As we enter Fall here in Maui whale season is just beginning! Typically, the first humpback whale is seen in late September or early October with peak whale season running from December to March. These majestic creatures migrate to Hawaii every year from the cold waters of Alaska to breed, birth their babies, and raise their young. You can catch a sighting of humpback whales breaching from the shoreline or book various whale watching tours to get a close-up from a boat. If you are lucky, you may also catch a sighting of humpback whales from the air on your Air Maui helicopter tour, which provides a really unique and interesting vantage point!
Humpback Whale Facts
- In the 1960s there were as few as 1,400 Pacific Humpback Whales, now, in 2019, there are over 22,000 due to conservation efforts.
- Humpback whales spend their summers in waters near Alaska where food is more abundant than in warmer waters. They migrate over 3,500 miles to get to Hawaii where they breed and give birth.
- Humpback whales can grow up to 60 feet long and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Babies weight 2,000 pounds at birth and can gain 100 pounds a day.
- Humpback whales have a lifespan of about 50 years, although there have been cases of some living up to 90 years.
- Humpbacks can hold their breath for up to 45 minutes, although they usually surface to breathe every 10-15 minutes.
- Not all humpback whales sing, only certain males. Their songs can last up to 40 minutes and can be heard from up to 12 miles away.
- There are 10 different surface behaviors Humpback Whales exhibit from blowing spray when they surface to breathe, to breaching, tail slaps, head lunges and more.
- Kohola (the Hawaiian name for Humpback Whales) have been visiting Hawaii since the ancient Polynesian Era (1-600 AD).
See Whales from the Air!
If you are interested in seeing whales from the air, the best tour option is our West Maui Molokai Tour. You are sure to see amazing waterfalls, the tallest sea cliffs in the world, and other amazing sights, and, if you are lucky, you could see whales from the air as well! Try our doors-off tour for an even more up close and personal experience. Here are some pictures captured on our flights.
Humpback whales are truly amazing animals and seeing them from the air definitely gives you a unique perspective on this majestic and graceful creature. Here is what some of our guests have to say about seeing whales on their Air Maui tour:
“We had a wonderful trip visiting Maui and flying over Molokai. We saw things that you would not be able to see the ground. Seeing the whales from the air was a special treat. My two daughters, age 15 and 18, really enjoyed it.” - Roam10883026832
“We loved the doors off helicopter tour. Captain Cameron was great! He was very informative and funny. We saw sea turtles and a whale while in the air. The scenery is truly beautiful!” - rsmcq2017
“This was my first time riding in a helicopter and Air Maui exceeded my expectations! We did the West Maui/Molokai tour and the views were unbelievable! Definitely worth the price and would recommend to everyone visiting Maui. Shaylan was an awesome pilot with a great music playlist and commentary. We were lucky enough to see lots of whales out that day too!” - Getaway05122374343
“We took the West Maui and Molokai tour and had amazing views of both islands. The cliffs, lush valleys, and waterfalls of Molokai were awesome. Our pilot, Jesse, was informative, friendly, and an excellent pilot, giving us a smooth ride. We even spotted whales! Great tour and great pilot! Highlight of our week.” - jeffreymM7758YE
“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaamazing! We went doors off for West Maui - Molokai and had an epic trip. All of the staff were fun and helpful, putting safety first. Our pilot, Cameron, was terrific. We got great whale activity, rainbows, and waterfalls galore. Spoiled us rotten for our first helicopter trip. Mahalo!!!” - jeangenie83
“I cannot say anything but good things about our helicopter tour with Air Maui. It’s definitely well worth the money. Highlights including being able to see a wonderful waterfall that you wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise. We also saw an awesome circular rainbow and a pod of whales from the air.” - Fronglay79