Maui Whale Watching - Ultimate Whale Watch

The Ultimate Whale Watch, one of several whale watching tours out of Lahaina Harbor, provided two hours of pure adrenaline fueled fun. I selected the 7am time slot - the price is discounted at that early hour, so I spent less for a morning activity than I would have spent for us to go out to one of those expensive Maui breakfasts. We wake up early anyway during our first few days on Maui because of the time difference between the mainlaind and Hawaii.

Ultimate Whale Watch - Lahaina Harbor

Our Maui whale watch cruise on a FAST powered raft.The Ultimate Whale Watch specializes in photographic, non-threatening close encounters with whales and has hosted film crews from National Geographic and BBC Wildlife.

The 28 foot raft is powered by two large outboard engines, and it is faster and more maneuverable than the catamarans, racing yachts, and larger whale watching boats on Maui.

Look at my daughter's faces as they hang on to the side of the raft - this is a fun trip.

We even spotted a Hawaiian monk seal - a rare sighting of this endangered species on inhabited parts of Hawaii - swimming among the rocky ocean break as we motored out of Lahaina Harbor.

The girls had a great time just hanging on to the side as we cruised along at 35 miles per hour - this was definitely an example of 'half the fun is just getting there'.

Listing to humpback whale songs from a raftWe went from one extreme to another - jetting quickly to another location, then sitting quietly in the water waiting for whales.

The captain dropped a microphone into the water, and we listened in on a symphony of whale grunts, groans, and squeals.

Sitting low on the ocean, dragging our feet in the water, and quietly listening to the whale music was peaceful and relaxing.

Then the action started again as a mother and baby whale both breached (jumped out of the water) one after the another.

The humpback whale calf did more of a baby breach but was obviously trying to jump just like its mother.

A humpback whale swims by close to the girls on our Maui whale watching cruise.But later, a whale approached us, then circled away and back and submerged just as it got to our boat, then went below us, just a few feet below the bottom of the boat.

We experienced the illogical? fear that the giant adult whale would surface and overturn our relatively small raft.

We were sitting so low to the ocean in the raft that the whales look bigger and closer.

A humpback whale turns over and raises its pectoral fins out of the water of the island of Maui.At another stop, a large whale turned completely over and waved its pectoral fin above the water.

The fin looked like a giant wing.

Then the fin slapped down on the water and made a load snapping sound. Our guide explained that no one knows the purpose of the fin slap.

Ultimate Whale Watch Video

My Ultimate Whale Watch video includes a breaching humpback whale, whale songs and sounds, and diving whales.

Click on the PLAY button in the image below to view the video.



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Randy Willis on Maui

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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.