If there was one place to successfully mix business with pleasure, Maui would be it. This seems to be a rising trend, as there are more and more visitors who aren't here for a vacation, but to attend a conference or another business related trip. Whether your priorities include learning, presenting, networking, or strengthening your existing business relationships, a great way to start is by having a good time.

When it comes to the professional arena, the balance between work and play is an important one. Those who are constantly focused on the work side of things may appear disciplined and diligent, but sometimes over eager and even annoying when overly persistent. Prospective partners, clients and other important contacts often want to kick back and have a good time. Sometimes they may also be observing how you have a good time. Think golf games with colleagues. The truth is, you can often learn a lot about a person no matter what they're doing, so why not have fun?

With that in mind, why not arrange a Maui sunset dinner cruise for you and your fellow travelers? Measuring 120' in length, our Maui Princess is Lahaina's most luxurious, largest and most stable yacht. Our four-person tables are laid out on the top deck so that everyone gets stunning panoramic views. Because the tables seat four, and are situated near each other, the setting is ideal for groups. A Maui dinner cruise is ideal if you'd like to plan something relaxing rather than adventurous or physical.

Aside from the fantastic food and breathtaking views, there will also be live music to entertain you and your group. The following is our current menu, but check back before you book because menu items may change in the future.


Food:
Choose one of four entrees

    Prime rib (carved on board)
    Roasted chicken
    Macadamia nut encrusted mahi mahi fillet with buerre blanc sauce
    Vegetarian patty with marinara sauce

Including

    Garden salad with croutons & papaya seed dressing
    New potatoes
    Carrots
    Dinner rolls
    Cheesecake with seasonal fruit glaze

Beverages: Unlimited soda and juices. Full Bar – 3 alcoholic beverages included, additional alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at $4.00 – $6.00 each.


Check-in is at the north end of Lahaina Harbor at 4:45 – 5:00pm daily, and departure is at 5:30pm. We will have you back at the harbor by about 8pm. The price per adult is currently $80.95 if you book online, but be sure to check on that, in case our prices change in the future. We hope you'll be pleased with your two-and-a-half hours of ocean sightseeing, delicious food and live music for the rate we're offering. If you have any questions, or need any kind of assistance, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!

On a Maui Boat Tour with Hawaii Ocean Project, you will see a myriad of different marine life. Whether you are on a snorkeling tour, a whale watch tour, or even a dinner cruise, you may see some of Maui's unique residents and visitors alike. Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and Humpback Whales are some of the usual crowd favorites, but you may get a chance to see a rarer marine mammal and another friend who likes to jump for joy!

Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
Green Sea Turtles can be found all over the world, but the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle is genetically distinct from the other Green Sea Turtle populations. Meaning it can only be found in our waters! Their Hawaiian name is 'Honu'. A typical adult Green Sea Turtle is 4-5 feet long and weighs around 250 pounds. Their diet primarily consists of algae, which contributes to their green coloring as their shells are not actually the color green.  You will see these mellow creatures meandering around near shores and munching on algae. You may also see them basking and relaxing on the shores.
 
Hawaiian Spinner Nose Dolphins
When Hawaiian Spinner Nose Dolphins are born they will be about 2.5 feet long and will grow up to 5-6 feet long. A good way to differentiate between Spinner Nose Dolphins and other dolphins is the size of the dorsal fin, which will always be smaller than the Bottlenose or Pan-Tropical Spotted Dolphin. You may be wondering why they are called 'Spinner Nose Dolphins' and this is because of their acrobatic spinning they perform coming out of the water. They can spin up to SEVEN times! They are often seen swimming at the bow of the boats and this is because of the compression wave which forms. The dolphins love to 'surf' these waves just off of the bow. Dolphins travel in pods so where you spot one, there are more close by!    

Main Hawaiian Islands Insular False Killer Whale
On one of our recent Maui Boat tours to Lanai, we were fortunate enough to be accompanied by a pod of dolphins as well as a pod false killer whales. Dolphin sightings are common on our trips to Lanai but we do not see the False Killer Whales as often! However, the two do interact and often travel together. The False Killer Whale is one of the largest members of the oceanic dolphin family. They prefer tropical and temperate waters like Hawaii's climate. The Main Hawaiian Islands Insular False Killer Whales are genetically distinct and are endangered. Their name comes from their resemblance to the Killer Whale.  They can range in size from 15-foot females to 20-foot males and weigh up to 1,500 pounds! Their lifespan can exceed 60 years. Although not a usual sighting on our trips, it is amazing to see them when they do appear.

Humpback Whales
Humpback Whales are large baleen whales that can weigh up to 45 tons and be up to 52 feet long. They can perform surprising acrobatic movements in the air, much to our delight! Humpback Whales migrate to Hawaii each year during whale season which is between November and May. In Hawaii, they breed, nurse, and calf their young. An interesting fact about these gentle giants is that they do not eat the entire time they are in Hawaii. This is because the sustenance they rely on is not present to the degree they need in the waters around Maui. Whale watching is undoubtedly one of Maui's most popular activities. On a whale watch tour, you will get the chance to see the whales jump and slap, and you'll learn about their behaviors from our experienced crews.

Hawaii Ocean Project runs Maui Ocean Tours 6 days a week to the neighboring island of Lanai and the crater Molokini, where you will have the chance to see these incredible creatures in action! During whale season, we offer exhilarating Whale Watches as well.

For more information, check out our tours page and like us on Facebook!

Whale watching is one of Maui's most popular activities and for good reason! Humpback Whales are our beloved seasonal visitors. We love to watch these beautiful animals who perform incredibly acrobatic moves despite their large size. We are constantly in awe of their grace and sheer size. Their playful behaviors captivate all audiences. They are sacred in Hawaiian culture and are considered Aumakua or ancestral guardian. Now we can add something else amazing about the Humpback Whales and that is that they can be altruistic. A new study has found that there have been over 100 sightings of Humpback Whales attempting to thwart Killer Whale attacks on other animals. The study has analyzed different reports and data and compared it with known information.

Adult Humpback whales are believed to have no significant natural predators as reports of predation are quite rare. However, it has been reported that Killer Whales have attacked Humpback Whales specifically calves and juveniles. Studies have gone in depth analyzing the interactions between Humpback Whales and Killer Whales honing in on specific behaviors. Some believe that the threat of attacks from Killer Whales may influence their migration patterns. More specifically not why they migrate but how they migrate. It has been found that Humpback Cow/Calf pairs choose to migrate through longer more inshore routes. The threat of predation should cause Humpbacks to exhibit anti predator behaviors which they do in the form of defense however, we have see them seemingly swimming to the rescue. Through happenstance and research, the Humpback Whales have been spotted interfering in Killer Whale attacks on other animals.

The question as to why Humpbacks would approach attacking Killer Whales is clearly confusing. If Killer Whales are known to harass Humpback Whales, why would they go toward the incidence? To the knowledge of researchers and scientists, Humpback Whales are the only cetacean to purposefully approach attacking Killer Whales. We cannot be quite certain why they do this but we would like to imagine it is a showing of selflessness. However, Researchers have purported a few different options, one of which is that perhaps Humpback Whales are the accidental hero and that the motivation for interfering is that they believe, from far away, that another Humpback is being attacked. Whatever the actual motivation, what is clear is that Humpback Whales have been saving other marine life and performing good deeds. It also proves that there is still much to learn from studying the behaviors of these large sweet cetaceans.

Whale season in Hawaii starts in November and stretches until about May. The Humpback Whale return to Hawaii each year to breed, nurse, and calve their young. During this time you will have a chance to see Humpback Whales up close playing in their pods and Cow/Calf duos. We offer  two hour whale watch cruises on stable boats and 360 degree views! Next time you find yourself on Maui during whale season be sure to book a tour with us to see these gentle giants.

Marine scientists are buzzing with news of the recent discovery of a beaked whale right here in the Pacific Ocean. Sightings of the whale have been going on in Japan for some time. Japanese fishermen called them “karasu” or ravens, for their exceptionally dark color. But only recently have scientists confirmed that they are truly a new species. So recently in fact, that they have not yet been given their formal scientific name.

The new species is a kind of beaked whale, which explains the difficulty in studying them. That’s because beaked whales tend to spend very little time at the surface, and breach infrequently. In the case of this species, its dark color helps it blend in with its surroundings, making it all the more difficult to spot.

The discovery gained momentum after the unfortunate discovery of three of the whales after they washed up on the north coast of Hokkaido in 2013. Japanese researchers began the work, and scientists from the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) jumped in to aid in the investigation. It helped that NOAA has the largest collection of cetacean samples in the world, according to Phillip Morin, a molecular biologist at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Research Center in San Diego. This collection helped provide genetic comparisons to verify the new species. The analysis included 178 beaked whale specimens from areas around the Pacific Rim. Morin’s team recently published their findings in the journal Marine Mammal Science.

The new species is around two-thirds as big as a Baird’s beaked whale, which it most resembles. A Baird’s can reach a maximum length of 42 feet, based on current data. That means this new species is somewhere around 28 feet in length. Its size range will be more specific when more specimens are measured. Aside from the specimens that washed up on shore in Japan, a skull was found in the Smithsonian Institution from the Aleutian Islands in 1948, a specimen found in Alaska was in the collection of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and a tissue sample was taken from a whale that was stranded on Unalaska Island in the Aleutians in 2004. Its skeleton is on display at Unalaska high school.

Again, the challenge of finding future specimens is due to several factors. Large beaked whales can spend up to 90 minutes at a time below the surface as they hunt for squid and other preferred food items. When they do arrive at the surface, their time there is brief, sometimes lasting just a couple of minutes before they dive again for an extended period. Another factor is their tendency to travel in small groups, meaning there are fewer individuals that one can spot. Again, their dark color helps disguise them against the ocean’s surface, and if the surface it choppy, it becomes even more difficult to spot them.

It will be interesting to find out the name this new species will be given, when that day arrives. The discovery of a new whale species is a remarkable event, considering their size. It’s especially exciting that this species lives in the Pacific, considering that we’re a Maui ocean tour company. Even more so because we help fund marine science research here in Hawaii. We look forward to sharing future marine life discoveries with you as the news reaches us. In the meantime, we hope to see you onboard for one of our tours soon. Mahalo!