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Whale Watching Experience of a Lifetime

NiteMaire

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We're currently staying at Ka'anapali Beach Club. I'll submit a review at the end of our stay, but wanted to post about our recent whale watching cruise.

We took the 8am tour with Maui Adventure Cruises and had the experience of a lifetime! We found a mother, calf, and escort almost immediately. After following them for a while, we headed out to search for others. We found a mother teaching her calf to breach, tail, and slap. We came here specifically for the whales; we're leaving her fully satisfied.

ETA: I agree with @rickandcindy23 . I initially had a comment about the Super Rafts, but took them out since I didn't want to make it seem like an advertisement. The two things I really liked about them: 1) they quickly get you to the action; 2) every seat is front row.

Here are some pictures and videos from the trip.

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rickandcindy23

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We just went on a Maui Adventure Cruise whale watch 8 days ago. We actually went on 3 total whale watches with our friends, all with that same company. All of the whale watch companies do pretty well, but I like the boats this particular company has, especially the benches in the back of the boat. You see more from up there, and you don't have to stand up to see things, as you do on the sides of the middle of the boat.

The captains are great. Small boats are better for me. We had three amazing trips.
 

Travel1

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We're currently staying at Ka'anapali Beach Club. I'll submit a review at the end of our stay, but wanted to post about our recent whale watching cruise.

We took the 8am tour with Maui Adventure Cruises and had the experience of a lifetime! We found a mother, calf, and escort almost immediately. After following them for a while, we headed out to search for others. We found a mother teaching her calf to breach, "tail", and "slap". I don't know the official terms so I put them in quotes. We came here specifically for the whales; we're leaving her fully satisfied.

Here are some pictures and videos from the trip.

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Great pictures! We were there in early February and saw the same thing (from the beach). Wonder if it was the same family of whales too?, they breached, tailed, and slapped like that for minutes.
 

Luanne

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We went out with Pacific Whale Foundation. We prefer the larger boats and love this company. We were on the 6:30 a.m. trip out of Maalea Harbor on Friday. We didn't have to go far to start seeing whales. Saw several breaches, including a few mom and calf breaches. Saw a few mom, calf and escort groups a well. Also saw a fairly rare behavior called a spyhopping. It is where the whale comes straight up with its head out of the water.

We are going out with them again on Thursday.
 

Synergy

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We had a truly amazing experience in January, also on one of the inflatable tour boats. One of the groups we found was a pair of adolescents, seemingly practicing their skills - mirroring each other, over and over. We didn't particularly want to move on from that pair, but the crew found us several other groups, and I can't say enough good things about the trip.

We were also excited to see dozens of turtles sunning themselves at two different beaches, just east of Paia. One was before you pass Mama's, and one was a little further. I think Taveres beach and Hookipa? We had been pretty disappointed not to see manta rays on our night tour on the big island, but Maui definitely took up the slack on the wildlife department =)
 

JIMinNC

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We also had the best whale watches we have ever had the second week in February. Did two with Pacific Whale Foundation, one with Ultimate Whale Watch in the zodiac, and a sunset cruise with Trilogy that also had some whale watching time. We saw some sort of a breach on each one, lots of pectoral slaps and tail slaps, and some spy hops. Many mother/calf pairs and mother/calf/escorts. On our Pacific Whale trip on Ocean Quest, a sub-adult breached 12-15 times very close to our boat, and we saw breaches from two different whales about three or four seconds apart. On our second Pacific Whale cruise on Ocean Spirit, a mother/calf/escort trio swam right beside and under our boat. They basically circled us for about 15 minutes, so the crew could not start engines. We were under sail at the time, so drifted much farther from Lahaina than they had planned before the whales stopped accosting us and got far enough away that we could start engines and head back.

Here are a few tail shots:

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JIMinNC

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Here are a few more shots - a couple of the sub-adult breaching, one of the whales that accosted us on the Ocean Spirit, a couple shots of the spy-hops from a couple different trips, and one of the whales showing off its pectoral flipper. I'm still slowly going through the over 4,000 pictures I came back with on my computer:

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geist1223

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I remember a few years ago we were on Mau'i in early March. We did not go on a Whale watching cruise. We did go on a Dinner Cruise. We had to keep stopping because of the number of Mamas with calves and the Aunties would keep surrounding our Boat.
 

Luanne

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We drove from Kihei to Lahaina today. Saw quite a few whales from the car window. Mostly just the blow, but a few backs. There was pair that was quite close to the shore.
 

Luanne

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Oh my gosh! We went out again today with Pacific Whale Foundation. Multiple breaches, lots of other surface activity and all close to the harbor.
 

lockewong

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We were at the Maui Ocean Club, mid-February to the 22nd and took the Maui Reef Adventures Molokini Snorkel Cruise. We had a similar experience as NiteMaire and Luanne in seeing amazing whales and activity. I was told it had been raining a lot in early February and maybe that accounted for the whales being very active this year. I love JIMinNC's photography and wish we had the equipment and skill to capture our whale watching experience. It was not a whale watch per se but trying to leave Maalaea towards Molokini was amazing. We saw three competition pods, babies that mugged the raft and the whales just would not leave and surround the perimeter of the boat. It is an amazing and awe-inspiring sight. There were breaches and slaps and flukes. Just incredible. The raft allowed us to get very close. We have been Pacific Whale Foundation members for years and always took their boats with great success. In the past few years, their raft or smaller boat whale watch has been discontinued. Since our family is physically able to handle the raft tour bumpiness it came with the advantage of being closer to the whales. I am told that by mid-March, the mamas and babies leave for Alaska and there is less activity. Enjoy their grace and beauty.
 

Ricon456

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Just got back from trip to Maui. was there for 4 glorious weeks. Went on 3 whale watches with Captain Steve out of Lahaina on one of the Zodiac type Boats. It was Awesome! Saw lots of Whales up close and far away. Love the fact that all seats are good in these smaller boats and faster to get around. Can't wait to go back and see them again.
 

TheHolleys87

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This thread is making me rethink our plans for Kauai in April 2022. Maybe we should go back to Maui in January or February! Our single Maui whale watching adventure was on Christmas Day years ago, and we saw very little whale activity. Then in 2014 we visited Alaska and were excited to witness bubble net feeding - literal explosions of whales! So maybe we need to try for mamas and babies next - so much to think about!

Which Maui RCI exchanges should we try for in an OGS started soon, so almost 2 years in advance?
 

rickandcindy23

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This thread is making me rethink our plans for Kauai in April 2022. Maybe we should go back to Maui in January or February! Our single Maui whale watching adventure was on Christmas Day years ago, and we saw very little whale activity. Then in 2014 we visited Alaska and were excited to witness bubble net feeding - literal explosions of whales! So maybe we need to try for mamas and babies next - so much to think about!

Which Maui RCI exchanges should we try for in an OGS started soon, so almost 2 years in advance?
RCI has very few Maui exchanges. Most of the inventory is in RCI Points and has to be grabbed at exactly 10 months out. It's a crap shoot. I am trying for 2021 in a few weeks. I hope to get a few weeks to add to our two weeks we already have.
 

TheHolleys87

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RCI has very few Maui exchanges. Most of the inventory is in RCI Points and has to be grabbed at exactly 10 months out. It's a crap shoot. I am trying for 2021 in a few weeks. I hope to get a few weeks to add to our two weeks we already have.
Thanks. Is II availability any better?
 
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