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“Schooled by dolphins”

Pacific Whale Foundation
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$116.12*
and up
Molokini And Turtle Arches Snorkeling Trip
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$104.12*
and up
Sunset Dinner Cruise: Four Course Dining Experience
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$137.96*
and up
Honolua Bay Snorkel Sail
Ranked #1 of 11 things to do in Maalaea
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Experience Maui's amazing ocean environment with the experts at Pacific Whale Foundation! PacWhale Eco-Adventures offers thrilling and fun ocean adventures based on more than 37 years of marine research and sustainable ecotour experience. PacWhale has cruises for every style of adventure, including dolphin and whalewatch ecotours, snorkel trips, sunset cocktail and dinner cruises, holiday cruises and stargazing ecotours. You'll cruise on ultra-stable, eco-friendly vessels in the company of knowledgeable, friendly certified Marine Naturalists. Choose Pacific Whale Foundation and make a difference: all profits support efforts to protect whales, dolphins and the ocean environment.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed June 18, 2012

We received a dolphin tour as part of a Living Social deal with Napili Kai Resort. Had a great time. Sailed out to the south end of Lanai, right into a large school of spinner dolphins, upon which, the boat came about and we cruised with the dolphins for about 45 minutes. 3 other inflatables then joined us to form a little flotilla, which the dolphins seemed to enjoy, as there was lots of dolphin spinning out of the water by the inflatables. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable. At the end, though, we spent about 1/2 hour near the LaHaina harbor, looking for green turtles, which kind of seemed like a time-killer.

1  Thank Steve_mcn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,869 - 4,873 of 5,652 reviews

Reviewed June 17, 2012

We went with Pacific Whale Foundation to Lanai. It’s a 5 hr trip with 90 minutes of snorkeling. They have veggie burger for lunch so that’s good. Also, the marine biologists on board were awesome and imparted a lot of information to us. I would highly recommend this for first time snorkelers. The biologists were with us for around 20 minutes in the water until we felt comfortable which was really helpful. Special call out for Gina for her immense help and guidance. They can have up to 150 ppl on their boat, but the day we went there were just 45. So that helped a lot. We also saw spinner dolphins on our way back, which was awesome.

Thank Ritesh M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2012

This past January we decided to see the whales that spend the winter months in the waters off Maui, Hawaii. The most well-advertised whale watching cruise is the one by Pacific Whale Foundation, so we signed up for that one. Ticket prices were steep, about $60 each. I believe I received a small senior citizen's discount. We were pressured into buying a membership, but declined. The boat was nice, but fairly crowded. When a crewmember hollared that there was a whale someplace, everyone rushed to the railing, and it was difficult to see. Not that you could see much, as the whales would be at least a half mile away. Their brochure is full of doctored up photos depicting whales up next to your boat, but our crew was not interested in getting close to them. They thought it was a good trip with many sightings, but my wife and I were very disappointed. We could have seen the same sight from the shore. At the conclusion of the voyage the cre members lined up at a table fuill of cups for tips, but we declined. I would not recommend Pacific Whale Foundation to anyone, and don't know how they can claim tax-exempt status.

6  Thank Tom_FLL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregkaufman, Manager at Pacific Whale Foundation, responded to this reviewResponded June 17, 2012

Aloha Tom:
Thank you for taking time to write a review about your experience on a PWF whalewatch cruise. Pacific Whale Foundation is a bona fide non-profit IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. Our whalewatches are offered by a wholly-owned subdidiary of the Foundation and all profits benefit our research, conservation and education projects and programs. I encourage you to visit our web site to learn more about our important work.
As for our prices, our whalewatch trips are priced between $ $24.95 and $39.95. If you book online you or are a senior citizen you save 10%. Our members receive a 20% discount. If you become a member you can choose to receive a free whalewatch as your joining gift. This is why you were offered the opportunity to become a member at the time of your booking -- to save you money.
As for our promotional materials, they are real photos taken during our whalewatches by our staff or guests or taken while conducting research. Humpback whales are wild animals and we can not control their behaviors or the proximity they wish to approach the vessels. Further, humpback whales in Hawaii are protected by State and Federal laws, prohibiting approach any closer than 100 yards. There are, however, no laws prohibiting the whales from approach vessels on their own accord. Every whalewatch is different and that is why you will find seasoned whalewatchers take multiple trips during a season.
We have a strict non-solicitation policy of tips or gratuities on our vessels. If passengers choose to thank our team members they may do so at their own choosing and may find a 'makana' bowl near our bar area. You will not find a "table full of cups for tips" on any of our vessels. We are proud to offer affordable, award-winning whalewatches to the public and apologize if your experience was less than what you expected. Aloha no, Greg Kaufman President & Founder

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2012

As many of you may know, Maui can be VERY expensive that is why i was very eager to book this cruise. to my surprise It turned out to be a delightful evening and suprisingly intimate. our cruise had about 40 people when it usually has over 100. The staff was great, attentive and courteous. Marty Dread WAS AWeSOME! This cruise is a must when in Maui. What else can I say? except good value, great itme, good cause!

***note if your easily sea sick..it can be very rocky .so take your dramamine and book this cruise..NOT the dinner option. if your queazzy (not sure of spelling..sorry!) you probably won't eat ..so save extra few bucks!

Thank Ana F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2012

I took an afternoon Whale Watch with PWF in late March, off Maalaea. Everything was OK, the boat was one of the 150 passenger ones, and there were maybe 50 on board, so we weren't crowded.
I had been on PWF watches before, enjoyed them, and I had no reason to not go out again with them. I had also been out with other companies, in the past.
The crew and commentary were fine, but there was nothing exceptional to place the experience above average. But we did see lots of whales, maybe 20 different ones in all. There were few other boats out there with the whales, unlike sometimes off Lahaina, so I don't think the whales were feeling harrassed.
My only negative comment would be that we probably never got within 200 yards of a whale, and the crew repeated the "law" that says whales can't be approached closer than 100 yards (I golf, so I can tell 100 yards from 200 yards). I realize that whales come right up to the boat at times, I've seen them do it, but they sure didn't do it for us, but that's the luck of the draw. However, I don't think that it would have been out of line for the captain to be a little more flexible (aggressive?), and get a little closer to the whales. Hey, a few times on Maui, I have been standing on shore, and been closer to whales than PWF got us on that day, despite there being bunches of them out there.
I am all for the whales being shown respect, and while I had telephoto lenses, it was still a long way for decent pictures.
I agree that this is a minor complaint, but next visit, I plan to try some different tour operators - and maybe a smaller boat.
To be fair, though, the whale watch that day was acceptable, hence my rating of "average".

Thank Kanunu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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