Hawaii Travel Guides

What To Pack For Your Maui Whale Watching Tour

Maui’s biggest and favorite seasonal guests are coming back: the humpback whales! During whale season (November – March), you can catch a glimpse of whales breathing, splashing, and breaching from the shore.

Humpback Whale Hawaii

To get a closer look at these majestic creatures, you’ll want to take a whale watching tour with one of Maui’s boat companies. Here’s what you’ll need to bring along to have a great time on your tour…

1. Sunscreen 

We advise applying sunscreen (around 30 SPF is fine) before getting on the boat, and again during the tour. Depending on how long your trip is, you may wish to apply a third time.

2. Water and Snacks 

Some tours do provide food and drinks and the bigger boats have them available for sale, but if you can bring your own, it’s advisable. Being in the sun can really take it out of you, and having some water and salty snacks will ensure that you enjoy the tour from start to finish.

3. Anti-nausea product

If you or someone with you is prone to seasickness, we advise taking something for it, whether it is a natural product (like Hana Tonic), Sea Bands, or traditional medicine.

4. Hat and Sunglasses 

From experience, you know what one of the least comfortable sunburns is? The one in the part of your hair. Wearing a hat and sunglasses will also reduce glare, and since you’ll be looking at the water for a few hours, you’ll want as little glare as possible.

5. Loose, comfortable clothes 

If the sun is out then whale watching tours can get warm, especially if you stay on the outdoor decks. Dress accordingly. I prefer wearing shoes during whale watches, since flip-flops can be slippery, but durable sandals, such as Chacos, work just fine.

6. A safe bag to store your things

A large purse or regular backpack works fine. Really, you just want something that can hold all of your party’s things if needed, rather than scattering them between each person, especially on a whale watching tour. It’s very easy to forget things on a seat when a pod of whales shows up across the boat.

7. Camera

Whether that means your phone fully charged and with a spare on-the-go battery, a professional rig, or something in between, make sure to bring your camera on the trip, along with a spare memory card or plenty of space in your storage. Getting a good photo of whales is about taking a lot of photos, since they do tend to show off their tails around boats. The more shots you can take, the better.

Check out the different Maui whale watching tours we have on offer here.

Have you been whale-watching in Maui? Share your experiences and tips in the comments section.

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