Whale Watching Holiday to Hawaii

Tour Title: The Humpback Whales of Maui and Molaka’i

Tour Destination: Hawaiian Islands – USA

Tour Dates: February 24th to 3rd March 2017

Tour Guide: Nic Slocum PhD FRGS

In the shadow of the dormant volcano Haleakalá, the channels between the islands of Maui and Molaka’i in the Hawaiian archipelago are one of the finest Humpback whale mother breaching beside her calfdestinations in the world for boat based humpback whale viewing. Staying on the island of Maui, Whales Worldwide have designed a week long tour with five separate boat based tours to get stunning views and photographs of one of the world’s most charismatic cetaceans, the humpback whale. For whale watching  enthusiasts who have the iconic humpback on their “to see” list, these daily boat based expeditions are ideal and afford one of the finest whale watching opportunities in the world. This is a fully guided, small group whale watching expedition led by marine zoologist Nic Slocum.

The seas between the islands Maui, Molaka’i, Lana’i and Kaho’olawe are protected and warm making them ideal birthing grounds for expectant humpback mothers who migrate here to give birth and nurse their young. Following the time spent in Hawaii they make the arduous migration back to their feeding grounds off Alaska during the spring and early summer. Nearly 1,500 humpback whales make Maui and the channels between the Hawaiian Islands their winter destination enabling the observation of the full repertoire of humpback behaviours. From quiet, languid mother calf pairs to the more spectacular breaching behaviour of the competitive male groups for which the humpback has become so well known. We can get stunning views of head slapping, tail lobbing and pectoral fin slapping behaviour common to this species. The animals do not feed during their sojourn around the Hawaiian Islands and nursing mothers can lose up to 25% of their bodyweight during this time.

Other Wildlife and Maui…

Humpback chin slappingSteeped in myth, Maui is one of the prettiest of the Hawaiian Islands and the second largest at just over 727 square miles and the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui is the visible part of the rim of a flooded volcanic caldera. Bathed in Pacific sunshine the seas are protected from strong trade winds making it one of the most important calving and breeding grounds for the Northeast Pacific humpback whale population. Unique tropical forests are home to many bird varieties but a highlight to any Maui tour is sightings of the Hawaiian green turtle.

Male humpback whale peduncle (tail stock) slapping a rival maleTalk to us directly…

For first-hand information on this tour please call Whales Worldwide on +353 86 120 0027. Alternatively email us at nic@whalesworldwide.com and we will be happy to call you at your convenience and take you through the holiday itinerary in detail.

Telephone : + 353 86 120 0027

Email: nic@whalesworldwide.com

Web: www.whalesworldwide.com

Your expert guide…

Nic Slocum

Nic Slocum PhD, FRGS

Nic Slocum has been watching whales from boats for 30 years, from humpbacks and fin whales in Ireland to southern right whales in Patagonia and Pacific gray whales in Mexico. He has been instrumental in putting together one of the most comprehensive codes of conduct for boat based human – whale interactions right down to the species level and is an established authority on the threats currently faced by this unique group of marine mammals.

Nic is an experienced naturalist and wildlife guide and is best known for his escorted tours taking enthusiasts out, both in Ireland and overseas, to view and photograph whales and dolphins. Nic has maintained a lifelong passion for the conservation of our wildlife and wild places and has appeared as an expert commentator on RTE, Channel 4 and ITV and is regularly called on to comment on national radio.

A zoologist by training, Nic has published articles on conservation related issues in both regional and national newspapers. Nic Slocum divides his time between West Cork, Ireland and other iconic whale watching destinations around the world. In addition to running Whales Worldwide he is the director of Whale Watch West Cork which runs boat based tours to watch and photograph whales and dolphins off the coast of southwest Ireland.

Nic is no stranger to adventure and leading groups to remote places on earth. In 1976 he led an expedition across the Sahara Desert to Central Africa and back which earned him Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society. Nic’s hard work ethic, and detailed knowledge of the species and the locations where they are found ensures his customers have a whale watching experience second to none.

NB. All images courtesy of Colin Beall. Colin shot this lovely series of images during the 2014 Humpbacks of Maui and Moloka’i tour and has generously allowed us to share them with you on this website.

Dates & Prices

The dates for the The Humpback Whales of Maui and Molaka'i tour are February 24th to 3rd March 2017

The price for this ‘experience of a lifetime’ is:

€2,795 per person

(Please note this holiday is priced in Euros)

The Humpback Whales of Maui and Moloka'i wildlife adventure starts and finishes in Los Angeles, USA.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1. The adventure begins. We fly from Los Angeles to Maui arriving mid afternoon. We will pick up our ground transportation at the airport and transfer to our hotel. We meet in the evening for Mai Tai's and to talk through the coming weeks activities and some of the additional optional activities that are available on Maui.

Day 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6. We head out on our boat into the Lahaina Channel towards the islands of Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokai looking for our first sightings of humpbacks and their calves. We look for the competitive male groups and the breathtaking breaching activity between the islands can be spectacular. The afternoons are free time to take part in any of the optional activities that are available on Maui or simply sit in the sun on the beach and dream about amazing humpback encounters!

Boat Based Tours: Our boat based tours all depart at 8am and return around 12 noon. Morning is the best time for whale watching in Maui. There are toilet facilities on board our boat and drinks are supplied throughout the tour.

Optional Activities: There are many optional activities that you can take part in on Maui from zip lining over banana groves to snorkelling among the coral reefs looking for Hawaiian green turtles whilst marvelling at the variety of Pacific fish that abound in these waters. There is also the opportunity to take a road trip up the dormant volcano of Haleakala to it's 10,000 ft summit which is frequently above the cloud line. The slopes of Haleakala are home to the rare Hawaiian goose or NeNe which became the emblem of Slimbridge Wildlife Trust when it was set up by Peter Scott all those years ago. We will review some of these optional activities for you on arrival in Maui during our first evening get together.

Day 7. We depart this beautiful Hawaiian Island for our return flight back to Los Angeles. Many customers decide to stay on for a few more days and soak up the tranquillity of Maui before returning home. Others opt for a few days in Los Angeles to enjoy the sights and sounds of this iconic American city.


For our whale watching operations we base ourselves in the Lahaina Shores Hotel situated in a quiet secluded part of  the  bustling and pretty town of Lahaina on the north western part of the island. The Lahaina Shores Hotel is close to a selection of excellent bars and restaurants. The whales off this part of Maui give the greatest diversity of behaviour and the Moloka'i Channel off Lahaina is the most sheltered part of the coastline. February is the optimum time for humpback viewing off this part of Maui. Using some of the most experienced boat captains and crew on Maui our tours take place on large hard hull inflatables operating from the south shore giving us a range of opportunities and 20 hours on the water to experience the full repertoire of adult humpbacks behaviours. These fast and very stable craft are specially designed for whale watching off the Hawaiian Islands making intimate and lasting whale encounters achievable and an amazing opportunity for the keen photographers among us.

Tour Add Ons

Trip Notes

What IS included:

  • Return flights from Los Angeles to Maui
  • Six nights hotel accommodation on Maui
  • All ground transportation on Maui
  • All whale watching tours on Maui

What is NOT included:

  • Return flights to Los Angeles International Airport where the tour starts.
  • We don't include any hotel accommodation on arrival in Los Angeles but can suggest reasonable hotels close to the airport.
  • We don't include any meals as we find most customers want the flexibility of doing "their own thing". Groups frequently get together in the evenings to socialise.
  • Personal items purchased while on holiday such as alcoholic drinks, souvenirs and presents.
  • Any transfers, tours, vehicle hire or optional activities you require outside the published itinerary. We can help with the arrangement of anything you might like to do and can negotiate favourable rates.