- About PWF
- Research History
- Current Studies
- Australia Research
- Abundance, Survival, Recruitment and Realized Growth Rates
- Calving Rates and Intervals of East Australian Female Humpback Whales
- Connectivity and Interchange Between Humpback Whale Aggregation Areas along East Australia
- Dynamics of extralimital feedingby humpback whales off Eden, NSW
- PWF’s Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whale Catalogue
- Rate of Interchange Between East Australia and West Australia Humpback Whales
- Ecuador Research
- Interaction of Small Cetaceans with Artisanal Fisheries in Machalilla National Park
- Population, Distribution and Abundance of Humpback Whales and other Cetaceans in Machalilla National Park
- Photo-identification of dolphins in the Cojimies River Estuary
- Migratory Interchange of Humpback Whales between Peru and Ecuador
- Hawaii Research
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Small Group Cruises
See What's Available
Click on a date to highlight available cruises.
Whalewatch Lahaina Raft
Experience the combined thrill of whalewatching and ocean rafting, on a brand new ecotour offered by Pacific Whale Foundation. Cruise from Lahaina Harbor on Pacific Whale Foundation's high-tech raft for exciting water-level encounters with Maui's humpback whales. You'll cruise on a sleek rigid hull inflatable raft with a unique anti-slamming design for a smoother ride than ordinary rafts.
Each trip includes expert interpretation of the whales' fascinating behaviors by Pacific Whale Foundation's certified marine naturalists. Sightings are guaranteed, or you get a free ticket for a regular Pacific Whale Foundation whalewatch.
Our 2-hour ocean rafting whalewatch cruises depart 4 times daily. First trip is 6:45 am.
Your ticket includes filtered water plus free whalewatch guide and whale poster. (Helpful hint: wear a swimsuit or quick drying clothing; getting wet is half the fun!) We provide complimentary use of dry bags for your valuables during your cruise.
Children must be 6 and over. Not recommended for pregnant women or individuals with neck or back concerns.
Molokini Wild Side
Pacific Whale Foundation has been offering quality ocean eco-adventures to Molokini for more than 30 years. We are pleased to offer a new small group Molokini eco-adventure that travels off the beaten path. It includes an opportunity to visit one or more reefs where sea turtles are plentiful and learn about these fascinating marine reptiles. There's no trip like it on Maui.
As with all of our Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures, this new trip is led by our team of knowledgeable Certified Marine Naturalists and a professional U.S. Coast Guard certified captain. It's based on our decades of marine research, including an extensive study of Molokini's fish, corals and wildlife.
We depart in the morning from Ma'alaea Harbor and head for Molokini. After snorkeling this remarkable mid-ocean reef, we'll cruise around Molokini's rugged red rock back wall. Birdwatchers be ready: we often sight seabirds such as Wedge-tailed shearwaters and Great frigatebirds that roost here!
And then we'll set off to explore, stopping to view wildlife at sea turtle and dolphin habitats. We'll also choose a reef that offers the clearest and calmest conditions for our second snorkel site. Explore on your own or take part in a guided reef tour led by our knowledgeable naturalist.
Our Molokini Wild Side Eco-Adventure is offered on our 54-foot single deck catamaran, Ocean Explorer. With comfortable armchair seats arranged grandstand style on the bow, plus a shaded back deck, shower and onboard bathrooms, Ocean Explorer combines comfort with the thrill of being closer to the water and ocean wildlife. It's U.S. Coast Guard certified for just 49 passengers, but we'll carry just 40 people, so there's plenty of room for everyone.
* Expert narration by our Certified Marine Naturalists
* Opportunity to learn about sea turtle research
* Snorkeling at Molokini and a second site
* Professionally fitted, premium snorkel gear (including optical masks for eyeglass wearers)
* Flotation devices
* Wetsuit tops available for rental
* Free learn-to-snorkel class
* Free fish i.d. class
* Free guided reef tour
* Free Jr. Naturalist program.
* Tropical-style continental breakfast (coffee, juices, fruits and pastries)
* Barbeque lunch: chicken tenders (marinated in teriyaki sauce), hot dogs, veggie burgers, marinated Kula cucumber salad, pasta salad, Kaiser rolls
* Homemade double chocolate chip cookies (made with organic flour)
* Refreshments: sodas, tropical juices and filtered water. (After snorkeling, adults age 21 and over with valid picture i.d. may enjoy one complimentary alcoholic beverage, including local micro-brew beer or wine or Mai Tai. Refills available for sale at a reasonable price.)
* Free marine wildlife poster.
* Free downloadable Hawaii Wildlife Guides:
- Hawaii's Coral Reefs
- Hawaiian Monk Seals
- Hawaii's Sea Turtles
- Hawaii's Humpback Whales
- Hawaii's Wild Dolphins
* Affordable rentals of underwater cameras and binoculars
* Rental of wetsuit tops
* Love the snorkel gear? You can arrange to rent it for the
week for a small additional fee.
Duration: Approximately 6 hours
Check-in: 45 minutes prior to departure at Pacific Whale Foundation's Ocean Store at Ma'alaea Harbor Shops (next to Maui Ocean Center)
For ages 8 and over only. This eco-adventure is not recommended for pregnant women or individuals with back problems.
Destinations subject to change due to sea or weather conditions.
As reviewed on Trip Advisor:
“Molikini wildside tour”
“Molikini wildside tour”
Reviewed April 21, 2013
"Awesome tour with PWF, I've been on two previous, whale watch/Molikini trips with PWF but this far outdid the others, smaller boat (34 people) frankly I was hesitant to do Molikini again because most tours are the cattle boat 100 + people all splashing around like lunitics, but this tour took us to a turtle cleaning station first which was awesome, tons of turtles. On the way we watched bottle-nosed dolphins which were a rare sighting and a few whales but for April most had left for Alaska, at Molikini the visiblity was 100 ft + and all the boats that were there earlier had already left so we pretty much had it all to ourselves. My wife saw a small octopus and I saw a small (3 ft.) white tip shark which was beyond cool, at first I was hesitant to tell our tour thinking someone might freak out, but what the heck , suck it up its just a beautiful little shark, so i told them it was right below them, no one freaked and they'll probably never forget seeing a shark in the wild. Staff was very friendly and pro, highly recomend this tour if you don't want to be packed in like sardines."