Whale Watching Cruise

Pacific Whale Foundation
Central Maui, South Maui
December to April
Jumping whale


  • Observe majestic humpback whales
  • Learn about their behavior from onboard marine naturalists
  • Hear whales sing with underwater hydrophone
  • Support a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting marine life and oceans for over 35 years
  • Whale sighting guarantee (97% success rate) or go again for free
$39 per adult
  • Morning, Afternoon
  • Duration 2 - 3 hours

Pricing & Availability


Maui is the prime spot in Hawaii for viewing hundreds of humpback whales from November through May as thousands congregate in the warm waters off the coast to eat, mate, and raise their young. Witness these magnificent creatures in their natural environment with an educational and fun boat cruise from Maui’s whale watching experts.

Since 1980, the non-profit Pacific Whale Foundation has focused on studying and protecting whales, and marine life and the oceans more broadly, through research and educating the public. Their passion and expertise is on full display on their tours as certified marine naturalists explain the whales’ social behavior and let you listen to whale songs through an underwater hydrophone. All profits from your tickets go directly towards their important work of protecting the oceans through science and advocacy. Whale sightings are guaranteed (97% success rate) or go again for free within 1 year. A whale poster and color whale watch guide is given to each party, and a junior naturalist program teaches and inspires the younger ones.

Exclusive Research Cruise

On Wednesdays, experience the Ultimate Whalewatch with a special cruise led by whale researchers and marine biologists. The Pacific Whale Foundation's renowned research team will discuss their current research projects and teach you all about humpback whales and marine science. On this longer (3 hours) and more intimate cruise (max of 38 people) on a vessel that had served as the main research boat in the past and has unobstructed open-air views, you'll have plenty of interaction time with the experts, who will also narrate the whale behavior you will see. Lunch and drinks included.

TravelShack's Choice

Why we recommend this option over others
Review by TravelShack Team
  • Whale watching is their specialty, and you are learning from a prominent organization that has advanced whale research and conservation efforts for over 35 years
  • Profits from your tickets support their important work
  • 2 convenient departure locations


  • Central Maui, South Maui, West Maui
Departure Points
Lahaina Harbor
Ma'alaea Harbor

Lahaina Harbor: 15 min from Ka’anapali
Ma'alaea Harbor: 10 min from Kihei, 25 min from Wailea
Guidebook Reviews

Maui Revealed Guidebook:

Maui is the undisputed whale watching capital of Hawaii.

The best whale watching company is Pacific Whale Foundation. This is their passion. Their knowledge is phenomenal, and the trips are fun.

Lonely Planet Guidebook:

Whale Watching: Top 10 Maui Highlight

The Pacific Whale Foundation whale watching cruises are immensely popular

Fodor's Guidebook:

Whale Watch: Top 15 Maui Attraction. The humpback whales’ attraction to Maui is legendary, and seeing them is a highlight for many visitors. It’s one of the most popular activities on Maui.

Moon Guidebook:

Whale Watching: Top 10 West Maui Highlight: The waters off Maui are home to the highest concentration of humpback whales on the planet

Option 1
Option 2
Option 3
Ma'alaea Research Cruise
Departure Location Lahaina Harbor Ma’alaea Harbor Ma’alaea Harbor
Days and Timescheck-in 45 min prior Daily
6:30 (sunrise), 9, 11:30,
2, 2:30
6:30 (sunrise), 9, 11:30, 12:30, 2, 4:30 (sunset)
10:30 am
(check-in 9:45 am)
Duration 2 hours 2 hours 3 hours
Boat(Max Passengers) Ocean Discovery (147) or Ocean Quest (110) (2:30) Ocean Voyager (147) or Ocean Odyssey (147) Ocean Explorer (38)
Refreshments Included Water only
Beer/wine, snacks, and soda/juice available for purchase
Water only
Beer/wine, snacks, and soda/juice available for purchase
Beer/wine, snacks, and soda/juice included
Price Age 13+: $44 $39.40
Age 5-12: 1 Free per adult, or $25
Age 4 & under: Free
Age 13+: $44 $39.40
Age 5-12: 1 Free per adult, or $25
Age 4 & under: Free
All Ages: $82.95 $74.66
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Frequently Asked Questions
  • Non-profit organization whose mission is to protect the oceans through science and advocacy. It conducts marine research, educates the public, and fights for marine life and ocean conservation.
  • One of only 6 Maui tour companies that has attained a Hawai'i Ecotourism Association Sustainable Tourism Certification
  • Holds annual Maui Whale Festival to raise awareness about conservation and raise funds to support its important programs
  • Boats use energy efficient, low emissions engines
  • Developed and outfitted all boats with whale protection devices, the first devices in the world for commercial vessels that guide whales away from propellers and running gear
  • Uses bio-compostable plates, cups and utensils
  • Sources locally grown fruits, vegetables, and meats to reduce carbon footprint
Terms and Conditions
Cancellation Policy
  • 1-15 People: No refunds after 48 hours prior to activity time
  • 16+: No refunds after 72 hours prior to activity time
Taxes/fees added at checkout
  • 4.166% Hawaii sales tax (GET)
  • 3% Harbor Tax
  • $4.50 fuel surcharge per person