Maalaea Harbor

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Maalaea Harbor: Our most recommended tours and activities

Maui: Molokini and Turtle Town Snorkel Tour with Lunch

1. Maui: Molokini and Turtle Town Snorkel Tour with Lunch

Your snorkeling tour to the Molokini Crater and Turtle Town begins at Maalaea harbor, where you'll board the boat. Start the day off right with a breakfast of eggs, ham, cinnamon rolls, donuts, coffee, fruit, and juice. Located off the south shore of Kihei and rising 300 feet (91 meters) out of the water, the extinct volcanic cone of Molokini provides the opportunity to see native Hawaiian marine life in their natural habitat. Spot manta rays, fish, and sharks, who swim around the coral year-round. Molokini is protected as a marine preserve and bird sanctuary, so you can expect pristine conditions. Use the provided snorkeling equipment to explore the underwater world and take advantage of the two water slides into the water. You can also take a peek at the reef without getting in the water via the glass-bottom viewing room. To ensure safety, a lifeguard will be in the water at all times watching over the snorkelers and lending any assistance, if needed. After leaving Molokini, your second snorkeling spot of the day will be Turtle Town, where you have the chance to swim with Hawaiian green sea turtles amid the calm waters. Then return to the boat for lunch. Amenities of the boat include two slides, two freshwater showers, quality snorkeling gear, flotation devices, and restrooms. The boat features an easy-to-use stairway in and out of the water, and lots of shade if you want to stay out of the sun.

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

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

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.  Snorkel at Molokini and discover a beautiful underwater world. For those who haven't snorkeled before, have the opportunity to partake in learn-to-snorkel instruction on the vessel. Be guided around the reef with professional naturalists and learn about this fascinating world.  Following your time at Molokini head to Turtle Arches and enjoy a bonus snorkel site with its underwater lava formations and frequent turtle sightings.  It's simply impossible to not smile as you watch the green sea turtles swimming so gracefully through the water. keep your eye's open as you never know what you'll see - eels, octopus, an abundance of reef fish. Once your done snorkeling and worked up an appetite, you'll be able to enjoy a freshly prepared lunch of  grilled chicken, burgers and various salads before heading back to Ma'alaea Harbor.

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Maui: Sunset Dinner Cruise from Ma'alaea Harbor

3. Maui: Sunset Dinner Cruise from Ma'alaea Harbor

Depart from the Ma’alaea Harbor and set off into the waves on a deluxe, 3-story 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.

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Maui: All-Inclusive 3-Hour Snorkel

4. Maui: All-Inclusive 3-Hour Snorkel

Begin your snorkeling adventure by meeting in Wailuku. Feel the thrill of the open sea and dive into the warm, blue waters for an unforgettable experience. See Maui’s vibrant coral, fish, turtles, and more. Join the ship captain, a tour guide, and a local trainer on an adventure to the Coral Gardens for snorkeling or SNUBA. Experience a wealth of marine life in a calm and relaxed setting. If you are booking from November to April, you may have the chance to see the amazing humpbacks dance along the water. Grab a refreshment and a quick lunch as you learn and experience Maui at its finest. Slide down a 20-foot inflatable slide on the side of the ship. Have a fun-filled day whether you are a beginner at snorkeling or just wanting to have a great time with your family.

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Maui: Molokini Snorkel & Performance Sail with Lunch

5. 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! 

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Maui Maalaea Harbor 2-Hour Whale Watching Cruise

6. Maui Maalaea Harbor 2-Hour Whale Watching Cruise

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.

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Maui: Catamaran Whale Cruise

7. Maui: Catamaran Whale Cruise

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.

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From Ma'alaea Harbor: Whale Watching Cruise

8. 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.

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From Ma'alaea Harbor: Molokini Snorkeling Adventure

9. From Ma'alaea Harbor: Molokini Snorkeling Adventure

Embark on a half-day snorkeling adventure on a glass-bottomed catamaran, with breakfast, lunch, and a professional crew included. Look out for all types of Pacific marine life, from dolphins to turtles and coral reefs, in 2 snorkeling spots — the Molokini Crater and Turtle Town.  Begin your tour at Maalaea Harbor to board your boat. Join the crew aboard the Calypso, Maui's newest addition to the fleet, where you can even view the ocean from its glass bottom. Calypso is the only 3-deck catamaran in Hawai'i. Benefit from an easy-to-use stairway in and out of the water, lots of shade, and plenty of Jimmy Buffet music.  Start the day off right with a breakfast of eggs, ham, cinnamon rolls, donuts, coffee, fruit, and juice. Next, be dazzled by Molokini Crater, located off the south shore of Kihei. Expect pristine conditions as Molokini is a protected marine preserve and bird sanctuary.  See how the extinct volcanic cone provides a home for native Hawaiian marine life such as manta rays, fish, urchins, and sharks, who all swim around the coral through the clear water year-round. Use the provided snorkeling equipment to explore the underwater world.  Take advantage of the 2 water slides to make it more fun, especially for kids. And fret not— a lifeguard is always in the water watching over the snorkelers to ensure their safety. After leaving Molokini, your second snorkeling spot of the day is Turtle Town, where you will swim with Hawaiian green sea turtles amid the calm water and coral.  Then, return to the boat for a relaxing barbecue lunch buffet. Finally, enjoy a fun trivia game for the chance to win a crew T-shirt. Some of the tour’s top amenities include 2 slides, a jumping platform, 2 freshwater showers, use of snorkeling gear, flotation devices, and restrooms on the boat. There are 11 stair points to get into the water for easy and comfortable access. Hire everything you need on the day, with wetsuits, SNUBA, or underwater digital cameras available to rent.

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Maui: Molokini and Turtle Town Snorkel with Deli Lunch

10. Maui: Molokini and Turtle Town Snorkel with Deli Lunch

See Maui from a new perspective as you swim and snorkel alongside its marine life at Molokini and Turtle Town. Cruise to these famous snorkeling destinations by catamaran, and enjoy breakfast and lunch onboard. Meet your captain and crew near Maalaea Harbor for your check-in. Board the comfortable catamaran and enjoy a continental breakfast of cinnamon rolls, donuts, fresh fruits, coffee, and juice as you head towards Molokini. Arrive at Molokini and admire the scenery of the extinct volcanic cone, home to around 250 different local species. Jump into the water and snorkel with native wildlife such as black triggerfish, yellow tang, and parrotfish. Continue onto Turtle Town, where you’ll swim with protected Hawaiian green sea turtles among the underwater lava formations. Rest assured a lifeguard will be in the water at all times as you snorkel around the beautiful coral gardens. Enjoy a deli lunch with a soft drink included. Choose to purchase beers or a Mai Tai, and relax in the shade of the cabin. Or top up your tan on the bow of the boat as you return to Maalaea Harbor, where your unforgettable activity will come to an end.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Maalaea Harbor

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What people are saying about Maalaea Harbor

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 943 reviews

We loved our time on the whale watching excursion. It was a windy afternoon but the crew was able to find a walm area and we spotted a brand new baby whale along with the mama whale! The crew was lovely as well!

Captain Issac and crew were very professional and friendly and helpful . Boat was first class and the slide was super fun. I highly recommend them for snorkeling

Was a great tour! Our ships crew was wonderful. We saw tons of whales, fish and turtles. Couldn’t have asked for more :)

The captain and staff were all great and just as excited as we were about all the whales and wildlife.

Fantastic snorkel, sail and food. I highly recommend this trip. Not crowded, friendly crew.