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January 17, 2017

Maui Whale Watching

by Matt Morris – Lead Concierge at Maui Activity Concierge

It is that time of year where the humpback whales start to appear in larger numbers to return to the warm waters of Hawaii to mate, give birth, and nurse their young. During their visit to the islands, whales are commonly seen breaching, slapping their tails, and flapping their pectorals throughout the day. The peak whale season is usually February, however, the 2017 seasons seems to be a fairly active year already and it’s only getting started! There are several really great trip ways to experience whale watching and I wanted to share with you some of my personal favorite ways to enjoy some time out on the water to observe humpback whales.

Catamaran Whale Watching

This trip will depart from the Ma’alaea Harbor in Central Maui and will take guests out on a two-hour whale watching experience. Their boat is equipped with a captain and crew along with a marine naturalist to discuss information about the Whales and to point out some of their behavior. Since a lot of the behaviors are still unknown by scientists, it is fun to ask questions and listen to thoughts from other guests too. Included in your trip: whale watching, beverages, and light snacks. You can see more images and request to book online or contact me for availability. This tour departs daily at 1:30pm upon availability.

  • Adults: $59.00+taxes
  • Teenagers (Age 13-18): $44.35+taxes
  • Children (Age 3-12): $29.50+taxes
  • Infants (Age 2 & Under): $0.00

This trip offers departures in Lahaina as well for the same pricing on a dock loading boat. Please contact us with your preferences and we will confirm availability.

Beach Loading Boat in Kaanapali (West Maui)

maui whale watch

This is a great experience for guests looking to go on a smaller boat that can cover more water on their two-hour tour.  Departing from the world famous Kaanapali Beach in West Maui, this trip will take guests out in the Auau Channel to observe whales and their fun behaviors.  The boat holds a total of 22 guests (about 1/2 the amount as a catamaran) and will be a little more adventurous since it is able to move along the water faster than the larger boats. This is a beach loading vessel so you may get a little wet while entering and exiting the boat, however, their staff will assist everyone. You can see more images and request to book online or contact me to check current availability. This tour departs at 8:30am, 11:00am, 1:30pm, or 4:00pm daily.

  • Adults: $50.00+taxes
  • Children (Age 3-12): $25.00+taxes
  • Infants (2 & Under): $0.00

Ocean Raft Experience in Kihei (South Maui)

Departing from the Kihei Boat ramp in Kihei, this exciting tour will take you and your guests along the southern coastline of Maui to whale watch.  This vessel is one of the faster-moving boats and you are able to cover a lot of area in a short amount of time to observe the whales. This tour is great for guests who are looking for something a little more exciting and adventurous as the boat will scoot along the water at higher rates of speed compared to a catamaran style tour.  Guests may not have any previous injuries that could be affected by the style of high-powered, hard bottom boat. You can see more image and request to book online here or contact me to check current availability. Tour departs at 8am, 10am, or 12pm daily. This tour is for age 4+ only due to the motion of the boat.

  • Adults: $41.00+taxes
  • Children (Age 4-12): $36.00+taxes

Pali Coast Kayak & Snorkel

This trip departs from Central Maui in the Olowalu area (between Kihei and Lahaina) and guests will have an incredible time paddling along the sea cliffs. During the whale season, it is quite common to see the whales in this area and it is great that it is a little more remote and there are usually less snorkel boats here in the morning time. The cliffs have beautiful reefs below and make for great kayaking, snorkeling, and whale watching.  This trip is a little more advanced since it is about double the distance of the other trips though it is perfect for guests that are outdoorsy.  You can see more about this trip online here.

  • Check In Time: 7:00am
  • Duration: 7:00 – 11:30am (4.5hrs)
  • Distance to Paddle: 4.5 to 5.5 miles
  • Cost: $125.00 (inc. taxes)
  • Includes a beach picnic at the end of the tour

We hope that this information has been helpful to you and your family.  Maui Activity Concierge is happy to assist you with any questions about the island of Maui or about any of the fun and exciting tours offered here including whale watching. Contact us today at 808-868-0253 or email us to get started on planning your next Maui vacation!


Matt Morris

Lead Concierge
Maui Activity Concierge, LLC
808-868-0253 |
PO BOX 880376 Pukalani HI 96788

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