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Like the most devoted repeat visitors, humpback whales are returning to Hawaii by the thousands. Toward the end of each year, the mighty mammals migrate from Alaska to mate and breed in the warm waters of the Aloha State. In the next few months, clients can take advantage of several ways to see these spellbinding creatures.
Maui’s Pacific Whale FoundationOn Nov. 11, Maui’s Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) kicks things off with its Welcome Home the Whales cruise. A Hawaiian blessing at sea is followed by onboard hula, fascinating narration and a junior naturalist program. Throughout the winter, PWF presents whale-watching tours from the Lahaina and Maalaea harbors. Its February 2018 Maui Whale Festival promises crowd-pleasers such as a fun run, a whale film festival and concert cruises.
Hawaii Ocean SportsOn Hawaii Island, Hawaii Ocean Sports operates ongoing whale-watching cruises from Dec. 1 to April 15. Two different morning itineraries take passengers to see whales in their prime calving and mating grounds along the Kohala Coast. Marine life pros interpret humpback behaviors and help guests hear their haunting songs through hydrophones.
Atlantis Cruises Atlantis Cruises’ whale-watching tours out of Honolulu get underway on Dec. 17. Daily trips take place onboard the 150-foot, yacht-like Majestic, which has high-tech stabilizers for a smooth ride. Guests enjoy panoramic views from two air-conditioned decks or the open-air top deck as experts share humpback insights. If clients don’t spot whales, they’ll receive free admission on another trip.