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“Reggae Sunset Cruise with Marty Dread” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pacific Whale Foundation

Pacific Whale Foundation
300 Ma'alaea Road, Suite 211, Harbor Shops at Ma'alaea, Maalaea, Maui, HI 96793
+1 808-249-8811
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Ranked #2 of 7 Attractions in Maalaea
Type: Boat Tours, Sightseeing Tours
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Owner description: Experience Maui's amazing ocean environment with the experts! The nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation offers thrilling and fun ocean ecotours based on more then 34 years of marine research and ocean ecotour experience. Pacific Whale Foundation offers cruises for every style of adventure, including ocean raft adventures, whale watches, wild dolphin encounters, snorkel trips, sunset cocktail and dinner cruises, and stargazing tours. You'll cruise on ultra-stable, eco-friendly vessels (including ocean rafts and double-deck catamarans) in the company of knowledgeable, friendly certified marine naturalists and biologists. Choose Pacific Whale Foundation and make a difference: 100% of the profits go to support efforts to protect whales, dolphins and the ocean environment.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Austin
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Reggae Sunset Cruise with Marty Dread”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2011

I would highly recommend this Friday afternoon Sunset sail with Pacific Whale Foundation. It is a fun energy sailing activity (you can even dance while the band is playing) or a nice treat to just enjoy the groovin' rhythm's while watching the beautiful sunset from the middle of the ocean. When my friends and I chose to meet at the Maalaea Harbor for an evening out as it was a central location to accomodate a not to distant commute for those of us on the South shore, and also for those on West side. When we chose the sunset sail, we were looking forward to the activity, but really didn't know how much we would enjoy it. Maybe the "Blue Hawaiia drinks" had something to do with our fun too?

The staff was super sweet at both the check in gift shop and the sail boat. Everyone had smiles and wanted to make sure we had a great time. The pupu's were prepared well and very filling. ....delicious shredded pork, chicken kabobs, grilled veggies, baba ganoush & hummus, crudite, etc. The brownies were delicious I would definately recommend this activity and will probably go again and take friends. Aloha & Mahalo!

Visited July 2011
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Silver Spring, Maryland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Enviro conscious and a lot of fun!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2011

If you are planning a snorkeling trip while in Maui, Pacific Whale Foundation is the one to use. They are a fantastic non-profit who are doing what all the other snorkel companies are doing but for a better cause than just making profits.

They provided a great bbq lunch that they make on the grills in the back of the boat while at Turtle Town and most are in the water. Those not snorkeling like the grandmas can get first dibs on lunch. After turtle town, everyone eats lunch and gets to drink as much water, soft drinks, beer, and mixed drinks as you want until you reach the harbor again.

They had a show for the kids on the way back to the harbor as well as a mini lesson on the way to turtle town, kinda explaining the endemic species there. As for snorkeling itself, I thought it was really cool! I think the visibility depends on the day, and it was a little rainy when we got to Molokini. Beautiful fish and coral, and we also saw a few white tip reef sharks as well as the sea turtles.

There were 14 of us total, including two 60+ grandmas, a 9 month old, two children under 6, a teenager, and a mix of couples and single people in their 20s and 30s, all family. It was $81 a person including tax and surcharges but the kids were free under 12. They provided snorkel gear although we brought our own, and also life jackets, snorkel belts, and the insulated shirts for 10 bucks a rental.

They really stressed about not being wasteful and they only use washable dishes to really minimize the trash and all that and we were back by 12pm to enjoy the rest of our day. It was a very rewarding trip,

Visited July 2011
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Leavenworth
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Not worth it”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2011 via mobile

If you've never snorkeled you might enjoy this trip. They are incredibly enthusiastic about a barren reef with very few fish. Molokini used to be thriving with beauty and now, no doubt partially due to boats like this one that carry up to 149 passengers in a single trip, it is a wasteland.
Then on to see the thriving turtle population that feeds off the algae
from fertilizer run off from the
nearby golf courses. Something just isn't right about that. The crew was decent and the women members were excellent but a few members were pretty cocky and a little too cool. All in all it lacked aloha spirit and was extremely disappointing and a little sad to see how terrible Molokini has been cared for.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregkaufman, Manager at Pacific Whale Foundation, responded to this review, August 18, 2011
Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts about your recent Molokini Turtle Arches snorkel eco-adventure. In 1987 Pacific Whale Foundation, in partnership with University of Hawaii's Marine Options Program, conducted the first bio-assessment of Molokini crater -- a Marine Life Conservation District. Our findings detailed all the marine life found nearby and the terrestrial life found topside on the remnant of the crater. In terms of marine life, we discovered extensive damage was being down due to anchoring, and that 'weed' species of fish, introduced non-endemic fish, were proliferating from being fed bread from the tour boats. The net result was the these invasive, introduced fish were driving away the less aggressive, endemic fish that inhabited Molokini. While these aggressive non-native fish were plentiful and colorful to look at, they were also destroying the marine ecosystem of Molokini. Pacific Whale Foundation lobbied to ban all anchoring at Molokini in order to preserve the precious coral. We also lobbied to ban all fish-feeding in the crater. We were successful on both accounts. The Molokini you see today is a natural eco-system, thriving without the schools of bread-fed nvasive fish species. All vessel now tie up to mooring bouys instead of anchoring. We fund and support the ongoing maintenance and installation of these buoys.

Another part of our conservation efforts was to reduce the number of vessels visiting the site, by reducing the number of 'hulls' on the water. Our catamarans represent a much smaller foot print at Molokini by carrying 130 maximum snorkelers on a single boat than does six boats carrying 20+ passengers each. We are proud of our ongoing work to preserve and protect Molokini. We hope you trust and understand the Molokini of the past was nothing to be proud of, despite what appeared to be lots of fish.

As for the green sea turtles, this is another marvelous success story. From near-extinction to thriving, the population of turtles found off Maui is something many thought would never happen. Contrary to your assertion, the turtles are not feeding off algae generated from fertilizers running off the nearby golf course into the ocean. The algae is naturally occurring in this area, and the turtles long resided here before the golf course was build some 30 years ago. The owners of the resort have taken great strides in ensuring run-off is near-zero from any source, and have a state-of-the art sewage facility that is the finest in the state, perhaps the country.

Finally, we are proud of highly trained, and skilled naturalist staff -- who constantly receive accolades and praise from our customers. We are sorry you felt otherwise.
Please rest assured we work everyday to ensure our marine life is protected and our oceans preserved. We are proud of research, conservation and education programs and achievements and hope you will visit us again. Mahalo for your support!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“We are done with Pacific Whale Foundation tours”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

We are frequent visitors to Maui and have always been loyal customers & members of Pacific Whale Foundation. However, it seems that every single time we visit, we schedule tours that are cancelled for 'maintenance reasons'. I seriously do not believe it anymore. Either they have the most unreliable boats on the island, or they are lying and don't want to run a boat until it's full. If that's the case, which I believe it is, they could at least be honest about it. Our most recent trip was rescheduled twice so we just cancelled. With the short notice, we were unable to schedule tours w/another company. At least this time, they called us in advance. Last trip, we showed up at 6:45am after driving for 45 minutes, only to be told the trip was cancelled. I will book with another company next time.

Visited August 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
richmond, bc
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Snorkel and support whale research”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2011

We were well fed and looked after by the crew. The trip includes a snorkel lesson and talks by marine biologists. I took the Molokini & Turtle Town trip. Only thing - lots of people on board. Trip leaves early to avoid winds and other tours.

Visited August 2011
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