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Whale Watching Maui

Maui’s Annual Whale Watching Season

Whales migrate from Alaskan waters every year to calve, mate, and rear their young in the warm Maui ocean. The whale watching season around Maui is annually from December through March.  The whales are abundant and provide Maui residents and visitors a great opportunity to watch humpback whales in their natural habitat.

When is whale season in Maui?

Whale watching in Maui is annually from December through March.

What is the best time of day to see whales in Maui?

The ocean conditions are best in the morning, however, the whales are active all day long. The best time to see whales in Maui is when you are here in the months of December-March.

Can you whale watch from shore?

Yes you can whale watch from Maui’s shoreline, but the whales might be a ways off. The best way to view them is from above on a boat, where you can more clearly see and feel their presence.

How frequent are Maui whale sightings?

Each year the concentration of whales is different, however, Maui whale sightings are very common. You are very likely to get to experience a whale siting on our whale watching & snorkel combo tour.

Do you want to see whales?

Four Winds II offers seasonal Whale Watch & Snorkel Tours from December through March. Book either our morning tour or afternoon tour and you can enjoy these magnificent creates with a snorkel adventure.

Whale Watching Maui Whale Breech
Whale Breaching Maui
Whale Watching Maui WhaleTail
Whales Photo

See the whales in action performing aerobatics, breaches, tail slaps, spy hopping, and more!

Whale Watching Maui Whale Blow


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. Juveniles, need to rise to the surface every 5 minutes.

Whale Watching Maui Whale Breech


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!

Whale Watching Maui WhaleTail

Tail Slap

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.

Whale Watching Maui Fluke Slap

Pectoral Slap

While at the surface the humpbacks whales will lay on their sides, lift their fins into the air and then slap them down on the water, creating a loud smack.

Whale Watching Maui Whale Spy Hop

Head Rise or Spy Hop

This is truly a sight to witness their curiosity. The whale will rise vertically up towards the surface, with its head out of the water to view what is happening above water and on the surface.

Whale Watching Maui Whale Fluke Up Dive

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 flukes up into the air, and then slowly and gently dives into the deep. In Maui this is a whales form of saying “Aloha”

Humpback Whale Fun Facts

Whale Tail

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 cold waters of Alaska shore before they migrate toward 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 (only) 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 gestations for the calf 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.

Whale Watching in Maui

Maui's Best Whale Watching Tour - Combine Snorkeling and Whale Watching!

Come out with us on our Maui Whale Watch and Snorkel Combo Tour, which dedicates a special amount of time to finding the whales and observing them in the wild in Maui.  See the Humpback Whales up close AND visit Maui’s top rated snorkel destination Coral Gardens.

Seasonal – Runs Dec. – March

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