Roughly 1/2 of all the North Pacific Humpback Whales gather around Maui from December to April to breed. No food can be found for them here so they live off the fat they have accumulated in Alaska. Nobody knows exactly why they come to Hawaii. Some think it is the shallow waters that make it easy for them to control their young, others claim it is tropical sea temperatures that create a perfect environment for nursing while a third group argues it is the lack of killer whales that makes the difference. Maybe a combination of all of the above.
Though you pretty much just have to pick any viewpoint along the coastline to see Humpback whales we took a boat tour to get a more up-close view of the giants. We booked through Bob Frog’s and only paid 36 dollars for a 2 hour tour (for the 4 of us). You have to book a couple of days in advance though to get the super deal and you can easily spend 4 times as much if you are not careful. Unless you are going with the companies using the smaller Zodiac boats (we read that could be very rough sometimes and not suitable for children) it pretty much does not matter what company you use. They all follow each other round in the same area and it is a matter of luck how close you get on any particular day.
We got some very impressive views but unfortunately the big whales were not in the jumping mood the day we went out.
We did see a calf jumping about 500 meters from us but did not manage to capture it. Otherwise we saw plenty of tails and backs and lots of splashes and blows.
The closest were about 50 meters away. The law states that boats cannot get closer than 30 meters but somestimes the whales will swim right up to the boats to have a look which is ok – unfortunately that did not happen on our trip but a fun experience never the less.