Setting out on a whale watch is a bucket list item of many travelers around the world. There are very few things as thrilling as hopping on a boat bound for the open ocean in search of those magnificent and massive sea creatures. Whether you are cruising the tropical island of Maui, exploring rugged Alaska shorelines, or jet setting off on an international adventure - there are going to be a plethora of whale watching options. It is important to choose the tour that will get you the best views!

Visibility Is Important 

It is very likely that when you initially search for a local whale watching tour, the results will be filled with large boats meant for ferrying as many visitors as possible. While it could seem fun to be on a big party boat, these tours will not get you the best views of the whales. The crowds will limit many of the zones the boat can cruise. It also means the captain and crew will be too busy keeping people safe to answer any questions. This is a fine situation for just getting to a pretty snorkel spot or one viewing area, but if you want a real up close experience, it is absolutely your best bet to choose a small group whale watching cruise. 

maui whale watches

Go Small or Go Home

Small group whale watching tours will allow you to get a much more personal experience with the marine life, the crew, and your friends and family. Whales are much more keen to swim close to small boats, such as rafts, to come say hello and show off their amazing breeches. This is absolutely the case when you join Hawaii Ocean Rafting on a whale watching tour. We have hundreds of guest reviews  and tons of photos as evidence for this claim. Whales love to dive under the raft, breech right next to us, and generally play all around as a family right up close. This is likely due to the minor impact that smaller group whale watching tours have on the oceans and its inhabitants. Eco-friendly is the way! 



How can you be sure you are booking a small group whale watch? It could be tricky to be sure you are picking the right one! When checking out websites for potential tours, make sure you find the name of the type of boat they operate, then try a google image search. If the boat is actually small in size, you're good to go! You could also note the amount of passengers allowed in one trip. Usually that info will be apparent when clicking through the booking options. If there are 12 or less passengers each trip - that is an excellent indicator of a small group whale watch. Finally, just do a quick review search on Yelp or TripAdvisor. The best information is available from people who have already done the tour!