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Maalaea Harbor

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Maalaea Harbor: Our most recommended tours and activities

Maui: Eco-Friendly Molokini and Turtle Town Tour with Lunch

1. Maui: Eco-Friendly Molokini and Turtle Town Tour with Lunch

Discover the underwater worlds of Molokini crater and Turtle Arches on this cruise from Maui. Get instruction on how to snorkel before exploring the reef. Learn about this biodiverse environment from professional naturalists. Eat a delicious breakfast before starting your trip. Enjoy a continental breakfast including pastries, fruit, and coffee before sailing out to Molokini. Molokini, Maui’s iconic crescent-shaped islet, is a beautiful reef known for its crystal clear waters, abundant coral, colorful fish, and resting seabirds. A protected marine conservation area, this volcanic crater is only accessible by boat with a certified tour operator and is the #1 snorkeling destination in Maui. Learn about the history and nature of your surroundings and the efforts being made to protect the ocean here.  Following your time at Molokini, head to Turtle Arches and enjoy a bonus snorkel site with its underwater lava formations and frequent turtle sightings. Watch for sea turtles, eels, octopi, and other reef fish. Once you are done snorkeling and have worked up an appetite, enjoy a freshly prepared lunch of grilled chicken, burgers, and salad before heading back to Ma'alaea Harbor.

Maui: Sunset Catamaran Cruise with Dinner and Drinks

2. Maui: Sunset Catamaran Cruise with Dinner and Drinks

Watch the glow of the sunset on the Kahalawai Mountains, Lanai Island, and the Molokini Crater on this sunset catamaran cruise from Ma’alaea. Keep an eye out for humpback whales while listening to Hawaiian music. Savor a gourmet dinner and relax with two drinks from the bar. Depart from the Ma’alaea Harbor and set off into the waves on a catamaran. After exiting the harbor, enjoy a complimentary drink before the dinner service kicks off. Explore the alcoves of the boat, gaze out over the ocean, and snap photos. While soaking up the tropical views, listen to island-style music. For dinner, chef Keoni will serve the succulent Hawaiian prime rib, Mahi Mahi, teriyaki chicken, ribs, steamed vegetables, white rice with soy sauce, and more. As you dine, take in views of Kaho’olawe and Lanai in the distance, as well as the top snorkeling location, Molokini Crater. Gaze out at the Kahalawai Mountains of Maui extending toward the sky. You are likely to see humpback whales visiting the islands from Alaska along with other marine mammals.

Maui: Molokini Snorkel & Performance Sail with Lunch

3. Maui: Molokini Snorkel & Performance Sail with Lunch

Discover Molokini aboard a fast-sailing catamaran, where your trip includes a continental breakfast on the leisurely sail across Ma’alaea Bay. Take in the stunning landscape that makes Maui special, and during whale season (December – May), spot the humpback whales as they swim nearby. While at Molokini, swim, snorkel, and rinse off with a freshwater shower. After snorkeling, indulge in a full lunch buffet and refresh with a variety of beverages, including wine and local beer. Maui’s afternoon trade winds can really get the boat going, so join the friendly crew at the helm and try your hand at sailing the high seas! 

From Ma'alaea Harbor: Whale-Watch Cruise (1:00 PM)

4. From Ma'alaea Harbor: Whale-Watch Cruise (1:00 PM)

Depart from Maalaea Harbor, easily located off the highway with ample parking. This high-speed catamaran is located at Slip 87 near Coast Guard Station. While on board, enjoy complimentary juices and sodas, and a variety of alcoholic beverages. The optimal whale watching season starts in December and goes through April, during which thousands of humpback whales return to Hawaii for a few months each year to mate and give birth. Depending on the whales’ behavior during your two-hour whale watching trip, you may see any number of whale activity happening, from tail flapping to full body breaching. Keep your eyes peeled for whales slapping the surface with pectoral fins (their very long side fins), flukes (the tail), and the peduncle (the strong muscles attaching the tail to the rest of the body). Keep your fingers crossed for a breach - this is when a whale rises completely out of the water and crashes down again. And most importantly, don’t forget to bring your camera to capture a picture of these amazing animals.

From Ma'alaea Harbor: Whale Watching Cruise

5. From Ma'alaea Harbor: Whale Watching Cruise

After boarding your whale watching cruise, your onboard naturalist, captain, and crew will be just as excited as you are to see humpbacks. These 45-foot cetaceans inspire awe, delight, and excitement with their very existence. As soon as the boat leaves Ma’alaea Harbor, keep your eyes peeled for any big motion on the surface, especially large clouds of misty spray in the distance (that’s how a whale exhales). No matter what is going on out there, the whale watch naturalist will give you an exciting play-by-play on the whale's “swimming commentary". Some of the more popular moves that whales engage in are the tail slap, the pec slap, the peduncle throw, the spy hop, and the ever hoped for "launch-of-an-entire-whale-from-the-water" full breach. Whenever the boat is stopped for a while, you can go down to the underwater viewing room. If the whales choose to swim beneath the vessel, you’ll be able to see them through the glass panels in the bottom of the hull. This is one of the most unique things about whale watching on this triple-decker catamaran, as it is rare for a whale-watching vessel to have a glass-bottomed seating area. From December to April, you can climb aboard the boat and make your way to the top. This is Maui’s only catamaran with three decks, so you simply cannot go higher on this island. All of the 360-degree ocean views are fantastic, even when you go inside for a bit to take a break from the sun. The first and second decks have spacious cabins with tinted windows, and these windows make for excellent viewing through the water’s surface, regardless of the sun’s glare. Comfortable seating throughout this stable vessel ensures a relaxing time on the water, while you look for these incredible marine mammals. Make sure to take advantage of the bar and snack area while you check out the boat, the crew will be happy to mix up whatever you feel like.

Maui: Catamaran Whale Cruise from Lahaina or Māʻalaea Harbor

6. Maui: Catamaran Whale Cruise from Lahaina or Māʻalaea Harbor

Discover why Maui is the place to spot humpback whales during an exciting ocean adventure in peak migration season. Board a comfortable catamaran at either Māʻalaea or Lahaina Harbor and escape into the ‘Au ‘au channel which boasts the greatest number of whales near Maui. Venture out into the warm and protected ocean waters which make an ideal location for the humpbacks to mate and give birth to their calves. Known for their acrobatics, the whales are often seen fully breaching out of the ocean. Join the captain and crew in keeping a lookout as you stay refreshed with a variety of beverages, including wine and local beer. This trip is exclusively sailing, so relax onboard without the drone of a motor as you head to wherever the whales may be. Sailing out of Māʻalaea Bay and Lahaina can be quite exhilarating on a catamaran, so keep in mind that this trip can be more of an adventure if the winds are up.

From Ma'alaea Harbor: Whale-Watch Cruise (3:30 PM)

7. From Ma'alaea Harbor: Whale-Watch Cruise (3:30 PM)

Takes off on this afternoon whale-watching adventure from Maalaea Harbor on board the The Malolo catamaran. Enjoy a beautiful Maui scenery and watch humpback whales in their natural habitat.  During your two-hour whale-watching trip, you may see the whales slap the water's surface with their pectoral fins (their very long side fins), their flukes (their tails), and their peduncles (the strong muscles that attach their tails to the rest of their bodies). Keep your fingers crossed for a breach—this is when a whale rises completely out of the water and crashes down again! Don’t forget your camera.

Maalaea: 4th of July Fireworks Harbor Cruise by Catamaran

8. Maalaea: 4th of July Fireworks Harbor Cruise by Catamaran

Feast your eyes on stunning 4th of July fireworks while sailing the Lahaina harbor. Great for groups of friends, couples, or a combination of both, this evening party cruise is complete with alcoholic beverages, heavy pupu's (appetizers), and music, offering you a lively Independence Day experience.  After boarding the catamaran in Ma'alaea Harbor, enjoy two refreshing cocktails, beers, or wines while snacking on light appetizers, chatting with your fellow cruise guests, or dancing to the music. As you approach Lahaina Harbor, get ready for the vibrant fireworks that light up the sky and surrounding water. Choose a seat on one of the three available decks, all with excellent vantage points, and take in the explosive show before sailing back to Ma'alaea Harbor.

Other Sightseeing Options in Maalaea Harbor

Want to discover all there is to do in Maalaea Harbor? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Maalaea Harbor

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,108 reviews

Captain and the crew were awesome. Food was filling and timely (nothing exotic but good). The activity was itself amazing. Weather was cooperative as well. Saw bunch of different fishes, turtles, coral reefs, etc

Great day seeing the Molokini crater, comfortable boat and excellent crew. Worth the trip to snorkel and see a lot of the fish in the crater.

The crew was exceptional, couldn’t be more satisfied with their service.

Was an amazing time! Great views. Great people! Such a blast!

Great snorkeling experience. Staff is wonderful and helpful