The excitement is building here on Maui as we prepare to begin a new season of whale watching tours, which may be the most popular Maui activity during the winter and spring months because it's such an amazing experience. In just six days, we will begin taking our wonderful guests out onto the silky waters off the coast of West Maui to see these gentle giants in all their regal splendor. Later in the season, we look forward to greeting some new baby whales that will be born in the sheltered waters surrounding the island.

Whales demonstrate such a strong preference for the area where we tour that we're able to provide a money back guarantee on whale sightings. Most tour operators don't, and will usually just give you a voucher to try again. We understand that it isn't always convenient for our guests to do so. That being said, we're confident that you will get some wonderful whale sightings when you come with us on our tours.

Some of the perks of the trip include free use of binoculars, hydrophone to listen to the whales when their proximity and water conditions allow for it, and expert whale narration, conducted by our experienced Captain and crew members. In addition, we have beverages and snacks available for purchase, and we even have an on-board gift shop, so you can commemorate your experience with a fun bit of memorabilia, with all the proceeds going directly to a carefully selected group of accomplished marine scientists.

We'll depart from the north end of Lahaina Harbor, which is especially convenient to those of you who are staying in West Maui accommodations. All we need is for you to arrive 30 minutes before departure time so we can be sure to get underway right on time. The sooner we get going, the sooner you get to see these majestic creatures on your two-hour tour. The following is a handy guide to the current departure times of our tours. They may change in the future, so be sure to check for the current times if you book in the future.

Dec. 1-14:

  • 7:30 AM (Early Bird)
  • 9:45 AM

Dec. 15:

  • 7:30 AM (Early Bird)
  • 9:45 AM
  • 12:00 PM
  • 2:15 PM

Last but not least, we want to encourage you to book your Maui whale watch tour online, because you will get 10% off your ticket price when you do so. Our prices are currently as follows, but may change in the future like the departure times. You can rely on our whale watch tour page for up to date information.

Pricing:
Online Booking Adult – $38.53
Online Booking Child – $20.20
Children Six and Under – Free!

If you need our assistance booking your tour, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have, but remember that if you want the 10% discount, you'll need to book online. We hope to see you soon! Mahalo!

Planning to be on vacation to Maui around the Thanksgiving holiday? What better way to give thanks for the abundance that you enjoy than by going on a gorgeous Maui dinner cruise off the picturesque coast of Lahaina? If you have other plans for Thanksgiving day, you can always join us in the spirit of thanks before or after the holiday. After all, it's up to you how you want to celebrate! Also, it's easy to be grateful when you're surrounded by the resplendent beauty of Maui.

This time of year, it's not unusual to see turtles on our cruises, or maybe some early arrivals among the migratory humpback whale population. The ocean is stunning at sunset whether marine life makes an appearance or not. Maui is gorgeous in the evening light, and so are the neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai in the distance. When the sun gently sinks below the horizon, cloudless nights reveal a myriad of twinkling stars, and you can enjoy the caress of Hawaii's clean, balmy breezes through it all.

If you attend this cruise, you will be joining us aboard the Maui Princess, which is the most stable and the largest yacht on the island, measuring in at 120 feet. This vessel features all premium seating on the upper deck, where you can enjoy unobstructed sunset views and musical entertainment that inspires our guests to dance the night away. We will depart from Lahaina Harbor at 5:30pm and ask our guests to check in sometime between 4:45 and 5pm. We'll have you back on land at 8pm, just in time to enjoy the charms of lively Lahaina Town at night.

As for the menu, the following is a list of our usual options, although we may tweak the menu depending on availability.

Entrees:

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

Sides:

    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.

If you need more information, or you'd like to book your tour, see our Maui Sunset Dinner Cruise, which also features an availability calendar so you can easily find out if one of our cruises is full or not. If you need further assistance, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. We look forward to whisking you off for a delightful and memorable evening! Mahalo!

The reef triggerfish is one of the most iconic Hawaiian fish, particularly thanks to its name, which is one of the longest words in the Hawaiian language. When literally translated, humuhumunukunukuapua'a means "triggerfish with a snout like a pig." It's true, the snout is long and sometimes a bit on the pink side in hue. Like most other triggerfish, the reef triggerfish has a football-shaped body, with its head comprising more than a third of its total size.

Another way you can easily recognize this particular fish is by its colors and markings. Its snout is the palest part of its body, which is divided from the gold tones of the top of its back by a large band of black that dominates its underside. Then of course there's the bold yellow outline near its tail that looks like an arrow pointing toward its eye. It really is quite the remarkable fish, in both name and appearance.

The reef triggerfish is a common sighting on our Molokini snorkel tours. Of course we never know which species are going to show up on any given tour, but that's half the fun! Molokini is a small crater island off Maui's southern coast, and its beautiful coral reefs attract many species, including the reef triggerfish, which typically feeds on invertebrates hiding in the sand.

This species features close-set teeth that help it capture its small prey, and you will often see it spitting out sand as it sifts through the substrate. It can also blow jets of water from its mouth to clear the sand away and make its hunting strategy a bit easier. Triggerfish are named for their spines, which they use to lock themselves in crevices so that predators have a hard time removing them. The reef triggerfish will sometimes make grunting noises when fleeing predators, which may have contributed to early Hawaiians finding them to be pig-like. Marine scientists believe these noises act as a warning call for other triggerfish.

If you do spot the reef triggerfish, you will usually find it alone, as they prefer the solitary life, and will often act aggressively toward one another if they cross paths. You may also notice that this fish can rapidly alter their coloration, like their other triggerfish relatives and many other marine species. They are known to "turn their colors off" and assume a drab appearance while asleep or submissive, helping them to fade into the background to avoid confrontation. When a triggerfish is healthy and confident, you will see those vibrant colors.

We hope you'll get to see at least one of these magnificent fish on our Molokini snorkel tour. If you need our assistance identifying the fish that you see, don't hesitate to ask, and our knowledgeable naturalists will help. Mahalo!

The raccoon butterflyfish is one of the easiest Hawaiian fish to recognize, with the black eye "mask" that they have in common with their namesake. While many Hawaiian butterflyfish feature bright or pale yellow hues, the raccoon butterfly is more of a rich gold color, which gives it a deep, dusky look when combined with its contrasting black and dark brown markings. When they make an appearance on our snorkeling tours, they're hard to miss because of their bold coloration and their moderate size at 8 inches in length.

This fish is referred to as Chaetodon lunula in the scientific community, while its Hawaiian name is kikakapu  kap. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about it is its broad distribution throughout the Indo-Pacific, East Africa, Micronesia, Polynesia, southern Japan, and even Australia's Lord Howe Island. This was partly made possible because its diet consists of many types of soft-bodied invertebrates like worms, sea anemones, nudibranchs, and sometimes algae and coral polyps, which can be found in many marine habitats.

If you spot the raccoon butterflyfish on our Maui snorkeling tours, it will usually be traveling in pairs or aggregations in shallow reef flats, but Scuba divers can see them in waters as deep as 75 feet. It is often seen during the day, but has also been found to be active at night.

When you snorkel in Hawaii, you'll find that there are many types of butterflyfish, and they generally share some combination of yellow, black and white coloration. However, not all of the fish with these colors are butterflyfish. The common exceptions are the schooling bannerfish and the Moorish idol, which are often mistaken for each other as well as butterflyfish. Generally, butterflyfish will feature an oblong disc shape to their bodies, while the schooling bannerfish and Moorish idols can be likened to an almost crescent moon shape.

If you're interested in learning about the types of fish that you see on our snorkeling tours, don't hesitate to ask our knowledgeable guides! They can tell you all about the many colorful members of the coral reef ecosystem that has delighted so many snorkelers and Scuba divers over the years. On that note, if you need our assistance booking your snorkeling tour, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo, and we hope to see you soon!