FREQUENTLY ASKED WHALE WATCHING QUESTIONS
1. What happens if it is raining?
If it seems like a possibly rainy day we recommend bringing a jacket or poncho. Sometimes it is just a passing shower and we will continue to safely operate our tours. Our Captains are constantly checking weather forecasts and if any tour is deemed unsafe for any reason, it will be cancelled. As always, your safety is our number one priority.
2. Can I swim with the whales?
It is illegal to swim with whales in Maui County since we are part of the Hawaiian Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary. We, therefore, do not swim with the whales.
3. What's the best time of day to go whale watching?
All day every day! We guarantee whale sightings on all of our trips December 1 through April 1st. Whales are unpredictable and can exhibit surface behaviors during all of our tour times! Base the time that you choose to go on YOUR schedule!
4. Do you have life jackets onboard? I can't swim.
Since we will not be getting in the water during your whale watching charter, you will not need to wear a life jacket while onboard. Rest assured, we are fully equipped with all coast guard requirements, including life jackets. If it makes you feel more comfortable wearing one, please let us know and we will happily provide you with one.
5. What does getting "mugged" mean?
Being in the Hawaiian Humpback Marine Sanctuary, we can only approach a whale up to 100 yards away. Sometimes, these curious cetaceans will break that rule and approach US! There are instances when they come right up to the boat. When this happens we will put our engines in neutral and are literally being held hostage or "mugged" by that particular whale!
6. I'm nervous about being on such a small boat.
It's not as small as it seems! The best part is that we only take a maximum of 20 passengers at a time. There is no such thing as a "middle seat" on Kainalu. Our boat is also designed to cut through waves with Kainalu's deep-V hull resulting in a comfortable ride for all. Our crew and captains are trained in First-Aid, CPR, and do routine drills required by the Coast Guard so you are in the best hands when out on the water. We are also equipped with lifejackets and other life saving equipment, mandated by the Coast Guard, but have never had to use them!
7. What should I bring?
- A reusable water bottle, we have a water jug on board
- Reef-safe sunscreen
- Sunglasses (polarized if you have them)
- Snacks, if you wish
- Any drinks you would like to enjoy other than water.
BYOB ok for those over the age of 21- Please, NO glass!
- Gratuity for your hard working captain and crew
- A sense of adventure!
8. I like to whale watch several times during my week on Maui. Do you offer any sort of package deal?
If you are a returning guest, you will get 15% off your next adventure with us! Be sure to let us know upon booking.
9. Are there any age restrictions? Can I bring my baby?
There are no age restrictions and you can bring your baby. Your baby will count as a passenger and will need a ticket at the child's rate.
10. Will we get to hear the whales under water?
Most likely! We have a hydrophone on board that we will always try to drop, weather permitting. There is always a chance you may not hear the whales if they're quiet that day, but we will try our best to have you listen in on whale song.
11. What kind of shoes should I wear?
Slippers/Flip-Flops or anything that is easy to remove! We will ask you to remove your shoes upon boarding. If anyone has a medical reason to keep their shoes on, no problem :)
12. Should I wear a swimsuit? Will we be getting wet?
There is always a chance you could get some sea spray when out on the water but we will not be swimming or getting into the water during our whale-watch tours. Wear what you will be comfortable in. Most people show up in shorts and a t-shirt.
13. Where is the best place to sit on the boat?
Every seat on our boat is the best seat! We have perimeter seating so you do not have to nudge people or stand on your tippy toes for a good show! We do give boarding passes upon check in, so seats will be first come, first served. You are able to check in a maximum of 1 hour in advance.
14. Can I bring my GoPro? How about my drone?
You can definitely bring your GoPro, but we do not allow drones on our vessels.
15. How many whales will we see?
You never know! We guarantee whale sightings on all of our whale watches, if we don't see a whale you can come out again with us for free or get a full refund!
16. The news says that there is a small craft advisory, is the tour cancelled?
The small craft advisory can be for different parts of the island. It is very possible that the weather is windy in Ma'alaea and beautiful seas in Lahaina. The captain will be the one to make the decision if we will go out or not.
17. Will I get sea sick?
Everyone is different. If you are prone to sea sickness, be preventative and take an anti-nausea medicine in advance. You may also consider getting a prescription for the patch from your doctor. Other more natural remedies include pressure point wrist bands, anti-nausea glasses, ginger candy, or ginger ale. But most importantly- if you start to feel funky onboard, please let us know so we can do whatever we can to help.
18. Is there a bathroom onboard?
Yes! We recommend using the public restrooms before since these are only 2 hour tours, but in case of an emergency we do have a marine head for use!
19. Is this tour wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately, no. All participants must be able to manage a few stairs (with helping hands if needed) as well as walking the length of the dock without railings. If you would like to see some pictures of the boarding process, please text us at 808-495-1001 or send us an email. Strollers and car seats are also not permitted onboard as we have no way to secure them. You are able to leave strollers and any walking devices in our booth for the duration of your tour.
20. Can I bring my newborn?
Yes! This is a great tour for all ages and because of the design of our boat, we do not have any age restrictions. However, your newborn will need his/her own ticket to be on the boat with you. We also recommend bringing a carrier if it is something you use at home. Carriers allow for you to be hands free.