From December to May, humpback whales call Hawaii home. Travelling nearly 5,000 kilometres of ocean in less than two months time, these gentle giants migrate from the gulf of Alaska to Hawaii for breeding and birthing in the islands’ warm and shallow waters. Their annual migration delights both visitors and residents alike during the peak of their numbers between January and early April.
The clear, shallow waters of the Auau Channel between Lanai, Maui and Molokai offer some of the best whale watching in the world. Treat yourself to scenic ocean views as expert guides take you to the best spots to observe 40-tonne whales breaching, tail-slapping, or blowing spouts in the air. Note that regulations prohibit boats from approaching within 100 metres of a whale and you should never swim with or touch whales or any other marine mammals.
You can take a whale watching boat tour or a charter boat out of Manele Harbor. You can also choose from a variety of tour companies in Lahaina Harbor across the channel on Maui. From charter boats to passenger rafts, a stroll past the whale watching kiosks lining Lahaina Harbor reveals a variety of whale watching options. Tours last roughly 2-4 hours long and some even offer early bird specials.
You can quickly and easily take day trips to Lahaina Harbor from Manele Harbor through the Expeditions ferry service. With 5 round-trips daily you can often spot whales on your hour-long trip over the channel. For more information call (800) 695-2624, (808) 661-3756 or visit www.go-lanai.com.