If whale watching on Maui is on your Hawai’i vacation to-do list, you might want to make sure that you are visiting during whale season before booking that trip.
The humpback whales migrate to warm Hawaiian waters every year from Alaska to breed, give birth, and nurse their young. According to scientists at NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, there are an estimated 12,000 whales traveling to Hawai’i each year.
Humpback whale season runs from November through May with the possibility of encountering whales in smaller numbers during other months. For peak humpback whale watching season, where land sightings are guaranteed, January through March are generally considered the best months.
Humpback whale sightings are possible from any of the Hawaiian Islands but the best whale watching experience can be found on the island of Maui.
The humpback whales make their way from Alaska and majority of them go through the warm shallow waters of the ʻAuʻau Channel. The ʻAuʻau Channel is one of the most protected areas of ocean in Hawai’i; the channel is between the islands of Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi.
So, if you end up choosing to have your whale watching activity on Maui, make sure to head to the leeward or west side of Maui for an incredible view of humpback whales off shore.