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

Close encounters with Maui’s humpback whales are possible thanks to Ultimate’s power rafts.

Save 10% with promo code HVG

Ultimate Whale Watching Tours Maui Underwater Whale

Whale Tour Summary

Save 10% with Promo Code HVG

Whale encounters are 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. Whale tours are available from December through April only.

Whale Tour Highlights

Reasons to Go Whale Watching With Ultimate

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!

Discount Tours Available

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.


Onboard Naturalist

Marine naturalist onboard and a hydrophone so you can listen to whale songs



Choose the Tour For You

Book a regular tour with 26 guests or less or the VIP Tour with 12 guests or less. Tours availabe almost every hour.

Departs from West Maui

Departure location is Lahaina Harbor (click for directions), just south of Ka’anapali in West Maui

Snorkel + Whale Watch

Head to the island of Lanai to see whales, snorkel, and a 90 percent chance of seeing spinner dolphins, learn more here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get the Details on Whale Watching

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 Uber or Lyft may be your best option!

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. Ultimate Whale Watching provides 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!


A Local Company

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.

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!