The whales come from Alaska to Maui (not via Alaska Airlines!) and arrive in early December to give birth to and nurture their calf’s until they leave around March time to feed again in Alaska. It is a thrill to hop on boat and see and hear these enormous beings swimming around you.
Before you go, make sure the air is really clear. Which it usually is, but poor visibility might hamper seeing all that you might want to see. Also, small or no waves helps keep a settled stomach, not to mention one’s footing on deck while scampering from port to starboard. As big as the whales might be, a camera with a telephoto lenses helps a lot, since your boat can not get closer than 100 yards by law.
Whale watching trips are available from Lahaina, Maalea Harbor and Kihei Boat ramp. The Kihei Boat ramp is just 1,000 feet from the Mana Kai Maui.