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Best Places for Whale Watching Near Maui, HI After the North Pacific Humpback Whale Migration
When is the best time to see whales in Maui? The official whale season in Maui runs from December 15th to May 15th, but it is possible to see whales at other times of the year. The time that whales are first seen will differ from year to year. It can be as early as September with humpback sightings but typically mid-October with sightings pretty much guaranteed by the end of November. Since whale watching starts in mid-December you can see whales off season when sailing or snorkeling.
Is There a Peak Season for Whales in Maui?
Even though there is a “peak season” for whale watching there will be different times within that season that you will see more whales and different types of whales. There is peak activity that occurs from January to the end of March. When April 1st arrives the number of sightings declines and will day to day until the end of April when sightings have ended even though it’s still whale season. However, you may still be able to see a whale up to the end of May and possibly a few into the beginning of June!
Types of Whale Sightings in Maui
When you experience whale watching in Maui you’ll never get two tours that are alike. A tour taken at the start of the season can be totally different than taking one at the end of the season. There’s no set times that you will see certain whales but for the most part the first ones you’ll see in the season are the juvenile males. Humpbacks aren’t mature until they are about seven years old so any males younger than seven won’t be mating in Maui. They will however swim to Maui to enjoy the warm, tropical waters and to learn how to mate from older males that will soon follow. When they do arrive, they don’t surface too often but you may see a spout or a fluke as they go for sounding dives. You will see a lot more activity in the peak of the season. They will be followed by the females that can be spotted a few weeks after the early-arriving males. These females are usually pregnant and about to give birth. Baby humpbacks weigh about a ton at birth. This is likely the reason it takes them longer to get there. That’s a big baby! Other female humpbacks make their way from Alaska with their young calves. The start of February will bring sightings of small, newborn calves. They are more active when they are about a month old where you will see them mimicking the breaches of mom. These breaches are less powerful and produce smaller splashes but are fun to see. They will learn how to migrate from Maui to Alaska and will learn to feed when they get there. When they return to Maui the next year they will swim off on their own. When the season starts to wind down at the end of April and into the start of May you’ll see a sea full of males that are looking for a final fling.
Whale Watching Tours & More in Honolua Bay, Lahaina, Ka’anapali Beach, Turtle Town in Olowalu, Molokai, Lanai, & West Maui, Hawaii
The migration of humpback whales ranks as one of the most impressive migrations of any animal on earth. When you visit Maui, come book a whale watching tour with Gemini Sailing Tours to spot these magnificent whales.