Whale Watching Maui

Nov 10th, 2005, 12:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 742
Whale Watching Maui

We're leaving for Maui Dec. 10, counting the days! This will be our first wintertime trip there. I'm wondering if we should wait until we get there to book a WW trip, depending upon the weather, or if we need to reserve before we leave. Maui Revealed recommends the Pacific Whale Foundation. They have boats out of Lahaina or Maalea, is either one better? We're splitting our time between Kaanapali and Wailea, so either one would be fine.
gigib is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 12:24 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 605
I would wait until I arrived.
So many people back out of trips that their head count is rarely met at the time of departure.
fehgeddaboudit is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 13
Why not be safer than sorry? The winter time is the peak tourist time- and peak WW time. I would reserve ahead of time at the Lahaina harbor.- That one seems to be the one most used and I read something somewhere?? that the whales are prominent in Lahaina
sfernandez is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We have gone three time with PWF. They are great. They have a certified Marine Naturalists on board that explains alot about whales and marine life and how we can preserve it. They have a store in Lahaina and Near the Maui Ocean Center at Ma'alaea Harbor. We went to Molikini and turtle town in 2004 and that was our most favorite time. You whale watch on the way to Molikini and on the way back from turtle town. I know they have just whale watch only too. If I remember... it was about 8am to 3pm for about 65.00 person. We did not book until we arrived. We go every two years usually in March. Cant wait, we will be there last week of March 2006 for 10 days and will go again! Here is their website www.pacificwhale.org Have a great time.
riggsie is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 605
sfernandez: it truly was a flip of the coin type of issue.

IF there is no cancellation fee, then make three reservations on three separate days. The weather should cooperate on one of the three days. Cancel the other two days' reservations.

Regarding the departure location: The captains all talk to one another via radio, so there's not much chance of "missing out" on the whale pods.
fehgeddaboudit is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 407
We've used Pacific Whale Foundation for 2 trips and loved them. If you book now you get your choice of dates/excursions. If the weather is bad, they won't go out. And, last I looked, they offered a 10 discount for advance bookings on-line. Lahaina has more to see, but is more difficult to reach from Wailea. And, you'll likely pay for parking in town.
Lex1 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 209
We like to leave from the Ma'alaea Harbor store. Easy to find right off the highway, not far from Lahaina and lots of free parking in a big parking lot. There is shopping and places to eat right there when you return.
riggsie is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 158
The WW companies I've used for years are Pacific Whale & Captain Steves. Last year, I had the best ww I've ever had with Pacific Whale - whales everywhere! Captain Steve's is for those who are a little more adventurous - www.captainsteves.com.
One tip - don't drive yourself crazy trying to get the perfect whale pictures - it takes professionals lots of film to get the end results we see. Just enjoy your trip watching the whales. They are the reason I always come back to Maui during the winter.
mauigirl50 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 08:26 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 264
Are all whale watching tours via boat? I get sea sick, and had a horrible time of it on a fishing trip in Hawaii many years ago.
cherie1 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 209
Cherie1 - My husband also gets seasick easily. The PWF boat as very large. If you take one of the bigger boats and stay in the very front you should be fine. Plus you make at least two stops to snorkel if you take the WS/snorkel trip that is a all day package. Im sure the rafts that Captain Steve has wouldnt work for you.
riggsie is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 01:50 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,025
Herem is a site that lists some of the whale watching cruises. It also has a section where you can watch whales from shore.

dusty56438 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 309
According to the Pacific Whale Foundadtion, the first humpbacks for this season were spotted off the coast of Maui this past weekend. This is the latest first sighting in a number of years.

I was in Kauai last Thanksgiving and there had only been a few sightings of humpbacks. I was in Maui over New Year's and we did see some whales; however not nearly as many as we saw in February, March, and April of 2005. Humpbacks swim to Hawaii from Alaska, spend about four to six weeks in Hawaii, and then return. They start arriving in November usually; however, most do not arrive until mid-January. The greatest number of whales are in Hawaii during the period from late January, February, and early March.

We had to take all of our whale watching trips with PWF in early January because they were the only company that was able to venture into the ocean; we experienced unusually windy and rainy weather the first week of January 2005. PWF offered to refund anyone's money because the ocean was so rough. We toughed it out and saw whales.

Since you are visiting in early December, you will probaly see whales if you take a cruise with PWF; they offer a guarantee that you can take another cruise if you do not see whales. Some of the smaller companies do not offer whale watching trips until later in December.
Dorothy01 is offline  
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