Cruise through the National Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary in a Zodiac, a vessel that is ideal for speedy maneuvering and up-close viewing of marine creatures.
After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a scenic ride across the neck of Maui to lovely Maalaea Bay on the island's southern shore. Here, you'll board a Zodiac vessel that can navigate into areas other vessels can't, offering you a close-up view of the marine life.
You will be cruising into the National Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary. It is one of the favorite mating and birthing grounds for humpbacks because of the water's ideal temperature and depth and the scarcity of killer whales, which are the young humpbacks' most feared natural predators.
As you zip through the water, you can expect to see humpback whales putting on a spectacular show of breaching the surface, tail and fin slapping, and spy hopping, where only the whale's head pops out of the water. The males are known for their singing as part of the mating ritual. Humpback whales come to Maalaea Bay each year to breed after a month or so of migrating from their feeding grounds in Alaska, nearly 3,500 miles away.
To enhance the whale-watching experience, a naturalist will be onboard explaining the whales' behavior during this time of the year. Feel free to ask questions during the two hours or so spent on the water, after which you will return to Kahului.