Maui Whale Watching - America II

We may look like normal people, but for a morning we were racing royalty on the America II Maui sailing on the America II? How could average people like us be invited to sail on a ten million dollar America's Cup contender during our Maui vacation?

That's what happened to us on the America II Maui sailing yacht.

Okay, maybe everyone is invited, and maybe anyone that pays can go.

But we were still thrilled to sit on the same deck and sail in the same racing hull that had participated in the America's Cup in Freemantle Australia in 1987.

When the humpback whales are in Maui, December to May, the America II schedules a whale watching trip (usually a 2 hour morning trip).

Whale Watching from the America II

We were on the two hour Morning Whale Watch, so we slowed down from sailing to watch humpbacks. Because the yacht is relatively small and low to the water (compared to some of the large whale watching boats), we had a unique, close up perspective of the whales.

A humpback whale approached our boat, then dove and swam under it as we watched. And they may have had the same unique perspective of us. A humpback whale approached our boat, then dove and swam under it as we watched.

We had this happen on another trip, also when we were in a smaller boat which calls their cruise the Ultimate Whale Watch.

Our picture doesn't do justice to the thrill and excitement we had watching a whale the size of a school bus glide just a few feet under us.


Another whale swam right by us with its pectoral fin high out of the water. Another whale swam right by us with its pectoral fin high out of the water - the tip of the fin was higher than our heads as we sat on the boat deck.

This was definitely 'up close and personal' compared to larger and noisier boats.

At one point an active group (pod) of whales swam by us.

In the picture below, one whale is breaching (rising out of the water), while another whale is exhaling air through the blowhole on the top of its head, while another whale is about to dive.

Lots of action! One whale breached, while one exhaled, while one swam.


America II Maui Whale Watching Videos

You can view a video of our America II morning whale watch by clicking on the PLAY button in the image below. The captain would just stop sailing and we would sit silently in the ocean observing the whales as they swam by us.

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Maui Whale Watching Overview

FREE Maui Whale Watching from Beaches and Observation Areas

 • Operating several large motorized boats, Pacific Whale Foundation is the largest operator on Maui.

 • Small operators such as the Ultimate Whale Watch provide you with high speed and close encounters.

Combo tours combine activities such as snorkeling, sailing, and dolphins with whale watching.

 • Watch whales while sailing on the racing yachts America II or Scotch Mist.

 • Watch whales before and after snorkeling on the Gemini or Kapalua Kai catamarans.


My Maui Whale Watching Videos offer a quick way for you to hear and see the differences between watching whales from beaches and boats.

Learning about humpback whales at the Maui Ocean Center

Visit the Maui Ocean Center or the Whalers Village Museum to learn about Maui's humpback whales.