Maui’s Best Whale Watching Tour (in our humble opinion)

Whale watching is best done on a power raft as they can get to the whales and experience a close encounter.

Summary: Whale encounters guaranteed! We have done all types of whale watching – Kayaking, big boat, little boat, sailboat – and our favorite is power raft. The team from Ultimate will get you up close and personal with the amazing humpback whales that visit Maui every winter. Plus! Save 10% on your tickets with promo code “HVG” at checkout. Available from December through April only.

10% Off with Promo Code “HVG” at Checkout

Ultimate Whale Watching Tour Highlights

  • Duration: 2-hours
  • Discount tours are available: 1.5-hr Early-Bird and 2-hr Afternoon tours are almost half off!
  • Guaranteed Sightings! If you don’t see whales during your trip, they will rebook you for free
  • Voyage out on a power raft for a thrilling ride to see whales. A raft provides the best chance of a close encounter
  • Marine naturalist onboard and a hydrophone so you can listen to whale songs
  • Book a regular tour with 26 guests or less or the VIP Tour with 12 guests or less
  • Snorkel + Whale Watching Tour is available
  • Departure Location: Lahaina Harbor (click for directions), just south of Ka’anapali in West Maui
  • Ages 3+
  • Use our promo code “HVG” to receive 10% off your booking

You can book now for seats in December. The whale watching season is December through April. The highest density of whales in the channel occurs around February.

Lahaina Whale Watching Tour Details with Ultimate Whale Watch

Erica and I love going out rafting when whale watching. Henry, our son, enjoys the fast and comfortable raft ride while we enjoy the increased probability of seeing whales with a raft. Add on to that, close encounters are possible as whales enjoy checking out the rafts.

Ultimate Whale Watch has been rated #1 best whale watch tour on Maui for any level of whale watchers. Their fast and safe rafting vessels are low to the water and perfect for close whale watching encounters and small groups making every seat a front-row seat! Every ticket supports active marine research and the whale entanglement response team!

Check out our 7 Tips for Maui Whale Watching Video for more information on the whale watching experience.


FAQs for Ultimate Whale Watching Tours

Please note the cancellation policy and age limit changes based on the tour so see their website for details. The classic whale watching tours have a 24-hour cancellation policy and are for kids 3 and older.

This trip does not permit participation for guests with back injuries, neck injuries, or pregnant ladies.

What does the marine naturalist do onboard?

Ultimate Whale Watch has a wonderful team of marine naturalists. Their marine naturalist guides will be onboard sharing whale educational info and all vessels are equipped with a hydrophone onboard for listening to whale songs!

Can I bring a good camera?

Absolutely! Bring a GoPro or another suitable water camera with a selfie stick to get underwater shots. You can also bring your fancy camera but there may be light spray so make sure you can keep it dry.

Is the whale viewing better in the morning or the afternoon?

The whales are not on a sleep cycle like us or behavior cycles. There is no statistical evidence that viewing them is better per time of day. Erica and I prefer the morning and sunset tours as it is cooler out on the water.

Do you provide transport from my hotel or condo?

While staying on the island, you will probably find it cheaper and more convenient to rent a car. Otherwise, there are a number of taxi companies that can assist you. If you are coming from Ka’anapali Resorts then there is a free shuttle or hop in a taxi or Uber. Parking can be challenging in Lahaina so an Uber or Lyft maybe your best option!

What’s the best time and weather for whale watching?

Whales are active 24 hours a day and the weather does not impact their activity so you can book a tour any time, on any day!

What do I bring on the whale watching trip?

Bring a hat, sunglasses and a camera! There is dry storage onboard for backpacks and purses. We provide purified water with paper cups and complimentary reef-safe sunscreen on all tours.

Will I get seasick?

These small, fast-moving boats have a tendency to cause less seasickness than other types of boats. However, as a precaution, motion sickness medicine should be taken the night before the tour to solve all worries.

Are the boats covered?

Yes, there is a shade canopy on all the rafts. You can choose to sit in the shade on benches or on the raft edges at the front!

About Ultimate Whale Watch and Snorkel

We have never been disappointed with a whale watching or snorkel tour from the Ultimate Whale Watch and Snorkel Team. Henry loves going out on their rafts during whale season. They have seasoned captains, volunteer their time and money to rescue whales in Maui’s waters, and have the best naturalists on board. Here is what they have to say about their team and mission.

We aren’t your average whale watch adventurers.

Leave the crowds behind… Join a small personal group aboard the quickest vessels in Lahaina Harbor. Our quick and safe vessels allow us to reach remote areas with more wildlife and more time to enjoy what Hawaii has to offer. So climb aboard and enjoy nature’s splendor up close and personal. Our vessels are available for private charters of small groups of family and friends!

Your ticket supports research

We donate our vessels, time, and resources to researchers that are working to better understand Maui’s marine environment and in turn protect and advocate for it. Check out our blog to learn more about our ongoing research projects and how to support them.

Book online directly with Ultimate Whale Watch and Snorkel by using this link.

We are affiliate partners with Ultimate Whale Watch and Snorkel which means we receive a small commission for each completed booking made through this site. This is done without any additional cost to you. You can read more about our affiliate policies here. Know that we only recommend tour operators that we know and trust. Your positive experience and your trust in us mean more than any affiliate commission. By booking tours through our website you help us to provide free information and videos to help you and other readers plan their perfect Hawaii vacation. Thank you so much for your support — you are amazing!

10% Off with Promo Code “HVG” at Checkout