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Maui County

Dolphin & whale watching

Our most recommended Maui County Dolphin & Whale Watching

Lahaina: Turtle Town Snorkel and Whale Watching Cruise

1. Lahaina: Turtle Town Snorkel and Whale Watching Cruise

Spot Hawaii's native marine life in its natural habitat on a snorkel cruise to Turtle Town from Lahaina. Swim past green sea turtles, Moorish idols, and even humpback whales. For beginners, there is an onboard snorkel demonstration before you set out. Enjoy an onboard lunch and drinks. Set sail from Lahaina Harbor towards Turtle Town, aka Mala Wharf (if weather conditions allow). In 1992, a powerful hurricane destroyed Mala Pier. The surviving posts have created an artificial reef and sanctuary where corals and other marine life thrive. Spot Moorish idols, green sea turtles, and saddle wrasse while snorkeling here. If snorkel conditions are not ideal at Turtle Town a.k.a. Mala Wharf, cruise to one of the other premier westside snorkel locations such as Honolua Bay, Airport Beach, or Launiupoko. All of these locations offer an excellent opportunity to see Hawaiian green sea turtles, brightly colored tropical fish, and beautiful coral reef formations. During the whale season (December to April), observe humpback whales as they enjoy the warm Hawaiian waters. This tour segment will include expert narration about the whales and provide a play-by-play commentary of the whales' behavior as you view them.

From Lahaina: Lana'i Coast Maui Sail and Snorkel Trip

2. From Lahaina: Lana'i Coast Maui Sail and Snorkel Trip

Start the tour by boarding a brand new luxury catamaran at the dock in Lahaina. Set off on your incredible adventure along the spectacular coastline of Lana'i. Onboard the vessel, enjoy a continental breakfast of tropical fruit, freshly baked banana bread, and locally roasted coffee. Head towards the pristine reefs along Lana’i’s south shores where you'll discover stunning sea cliffs, uncrowded snorkeling sites, and expansive island views. Get geared up with the snorkeling equipment provided and plunge into the warm waters to discover an array of local marine life.  This relaxed tour does not have a set destination, so the experienced crew can select the best locations based on sea conditions, and visit multiple snorkel sites when time and weather allow. After swimming and snorkeling, sit back with a drink and enjoy a full lunch while trying to catch a sighting of Lana’i’s famous spinner dolphins. Finally, return to the dock where your memorable day at sea concludes.

Maui: Deluxe Sunset Sail from Lahaina

3. Maui: Deluxe Sunset Sail from Lahaina

Enjoy stunning sunset on the coast of Maui on a catamaran cruise from Lahaina. Lay back on the forward trampolines or sit under the covered cabin space while savoring mouth-watering cold hors d’oeuvres and sipping on chilled drinks. Keep an eye out for whales as you sail.  Depart from Lahaina and set sail in the waters of Maui. Admire breathtaking views of the verdant and dynamic shores as the sunset paints the sea in a golden glow. Have a refreshing cocktail or snack on a delicious selection of hors d’oeuvres.  From December to May, enjoy the thrill of watching the humpback whales as they make their yearly journey to Hawaii. During the rest of the year, keep your eyes peeled for graceful seabirds and the black-finned Māui dolphin.  Return to your meeting point in Lahaina at the end of your cruise. 

Maui: Dolphin Sailing Adventure with Lunch and Drinks

4. Maui: Dolphin Sailing Adventure with Lunch and Drinks

Get ready to experience the thrill of sailing alongside dolphins in the wild on a luxury sailing vessel. As you go, learn fascinating facts about the wild dolphins from your certified marine naturalist guide. Snap memorable photos when you catch a glimpse of the islands' acrobatic spinner dolphins, friendly bottlenose dolphins, and curious spotted dolphins. Enjoy an adventure great for all ages, and rest assured that dolphin sightings are guaranteed, else you can go again free on another Dolphin Watch within one year. During your sailing adventure, savor an included lunch and sip on 1 complimentary alcoholic drinks as you pass by the scenic shores of Maui.

From Ka'anapali Beach: West Maui Half-Day Snorkel Adventure

5. From Ka'anapali Beach: West Maui Half-Day Snorkel Adventure

Begin your snorkeling adventure by departing from Kaanapali Beach on a luxury catamaran. On the way to the snorkel spot, enjoy some breakfast while keeping your eyes open for Hawaiian spinner dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and during the winter months, large humpback whales. The captain will determine the best spots to visit on the day, based upon the weather conditions. Once in the water, observe beautiful tropical fish, honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles), colorful coral reefs, and potentially some other rare underwater species. After the snorkeling session, have a delicious lunch with premium beers, cocktails, and other liberations. Relax as you cruise back to Kaanapali Beach, enjoying the scenery along the way.

Maui: Sunset Sailing Cruise with Champagne from Lahaina

6. Maui: Sunset Sailing Cruise with Champagne from Lahaina

A perfect Maui experience is not complete without witnessing the beauty of a sunset while out on the ocean. Board Paragon to experience a sunset sailing cruise and watch the sun dip below the horizon as you glide along the picturesque west cost of Maui. Beverages, including locally brewed beer, mai tais, wine, and champagne, are served as well as pupus (appetizers). This is as close as you can get to yachting, but make no mistake — when the wind is up it can be quite an exhilarating sail. During season from December to May, enjoy the thrill of watching the humpback whales that make their way to Hawaii each year.

From Ma'alaea Harbor: Whale Watching Tours Aboard the Malolo

7. From Ma'alaea Harbor: Whale Watching Tours Aboard the Malolo

Depart from Maalaea Harbor, easily located off the highway with ample parking. This high-speed catamaran is located at Slip 87 near Coast Guard Station. While on board, enjoy complimentary juices and sodas, and a variety of alcoholic beverages. The optimal whale watching season starts in December and goes through April, during which thousands of humpback whales return to Hawaii for a few months each year to mate and give birth. Depending on the whales’ behavior during your two-hour whale watching trip, you may see any number of whale activity happening, from tail flapping to full body breaching. Keep your eyes peeled for whales slapping the surface with pectoral fins (their very long side fins), flukes (the tail), and the peduncle (the strong muscles attaching the tail to the rest of the body). Keep your fingers crossed for a breach - this is when a whale rises completely out of the water and crashes down again. And most importantly, don’t forget to bring your camera to capture a picture of these amazing animals.

Lahaina: 2-Hour Whale Watching Tours Aboard the Quicksilver

8. Lahaina: 2-Hour Whale Watching Tours Aboard the Quicksilver

Travel via high-speed catamaran from Lahaina Harbor to the Maui Channel to see the humpback whales, who return to Hawaii for a few months each year to mate and give birth. Get up close to these creatures in their native environment from comfortable table and chair seating. Keep your eyes peeled for whales slapping the surface with their very long side fins, tails, or the strong muscles attaching the tail to the rest of the body. See them spy-hop, when humpback whales come high out of the water to have a look around at the world above. See the majesty of a breaching whale, if you are lucky. This is when a whale rises completely out of the water and crashes down again. Don’t forget to bring your camera and take memorable photos from the shade of a spacious cabin.

From Lahaina: Lana'i Snorkel and Dolphin Adventure Cruise

9. From Lahaina: Lana'i Snorkel and Dolphin Adventure Cruise

Explore an entirely new island in Hawaii on a catamaran cruise from Maui to Lanai. Jump into the cool and clear waters to snorkel and swim with vibrant marine life and look up to towering cliffs above you. Enjoy a continental breakfast and deli sandwich lunch while you sail under the warm Hawaiian sun. Keep an eye out for spinner dolphins, who are known to frequent the area. Listen to music and your captain share his knowledge about this island paradise and the abundant sea life that makes this area their home. Arrive on the Lanai coast and explore the underwater world accompanied by a crew member throughout. Take advantage of the waterslide for extra fun. Marvel at the marine life as you snorkel beneath towering cliffs reaching up to 300 feet. Be among the few to snorkel at remote locations with great visibility, such as Shark Fin Rock and Manele Bay. See a spectacular view of the West Maui Mountains while enjoying a beverage and Quicksilver Crew Trivia on the trip back to Lahaina.

From Ma'alaea Harbor: Whale Watching Cruise

10. From Ma'alaea Harbor: Whale Watching Cruise

After boarding your whale-watching cruise, your onboard naturalist, captain, and crew will be just as excited as you are to see humpbacks. These 45-foot cetaceans inspire awe, delight, and excitement with their very existence.  As soon as the boat leaves Ma'alaea Harbor, keep your eyes peeled for any significant movement on the surface. Especially huge clouds of misty spray in the distance (that's how a whale exhales). The whale watch naturalist will give you an exciting play-by-play on the whale's "swimming commentary." Some of the more popular moves whales engage in are the tail slap, the pec slap, the peduncle throw, the spy hop, and the ever hoped-for "launch-of-an-entire-whale-from-the-water" full breach.  Go down to the underwater viewing room whenever the boat is stopped. If the whales swim beneath the vessel, you can see them through the glass panels at the bottom of the hull. It is rare for a whale-watching vessel to have a glass-bottomed seating area, so enjoy it on this triple-decker catamaran. From December to April, you can climb aboard the boat and make your way to the top. This is Maui’s only catamaran with three decks, so you cannot go higher on this island. The 360-degree ocean views are fantastic, even when you go inside for a bit to take a break from the sun.  The first and second decks have spacious cabins with tinted windows, making for excellent viewing through the water’s surface, regardless of the sun’s glare. Comfortable seating throughout this stable vessel ensures a relaxing time on the water while you look for these incredible marine mammals.  Take advantage of the bar and snack area while you check out the boat. The crew will be happy to mix up whatever you feel like.

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Frequently asked questions about Maui County Dolphin & Whale Watching

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What people are saying about Maui County

Kyle, you are the absolute best!! Thank you for making this experience the highlight of our trip!!! We had the BEST time. The turtles... and the dolphins at the end were just breathtaking. We can not thank you enough. We're going to recommend all of our friends do this . Thanks again.

Awesome day! Great crew, breakfast lunch and cocktails! But the best part? I was swimming with turtles less than a foot away. Breathtaking and well worth the money. Highly recommend!!

Crew was excellent - informative, helpful, funny, experienced. It was our first time snorkeling and they explained everything beautifully and we all felt safe.

Excellent snorkeling adventure with friendly crew, good food and drinks, and will definitely rebook on next trip to Maui! Big thumbs up!!!

Enjoyed the ride, saw lots of dolphins and the crew was great and helpful. Lunch was good also