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“Great value!”

Pacific Whale Foundation
Ranked #2 of 11 things to do in Maalaea
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Cruise with the experts at Pacific Whale Foundation on Maui's top-rated ocean ecotours based on more than 38 years of marine research and sustainable ecotourism experience. PacWhale has cruises for every style of adventure, including whale and dolphin watch ecotours, snorkel trips, sunset cocktail and sunset dinner cruises, holiday cruises, stargazing ecotours, and more. You'll cruise on ultra-stable, eco-friendly vessels with knowledgeable, friendly certified Marine Naturalists. Choose PacWhale Eco-Adventures and make a difference: all profits support research, education and conservation programs to protect marine wildlife and the ocean environment. Cruises depart from Ma'alaea & Lahaina Harbors.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed July 23, 2013

We had a great time on the Molikini/Turtle Town five hour tour. More like 4 1/2 stars--not the premium experience, but incredibly good, at lower prices than Trilogy and Four Winds. Not as booked up either, which made for a smaller, more intimate and down-to-earth group on the boat. The team (Brian as captain, Dav as naturalist and Trent as crew) were outstanding, monitoring everyone for safety, giving lots of instruction on snorkeling and procedures to keep the day safe and fun, doing a great job with the overall operation of the boat. They also provided a ton of welcome info about the fish, the nature of the reefs, the environmental state of affairs for the area. Brian also took us to an area to see turtles on the way back. At all times the crew was personable, friendly, and shared a genuine enthusiasm for their work and the science behind what we were seeing. Lunch was a simple barbeque, but when they ran out of veggie burgers just before the last person got in the boat (that would be me, having a good time), Brian called ahead to comp me for a sandwich at Porto, the restaurant next door to Pacific Whale Foundation in Ma'alea. They were all genuinely interested in talking with people, getting to know their backgrounds and experience, as well as comfort with snorkeling. FYI, I wore a tight-fitting athletic shirt that provided sun protection and a bit of warmth; you could rent a wetsuit top for $5. Also, you may want to join the PWF for $60, get the 20% discount, rather than book online and save 10%--for a family of four it's about the same price.

Thank David E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8,167 - 8,171 of 9,949 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2013

We're really surprised by the reviews based on our experience. Our snorkel excursion took us to Molokini Crater and to a turtle habitat off of Maui near Lahaina.

The good: Breakfast on shore and lunch on the boat were enjoyable. The boat ride was great. Snorkeling with turtles was fun.

The bad: Perhaps we expected too much when the crew bragged about the water clarity and the vast number of fish. These reefs didn't measure up to our Caribbean dives and snorkels. Try Cozumel, Cayman, Roatan! The current was so strong we struggled greatly to make it back to the boat. My wife followed the crew's directions and raised her arm to ask for help when she felt exhausted but was ignored. When she finally managed to make it back to the boat (panicked, I might add), she was told by a crew member that he was watching her and she was making progress so HE wasn't worried. She certainly was, as were several other snorkelers. A few other snorkels were frightened enough not to get back in the water for the placid turtle habitat. The next day we snorkeled for free by the black rocks next to the Ka'anapali Sheraton beach and saw many more fish species as well as turtles and coral--right up close. We sure wouldn't do this one again, and we're certified divers!

Thank 37774ron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

Really liked the 2 sites, Molokini is amazing. Turtle arches was great. The crew, boat and food were all very good.
Highly recommend.

Thank steveandbette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

We had a very good experience with the Molokini Wild Side snorkeling trip. Awesome crew with tons of knowledge to share and they took great care of us. The lunch served on the boat was very good. The turtle snorkeling stop was so awesome. The only thing that could have made it better would have been dolphons but we didn't see any on our trip.

Thank Terri B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 18, 2013

My wife booked us on a 3 hour snorkeling trip. We received a phone call the evening before our trip and they advised my wife they had to cancel our trip because they did not have enough people for our scheduled trip and asked her if they could upgrade us to the longer trip just a little later in the morning. So we went from the 3 hour trip to the 6 hour trip including a barbecue and drinks. Now for the cruise they took us out to Molokini and we got to dive and see all the fish and coral we were there for just over an hour. We then were headng to the island of Lanai but the Captain said it would be unsafe for us to dive there since the ocean had 11 to 13 foot swells in that area because of the wind so he went to a spot called turtle city and we all got to dive with the turtles. And we were there for just over an hour. Now since we could not go to the island earlier he found another area and it was great diving also. Lots of fish including turtles and dolphins. While we were traveling to this last sight our boat was being escorted by about 20 dolphins swimming in front and all around the boat. It was a awesome sight to see. Wife and I had a great time with a great experience.

The entire crew was amazing and very knowledgeable with the island fish. They are extremely safety cautious while you are in the water. They have 2 canoes in the water and at least 2 of the crew watching from the boat.

It is definitley worth the money for the experience you will receive.

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

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