Ultimate Whale Watch is the best Maui whale watching platform for a whale watcher of any level – first-time whale watcher to pro photographer. You truly won’t believe your eyes when a 45-ton humpback whale breaches out of the beautiful Hawaiian waters. These animals are amazing and we are so fortunate they choose such a gorgeous place like Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii to migrate for the winter months to have their calves as well as a mate. Research has yet to witness a humpback whale mating or a humpback whale giving birth. We know it’s happening for sure, though because these gentle giants are making a 7% increase in their population a year.
That’s great news for the survival of the humpback whale and all the humpback whale calves to come.


If you are in Maui December – March, you absolutely must go out on a whale watch with the Ultimate Whale Watch team on an 18 person zodiac. Because you are on a small boat, there is no bad seat, and the whales will swim right up to the boat (including the babies). I was able to hang my face over the side of the boat in a snorkel mask and see a mama and her baby swim right under the boat. And a male whale popped his head out of the water two feet from the boat to take a look at us.

Mary L – Rochester, Minnesota, TripAdvisor Review

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We arrived in Lahaina via Princess Cruises, this was a tender port so getting off the ship in a timely fashion was not a simple task, Ultimate was very gracious in accommodating our scheduling issues and we were able to make the 8:00 AM tour. Even though we were a little late in the season, our guide / pilot and the Naturalist were able to find several pods of Whales. Humpbacks are truly amazing creatures and this is one trip we will never forget. (Best whale watching trip on Maui for sure! )

157FMike – Owasso, Oklahoma, TripAdvisor Review

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When a humpback whale lifts its giant fluke or tail out of the water and throws it back into the ocean it’s called a Tail Throw. This is performed many times by female humpback whales that may be attempting to attract the attention of male hump- backs interested in mating


The humpback whale floating vertically in the water and lifting its whole rostrum or head out of the water is a Spy Hop. This allows the whale to see out of the water and view their surroundings. Watching a 45 ton 45-foot humpback whale poke its head out of the water is epic.


Mugging is when a humpback whale approaches your boat closer than 100 yards on its own. Our boats are small and non-threatening, which encourages these curious, gentle giants to swim right up to our boat and check us out!


The female humpback whale will raise her giant pectoral fin or arm fin out of the water and repeatedly slap it back down on the surface of the water. This is also believed to draw in the adult male humpback whales that are in the area for possible interest in mating.

What kind of whales will I see on your trip?

Humpback Whales from Alaska. On our trips occasionally we encounter dolphins.

Why do the whales come to Hawaii?

The whales travel from Alaska to give birth and mate in a safer area for calves. The primary predator of humpback calf is orca which is uncommon in Hawaiian waters.

Where do the whales come from?

The Humpback Whales travel over 3000 miles every winter from Alaska to Hawaii to mate and give birth in the warm waters of Hawaii. The whales start their journey back to Alaska at the end of winter.

How many whales are in Hawaii during the winter?

Researchers estimate between 20,000 to 30,000 whales travel south from Alaska to Hawaii. Of those numbers, over 70% come to the calm waters between Maui, Molokai, and Lanai.

How big are the whales?

Average adult whales are 45 feet in length and weigh over 90,000 pounds. The baby whales are born at an average of 12 feet and 3000 pounds.

Will I see baby whales on your trips?

More than likely. During their stay in Hawaii there the main goal is to give birth or mate for the next year. We typically see babies every trip.

What can I expect to see the whales doing? Are the whales active?

Activity ranges from breaching, tail slapping, head lunges, fighting and even teaching their young. Humpback whales are the most surface active whales.

What time of day are the whales most active?

Whale activity is random throughout the day and surface activity in the area changes from hour to hour.

What time of day is best for whale watching?

The Wind is the primary variable to consider. The more wind the less area we can access. If the wind is moderate all day whale watching is great all day.

The Hawaiian islands have micro climates on each island. It can be windy rainy where you are and 10 minutes away it can be sunny and calm. A good weather forecast website is www.hawaiiweathertoday.com Our vessel departs out of the leeward side of the island.

Are your boats safe?

Yes, our boats are extremely safe. This style of boat is used by the Coast Guard, Navy and Police for rescue operations. Our boats also undergo strict Coast Guard safety regulations every year to ensure that all necessary safety gear is in place.

I heard that these boats are a really rough ride, are there any restrictions on

Who can go on your trip?

The waters of off Lahaina is famous for its calm water, so the boat ride is normally very calm. If the water does get rough the boats are made to handle the water very well. We do not recommend pregnant women and infants or people with recent back surgery. Kids are always welcome on the boat—kids love the boat ride.

Have the whales ever tipped your boat over?

No, the whales are known as gentle giants of the sea. We do have whales swim under the boat, and have had whales touch the boat.

How long are your trips?

We offer all different trips. Most whale watches are 2 hours long and most snorkel trips are 4 or 6 hours.

What is included on your trips?

Our trips include seeing Humpback Whales, information about the whales hearing the amazing whale songs. Ice water is also provided.

How far out do you go to find the whales?

It really depends on the day. We can find whales just outside the harbor, but we are always looking for the most active whales. On our 2-hour whale watch we could travel anywhere from 2 to 10 miles from the harbor.

Do you have a naturalist on board?

Yes, all captains and crew members are certified, marine specialists. Our boats only carry 18 guests per trip so you can actually talk face to face with our captains and crew. Our captains and crew love their job and sharing their knowledge with our guests. We offer the most informative whale watches available because of our small groups

How close can you get to the whales?

The whales are protected by federal law which says you cannot approach Humpback Whales within 100 yards. If the whales swim over to us then it is O.K., and can be exciting!

What does Guaranteed Whales mean?

All trips from DEC 1st – May 1st are guaranteed or you get to go again for FREE! When you go out with us we guarantee you will see whales as close as 100 yards.

How much are whale watching trips?

Our trips range in price from our early bird special to our sunset whale watch. We charge a little more ($10) than the other boats because we offer a more personalized trip and we cover more area so you see more whales.

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