Another whale watch season has passed and with the end of spring, a new summer arrives. Many summer visitors inquire about whale watch tours, only to find that they are only available during the other half of the year, but our waters are full of fascinating and dynamic creatures that delight and amaze.

Dolphins can be found in Hawaii throughout the year, with an abundance of spinner dolphins, an especially acrobatic species. You may see them on any of our Maui ocean tours while cruising, or traveling between destinations. You might also spot a Hawaiian green sea turtle or two, especially in the near-shore waters where they graze on algae and sea grasses.

If you opt for our Maui Sunset Dinner Boat Cruise, the highlights will be a delicious meal accompanied by lively music and dancing while surrounded by spectacular views. What better way to enjoy one of Maui's famous sunset than aboard the island's largest and most stable yacht, the Maui Princess? After the flaming sunset fades, a spray of twinkling stars will light the sky, setting the tone for an enchanting night on the silky tropical ocean.

Interested in something a bit more adventurous? Slip into the water at one of our favorite coral reef locations where you can observe a rainbow of fish and all kinds of other fascinating marine animals, like the Hawaiian green sea turtle, sea urchins, octopus, shrimp, and a blanket of vibrant corals. Whether you opt for our Molokini Snorkel Tour or our Lanai Snorkel Tour, you never know what you'll discover beneath the ocean's surface.

Last but not least, when you want to venture further still, we offer several Molokai Tour options. You can either hop on our ferry and make your own way, or you can choose a self-guided tour package with the ferry tickets and car rental included. Your third and best option is our guided tour including ferry passage, and a knowledgeable guide who will welcome you aboard a comfortable, air-conditioned van or bus and take you to all the coolest spots on the island, telling you all about their histories.

In short, there are plenty of fun and exciting adventures to be had on Maui in the summer, and we hope we'll see you aboard with us soon to enjoy them. If you need our assistance, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!

Have you ever wanted to work on a boat? Do you see yourself gliding across the water with the salt air gripping your hair and the warm sun bringing a smile to your face? Have you wanted to spend your day watching whales put on a show for you with their fantastic breaches and mesmerizing behaviors? Imagine getting paid to observe marine life and watch beautiful sunsets.

Your office won't be a cubicle; there won't be a desk and you won't spend your day staring at a computer screen. No – you will be promoting marine research and helping to educate visitors and expand their understanding of the reverence of the oceans. Unbelievable sunrises and sunsets, a first hand opportunity to learn more about our ocean and marine life, and many other one of a kind experiences will take your breath away. As a crew member with Hawaii Ocean Project, you will be able to spread your passion for the Pacific to our guests. You will facilitate their experience, and sometimes help them negotiate the underwater world! It's an amazing feeling when you have a guest seeing a whale breach or a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle meander effortlessly through the tropical waters for the first time.

We are looking for people with enthusiasm and respect for the ocean and marine life. For the right candidate, this job is going to be fulfilling and so much fun! Seasonally, you can spend your day with the whales, watch the sunset on our dinner cruise, or jump in the water and cool off with sea turtles on our snorkel trips to Lanai or Molokini! Previous boating experience not required – you will be able to learn on the job in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The Pacific Ocean will be your unbeatable work environment. Come join our Lahaina crew for the experience of a lifetime!


Current available positions:

  • Dinner Cruise

Specifics:

  • Full time preferred with flexible hours, good pay and incentive upon 90 day review.
  • Mandatory drug testing is required.
  • Will interview in person, send resume to: ops@lahainacruisecompany.com

Hawaiian green sea turtles are a common sighting for guests of our Lanai Snorkeling Tours. They graze on the algae and grasses found throughout the reefs, and nest on Hawaii's beaches. Not only are they wonderful to watch, but they also have a special significance in Hawaiian culture as an aumakua, which is a family god or deified ancestor, so they are greatly respected. The Hawaiian word for the sea turtle is honu.

One of the interesting things about these fascinating marine animals is the various sizes of the individuals you might encounter. A full-grown adult can reach between 200 to 500lbs with a 40-inch shell, but when they first hatch, they can fit in your hand. As you can imagine, it takes some time for them to reach their full size. Scientists estimate ages of 60-70 years, or even older. Amazingly, they won't reach sexual maturity until about 25 to 30 years old, and sometimes even 40 years old!

The adults you might see are among the lucky few survivors, because the younger a turtle is, the more likely it is to succumb to predators. In fact, predation is so high, females have adapted to laying three to six clutches per nesting season, with around 100 eggs in each clutch. This high number of offspring helps increase the odds that some of her progeny will survive.

The lives of all sea turtles are full of peril, but although most green sea turtles are on the decline globally, the Hawaiian green sea turtle has seen a major resurgence, with a population increase of about 53 percent over the past 25 years. It helps that they are protected by law, and that people treat them with respect. That means not trying to touch them, and especially not trying to ride them. This is for your own safety as well, because they have been known to defend themselves with a rather powerful bite.

Despite being called green sea turtles, their shells tend to range from olive brown to black on top and light yellow on the underside, although green is the color of their favorite foods. These turtles have an important job as algae grazers. That is keeping Hawaii's precious coral reefs from being smothered by it. Yet, that's not all they eat. In fact, they are known to dine on mollusks, sponges, jellyfish, salps, and even tubeworms if they can. There's nothing wrong with a little extra protein!

We hope that you'll get a nice sighting of at least one of these graceful creatures on our Lanai Snorkel Tour. If you're lucky, you could even end up spotting more than one! Mahalo!

Hawaii is home to the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, as you may remember if you've read our previous entries. It spans about 50 nautical miles of the northwestern Hawaiian island chain, which consists of the tiny remnants of the oldest isles that have drifted in that direction over millennia as erosion whittled down their size. Did you know there are a total of 152 islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, but the state officially recognizes only 137 of them? Well, just last week, Hawaii residents, conservationists and lawmakers gathered at the State Legislature to rally for the expansion of the national monument from its current 50 nautical miles to 200 nautical miles.

Why all this energy and interest devoted to the expansion of the monument? Well protecting the extraordinary ecology of this range of islands is the primary motivation. If you happened to read our blog on the four new algae species discovered in Papahanaumokuakea, that discovery was just scraping the surface. We also shared the discovery of a ghost-like octopod discovered just a couple of miles north of Necker Island, which is also within the boundaries of Papahanaumokuakea. Scientists are discovering whole ecosystems full of undiscovered species in those waters, but what matters just as much to the people of Hawaii is the significance of marine life within the culture and tradition of the native Hawaiian people, which spans back to ancient times. We couldn't possibly say it better than Kekuewa Kikiloi, Chair of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Native Hawaiian Cultural Working Group. The following is his explanation of what's at stake.

“As Native Hawaiians, our core identity and survival is tied to the ocean. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is where we believe life originated. All resources in nature – from corals to sharks – have cultural significance for Native Hawaiians and are an embodiment of our ancestors. By expanding Papahanaumokukea, we can help protect our cultural ocean scapes and show future generations that preservation of the environment is preservation of our cultural traditions.”

The goal is to persuade the White House Council on Environmental Quality to expand the sanctuary to protect it from overfishing. An exception to the expansion area would be the waters around the main islands of Kauai and Niihau, along with two fishing buoys for Kauai fishermen. Speaking of fishing, a lot of the urgency is coming from local Hawaiian fishermen who have noticed a decline in the tuna populations.

“We have seen the decline in tuna populations that long-line fishing in Hawaii has caused, subjecting Hawaiians and Hawaii residents to import ahi poke from other countries,” fisherman Jay Carpio explained. “Fishermen like the late Uncle Buzzy Agard led the effort to establish Papahanaumokuakea, and local fishermen are again leading the call to President Obama to expand the monument.”

Protecting the tuna is just the beginning. The islands are home to an astounding array of seabirds, sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, whales, and too many other kinds of marine animals to list. Many of these populations live outside the current range of the monument, and are threatened by this lack of protection. Hawaii is one of the most biologically diverse places in the world, and you can imagine how much of that diversity resides in the ocean. Scientists point to black corals estimated at 4,500 years old, which many are now calling the old growth redwood forests of the ocean.

One of the things that stands out this situation is the interconnected nature of marine ecosystems. There are no walls dividing the ocean. That means every time you join us on a Molokini Snorkel Cruise or Lanai Snorkel Cruise, you're seeing species that are related to those in the northwestern Hawaiian islands, and some of these populations are often intermingling throughout their shared range. If you enjoy Maui ocean excursions and the exciting marine life they reveal, you'll probably understand why so many people want to expand the monument. If you'd like to learn more about Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, visit www.papahanaumokuakea.gov.

Mother's Day is just two days away. If you were generous enough to plan a trip to Maui for that special mom in your life, then hats off to you for showing your appreciation for all the great things moms do. As for that special day, if you haven't quite decided how to spend it, then we'd like to suggest our Maui Sunset Dinner Cruise.

Just imagine a soothing cruise off the coast of scenic Lahaina Town where you can take in gorgeous views of the mountains, the ocean and the neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai, all before a backdrop of one of Maui's famous sunsets. No two of these dramatic evening skyscapes are the same. Sometimes you'll get blazing arcs of red in bold streaks above, and sometimes soft pillows of pinkish orange decorating a delicate sky. What better way to soak in the beauty of Maui's natural scenery than from the Maui Princess, the island's largest and most stable yacht, boasting 120 feet of length?

Once you're aboard, you and the mom in your life can enjoy a scrumptious meal prepared by a skilled chef, accompanied by some fun music. Make sure you bring a valid I.D. if you want to indulge in some refreshing alcoholic beverages. Your meal will be followed by relaxation, carefree dancing and perhaps some friendly mingling with your fellow passengers as the stars begin to twinkle in the inky darkness of an enchanting night sky.

Adults and children are welcome aboard this cruise, and you are free to make the experience as elegant or casual as your mood. You can find details on the menu, our courtesy bus schedule, our prices, and other booking information at our Maui Sunset Dinner Cruise page. Check in is between 4:45-5pm with departure at 5:30pm. We will have you back at the charming Lahaina Harbor off bustling Front Street by about 8pm.

For more Mother's Day activity ideas, browse through our website and you just might find the perfect choice. We offer snorkeling tours off Molokini and Lanai, as well as guided tours of the island of Molokai including transportation on our Molokai Ferry. If you have any questions or need our assistance, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!