra attention from the captain and you will be encouraged to ask questions. He offers full and half-day tours to Lanai and fabulous whale watches during whale season.
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(12 Reviews, 4.7 Stars)

Paragon Sailing Charters

1 Activity Option

47' Sailing Catamaran

Certainly one of the very fastest boats found in the islands is the 47' customized sailing catamaran, Paragon. Paragon Sailing Charters offers a number of choices for boat tours ranging from morning sails to Molokini; Day Trips to Lanai; Sunset Sails; and Performance Sails.
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(26 Reviews, 4.7 Stars)

Pacific Whale Foundation

2 Activity Options

52' and 60' Power Catamaran, 52' and 65' Power Catamaran, 65' Power Catamaran, 65' Catamaran

The Pacific Whale Foundation is one of the main companies we have on island that goes out in search of the whales during the winter months. In addition, throughout the year they also offer boat tours to snorkel at Molokini, dolphin watches that look for dolphins and snorkel off the coast of Lanai and have rigid hull inflatable tours that visit the back side of Lanai.
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(10 Reviews, 4.6 Stars)

Ocean Riders

1 Activity Option

27' Hard Bottom Inflatable, 48' Explorer Class Raft

Ocean Riders offers the most innovative and exciting trip to Lanai, a 70 mile circumnavigation of the Island in a heavy duty 18 passenger, 30 foot rigid hull inflatable powered by twin 250hp Mercury Outboards. Because of the vessel's extra weight, this offers the smoothest ride along these rugged and spectacular coastlines.
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(3 Reviews, 4.3 Stars)

Pride Charters

1 Activity Option

65' Maxi Catamaran, 65' Catamaran

The Pride of Maui is one of the largest and most stable power catamarans available in Maui's fleet of boats. Leaving from Maalaea Harbor the 'Pride' offers tours to Molokini in the mornings but will also operate beautiful sunset cruises a few times a week and in addition will provide one of the most comfortable boats for whale watching in the winter months.
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(3 Reviews, 4 Stars)

Hawaii Ocean Project

1 Activity Option

118' Motor Yacht.

The environmentally conscious Hawaii Ocean Project operates a number of tours out of the West Side of Maui port of Lahaina Harbor. Their touring options include day tours and ferry trips between Maui and Molokai, dinner cruises, sunset cruises, snorkeling tours to Lanai and whale watches. Marine naturalists will be on board to explain the marine life and ecological education is the underlying foundation of all its activities.
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Kainani Maui Sailing Charters

2 Activity Options

Kainani Maui Sailing Charters

Her modern yacht shape, spacious interior, and blue water sailing capabilities make her the perfect Hawaii sailing charter boat. She is also available for Memorials at Sea or Ash Scattering Services and special requests.
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Recent Reviews


Top Activities
Customer Favorite Tours Based on Reviews

I think most people will agree that the most fun of the marine animals do we found in the ocean are the Dolphins.

Dolphins are just pure fun in their most basic nature. We find them all over the place on Maui. They're always chasing out boats there, always kind of the rascals of the ocean. They're riding the wakes of the boat, they're racing one another, racing the boats, jumping out of the water, splashing seem to have the perpetual fantastic time. Everybody wishes they were a dolphin when they see them out in the wild ocean.

We've got a lot of dolphin activities on Maui. We have two different kinds of dolphins we've got the spinner dolphins, these are the smaller ones they're usually under six feet. Then we've got the bottlenose dolphins, the larger ones. Those are 6 feet plus. They're lesser seen than the spinners. The spinners are the ones that will jump up and twirl and then fall back down to the sea. They do all these peculiar antics to keep each other in a good mood and certainly, any boats that come across them are going to be in the good mood too. They're just out there being playful.

The dolphins that we have here in Maui. They feed at night, they get together in big herds kind of in the channels and feed. In the day time is when we'll see them. They're usually much less aggressive at that point they're just either sleeping or just kind of cavorting around and having fun. Not moving all too fast usually and they're just seeming to live the life of verily out there. That's when we get a chance to get a look at them. Usually, we're going to be seeing them. The main places are off south Maui, actually around the corner from La Perouse and Kanaio is a big area for where they hang out, and also off the coast of Lanai. We've got these place that we can hopefully find them.

We have boats that go out that look for dolphins, but this is a little bit different. Each island is different in how the dolphin situation occurs. We do have specific boats that go out looking for dolphins. Do they always find them? No. In some of the other islands, it's kind of the reverse. We're always seeing them, but we see them mostly and we're going out looking for them, and it's very rewarding when we do find them. The boats consider themselves dolphin watches also will do snorkeling. Just continuing on with the marine environment, Snorkeling and dolphin watching. By the way, whale watching happens during the winter months, but these guys are around all the time. We're always going to see dolphins.

One of the things that are a little different about dolphins and dolphin watching here on Maui than the other islands is that everything is considered a dolphin watch. We never really get involved with the dolphin swim. That can happen on Oahu, the Waianae coast. It also can happen in off the coast of Kona, but rare is the occasion when you have to jump into the water with dolphins here on Maui. Just be aware of that. A lot of people get confused to think that's the part of what they're going to do. It's just not that way here on Maui. The other thing is that, on just our normal snorkeling trips that you go out, go out to Molokini, or go out to South Maui. There's a great likelihood that you're going to be seeing dolphins in the mix of the day. You don't fearlessly you actually have to go out on a particular dolphin watch to see them. Just going out to enjoy yourself on a snorkeling is usually good enough. In fact, any time you get out onto the water on any kind of cruise. You have an opportunity to see them. It's just that they're found more likely to be found on south Maui or off the coast of Lanai.

In any event, the dolphin watches and the Snorkeling cruises that see dolphins are big time on Maui and something that everyone should enjoy.


Hawaii dolphin watching together with swimming with the dolphins in Hawaii is an industry all to its own. There is probably no sea creature quite as endearing in the eyes of a human being as the dolphin.

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Four species of dolphins are regularly found in the waters around Kauai. They are the Pacific bottlenose dolphin, the Rough-Toothed dolphin, the Spotted dolphin and the Spinner dolphin.

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The Wai'anae coast off leeward Oahu is arguably the very best spot to view dolphins in Hawaii. Hundreds of Spinner dolphins are located just moments from the harbor and trained professionals are there to introduce you to the dolphin environment.

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Known for their inshore habits, playfulness around vessels and star performances at aquariums, Bottlenose dolphins are probably the most popular of all cetacean species located off the Big Island of Hawaii.

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