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!
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!