Posted on: January 2, 2013

Introducing Ocean Adventurer, New Rigid Hull Inflatable Raft for Whalewatching

Pacific Whale Foundation is introducing a new vessel, a modern, 38-foot rigid-hull inflatable raft, to its fleet of whalewatch and ecotour vessels. 

The vessel, named Ocean Adventurer, will carry up to 30 guests and will operate out of Lahaina Harbor starting in early January, offering Pacific Whale Foundation's small group whalewatch tours. The whalewatch tours will be offered four times daily, including trips at sunrise and sunset. On Sundays, Ocean Adventurer will also host Pacific Whale Foundation's Whale Photo Safari cruises led by local nature photographer David Fleetham. 
 
Ocean Adventurer is Pacific Whale Foundation's second raft. It joins Ocean Freedom, another high-tech ultra-smooth raft that became part of Pacific Whale Foundation's fleet in January 2012. 
 
"While Ocean Adventurer looks like a raft, it should not be confused with an Zodiac-type rubber raft," says Greg Kaufman, Executive Director of Pacific Whale Foundation. "This modern, high-tech vessel has a channeled fiberglass hull that cuts through the waves, for a smooth and thrilling ride." 
 
Ocean Adventurer is built for passenger comfort as well as safety. Guests have a choice of forward facing seats or pontoon seats. An overhead canopy provides shade. 
 
"People who travel on Ocean Adventurer are astonished at the smoothness of the ride," says Kaufman. "You don't get the uncomfortable slamming and bounce that you find on ordinary rafts."
 
Ocean Adventurer features twin 225hp outboard motors which allow for a top speed up to 30 knots, although Pacific Whale Foundation will require that it travel at 15 knots or less during whalewatch season off Maui, as part of Pacific Whale Foundation's "Be Whale Aware" program for safe navigation in areas where whales are present. 
 
Ocean Adventurer has dive ladders, an onboard bathroom and a fresh water shower. Although Ocean Adventurer will be used for whalewatching in winter, it will be an ideal vessel for Pacific Whale Foundation's small group snorkeling tours and dolphin watch tours off Lana'i in summer. 
 
This new vessel joins the  high-tech rigid-bottom raft Ocean Freedom and Pacific Whale 
Foundation's smaller-sized vessels Ocean Liberty and Ocean Explorer, in offering small group whalewatatches and ocean adventure trips. 
 
"Pacific Whale Foundation has made the commitment to offer a full range of  whalewatch options, from our Classic Whalewatches on our ultra-smooth riding, double deck catamarans, to our Raft and Small Group Whalewatches, for those who want the thrill of sea-level viewing of whales and dolphins and a more personalized cruise experience," says Kaufman. "We are pleased to be able to offer cruises that let each guest choose their favorite style of adventure." 
 
"Our cruises aboard Ocean Adventurer will include all of the features that have made Pacific Whale Foundation the top-rated whalewatch choice on Maui, including hydrophones on board for guests to listen to whale songs, expert narration and interpretation of the whales' behaviors based on 33 years of whale research, and a team of Certified Marine Naturalists and a U.S. Coast Guard Certified captain leading each cruise," says Kaufman. 
 
"As with all of our cruises, a portion of each ticket sold will support our whale and dolphin 
research in Hawaii, and all profits will support Pacific Whale Foundation's work to protect our oceans through science and advocacy," Kaufman notes. "We are the only whalewatch on Maui that's 100% owned by a bona fide nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization." 
 
To learn more about Pacific Whale Foundation and to book a whalewatch cruise, please visit www.pacificwhale.org or call (808)-249-8811 ext. 1 between 6 am and 8 pm daily, including holidays. 
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