Capt. Charlie's Humpbacks


Captain Charlie's Maui Whale Watching

December 15th to April 15th

Maui is one of the best known whale watching and whale research areas in the world. It's hard to describe what one feels when a 40-foot, 40-ton humpback breaches 100 yards in front of you. Let's just say you need to see it for yourself.

No, you don't have to go on a boat to see whales if you are here during the right time of the year. It is common to see people standing on a hillside overlooking the ocean and watching the signs of distant whale activity through binoculars.

You can often SEE whales from shore ... but you can't EXPERIENCE them from that distance. There is a tremendous difference between watching a whale splashing in the water two miles away and experiencing the thrill of looking over the edge of the boat and having one of these gentle giants swim directly underneath you. If you are here during peak season, do yourself a favor and go on a Maui whale watch.

The Humpback Whales begin to arrive in November, and most of them have arrived by the beginning of January. Whale Searches usually begin sometime around Thanksgiving ... sightings that early in the season may not be guaranteed. That changes in December. During the peak season all the whale watch tour boats guarantee that you will see whales. If you are here in February you won't have to worry about getting skunked ... it will be whale soup out there! They love the warm, shallow waters between Maui, Kahoolawe, Molokai, and Lanai. 

History and General Information on the Humpback Whale
No one knows exactly when Humpback whales first began wintering in the warm, shallow waters around Maui. Reports from whalers document the appearance of these majestic giants in Maui in the 1840's, but little evidence substantiates an earlier presence.

But arrive they did, and today the waters around the Hawaiian Islands of Kauai, Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Molokini, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe constitute one of the world’s most important habitats for the endangered North Pacific Humpback Whale and offers some of the best whale watching in the world. Maui is the best place to see humpback whales in their natural breeding area. Every year from mid-December through mid-May the humpback whales make their home in the waters surrounding Maui.  The whales migrate close to 3,500 miles from their Alaskan summer feeding waters, to the warm waters of Hawaii where they mate and have their calves. Hawaii is the only place in the U.S. where Humpbacks breed, calve, and nurse their young.


Most North Pacific humpback whales begin their annual migrations from the Gulf of Alaska in early fall.

What results is an exodus to three primary locations in the southern latitudes of the North Pacific. One group will travel to the coast of Baja in Mexico. Another will migrate to a group of islands south east of Japan. But the largest population (over 60%) will find themselves in the Hawaiian Islands, a distance of nearly 3500 miles from their feeding grounds in Alaska. This migration takes the humpback approximately 4 to 8 weeks to complete.

The majority of the humpbacks that travel to Hawaii end up in the waters off Maui.  It is a "trickle migration with the juveniles usually arriving first, followed by the adult males, adult females, then the pregnant females.

Our boats carefully navigate amongst them providing unrivaled whale watching opportunities. While you can take a whale watch tour elsewhere, it's not likely that it will surpass a whale watching tour here on Maui, Hawaii. The proximity of Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokai create a shelter unique in all the world for these gentle giants to breed and give birth.

Experience the thrill of whale watching in Maui on one of our 2-hour whale watch cruises. This educational and informative adventure is great fun for the entire family and offers spectacular sightseeing and photo opportunities.  We GUARANTEE whale sightings on every cruise. 

Fast Boat, No Crowds and always only your private party group of up to 6 people. Your Captain serves as your narrator, guide and naturalist!

About Humpback Whales

In order to fully appreciate Hawaii whale watching, it helps to have some basic knowledge about humpback whales. Whales are air-breathing mammals. As they surface they exhale strongly which shows as a powerful "spout". When they dive down, showing us their massive flukes as they glide beneath the water, they leave behind a disturbance in the water called a "foot print". Of course the most spectacular sight is a breaching humpback, where the whale propels its massive body out of the water, rotates sideways in the air and hits the surface in an explosion of water. Fighting males put on a great show to impress the females and to intimidate their opponents. They head butt and charge each other, leap, splash and posture in a wild display of mating behaviors.

You will never forget your time spent with these majestic humpback whales of Hawaii.

The sunset hours are a magical time to be out on the water. The winds calm, the sun turns golden and paints the sky in a palette of hues and colors that seem almost unreal. There is no way you cannot be taken by it. The clean ocean air, vast sky and unbelievable sunset colors surrounding you will get you connected with nature and give you a feeling of relaxation and happiness most people don't get to experience anymore.

After many years in the touring business we have found that a private charter is truly the best way to experience this unique, once in a lifetime whale watch. So leave the crowds behind, join us with your small group of friends and family and let our many years of experience and Maui's gentle giants enthrall you!

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