I am a self-confessed “whaleaholic”. I go 2 or 3 times a month during Maui’s whale season. Last year, I had been out 6 times by Christmas but this year the whales were late arriving (because of super El Nino conditions?) and I’ve only been out twice so far. Hopefully, they will stay longer.
My tips for the best whale experience:
- I love the 4pm-6pm sail on Boss Frog’s newly named Malolo (formerly the Frogman) out of Maalaea. Whales enjoy Happy Hour too and I think you see more activity on the late afternoon cruise than the 1:30pm-3:30pm.
- Days with less wind allow for greater visibility and are easier on those passengers who fear getting queasy.
- I go out even if windy or rainy. A good captain will avoid rough conditions by hugging the
Whales are most abundant in the channel between Maui and Lānaʻi, so this area will be your best bet for sightings. The first whales arrive here as early as October, however your odds of spotting a whale are best from February and March. The population then tapers off through as late as June.
1. Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
Not surprisingly, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary in Kīhei is a prime spot for land-based whale watching. Located just steps from the ocean, there’s viewing scope and public bathroom facilities. Be sure to stop in at the sanctuary’s education center.
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary | KIHEI
2. Papawai Point
Maui’s most beloved wintertime visitor arrives to much fanfare. There are festivals, educational talks, and even an annual parade in honor of Hawaiʻi’s humpback whales! Here are just a few ways to get in on the action.
Run & Walk for the Whales
Māʻalaea Harbor Shops
300 Māʻalaea Rd., Māʻalaea
Go on, lace up those shoes and get your game face on. Join the Pacific Whale Foundation for the Run & Walk for the Whales on January 30 at Māʻalaea Harbor Shops, and chose from the 2.5-mile walk; or 5K, 10K, or half-marathon races.
Register at MauiWhaleFestival.org.
February 12–15Photo credit: Flip Nicklin/Minden Pictures
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
Hosted by Whale Trust Maui, the 10th annual…