As winter settles in over much of the northern hemisphere, Maui remains a haven of warmth and comfort. This is true not only for the scores of wintertime travellers who come in search of Maui’s sunshine and beaches, but also for the thousands of humpback whales who migrate more than 3,000 miles (4,830 kilometres) south from Alaska to the welcoming waters of Maui every year.
Whale season lasts from roughly December to April, when up to 10,000 of these awe-inspiring creatures arrive in Hawaiian waters after swimming south for up to 6 weeks. They come to conceive, give birth to and raise their young calves in the relative comfort and safety of Hawaii’s subtropical waters. Due to the relatively shallow shelf between Maui, Lana'i and Moloka'i, as well as a lack of predators in the area, the waters off Wailea near Four Seasons Resort Maui are a prime location for whale activity.
It is the newly born humpback whale calves who are the stars of the show. To learn and perfect the motor skills necessary to make the return migration north to Alaska in the spring, they continually play and frolic, with many of their activities taking place at the surface of the water. From expelling air through their blowholes in a powerful spray to propelling their entire bodies out of the water before landing with a massive splash, the whale calves provide an acrobatic show of incredible beauty.
To have the chance to see these majestic and intelligent creatures up close is a once-in-a-lifetime event. In Maui, and especially in the area around Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, whale watchers can see these magnificent creatures from a number of vantage points, including from the Resort itself. These amazing creatures often get close enough to the shore that you can see them in all their glory from the comfort of your lanai or even during a swim in our Serenity Pool.
Four Seasons Resort Maui also offers a range of whale watching opportunities including a kayak tour along the spectacular Wailea coastline, an outrigger experience that enables you to view the whales from the water while learning the history and the how-to of this Hawaiian paddling sport, a two-hour whale-watching trip with drinks and appetizers aboard Maui’s finest luxury catamaran and a stunning helicopter tour that brings you from West Maui to the adjacent island of Moloka'i.
In addition, humpback whales can be experienced in unique and different ways at the Resort during whale season. Some male whales sing underwater, and their songs can last for up to 40 minutes and be heard as far as 12 miles (19 kilometres) away. You can hear these songs – eerily beautiful and amazingly complex – during the Spa’s Wai Vari water treatment therapy, which features an in-ocean massage by a specialized massage therapist.
Finally, Four Seasons Resort Maui has partnered with the Maui-based Cesere Brothers, a duo of award-winning fine art underwater photographers, to present an incomparable Maui whale-watching adventure. Dan and John Cesere are artists-in-residence at the Resort as well as part of the research team of Keiki Kohala, a non-profit research organization that strives to protect the youngest humpback whales during their time in Hawaiian waters. This unforgettable whale-watching experience gives you direct access to the Cesere Brothers’ photography expertise and intimate knowledge of Maui’s humpback whales and other plentiful marine life, allowing you to create a customized only-in-Maui experience.