Maui Snorkeling Whale Watching Tour
One of the highlights of visiting Maui, Hawaii is the Maui Snorkeling Whale Watching Tour. This immersive journey is devoted solely to the pursuit of witnessing the awe-inspiring spectacle of humpback whales in their natural habitat. Because of the warm, shallow seas of the Hawaiian Islands, the waters surrounding Maui are renowned as a thriving hub for these whales.
Every year, between November and April, thousands of humpback whales undertake a remarkable journey of about 3,000 miles from the chilly waters of Alaska to the tropical paradise of Hawaii. This migration, one of the longest in the animal kingdom, is motivated by the need for these creatures to breed, birth, and nurture their calves in safer, warmer waters, away from their primary food sources and potential predators in the colder seas.
Humpback whales are a sight to behold. They are massive creatures, with adults measuring between 40-50 feet on average and weighing around 25-40 tons. They are easily recognized by their long pectoral fins, which can reach up to one-third of their body length, and their distinctive humped back, from which they get their common name.
Once in the Hawaiian waters, humpbacks exhibit a variety of captivating behaviors that make them a favorite among whale watchers. They are known for their acrobatics, frequently breaching (leaping out of the water) and slapping the surface with their fins and tails. These behaviors are believed to be forms of communication, courtship, or means to dislodge parasites, although much is still unknown about their exact purpose.
The Maui Snorkeling Whale Watching Tour departs from Ma’alaea Harbor, aboard the reliable and spacious Lani Kai II. Available from December 22nd through March, the most vibrant period for whale activity, the tour provides a rare opportunity to observe the grandeur of these majestic creatures up close. Operating every day from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, this 2-hour journey is perfect for all ages and guarantees a memorable afternoon of whale watching.
Our whale watching tour sets itself apart by not just observing whales from a distance, but actively seeking them out. The Lani Kai II is equipped with state-of-the-art whale-finding technology (hydrophone), ensuring that our guests receive the best opportunities to encounter these extraordinary creatures. However, it’s crucial to remember that, as we are dealing with wildlife, sightings can never be guaranteed – but the thrill of the search is a significant part of the adventure.
Maui Snorkeling’s Captain Spence describes a hydrophone as:
An underwater listening device that will give us a live audio feed of the Humpback song. This 50’ deep, under water microphone creates a rich sensory experience for our guests. We can listen to loud sounds of males searching for a partner, to the barely perceptible whisper of the mother to her newborn calf. We use an Omni-directional audio system to pickup whales within 3 miles in any direction.
Our Maui Whale Watching Tour includes a light deli lunch accompanied by an assortment of beverages, including coffee, tea, juices, and soft drinks. For those who fancy a bit of spirited refreshment, we follow a BYOB format, inviting guests to bring their own alcohol. We kindly request that guests consume responsibly to ensure a pleasant experience for all aboard.
We believe in sharing the wonders of Maui’s marine life with everyone, which is why children under 4 can join the tour FREE of charge! This inclusivity makes the whale-watching cruise a perfect family outing, and an opportunity to instill a love for marine life in the younger generation.
Please note that as the focus of this expedition is on whale watching, no snorkeling activities will be undertaken. Likewise, the 25-foot water slide that is usually a highlight on our other tours will not be in operation.
So join us on our whale watching tour at Maui Snorkeling and take the chance to not only see but also hear the mesmerizing wonders of the ocean.
The Maui Snorkeling Whale Watching Tour offers more than just a leisurely boat ride. It offers an unforgettable encounter with nature’s gentle giants. As we depart from Ma’alaea Harbor, be prepared for an afternoon filled with enchantment, excitement, and an encounter with one of the ocean’s most awe-inspiring inhabitants – the humpback whales of Maui.