Don’t Miss Whale Watching In Maui

Don’t miss whale watching in Maui! Each year humpback whales migrate to the islands to breed and to give birth to their young. It’s a privilege to be able to view these beautiful creatures so close up. 

Folks, thanks for dropping by to check out our whale watching in Maui recap. Just one of the many highlights or our recent trip to Hawaii and San Francisco.

Lynne and I share with you our trips in the hope that we might inspire you to make travel part of your life.

Both of us believe that the concept of travel broadening the mind really is true.

For us it makes us appreciate more of what we have and contributes to our well-being.

We’re both grateful that our 80/20 minimal lifestyle has given us the opportunity to look forward to such eye opening trips.

And, we’re grateful that you’re here today to read and share our lasting memories below.

Our Trip Whale Watching In Maui

Fortunately this morning we didn’t need to get up quite as early as the previous day’s Halekala National Park sunrise trip!

Breakfast was a quick “grab and go affair”. Normally we wouldn’t book any breakfast in our accommodation preferring to sort out our own and keep to budget (I’ve a post coming on that soon).

However, breakfast was included within the hotel room price, so it would have been silly to have wasted it.

Plus I was getting really into the delicious Hawaiian coffee anyway so I was beginning to crave it each morning!

It was only a short distance to Lahaina harbour where our boat was to leave from, so we just grabbed a cab at 0730 for our 0800 departure.

Catamaran Trilogy for whale watching In Maui, Hawaii.

Our boat trip was pre-booked with Trilogy. Their catamaran had plenty of space for everyone (35 – 40 people) on board to get a good vantage point.

Some of the other whale watching vessels we saw weren’t quite as luxurious or personal as ours, carrying many more passengers. We enjoyed not being squashed together!

Not only that a bar served complimentary alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks and we were brought trays of tropical sliced fruit and a croissant sandwich too!

What a stunning day! It’s just us well us two Scottish people had put plenty of suntan lotion on (factor 30) as otherwise we’d have been burnt to a crisp. 🙂

Whale watching In Maui, Hawaii. Briefing from crew on catameran.

Onboard naturalists gave a really interesting talk as to where the humpback whales come from and why they choose to breed within the waters around Hawaii and Maui in particular.

Maui is home to some of the best whale watching in the world.

The shallow ocean channel between West and South Maui is protected by Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains, providing a wonderful naturally  sheltered area for this amazing wildlife spectacle.

ack, Wendy, Michael and Gail on the Trilogy Catamaran.

As I mentioned above, the trilogy catamaran provides a prefect personal experience and one where you can chat and make friends with other people on the trip.

Here’s Jack, Wendy, Michael and Gail with whom we exchanged email addresses and hope to see when they come to Scotland!

Golden Princess cruise ship. Maui, Hawaii.

Lahaina is a really popular destination for cruise liners and is the destination for two million people, or approximately 80% percent of all of Maui tourism per year.

This one, that we saw on our way out to the area most of the whales accumulate in is the Golden Princess which you can visit all the Hawaiian islands in luxury from.

Tail of a whale in Maui, Hawaii.

“There’s one”!

Our naturalist and boat crew make sure we don’t miss any sightings of the whales as we cruise up close (boats must not approach within 100 yards of a whale).

The boat engines were then switched off which allows the whales to approach us should they wish to do so.

If a whale comes within 100 yards of a boat, then the boat has to stay put until the whale departs.

As you can imagine we were quite happy bobbing about in the middle of the ocean waiting to see if the whales were curious enough to come and see us!

Whale breaching in Maui, Hawaii.

It’s hard to put into words just how amazing it is to see creatures you only once saw on TV nature programmes right in front of your eyes!

Creatures you only once dreamed of seeing in the wild as they tease you by disappearing into the blue only to re-surface to breath even closer to our vessel.

Mother and calf humpback whales breaching in Maui, Hawaii.

This mother and her calf swam about us for a little while and then gave us the amazing privilege of swimming directly underneath the catamaran before resurfacing.

You’ve got to be quick with your camera to record these moments.

Humpback whale mother and calf disappearing back under the ocean.

What I did miss (as did every person with a camera on board) was a whale actually breaching the surface. It actually happened.

Everyone was on the wrong side of the vessel, except Lynne and Wendy. They saw the whole experience from the minute the whale leapt out of the ocean to when it disappeared into the waters.

I, like everyone else on-board, have a split second memory of managing to swing round only just to see the whale just about to vanish.

Perhaps in the future I’ll be able to have that memory digitally recaptured as an image so that I can re-post it here. So make sure you keep checking back. 😉

Humpback whale tail disappearing under the surfce whilst whale watching in Hawaii.

“Bye bye”!

I’m pretty sure as this point this whale is saying “right you’ve seen enough of us for now”!

Humpback whale mother and her calf swimming around in Maui, Hawaii.

The mother and her calf swam around us for a little while more before disappearing.

All too soon our 2 hours were up and we were heading back to harbour with our memories and photographs.

Our day finished off with Lynne and I walking about the Lahaina shopping area. Looking through the shops and dodging the crowds of people from that cruise liner seen above before catching a bus back to our hotel.

We hope we’ve inspired you to add whale watching in Maui to your “bucket list”.

If, like us, you love seeing nature up close then checkout our trip to Uganda where we went trekking for mountain Gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Join us next time on the road to Hana where we explore a bamboo forest, get up close to stunning waterfalls and see scenery that really takes your breath away.


  1. Susie @ Suzlyfe

    I’ve been whale watching a few times (San Diego and Cabo San Lucas) and they are just the most incredible creatures, and it is one of the most incredible experiences. They are funny creatures! I love when they have conversations with each other, and you get to witness it.


      Isn’t it just a truly amazing experience Susie?

      You might see dolphins around about Scotland and sea lions and seals and creatures like that but I’ve never seen a whale here yet!

      We’re jealous that you’ve seen them a few times and we have to fly halfway around the world to see them once! 😉

  2. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    I can just imagine how awe-inspring it is! It must be an amazing real life experience to have!


      It was just amazing Rebecca. Like I said in the write up, so hard to put into writing! 🙂

  3. Shashi at Savory Spin

    Oh my goodness – what a fantastic trip – sorry you missed that breaching whale – but I so enjoyed these pictures – they are so humbling to watch. I’ve seen tons of dolphins but I’ve never seen a whale other than on a screen or photo – thanks so much for these, Neil!


      You are very welcome Shashi.

      They were indeed beautiful, mesmerising creatures to look at. Lynne and I were fortunate and privileged to be able to do that.

      Glad you liked the pictures. More coming soon!

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