Note: Some tour providers on this list may have limited operations due to COVID-19. Check with your tour operator about availability before you book.
With humpback whales making their annual migration from Alaska to Hawaii at the beginning of every year, this is the perfect time to plan a trip Maui To see the beauty of these huge sea creatures. Whether you choose a big boat, a small crevice or something in between, you will get to see some incredible scenery as well as wildlife from a safe and respectable distance. US News consulted both expert input and traveler opinion to select the following whale excursion.
The Ultimate Whalewatch and Snorkel – Maui Whale Watching
This two-hour small group tour with 16 people or fewer guarantees will see you whale (or you have to go free again) and includes talks by an onboard marine naturalist. You will travel on a rafting ship which has a hydrophone from which you can hear whales. This type of ship also offers a better view as it sits closer to the water. Tour-takers say that it is one of the finest whales that have been watching the voyages they have taken, and many a times experience a whale-like life experience. Multiple visits are available daily from April to April, and tickets start at $ 67 for adults and $ 45 for children ages 3 to 12. Children under 3 are not allowed. Ultimate Whalewatch and Snorkel also offers snorkeling tours and private charters.
Pachhawale Eco-Adventures – Whalewatch Sale
Set sail on a catamaran to catch humped whales off the coast of Maui. The ship carries 49 passengers and is equipped with a hydrophone to listen to whales underwater. Marine naturalists lead the tours and impart knowledge about whales. If you do not see a whale during your trip, you can do another tour for free within a year. Participants recommended the tour praising the knowledge of the crew, and that you would spot many whales. They recommend getting a seat on the bow for better views. The two-hour journey leaves from December to mid-April at 7:30 am and 10 am daily. Tickets cost approximately $ 60 for adults and $ 30 for children ages 7 to 12; Children 6 and younger sail for free. The company also has snorkeling, dolphin watching and sunset dinner cruises among other options.
Trilogy – Kanapali Whale Watch
leaving from Kanapali beachThe two-hour tour aboard the luxury Catamaran features a whale naturalist who shares information about humpback whales, as well as an in-water hydrophone to listen to whale songs. Participants are also considered for light meals with cold drinks. Critics say you will see a lot of wildlife and whales, and there are many to eat; Many also praise the informative and supportive crew. Tickets are approximately $ 75 for adults, $ 60 for teens 13 to 17, and $ 45 for children ages 3 to 12; This tour is free for children under 3. years of age. On most days, trips run from mid-December to mid-April and depart at 8 and 10:30 am as well as 1 pm. The company offers several other tours including snorkeling outings, dinner pal and snuba cruises, among others.
Blue Water Rafting – Guaranteed Whale Watch
This seasonal 1 1/2-hour tour, available from mid-December to mid-March, departs from Kihei. The tour uses an inflatable boat that carries up to 24 passengers and brings you closer to the whale – sometimes within 100 yards. Additionally, if you travel from January to mid-March, the company guarantees that you will see a whale or you can take another tour for free. Light meals are also included in each trip. Passengers love the intimate feel of this small boat, which makes it easier to see the whale, and says that the captain and crew are friendly and educated. The tour is available daily at 8 and 10 am and in the afternoon. Tickets start at $ 49 for adults and $ 39 for children ages 4 to 12. Children under 4 are not allowed. Blue water rafting also offers snorkeling tours of Molokini and Kanyo coast.
While watching the whale take an excursion, you can give the whale a chance to dive with its flukes, as seen here.(Getty Images)
Hawaii Ocean Project – Whale Watching Epic Adventure
On this two-hour tour, which departs from Lahina Harbor, you can choose to watch humpback whales from the open-air upper deck or attached main cabin. Naturalist whales share facts as you ride. Passengers say the crew is superb and whale sightings are common. They recommend sitting on the top deck for the best views. Tickets cost about $ 40 for adults and about $ 20 for children ages 4 to 12. Prices do not include taxes, fees and fuel surcharges. The tours depart daily at 7:30 and 9:45 pm as well as in the afternoon from November to April. The Hawaii Ocean Project offers snorkeling and dolphin sighting tours as well as sunset dinner cruises.
Hawaii Ocean Rafting – Up-Close Whale Watching from Maui
While aboard a 30-foot ship, aerial ocean rafting, tourists can see near whales and hear their songs through underwater hydroelectricity. The tours last about two hours, and the raft does not carry more than 12 passengers. The reviewers described the crew as hospitable and always respected the whale. Tourism departs from Lahaina several times daily from mid-December to mid-May. Tickets cost approximately $ 40 for adults and $ 33 for children ages 5 to 12. Hawaii ocean rafting also offers private whale excursions and shipwreck tours, among other options.
Makai Adventures – Whale Watching
Look for the whales from the comfort of a small boat that gives you a front-row seat for action and a smooth ride on a two-hour tour with Makai Adventures. Limited to groups of 20, this tour gives you the chance to ask any questions of the onboard naturalist and get guaranteed attractiveness. Travelers highly praise the captain and guide on this tour, citing their knowledge and friendliness. Additionally, many tour-takers recommend this experience to more than one small group on a large boat. There are several visits every morning and afternoon from December to mid-April. Ticket prices are approximately $ 70 for adults and about $ 12 for children and $ 50 for younger children. All ages are welcome. The company also offers snorkeling tours and fishing charters.
Sail Maui – ‘Alihilani Whale Watch
Watch your way around Maui on this two-hour excursion to find majestic whales swimming in the sea. When there is enough wind, the voyage is only sailing, meaning that there is no motor sound to interrupt the whale. Each cruise, which welcomes 35 tourgoers, also includes local beers and wines. Reviewers highly recommend this cruise, noting that you will see lots of whales and enjoy food, drinks and service. Tours depart from mid-December through March at 7:30 am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Tickets cost $ 75 for adults and about $ 40 for children ages 3 to 12; Children 2 and younger sail for free. Sail Maui offers snorkeling and catamaran tours as well as daytrips.