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EXTP Newsletter
December 2022

Whale Season in Hawai‘i: Where to Watch

Hawai‘i’s most majestic marine mammals are back! Each year from December to May, scientists estimate that two-thirds of the entire North Pacific humpback whale population return to Hawai‘i to breed, calve and nurse their young. Humpback whales, or koholā in the Hawaiian language, can be seen from every island and there are a variety of ways for your clients to experience these awe-inspiring animals from both sea and shore. We’ve put together a whale-watching guide below so your clients can witness the wonder and majesty of some of the world’s largest and most peaceful creatures.

Island of Hawai‘i
Over on the island of Hawai‘i, Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection’s Koholā Talk is an unforgettable storytelling experience aboard the Kalama Kai, Mauna Lani’s 42-foot power boat. Available exclusively to Mauna Lani guests until springtime, clients can survey the horizon for signs of a fluke or breach while learning long-lived legends passed from one generation to another. Another option in the Waikoloa area is Hawaii Ocean Sports Whale Cruises at ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay. Clients will ride aboard stable, spacious, and comfortable catamarans while learning about humpback whales with a highly trained naturalist. Looking for a more intimate whale-watching experience? Try Captain Zodiac Whale Watching Tours for a personal small group tour on Zodiac rafts. For something extra special, clients can take their sunset tour to encounter humpback whales as the sun goes down. If boats aren’t their thing, clients can still catch a glimpse of the humpbacks from shore at Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site. In addition to whales, dolphins and black-tipped reef sharks are common sightings.


Maui Ocean Center offers the Humpbacks of Hawai‘i Exhibit & Sphere, an integrated exhibit with 4k imagery, 3D active glasses, and a 7.1 surround sound system in a first-of-its-kind 3D Sphere, where guests will be transported under the sea for an inside look into the complex and vibrant lives of Maui’s humpback whales in their natural habitat. Those ready to see a whale up close should consider Sail Trilogy, which offers a two-hour whale-watching tour perfect for the entire family. Clients will experience the sheer thrill of seeing and hearing humpback whales while learning fun facts from whale naturalists and enjoying complimentary snacks and beverages. Pacific Whale Foundation also offers a variety of award-winning whale-watching tours led by certified marine naturalists for a fun and informative interpretation of humpback whale behaviors and characteristics. Looking to give back? Clients on Maui can also volunteer with the Pacific Whale Foundation’s Coastal Marine Debris Monitoring Program to help protect whales and other sea life.

O‘ahu-bound clients can see the humpback whales via a memorable two-hour roundtrip hike along the Makapu‘u Point Lighthouse Trail. Clients will be rewarded with stunning views of the windward coast and offshore islets of the historic red-roofed Makapu‘u Lighthouse built in 1909. For more shoreline whale-watching experiences, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary hosts the Sanctuary Ocean Count project, an annual signature education outreach and citizen science project, wherein clients can help tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals’ surface behavior. The Majestic Whale Watching Experience offered by Atlantis Adventures, a STAH-certified sustainable tour operator, is something you will not want to miss! The tour takes clients to the humpbacks aboard a 150-foot vessel with multiple outdoor viewing decks and indoor air-conditioned cabins with large panoramic windows to ensure everyone can get a view of these fascinating creatures.

Kauaʻi-bound clients can witness whales glide and breach from the water, play with their calves, and even listen to their songs and communications through one of Kaua‘i’s many boat and charter activity partners. For clients looking to catch a glimpse of humpback whales from the island’s stunning shores, we’ve got you covered. Beachgoers at Poʻipū Beach may spot passing humpback whales from its sandy shores. Along Kauaʻi’s scenic east coast is a 7.3-mile paved trail called Ke Ala Hele Makālae (Coastal Path), where biking and walking enthusiasts can keep an eye out for whales traveling along the coast. Another option located atop a 180-foot ocean bluff on the northernmost point of the main Hawaiian Islands is the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, which offers spectacular views to see humpback whales and other wildlife, most notably seabirds rarely seen from land. Please note: Reservations are required to visit.

Festivals of Hawaii

New Year's Eve Celebration
December 31, 2022

Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic
December 22-25, 2022

Maui Pops Orchestra - Winter Pops
February 26, 2023

Island of Hawai‘i
Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival
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What's New

For the golf-lover clients, the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua opens the calendar year and the PGA TOUR season on the majestic North-West Maui Coastline from January 4-8, 2023. The tour continues on O‘ahu from January 9-15, 2023 with the Sony Open in Hawai‘i, attracting more than140 of the world's top golf professionals. To close the season, the PGA TOUR heads to Hawaiʻi Island for The Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualālai at Hualālai Resort Golf Club from January 19-21. The tournament’s roster will be filled with PGA champions from the past five years and other tournament winners of the past two years.

Digital Travel Guides

NEW Hawaiian Islands Digital Travel Guides Now Available as Marketing tool for Travel Advisors. Travel advisors can now download and share with clients four new travel guides that highlight the following traveler types: Mālama Hawai‘i/Mindful Travel, Hawaiian Culture, Culinary and Outdoor Travel. These highly visual, engaging and informative guides showcase unique opportunities for those seeking to immerse themselves in Hawai‘i’s natural beauty, authentic culture, diverse cuisine and enriching voluntourism experiences.

Based on their personal interests, guide your clients toward the best Hawai‘i experiences by sending a personal email through the travel agent portal.

View and share these tools now at https://agents.gohawaii.com


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