Maui Whale Watching
Maui Whale Watching Season
Join us annually from December through March on our Whale Watching Maui & Snorkeling Tour.
Maximize your Hawaii vacation by whale watching on the Four Winds II.
Experience the Humpback Whales in Maui and view them in their natural habitat. During their annual migration to Maui’s coastal waters, they come to calve, mate, and rear their young.
Large pods of humpback whales concentrate in the Maui waters allowing you to see whales up close! We have some amazing experiences and encounters with these beautiful creatures.
See the whales in action performing aerobatics, breaches, tail slaps, spy hopping, and more!
Usually the first indication that whales are nearby is by their blow, which is how the humpbacks exhale air. On average, they breathe every 15 minutes while juveniles need to rise to the surface every 5 minutes.
A whale breach is an acrobatic display where the humpback launches itself out of the water and then lands back onto the surface of the water, creating a huge splash!
A tail slap consists of a whale raising its tail flukes out of the water and slapping them forcefully on the waters surface, resulting in a tremendous splash that can be heard far away. Usually the humpback whales will repeat this behavior over and over.
While at the surface of the water, humpback whales will lay on their sides, lift their fins into the air, and then slap them down on the water, creating a loud smack.
Head Rise or Spy Hop
This is truly a sight to see! Whales are extremely curious of us as well, and often times they will rise vertically up towards the surface, poke their head out of the water, and view what is happening above them.
Fluke Up Dive
The ‘fluke up dive’ is usually a signal that the whale is departing for a deep dive. The humpback arches its massive tail fluke up into the air, and then slowly and gently dives into the deep. In Maui, this is a whales way of saying “Aloha”.
See Maui’s Humpback Whales like never before!
Hear The Sounds of Whales
If the opportunity presents, the captain will lower a hydro-phone (a large microphone) into the water, so you can listen to the underwater songs of the humpback whales LIVE on board. You can also hear the whales singing while you snorkel or Snuba!
Marine Naturalists On-board
Our marine naturalists and crew are fun and engaging and will explain and educate you on these protected creatures. Hear interesting facts about the humpback whales, including their behaviors and why the whales come to Maui.
For those who do not wish to get in the water and snorkel, there’s still plenty to enjoy. Explore the glass bottom viewing room, relax on the spacious decks, let our helpful crew guide you on all the surroundings, and see whales and other marine life. You can eat and drink at your own leisure and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Maui’s coastline.
Join us and see these spectacular whales in the wild!
Book the afternoon Whale Watch and Snorkel combo below. If you prefer mornings, check out our Morning Whale Watch and Snorkel Combo!
DRY DOCK NOTICE: Four Winds II will be in dry dock Jan. 17-Feb. 22. Book our sister vessel Maui Magic for a afteroon snorkel tour instead.
Review Our COVID-19 Policy
Humpback Whale Fun Facts
Whales don’t eat while in Maui waters; they live off their body fat. The humpback whales hunt and feed during the summer months in the cold waters of Alaska, before they migrate towards Hawaii to give birth and mate.
Whales often travel in pods. In most cases, a pod may consist of a mother whale and her child, escort, or friends who have formed a bond and help protect the young calf while migrating.
The humpbacks majestic whale songs are often heard during mating season when groups of males sing in order to attract a female to mate. These complex songs can be heard for miles and can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours!
A female whale can bear offspring once every 2-3 years and average duration of gestation is 12 months. Even if a female is not carrying a calf or mating, she will still make the annual trip from the cold Alaskan waters to Maui.
Adult whales can reach 45-feet in length and weigh up to 40 tons!
One of the largest ever recorded humpback whales measured in at 89 ft. long
Calves are born weighing-in at around 3000 pounds and grow at a rate of 200 pounds a day during the first few weeks of life. The calves drink as much as 600 liters of milk per day to help prepare them for the trip towards colder waters.
Humpback whales can hunt in cooperative groups of 15 or more when searching for food in Alaska.
Since 1966 Humpback whales have been protected and continue to remain on our endangered species list. It is estimated that as much as 90% of the humpback whales population was eliminated during the whaling era.
The lifespan of a whale is said to average 50 years.