The Pacific Whale Foundation offers a fantastic assortment of eco-tours embarking from their Ocean Store in Lahaina. My husband I enjoyed a 5 hour Wild Dolphin & Snorkel Adventure aboard the Ocean Discovery on our second day in Maui. The day began with a quick check in at the store on Front Street and a walk through the Banyan Tree Park to the Harbor where we boarded the ship and departed Lahaina Harbor for a cruise across the beautiful Auau Channel to Lanai.
Experience a fun-filled ocean adventure with the expert team at Pacific Whale Foundation.
For more than 30 years, Pacific Whale Foundation has been a leader in providing top-quality ocean adventures for people of all ages. Embark on a thrilling whalewatch, discover the excitement of viewing dolphins in the wild, snorkel Molokini or other dazzling reefs, or enjoy a relaxing sunset or stargazing cruise with us.
All of our cruises are staffed by our team of knowledgeable and friendly Certified Marine Naturalists. They’re known for their enthusiasm in introducing our guests to Maui’s fascinating ocean environment.
While you’re having fun, you’ll also be making a difference. 100% of the profits from Pacific Whale Foundation’s Eco-Adventures go to supporting research, education and conservation programs on behalf of whales, dolphins and the ocean environment.
We were treated to locally grown pineapple, papaya and banana bread as well as sightings of flying fish with West Maui as a backdrop. Our very professional and well informed crew mentioned that this is a whale watcher’s paradise during the winter months and gave us a brief lesson on the fragile nature of the reef eco-system we were about to enter. They provided plenty of coral friendly sunscreen and luckily even had masks with corrective lenses for those of us who need glasses. My husband and I both debated wearing contact lenses but feared losing them, so the special masks were not our exact Rx, but close enough to feel secure and be able to “see” underwater.
I’ve only tried snorkeling once before and couldn’t do it, I went down to the bottom of the boat for the free lesson to get a few extra pointers to ease my nerves. With masks snorkels and flippers we were ready when we arrived a few hundred yards off the east coast of Lanai. We entered the water for a spectacular underwater view of the longest unbroken reef in the State of Hawaii. Not everyone on the cruise was brave enough to enter the water, while highly recommended, snorkeling is not required and there is plenty of other activities to enjoy on board the ship during the 1 hour allotted for the snorkel. After a few minutes acclimating to the snorkel gear (nose plugged, breathing through your mouth with the mouthpiece trying to keep salt-water out) we were fully immersed in an underwater wonderland of amazing coral formations and colorful fish, “Nemo’s friends” I relate them to, especially yellow tang. After a while a crew member gave us a free guided tour of this particular area of the reef and pointed out some of the historical spots within view.
Our crew then set off in search of wild dolphins. It is important to note that dolphin sighting is a guaranteed part of the trip and if none are spotted, all aboard are given vouchers for another trip to find some! This apparently also applies to whales for cruises during the whale season.
Within minutes at least 30 wild spinner dolphins were visible off to the starboard. These playful critters followed along with the ship for the remainder of our time on the east coast of Lanai we got fabulous photos and it just made for just a serene ending to our amazing cruise back to Lahaina Harbor. One last bonus for all aboard was the crew’s educational talk and i.d. of all the fish we saw in the reef. This 5 hour Wild Dolphin & Snorkel Adventure was one of many highlights on our trip to Maui and one I definitely recommend for everyone. Children are welcome, they have special rates of FREE for 3-6years of age (one per adult) as well as 0-2 are also free (one per adult). Our cruise costs typically $80 per person which is incredible for the experience you receive! I look forward to taking friends and family on a Pacific Whale Foundation eco-cruise on our next visit to the islands.
We were hosted for our cruise in exchange for an honest review and post.