At Hawaii Ocean Rafting, we know that no Hawaii trip is complete without enjoying the local cuisine. Maui is famous for its delicious food, which reflects the island's diverse cultures and rich history. Whether you're a seafood lover or a dessert enthusiast, Maui has something for everyone to enjoy. In this article, we will explore the most popular food in Maui and four dishes that you must try during your visit. From savory to sweet, these dishes will give you a taste of Maui's culinary delights and leave you craving for more.

A Mix of Delicious Fresh Seafood

Fresh seafood is abundant in Maui, and visitors can expect to indulge in a mix of mouth-watering dishes. Some of the most popular options include poke, which is typically made with raw fish and seasoned with soy sauce and other spices, and ahi tuna, which is often served seared and accompanied by wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger.

Other seafood delicacies to try in Maui include shrimp scampi, lobster tail, and mahi-mahi, which can be prepared in a variety of ways such as grilled, baked, or blackened. Whether you're looking for a casual seafood shack or an upscale restaurant, Maui has plenty of options to satisfy your seafood cravings.

Hawaii Homemade Pies

Hawaii is famous for its delicious pies, with a unique blend of tropical flavors and ingredients. Hawaii tourists rave about the fresh, flaky crusts and the generous fillings of the pies, which range from traditional flavors like apple and pumpkin to more unique options like macadamia nut and haupia. Each pie is made with locally-sourced ingredients and crafted with care, resulting in a true taste of Hawaii.

Appetizing Malasadas

Malasadas are a must-try dessert in Maui, Hawaii. These sweet, deep-fried pastries are Portuguese in origin and have become a beloved treat in Hawaii. Made with a simple dough of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and yeast, they are fried until golden brown and then rolled in granulated sugar.

Some variations include filling the malasadas with haupia (coconut pudding) or custard. Many local bakeries, food trucks, and restaurants offer malasadas, making it easy to find them and try them. Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, malasadas are a treat you shouldn't miss while in Maui.

Various Types of SPAM

SPAM, a canned meat product made by Hormel Foods Corporation, has become a staple food in Hawaii due to its long shelf life and affordable price. It is often used as an ingredient in local dishes, such as SPAM musubi, a popular snack made with grilled SPAM, rice, and nori seaweed.

Other SPAM-based dishes include SPAM fried rice, SPAM and eggs, and SPAM sliders. While some may scoff at the idea of consuming canned meat, SPAM has become a beloved food in Hawaii and has even inspired festivals and cook-offs dedicated to the versatile ingredient.

For those seeking a secure and exhilarating ocean adventure in Maui, Hawaii Ocean Rafting is your ideal choice. We prioritize safety and provide our guests with all the necessary safety equipment, including life jackets and flotation devices. Our experienced guides are lifeguard certified and strictly adhere to safety protocols to ensure that you have a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Relax and appreciate the voyage knowing that your safety is our primary concern!

Are you planning a trip to Hawaii and want to make the most of your visit? Look no further! Hawaii is a paradise for tourists, with its beautiful beaches, lush green forests, and vibrant culture. Read on to learn more about an exclusive tour that you can enjoy on your trip.

Enjoy an Authentic Hawaiian Experience With Us

Looking for an exciting and eco-friendly way to experience the beauty of Hawaii? There is no better place to go than Hawaii Ocean Rafting, one of the few Hawaiian owned and operated eco-rafting companies in Hawaii. Established in 1991, we have been offering thrilling whale watch and snorkel tours for over 30 years.

Our eco-rafts are the perfect choice for adventurous travelers who want to get up close and personal with the stunning wildlife of Hawaii. These low-to-water vessels offer an unparalleled, eye-level view of whales and dolphins, and with a maximum capacity of 16 guests, you'll enjoy a more intimate and authentic experience with your family and friends.

Private charter a raft for just you and your friends and family for an exclusive ocean experience. You can pick the  time, locations, food and adventure that’s just right for your ohana.

As a small, locally owned business, we are committed to preserving the natural beauty of Hawaii and protecting its marine life. Our eco-rafts are designed with sustainability in mind, so you can enjoy the wonders of the ocean while minimizing our impact on the reef and its inhabitants.

Whale Watching in Maui

Maui is known for its whale-watching opportunities, as it is the heart of the Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. From December to April, Humpback Whales migrate to the warm waters around Maui to mate and give birth to their calves. This is the perfect time to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

There are several ways to go whale watching in Maui. One option is to book an exclusive tour with a reputable whale-watching company like Hawaii Ocean Rafting. Our small-group tours include a knowledgeable guide who can provide information about the whales and their behaviors.

The best part? We guarantee whale encounters! We’ll offer you the opportunity to go again for free if you do not see a whale on our exclusive tour. So, get ready for an authentic Hawaiian experience as you get a closer look at the whales and hear their songs.

Hawaii Ocean Rafting Has All You Need for Your Next Adventure

At Hawaii Ocean Rafting, our commitment to providing an authentic and memorable Hawaiian experience is second to none. All of our tours are led by marine naturalists, who are passionate about educating our guests about the wonders of the ocean. And with our guarantee of a whale sighting or your next tour for free, you can rest assured that you'll have a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with these majestic creatures.

Snorkeling is also an integral part of our tours, and we offer instruction to all of our guests to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience. Our snorkel tours are great for all leve; snorkelers, even beginners.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to explore the beauty of Hawaii with us! Book your exclusive tour today and discover the magic of Hawaii.

Find out how you can enjoy an authentic Hawaiian experience. Contact us today!

Whale watching is one of the most popular activities to participate in, especially in Maui Hawaii where the views are exceptional and breathtaking. But how much does it cost exactly, and is it really worth spending money on whale watching in Maui Hawaii?

Types of Whale Watching

There are many ways to whale watch. From simply sitting at a beach, or getting onto a raft, or even having a private charter, options are plentiful. There are two reasons why many people say that rafts are the best way to whale watch. The first is the low-to-water style of a vessel. Instead of looking over a railing down at the whale, you are at eye-level with the whale and water instead.

Getting eye-level and personal will surely make you in awe of these gentle giants. Don’t forget to bring a waterproof camera and dress accordingly, because you are likely to get splashed with ocean spray on the low to water vessels. The second reason rafts are so popular is the small group size. Each accommodates less than 20 guests which makes it a more intimate family style tour. Getting to know the people you are rafting with as well as the local crew will make the experience so much more memorable.


This once-in-a-lifetime experience depends on your priorities. If you are solely looking into spotting whales, definitely choose a tour that will guarantee you the sighting. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can choose to add on activities like snorkeling. Of course, this means that it will be pricier, but it will give you the experience of the underwater world that will be memorable.

On the other hand, if you are looking for something with more flexibility, space and less crowds, you should consider a private charter which will cost more but has the amenities you are looking for. This is an option if you plan on splurging for your friends or family.

Different companies

Although the average price of whale watching is about $50-$80, it can differ between companies. Some more reputable ones can be of higher prices, but sometimes it can be good to spend a little more instead of going for a very cheap option. Some companies have cheaper whale watches, but there is typically a reason why, either the style of boat, group size or timeshare. Some companies also offer discounts if you are traveling in large groups or you are booking multiple tours, it is important to do research and compare prices.


For whale watching tours, the duration can differ. Some tours can be two hours while some can be four, including other activities such as snorkeling. They may also sail across the waters to different spots as well. As you can probably infer, the cost goes up with the time you spend onboard. The most common duration for whale watching is 2 hours and goes by quickly when you're watching whales.

It's Worth Seeing Whales

Maui is considerably one of the best places to whale watch because of the concentrated whale population and the type of surface behavior they are displaying. Whale watching is a lifelong memory, anytime is great, but go in the evening and enjoy Maui’s sunset on the water too. You won’t forget your encounters with Maui’s humpback whales, seeing them or listening to their whale songs.  So, book a whale watching tour today for an unforgettable experience.

Curious about Maui dolphin and whale sightings? While whales are some of the most sought after sites for those visiting Maui this winter, the warm waters along Maui’s coastline are also home to a vast amount of other marine life like turtles, monk seals, and dolphins!

No matter what type of marine tour you choose to book on your Maui vacation— you are assured to see something great (and maybe even unexpected). Just make sure that with whatever adventure you embark on you are being safe, respecting the “aina”, and accept the responsibility that arises with interacting with the wildlife across the main and neighboring islands.

Maui Dolphin and Whale Sightings: Differences Between Whales and Dolphins

If you book a whale watching tour or snorkel tour out of Lahaina’s harbor, you are signing up for a once in a lifetime experience alongside some of the most interesting sea creatures of the Pacific.

While you may see crossover (a tail slap from a whale on your dolphin watch tour in the distance or a spinner dolphin flying out of the water while you are listening to whale songs from one of the male escort whales); there is a difference in the experience you may have on those respective tours.

As of this past year, swimming with dolphins has been made illegal across the state of Hawaii. This doesn’t mean that you cannot have an up close and personal experience with the most playful of the sea life frequenting Maui’s waters. You are also more likely to see dolphins year long!

Whales are only seasonal, the arrive to the warm waters of Maui after traveling from the cold Alaskan waters in order to mate, birth, and raise their calves; then return up North every spring. However, Maui's dolphins are year-round residents and live, feed, mate and birth in Hawaii.

While you won’t see a whale in June you may see a pod of dolphins playing around the upper west side of Maui, or chasing each other around the island of Lanai.

Where to See Dolphins in Maui

Maui’s dolphins are more illusive than other areas of Hawaii like the Big Island; however, that does not mean it is impossible to see a pod on your boating adventure!

In our experience, Maui’s dolphins like to hang out around the upper west side of Maui, past Kaanapali, and in different inlets and bays where they might find more privacy. They also are known to hang out around Lanai, the small island 8 miles from Lahaina, known most for the incredible and diverse marine life and reefs that line it.

While we don’t allow swimming with the dolphins you can always book a snorkel tour to experience the other incredible creatures that live in the vegetation and reef surrounding the island of Lanai— (make sure to always wear reef safe sunscreen like “Raw Love” which we provide free to you on our tours)!

If you are looking to see some dolphins, the mega pods of spinners are easiest to see, as they can travel in groups of 300-1000 animals (lots more splashing with that many animals)! The captains can find pods of multiple species of dolphins any time of year to watch by talking to other captains and years of experience spotting their surface behavior.

Can You Swim With Dolphins on Maui?

While dolphins are more commonly known as playful and friendlier to humans than whales— Hawaii has recently passed a law outlawing swimming with spinner dolphins. This is due to that species nocturnal behavior. Our day time swimming with them interrupts their sleep and feeding patterns and could negatively impact their behavior and population.

There are many other ways that you can get an up close experience with dolphins. By boat they often swim next to us, making the eye-level encounter possible on our low to water rafts. As mentioned, unlike whales they are here all season long; although harder to spot, a good captain will know how to find different pods.

If you are looking for a great ocean experience, on a boat, and are heading to Maui in the summer or late spring month make sure to look into dolphin and boat tours (as you might be so lucky to stumble upon dolphins) along Maui’s west side.

Looking for things to do in Maui for your Honeymoon?

Maui is one of the most romantic places on the planet to have a honeymoon. From beautiful coastal resorts, to experiences taking you out on the ocean or to the peaks of the West Maui Mountains— the island of Maui has everything for newlyweds to enjoy their first days of marriage.

If you are looking to spend this special time as a couple in one of the most magical places on the planet, make sure to book your honeymoon trip to Maui today!

Places to Stay on Maui on Your Honeymoon

Maui is home to some of the most exclusive and luxurious resorts in the world. From adult only villas showcasing a panoramic view of the West Maui Mountains and neighboring islands to deep jungle rooms in the ruggedly beautiful Hana; there is something for everyone.

Before you book your Maui honeymoon it is important to first decide what are some of the experiences that you HAVE to get to during your vacation.

If you are looking to spend your days lounging in the sun, getting spa treatments, and enjoying toes in the sand— look at some of the beautiful hotels in Wailea or along the Kaanapali and Napili coastline.

Those that are more inclined for an active or adventurous vacation can also scope out the golf course adjacent resorts of West Maui or venture into some hidden gems located in the untouched rainforest around Hana— the drive being one of the greatest tourist attractions in the world.

Things to do on Maui for your Honeymoon

Like the resort you choose for you and your new spouse-- the activities that you wish to embark on are just as diverse of a selection.

During the winter months, Maui is visited by whales traveling from Alaska to mate, birth, and raise their calves in the warm tropic waters. People from all over the world travel to Maui to book their whale watching tours at the height of this occurrence (which ranges from December to mid spring).

If you are looking for a more pampered experience, Maui is also home to some of the greatest spas. You can get a couple’s massage overlooking the glimmering Pacific Ocean and finish it off with cocktails adorned with seasonal tropical fruits.

One of the most popular activities for honeymooning couples is going to a Luau. This experience not only tells amazing stories passed down through generations in the form of traditional dance— but it also offers the greatest variety of local food like Kalua Pork, Lau Lau, and Tarro (in many forms).

No matter your preference, Maui has amazing things to offer for all newly married couples to experience together.

Maui Honeymoon Activity

Couples Activities in Maui

If more passive things like spas, whale watching, and luaus aren’t you or your partner’s cup of tea; there are much more active things that are sure to excite you both as you embark on this new chapter.

Maui’s Haleakala offers hikes to campgrounds 14 miles into the crater, the landscape so foreign most say that it resembles mars. Haleakala is also one of the most amazing places in the world to watch sunrise— just make sure you reserve your spot atop this 10,000 foot dormant volcano in advance!

If you don’t want to wake up early there are zip-line courses sure to excite all over the island. Looking for something at greater heights? Make sure to book a private helicopter tour to experience the island in a way not many people ever have.

No matter what you choose to do or where you choose to stay, Maui makes the best honeymoon destination, or vacation in general! We can’t wait to see you here.

As tourism opens up there is one thing on a lot of visitor's mind-- Can You Swim With Whales on Maui?

Maui is home to some of the most amazing wildlife that the Pacific (and by association, North America) has to offer. Whether you are looking to visit and learn more about the flora and fauna, or more inclined to trip alongside the marine life that uniquely calls Maui home; there is so much to see!

However, with the distinct and rare wildlife that lives from the top of the volcano to the depths of the ocean shores around Maui and its surrounding islands— that leads locals and visitors alike to lean on the phrase “protect the aina”.

This, in essence, means respect and protect the land and its resident wildlife. There are many ways to do this from using reef safe sunscreen like “Raw Love”, which we at Hawaii Ocean Rafting provide for free on our whale watching and snorkel tours; to making sure that you keep a safe distance from the wildlife itself, to avoid interupting their behavior patterns.

How to Interact with Maui's Whales

The best way to interact with the whales that visit Maui each winter is from the safety of a boat. It is illegal to swim with both dolphins and whales in Maui— and there are some obvious and more nuanced reasons why.

In the past few years it has gone from highly discouraged to get as up and close as possible with the marine life both year round and seasonal in Hawaii, to illegal. The greatest reason why is it is unsafe for both the spectator as well as the creature they are wishing to observe up close.

One of the greatest examples is Maui’s turtles— many dream of swimming alongside turtles up and down the white sand coastlines but this is highly dangerous. When it comes to turtles (and the creature seas life in general) we encourage the 6 foot + rule of distance.

The best way to interact with the sea life, including whales, is from a boat under the guidance of an experienced professional. This ensures interactions are following federal guidelines to keep both the marine animals and the viewers safe!

Whale Watching Maui

(Photo above: This is called a mugging. This occurs when the whales choose to come to the boat instead of us going to them. This ensures the whale has the choice to approach and we are not interrupting their behavior. These are rare and special whale encounters!)

Where to Find Whales on Maui

The best place to find whales to observe from what feels like an up-close (but safe for both the visitor and the animal) is on a boat captained by a seasoned professional and marine naturalist crew.

You know you have booked an amazing tour when you not only find you are learning an immense amount about Maui, the pacific waters, and the whales; and it feels like you could be swimming with the whale due to the intimacy of the tour.

At Hawaii Ocean Rafting, we operate our tours out of Lahaina’s harbor. This location often provides  the best whale watching experience you can get due to it's west Maui location. The waters outside of Lahaina are preferred for humpback whales, making it a quicker trip out to the waters populated during the winter with these creatures.

However, if you are wishing to swim in the warm waters of Maui, no matter the season, you can do so through a licensed snorkel tour (which we also offer)! Just make sure that you are wearing your reef safe sunscreen! Our snorkel tours won't be will whales but you may hear their whale songs when you are underwater snorkeling with tropical fish and sea turtles.

Why You Shouldn’t Swim with Whales in Maui

As mentioned, there are a multitude of reasons why you shouldn’t swim with Maui’s whales visiting for the winter; however, it all comes down to the safety of you and the mammal.

The female whales are most likely pregnant, if not, having just given birth to their young. Like most mothers, they are protective and are looking to raise their young in the safe warm waters that line Maui’s coastline. Approaching whales closer than 100 yards by boat or swimming or snorkeling is illegal. Federal protections like this have allowed the humpback whale population to recover without our interference with their behavior and migration patterns. Close whale encounters do happen, but it's the choice of the whale to come to the boat. When this happens being on a low to water raft gives you an eye-level whale watching encounter you won't forget!

The best way to encounter whales during their stay while being safe and respectful is to book through a trusted professional whale watching company in Maui. While you can see whales from shore, a guided whale watching tour will include education and has the resources for watching the most whales during your vacation to Maui.

Maui is a beautiful island in the Pacific and home to some of the richest and most diverse microclimates. You can travel from a 10,000 foot frosted summit to a sea-level sandy beach in no more than a couple hours.

With the varied environments, Maui is home to numerous unique plant and animal life habitats across the island and its waters.

One of the most majestic animals to traverse through Maui’s waters is the humpback whale and Lahaina happens to be the center point to Maui’s whale watching adventures.

When are Whale Watching Tours in Lahaina?

Whales travel to the islands approximately at the end of fall and leave in the latter spring months. These whales travel around 3,500 miles from the colder waters of Alaska to Maui in order to mate and give birth in the warmer waters.

The peak of whale season occurs from January to March-- this is when you will see more whales in the water which leads to more encounters like small calves playing in the shallow waters or mother whales putting on a show with tail slaps and breaches.

Make sure to book your Maui Vacation and whale watching tour early as these experiences are known to sell out far in advance.


Why Take a Whale Watching Tour from Lahaina

Lahaina was once home to not only the capital of the Hawaiian Islands but the trade and whaling economy that flourished with the arrival of trans-pacific travelers.

In modern day, we're thankful that whaling is no longer the draw to Lahaina, but it remains a tourist magnet and for good reason. Lahaina Harbors departs from the west side of Maui, allowing for a short commute to the majority of the whales residing in Maui. This ensures the majority of your whale watch excursion is spent out on the water and amongst the humpback whales.

Not only is Lahaina the best point to leave from for a whale watching tour-- you can see lots of other marine life off Maui's west coast. Eagle rays have been spotting cruising alongside the coast just north of Lahaina town, dolphins have leaped along inlets that dot the West Maui Coastline, and the reefs are known to attract tropical fish and green sea turtles both small and large.

What’s Included on a Whale Watching Tour?

Booking a Lahaina Whale Watching Tour through Hawaii Ocean Rafting guarantees that you will see a whale on your Maui Vacation. This is because we guarantee “whale sightings or go for free!” Meaning if you don’t see a whale, we can always rebook for another date!

Our whale watching tours run from 2-6 hours and include both private and small group tours. This intimate, low to water setting aboard our 27ft hard-bottom ocean raft guarantees an eye-level whale watching experience and one-on-one with the crew!

Our seats ensure that everyone who partakes in our whale watching adventure will enjoy spectacular views of the wildlife below as well as the West Maui Mountains-- not to mention unique viewpoints of the surrounding Maui isles like Molokai, and Lanai as we embark on our whale watching tour.

Whale watching is one of the most unique and incredible experiences that you can have when vacationing on Maui Isle. These majestic creatures travel thousands of miles to the warm waters of Maui from Alaska in order to mate, birth, and raise their young calves. But is Whale watching in Lahaina worth it?

There are many things to do across the island but leaving from the historic capitol of Maui, Lahaina,and taking a trip out on the waters to see this once a year phenomena, the migration of humpback whales, is one of the best Maui activities.

There is a reason that the Lahaina Whale Watching Tours sell out months in advance-- nothing compares to getting up close and personal with the largest mammals on the planet. Not to mention when you book a whale watching tour with Hawaii Ocean Rafting you are guaranteed sighting of these majestic creatures in our intimate 16 person maximum groups.

Where is the Best Whale Watching in Lahaina?

The best whale watching in Maui has been established to be along Maui’s west and south coasts. What makes Lahaina the best town to embark from is the proximity it has to the favorite spots of the humpback whales that return each year.

Being in close proximity to the “action” ensures that the commute out is short and the majority of your time on the water can be spent watching whales and enjoying the scenery of Maui’s West Maui Mountains and the surrounding islands that make up Maui County.

On our Hawaii Ocean Rafting tours we book tours any time of day. Whale activity is not affected by time of day, you can whale watch sunrise to sunset! Any time of day is a great time to go see the humpback whales in their natural habitat! We leave straight from Lahaina Harbor so getting to the boat's departure location is a breeze.

Because of how intimate our tours are and the world of experience that our captains have we are able to not only guarantee encounters with the whales but we are likely to see the other marine life Maui is home to like dolphins, monk seals, and turtles!

lahaina whale watch tours

How Can You See Whales in Lahaina?

You can see whales in Lahaina two different ways. If you are lucky you may see a distant tail slap or breach from the comfort of your hotel lanai or a beautiful sandy beach. One of our favorite ways to experience the whales, besides the intimate encounter that whale watching tours aboard our raft, is along Lahaina’s coastline; if it is a calm day you can stick your head underwater and hear their whale songs.

However, due to a federal regulation to protect Maui's humpback whales in their natural habitats home to Maui’s sea life, snorkel or swimming experiences with whales s is prohibited. While we still offer a host of other amazing snorkeling adventures you will not find a tour in Hawaii that includes snorkeling and swimming alongside some of Maui’s large marine animals (this includes whales and dolphins). Our combo snorkel and whale watching tours take guests to snorkel reefs along Lanai where tropical fish and turtles can be found, then we whale watch in the deeper waters between the islands of Maui and Lanai.

The humpback whales that are born in and/or return to Maui each year are best experienced from either the comfort of a boat hosting a whale watching tour or watching from a distance while relaxing on one Maui’s beautiful beaches.

When Can You Whale Watch in Lahaina?

Whale watching in Maui occurs between December and April with the peak of whale season occurring mid December through end of March. These tours, as mentioned, tend to book up fast as people anticipate the arrival of the mammals from the cold waters of Alaska.

Much like the influx or ebbs and flows of the tourism season here in Maui most whales come and stay in the months where almost everywhere else is a lot cooler. While the waters of the Mainland United States' west coast might reach temperatures near freezing; the channels separating the Hawaiian Islands stay at almost bathwater temperatures between 70-80 degrees.

If you are looking to book a whale watching tour from Lahaina make sure you do so ASAP and plan for the peak which occurs in late winter and early spring!

Whale watching excursions are arguably the greatest experience that you can have on your trip to Maui. After whale watching spend time shopping or eating in Lahaina Town which was once was the capital of all the Hawaiian Islands. Great sites, great food, as well as a wealth of art and culture that lines Lahaina’s Front Street guarantees a great day after whale watching!

Looking for the best whale watching in Lahaina? Whale watching is undoubtedly one of the most sought after experiences that Maui has to offer. Because the whales only travel to Maui from the cold Alaskan waters for a limited period, once a year, it is vital that you secure your spot early for a whale watching tour.

The best experience that you can have with the humpback whales that travel to the valley isle to mate and raise their newborn calves; is through one of Maui’s qualified whale watching tours.

While many are content just seeing the breaches and tail slaps from the shore-- nothing compares to the awe and thrill of a mother whale and her offspring playing close to your tour boat. While federal regulations of distance are always observed by experienced captains, often the whale will approach the boats on their own, giving whale watchers an experience they will never forget.

Types of Whale Watching Adventures in Lahaina?

There are a few options that you can count on when it comes to embarking on a whale watching tour from Maui’s bustling Lahaina town. At Hawaii Ocean Rafting, our tours range from 2 to 6 hours and you are sure to see a whale (if you don’t the tour is free and you just get the pleasure of boating off the coast of Maui’s main isle among other incredible sea life).

Another way to experience whale watching in Lahaina is booking a larger tour with 100 or more guests. While you aren’t as able to as low to the water for eye-level viewing of the whales and run the risk of not being able to see the moms or their calves as they play in the warm waters on this adventure; this is still a popular option for many of Maui’s visitors as it is often more discounted because of the higher number of guests and slower moving boat.

Lastly, as mentioned, you always have the chance to see the pods of humpback whales form the comfort of your hotel balcony. We say that whales have no daily time table-- they will swim, play, and come to the surface at all hours the day (even at night, though we can't see them as easily!).

best whale watching experience in Lahaina

What Makes the Best Whale Watching Tour?

What makes an incredible whale watching experience is the blend between adventure and education. On our tours at Hawaii Ocean Rafting we aim to achieve this through the wealth of knowledge that our captains have gained through years of experience.

You want your whale watching tour guides to not only know exactly where to find the pods but how to approach and position your boat safely and respectfully as to not interfere with the whales behavior.

Many people make the mistake of trying to track down or approach these pods by themselves. Since the reopening of the island there has been reports of paddle boarders and kayakers from the coastline resorts embarking out and getting within arms reach of these creatures. This is ill advised and illegal. While whales are considered gentle giants, like most mammals they are protective over their young; it is not your fault if you look down and happen to notice one of these 100+ foot beings gliding under you but we advise you try and get away to avoid being accidentally trapped under a breach or arm slap. You will also receive large fines and jail time if you are intentionally approaching a humpback whale closer than 100 yards. It's best to leave the whale watching to the experts and hop on a guided tour.

If you are looking for a quick trip out where you can see some whales, experience them closely and safely, and have a great story to take home we recommend our two hour whale watch excursion.

If you are looking for more of an immersive experience that not only blends whale watching but a more in depth tour of Maui’s coastline and the marine life that inhabit within or outside the reef like sea turtles, monk seals, and even dolphins; we recommend either our intimate four hour whale watch and snorkel combo tours.

The type of tour that you book for your whale watching adventure is dependent on your goals for the experience. Those who love the water and sun will fall head over heels for the half day excursion either privately or in a small group-- however if this is a quick bucket list item to check off and experience our two hour tour is the perfect bite-sized amount of aquatic fun!

How to Choose a Whale Watching Tour in Lahaina?

As stated, there are many whale watching tours you can opt for either within the Hawaii Ocean Rafting offerings, in Lahaina, or along Maui’s South and West Coasts. We believe that our tours give visitors the greatest blend of adventure, education, and unforgettable whale encounters.

If you are looking to see whales make sure to come during their peak season which spans broadly from mid fall to late spring-- the height of which occurs from mid December (Christmas) to March. Make sure to put this experience on your bucket list and make a memory that you nor your family will ever forget.