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Sunrise Whale Watch Tour from Lahaina in Maui, HI

Pacific Whale Foundation612 Front St.Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761
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Starting at
$33.00 $30.00
per person
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Available daily starting at 6:30 a.m., the Pacific Whale Foundation’s Sunrise Whale Watch from Lahaina offers a thrilling and scenic experience that’s considered to be Maui’s #1 choice for whale watching. Guests can enjoy two hours on a high-tech catamaran while listening to narration by certified marine naturalists, who explain in detail the social behaviors of humpback whales.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Lahaina, Maui Travel Experts
  • Learn about humpback whales from certified Marine Naturalists who lead the tour.
  • Camera and binocular rentals are available for a small fee.
  • Check-in 45 minutes prior to tour departure.
  • Tour is approximately 2 hours long.
  • Snacks and beverages are available for purchase onboard.


from Sunrise Whale Watch from Lahaina
Depart from Lahaina Harbor and enjoy the majestic sunrise/morning trip at 6:30 am daily, with a return time of 8:30 am. For the most thrilling adventure of your vacation, see the whales with the experts from the Pacific Whale Foundation! They are proud to be Maui's #1 whale watch choice.

We offer whale watch tours for your convenience at multiple times throughout the day. Informative and fun, this two-hour adventure is narrated by Pacific Whale Foundation's certified Marine Naturalists who explain and interpret the social behavior of humpback whales for you based on our 33 years of whale research. Travel on high-tech, ultra-stable power catamarans for a thrilling adventure along the scenic Maui coastline. Listen to whale songs through underwater hydrophones, watch mothers and calves interact, see males compete for females. You never know what you will see!

Soda, juice, snacks, beer and wine are available for purchase. This intriguing adventure includes a complimentary "Watching Hawaii's Humpback Whales" color guide, a whale poster for your party, and a Jr. Naturalist Program for kids. Kids under 6 go FREE (one free child per paying adult).

As an added bonus, whale sightings are guaranteed (from December 17 through April 23). If you do not see whales, you get a free ticket for a regular Pacific Whale Foundation whale watch.

Guests will need to check-in 45 minutes prior to departure and must sign a liability waiver upon check-in prior to your tour.

Reserve Hawaii Customer Reviews

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Vanessa V
Toronto, Canada
"Fantastic Time Snorkelling and Dolphin Watching"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed October 18, 2017 NEW
Thoroughly enjoyed their snorkelling and dolphin-watching excursion off Lanai'i! The Pacific Whale Foundation is a great non-profit that has very knowledgeable and experienced crew. I also appreciated that they are very environmentally friendly (e.g. the water they provide is served in cups made from corn oil that are biodegradable in 180 days). We found them to be very well-organized, providing thorough details (e.g. parking) for when you arrive in Lahaina and also found that the check-in process to the boarding process were very easy and efficient. When we arrived at their boat slip after checking in at their store (on Front St.), a crew member was talking about the excursion and interesting facts about the area and marine life. You can also load up on their specially-made SPF 50 that is very environmentally friendly - it's a cream that is safe for coral reef (who would have thought). Don't get too much though because it's VERY thick - you'll only need a little bit for your entire body (get too much and you'll look like a ghost). You'll want to have a lot of sun protection though - it's very hot on the boat and it'll be very easy to get burned. So reapply and often. Bring Gravol or anything else that helps with motion sickness. Even though my husband and I are good on the water, it can get pretty bumpy especially on the ride back after snorkelling and he didn't feel well on the way back to Lahaina. A few people were sick, heads down and with buckets just because it can be a lot. We left Wailea at around 6:30am and got to Lahaina (no traffic) around 7:15am. The tour promptly started at 8am, so getting there early to park, check-in at their store, find the right boat slip and use the washrooms was a good idea. Members of their non-profit organization get to board the boat first, so they get first dibs on the best seats (understandable). As we boarded, we had an opportunity to have our picture taken with a life ring ($20). The money goes to support the organization and their wildlife efforts so we did end up buying the picture (their joke, "Buy a picture and send a whale to college" made me laugh and that's what closed the deal for us lol). Onboard, breakfast was banana bread, half a fresh apple danish, pineapple and oranges. On our way there, they provide you with different fun facts (e.g. the founder of Oracle owns 98% of the Lanai'i island) and other interesting pieces of information about the marine life and islands. I liked how it wasn't just the same person speaking the whole time - every single one of their crew members (including the captain and co-captain) spoke, demonstrating their knowledge and personality. Once at the designated snorkelling spot, we got a maximum of an hour and a half to snorkel. You could either jump into the water, gently fall into the water off the bench at the back of the boat or take their water slide (which we did - so fun!). After an hour of snorkelling, you could start to feel the chill in the water so bring a rash guard or thermal top because it'll help. Their equipment is also good quality and they have multiple options for floatation devices (life jackets, noodles or the floating bands that you can strap around your waist). That said, you can of course bring your own. My husband also has very poor vision and you can't wear your prescription glasses with goggles, however they have excellent prescription goggles as well and my husband was able to see crystal clearly so he was quite happy with this. Once you're in the water, the crew is on surf boards surrounding the snorkelling perimeter, so help is available on the water if you have any issues with your equipment or anything else. We saw fish in a rainbow of colours and got to see a couple of sea turtles that were right under us. The coral was beautiful and it was amazing to see schools of different, brightly coloured fish. We had our waterproof pouches for our phones so that we could take underwater pictures and they worked! We got our pouches from ABC and they worked just fine (make sure they're fully zipped). I kept my pouch underwater for 95% of the time and there was not one drop of water inside afterwards. While we were still docked, we were served lunch (chicken, hot dogs), pasta and potato salad and green salad; dessert was pineapple and oranges (all buffet style). You are also able to buy alcohol on the boat. After most people were done eating, we headed back to Lahaina and on the way back is when we got to see the dolphins. It was amazing to see them swimming alongside our boat - one was even scratching it's back on the bow of the boat. The crew does stop the boat upon sightings and heads towards the dolphins and even just waits around to see if they'll pop up again. It's nice that they took the time for us to see them and take pictures - it didn't feel rushed at all. It's like they really wanted us to see and enjoy the dolphins. After that, we headed back to Lahaina and tons of people just napped in the sun on board - but that's when a lot of people got sunburned. So remember to reapply sunscreen! We got back to Lahaina at 1pm (so the whole excursion is 8am to 1pm). If you do get burned, the Pacific Whale's store sells an amazing product called Surfer’s Salve that's great for burns, chapped lips, etc. My husband's face felt instantly relieved. Great organization and excursion. They're very organized, family-friendly, knowledgeable and professional - I would go with them again.
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Black Hawk, South Dakota
"Two outings with this crew"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 10, 2017 NEW
We loved our sunset dinner cruise so much we booked an snorkeling tour for the next morning! The dinner cruise was beautiful, the food yummy, and the staff fantastic. Taylor was personable and knowledgeable. He was a great waiter and an even better snorkel guide. Captain Mark was also wonderful. After a not so great experience with the company out of the main harbor earlier in the week I was not too excited about the dinner cruise, but this staff was so much better. I would recommend skipping the main harbor tours and sticking with Lahaina's team. I didn't catch all the other worker's names but they were all great on the evening of 10/7/17 and the morning of 10/8/17
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Goliath G
"Snorkel Session. "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 08, 2017 NEW
My girlfriend and I were visiting Hawaii for the first time. One of the things we wanted to do was snorkel. I looked around for some of the best companies at a reasonable price. These guys were the one. The crew on the ship were very polite, knowledgeable about the islands and environment, and just the greatest. I highly recommend them.
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Sandy O
Colorado Springs, Colorado
"Fantastic Snorkel Adventure"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 02, 2017 NEW
Snorkeling in Hawaii is always fun and wonderful! The Pacific Whar Foundation made it even better! The staff were all passionate and seemed to genuinely care for the wildlife in the area. They ensured that we were able to visit and enjoy ourselves but also respect where we were and the animals who lived there. The fun boat ride and mai tais didn't hurt either!!!
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Chandler, Arizona
"Snorkeling in Hawai'i"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 02, 2017 NEW
Went on a snorkeling tour via Pacific Whale Foundation in Lahaina during our Maui trip. The crew were very knowledgeable and friendly. Awesome snorkeling activity off the island of Lanai. Although we forgot our waterproof action cam at home, my family and i still had a blast! Thank you for the awesome time!
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Frequently Asked Questions about Sunrise Whale Watch from Lahaina

How long is the whale watch cruise?
This whale watch experience is approximately 2 hours long.

When should I check-in?
Guests should arrive at check-in 45 minutes prior to the scheduled cruise departure. The tour departs daily at 6:30 am, please arrive accordingly.

Where do I check-in?
Please check-in at the Pacific Whale Foundation Booth, Slip #1, Lahaina Harbor.

Can I bring children?
Yes. Children ages 0-4 are free while children ages 5-12 are free per one paying adult.

What is included in the experience?
All passengers receive:

  • Underwater hydrophones to hear whale songs
  • Onboard Jr. Naturalist Program for kids
  • Reef-safe sunscreen and filtered water available onboard
  • Full-color marine wildlife poster
  • Guaranteed whale sightings or cruise again free

Do you have binoculars for passengers?
Passengers can rent cameras and binoculars for a small fee.

Are food and beverages available?
Snacks and beverages are available for purchase. Alcoholic beverages from Maui Brewing Co. are available for purchase with proof of valid ID.