Maui Whale-Watching Tips: Find Your Custom Boat Tour

Maui whale-watching season begins in November and ends in May, with the majority of whales seen in January through March (February is peak season). During this annual phenomenon, North Pacific Humpback Whales make their way through Hawaii’s waters during their winter migration.

Due to the migration, whale sightings are guaranteed by the boat tours below. Not only is this a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these marine giants, it’s also one of the many reasons to visit Maui in the winter. Read more and decide which Maui whale-watching tour suits you:

maui whale-watching boat tours

Photo: NOAA Photo Library

Pride of Maui Whale-watching Tours

Strap on the gear, and snorkel the waters for up-close marine encounters. Pride of Maui offers a snorkeling package that includes two hours of whale-watching and one hour of snorkeling. Families can also stand on the panoramic observation deck while enjoying a complimentary lunch and open bar. The tour boat includes a glass bottom, water slide, warm showers and more than 2,500 of deck space.

Those who prefer to stay on the boat should book a non-snorkeling tour. Pride of Maui’s whale-watching tour offers two-and-a-half hours of whale-watching with an on-board whale naturalist. During the tour, fill up with a hot barbecue lunch and complimentary microbrews.

Couples looking for a little romance can take the Maui Sunset Cruise and Cocktail Party, which combines date-night with Maui whale-watching. Climb aboard to experience two hours at sea, live music, craft cocktails and a freshly prepared dinner. Children are also welcome, so it’s easy to make it a family night outing.

maui whale-watching boat tours

Photo: Buck

Go on the Ultimate Watch

Hop on the Wiki Wahine, guided by the team at Ultimate Whale Watch. The 30-foot raft boat travels as much as 50 miles per hour, making this the fastest whale-watch boat in Maui. The two-hour tour includes safe close encounters, professional marine guides and front-row seats. Additionally, a portion of each ticket supports whale research.

Book a Private Yacht with Leilani

Another Maui whale-watching tour includes Leilani’s small-group tour. Join the crew on a yacht, and take a two-hour tour to see whales, dolphins and more. In addition, the tour will also visit two top snorkeling sites: Molokini Crater and Turtle Town or Turtle Reef. Make a day of it, and spend nearly six hours whale-watching, swimming with sea life, and breaking for breakfast and lunch. For a more intimate setting, book a private yacht for your special event or family.

Get Up-close on a Kayak

Two companies offer whale-watching tours via kayak. Hawaiian Paddle Sports offers a three-hour private tour for families, and they do not combine groups. Maui Kayaking Adventures also offers packages that include group and private kayaking tours. After the tour, guests receive free digital photos of the trip, from start to finish. Both options offer a quiet and relaxing way to safely see whales up-close in their natural habitat.

Thinking of taking a vacation to Hawaii? View available vacation rentals in Maui.