Best Months for Whale Watching in Maui


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Did you know that the best time for whale watching is between January and March?

North Pacific humpback whales migrate to and from Alaska from December to April, but according to Ultimate Whale Watch & Snorkel, the best time to see them is now.

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“Our fast and safe vessels allow us to reach remote areas with more wildlife and more time to enjoy what Hawaii has to offer,” said Jessica Milne of Ultimate Whale Watch & Snorkel. “We offer whale watching tours, whale/dolphin watching tours with snorkeling off Lanai/Lahaina, as well as private charters for a more intimate gathering of friends and family to visit .”

Milne said each post supports research to better understand Maui’s marine environment. The organization has been locally owned and operated since 1982 and is dedicated to sharing their knowledge and experience through their tours.

“Our goal is to encourage environmentally conscious decisions and appreciation of the Hawaiian paradise of which we are a part,” Milne said. “During our Maui whale watching tours and private charters, we have hosted film crews from National Geographic, BBC Wildlife and other elite marine life photographers.”

She said that because humpback whales are protected on Maui, they don’t approach humpback whales closer than 100 yards or swim with whales or dolphins. However, Milne said they still find themselves having unique close encounters, as these marine mammals love to get up close to small, friendly rafting boats low on the water.

They report that the worst months for whale watching are between May and October. That means you’ll want to buy your ticket soon or have to wait another year.

During the summer, humpback whales return to Alaska and spend their summers feeding on krill, plankton, and small baitfish. These whales prefer to cool off in Alaskan waters and enjoy eating these small fish during the summer months.

Ultimate Whale Watch & Snorkel reports that once humpback whales begin their migration to Hawaii, they will not feed again until they return to Alaska. Instead, their bodies treat their stored fat as their daily diet during the winter months of their migration to Maui.

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During Maui’s summer months, you can purchase a ticket to watch the dolphins and dive instead! They often see other unique marine species during the summer like false killer whales, whale sharks, and melon-headed whales.


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