Posted on: July 6, 2011

Pacific Whale Foundation Introduces New Small Group “Wild Side” Adventures

Pacific Whale Foundation, Maui's most popular ocean ecotour company, has introduced a new line of Wild Side Adventures for Maui visitors and residents who are seeking personalized small group tours to Molokini or Lana'i.

"Since 1980, Pacific Whale Foundation has earned its reputation as a top-rated ocean tour company, providing quality tours led by knowledgeable naturalists on ultra-stable, high tech catamarans," says Nikole McElroy, Chief Operating Officer for Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures. "Our new Wild Side Adventures are for those who are looking for trips that offer Pacific Whale Foundation's quality service and expertise about the marine environment, with added adventures and thrills."

 Pacific Whale Foundation's new Lana’i Wild Side Adventure departs from Lahaina Harbor and travels on a brand new raft, Ocean Freedom, a sleek rigid hull inflatable raft launched in 2011. It features the SAM (Seakindly Anti-Slamming Monohull) design perfected by Navatek for comfort of ride, speed and stability. Ocean Freedom is also also the only Maui raft equipped with handrails for your safety. 

"It's a fun and exhilarating way to travel to Lana'i," says McElroy. "This is a high tech raft, built for us by Navatek, with advanced technology for a smoother ride than ordinary rafts -- and it's one of the few rafts that has an onboard bathroom."

The raft trip includes snorkeling at two reefs off Lana'i and a dolphin watch expedition, with guaranteed dolphin sightings. If you do not see dolphins, you will receive a free ticket for Pacific Whale Foundation’s Wild Dolphin Watch Cruise.

“This is also the only raft trip includes landing on Lana’i, with guided transport to Lana’i City, where guests can enjoy a complimentary lunch, stroll through the shops and galleries of this quaint plantation town and visit the Lana’i Cultural and Heritage Center," says McElroy. "It's a terrific value for those who want it all -- snorkeling, dolphin watching and sightseeing on Lana'i."

Pacific Whale Foundation's new Molokini Wild Side Adventure takes guests on an exploration adventure to Molokini and other less populated sites along the volcanic leeward coast of Maui. Guests snorkel at Molokini, often in areas of this mid-ocean volcanic crater not frequented by ordinary snorkel tours, and at one or more reefs along Maui's coast.

"Weather permitting, we head off down past La Perouse, where you have incredible views of Maui's most recent lava flows, to visit bays where wild dolphins, manta rays and sea turtles are frequently found," says McElroy. "We offer all of our guests a class in underwater photography and information about sea turtle research."

"The trip also includes snorkeling at a location known for its many sea turtles, where guests can take part in an underwater photo safari, to obtain their own photos of these gentle and curious marine reptiles," she notes.

Pacific Whale Foundation's Molokini Wild Side Adventure departs from Ma'alaea Harbor and takes place on Ocean Explorer, a 54-foot single deck catamaran that has armchair seats arranged grandstand style on the bow, plus a shaded back deck, shower and onboard bathrooms. The ultra-stable vessel gives you a "close to the water" feeling, without sacrificing comfort and is a favorite of wildlife photographers. It is U.S. Coast Guard certified for just 49 passengers, but the tour will carry just 34 people at a time. 
 
Both tours include free use of professionally fitted, premium snorkel gear (including optical masks for eyeglass wearers) and flotation devices, with a complimentary wetsuit shirt rental. The tours also include complimentary reef-safe sunscreen, a free learn-to-snorkel class and fish i.d. class, plus a guided reef tour. Each trip also includes a tropical-style continental breakfast, refreshments throughout the trip and lunch -- a barbeque lunch on Ocean Explorer and a deli wrap picnic for those heading to Lana'i on Ocean Freedom.

Prices are $109.95 for adults, and $55 for children ages 8 to 12. These trips are not recommended for children under the age of 8, or for pregnant women or adults with back problems. Children ages 12 and under can go on this trip for $54.95. Book online to save 10%. Pacific Whale Foundation Members and Kamaaina save 20%. 
 
"We launched these tours in May and we're getting many rave reviews about them," says McElroy. "Families with teenagers and older kids especially love the thrills and adventure, and people of all ages love the personalized attention from our onboard naturalists -- by the end of the trip, our guests acquire an amazing amount of knowledge about Maui's marine environment and our ongoing marine research."

As will all Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures, the trips help to raise funds for marine research, education and conservation programs. All profits generated support the work of Pacific Whale Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting our oceans through science and advocacy.

To learn more and to make reservations online, click here or call 808-249-8811.