Maui Whale Watching: A Thrilling Adventure For Nature Enthusiasts

    Seeing whales in their natural habitat is one of the most exciting things to do on Maui! This whale watch tour lets you spot humpback whales from your ocean raft while you experience the Ultimate Maui Whale Watch adventure.

    Wake up early for a gorgeous sunrise and witness stunning humpback whales against the background of a golden sea. Enjoy spy-hopping behaviors, breaching, and more!

    1. Humpback Whales

    Each winter (December through May), humpback whales travel to Hawaii from Alaska to breed, calve, and nurse their young. They are drawn to the shallow and warm waters of the Auau Channel, which separates Maui from Molokai and Lanai.

    Tours that depart from Lahaina harbor are often the best way to view these majestic creatures as they exhibit a variety of behaviors, including mating, courting, diving, swimming, and playing. This two-hour tour with Ultimate Whale Watch allows guests to witness their behavior from a comfortable catamaran.

    Those seeking an experience that’s a bit more intimate should check out the Hawaii Ocean Project Two-Hour Whale Watching Tour. This tour uses a small, raft-style boat that holds a maximum of 18 travelers and offers some cool perks like an underwater camera and a free tour if you don’t see any whales.

    2. Orca Whales

    Known locally as “killer dolphins,” orca whales are the largest members of the dolphin family and a vital part of Maui’s ecosystem. During whale watching tours, visitors can learn more about orcas and their natural habitat while seeing them up close.

    Tours are typically conducted in the morning, when conditions are generally calmer and easier to spot whales. Bottled water is provided, and a marine naturalist is on board to answer any questions.

    The Pacific Whale Foundation offers tours from Maalaea and Lahaina Harbor. Their marine naturalists offer educational ecotours that include whale history, biology, and conservation. This is one of the top-rated whale watching tours on Maui. During the peak season (December through April), they guarantee whale sightings or will give you another tour for free.

    3. Blue Whales

    These majestic creatures are the 5th largest in the world and can grow to 40-50 ft. Females are typically a bit larger than males due to reverse sexual dimorphism.

    They travel over 3,500 miles annually to Hawaii, primarily to mate and give birth. They can also be spotted diving and breaching.

    This small-group tour is perfect for families and offers a number of cool perks like bottled water, onboard marine naturalists, and a guarantee that you will see whales (or get to go again for free). The tour departs from Lahaina and utilizes a rafting vessel with hydrophones. The experience also includes a visit to two of Maui’s best snorkel destinations.

    4. Sperm Whales

    Maui whale watching tours are a unique way to experience the natural beauty of Hawaii. During whale season, guests can observe North Pacific humpbacks breaching and diving while snorkeling in the ocean’s most diverse underwater worlds. Other behaviors include blowing, spy-hopping, tail slapping, and new mother and baby sightings.

    The whale season in Hawaii runs from December to April, with the peak months of January through March. Book your whale-watching tour in Lahaina and explore the Maui Nui Basin as you watch a variety of behavior that includes courting, breeding, teaching, and playing. A naturalist guide is onboard to explain all that you see and provide valuable information about whales and other marine life. Bottled water and snacks are provided to ensure your comfort.


    The ocean’s most endearing creatures can be seen gliding just under the surface or performing their amazing water flips. When they slap their tails and fins against the surface, their beautiful bodies shimmer in the soft light of sunrise or sunset.

    Maui is world-renowned for being a prime whale watching destination each winter as humpbacks migrate to Hawaii from Alaska. During this time, the local community holds a week-long whale festival with races, parades, and more to celebrate the migration.