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Whale Watching in Hawai`i

Humpback whales visit Hawaiian waters each year from November to May with the peak of the season being from January to March. There are a variety of ways in which you can catch a glimpse of Hawai‘i’s humpback whales. Boat tours and whale watching cruises have become increasingly popular. In Hawai‘i, Maui is a top whale watching spot for boat-based viewing; however, whale watching cruises are available at most harbors around the state. The whale watching industry plays a strong role in the state’s economy as it contributes approximately $20 million in total revenues per year.

Flip Nicklin photo of humpback whale ending breach
Flip Nicklin/Minden Pictures

The Sanctuary Ocean Count provides Hawai‘i residents and visitors with the opportunity to actively participate in evaluating the status of humpback whales. The count is held the last Saturday of January, February and March on the islands of O`ahu, Kaua`i and Hawai`i. Find out how you can get involved!

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Learn a few tips that will help you enjoy your whale watching experience.

Find out more about the humpback whale behaviors that you can observe in Hawai`i.

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Top 10 Whale Watching Sites
Find information on our 10 favorite shoreline locations for whale watching.
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Video & Photo Tips
Get information on how to take the perfect shot before you head out to view Hawai`i's humpbacks.

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