Travel to the Hawaiian islands this winter and you may encounter one of the ocean’s biggest and most majestic whale species — the humpback whale. Known as “kuapio kohola” in Hawaiian, humpback whales are a type of baleen whale that inhabit all corners of the globe. They can grow up to 60 feet in length and weigh an impressive 40 tons! From November to May, the North Pacific stock migrate to several Hawaiian islands, including Maui and Lanai, and Oahu. Miraculously, these whales travel from Alaska, where they reside in the summer, to Hawaii in only 6-8 weeks. That’s a stunning 3,000-mile journey in such a brief time!
Once here in Hawaii, humpback whales engage in a variety of behaviors that fascinate avid whale-watchers and tourists alike. Humpback whales use their tails, pectoral fins, and even their peduncles (the area connecting the tail to the body) to slap the water in a dramatic display. If you’re lucky, you may even catch humpback whales breaching, in which they actually jump out of the water, allowing a full view of their gargantuan bodies!
Sadly, humpback whales are an endangered species. In 1966, only 1,400 North Pacific humpback whales remained in existence. Since then, the prohibition of whaling in combination with the Endangered Species Act of 1973 has helped slowly increase the humpback whale population. Currently, more than 20,000 North Pacific humpback whales exist with the help of careful conservation efforts. Many species have even been taken off the endangered species list! Finally, the humpback whale is regaining what it lost while gaining a whole new fan base in the process.
Our whale watching cruise is a great way to catch sight of these beautiful underwater behemoths. Enjoy an afternoon lunch aboard the Majestic while watching humpback whales breach just outside your window as you take in the spectacular Honolulu coastline. And if our Naturalist is unable to spot one, you’ll receive a return whale watch cruise on us. So “water” you waiting for? Contact us to book an exciting cruise today!