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Social Enterprise

Your ticket to adventure on a PacWhale Eco-Adventures ecotour directly funds nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation’s Research, Education and Conservation programs that work to protect marine wildlife and their ocean home.

Pacific Whale Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1980 to protect a declining humpback whale population from global threats, including commercial whaling. Early pioneers in non-invasive whale research, our scientists began offering educational whale watches on the weekends, after studying whales and their ocean environment during the week. The trips were a means to share our findings, educate the public about whales, and raise needed funds for our research and conservation work.

That same tradition continues today. PacWhale Eco-Adventures is 100% owned by Pacific Whale Foundation, as is our Maʻalaea Ocean Store and Online Ocean Store. The profits that we generate go to supporting Pacific Whale Foundation’s work to protect the ocean through science and advocacy, and to inspire environmental stewardship.

A split image of a pair of humpback whales, underwater in front of the West Maui Mountains.

Go With The Experts

Since our establishment, we have carried more than 6 million guests on our ocean ecotours and educated passengers based on nearly four decades of marine research. You get the latest facts and findings available, as the researchers of our parent nonprofit, PWF, are the ones gathering the data and conducting the studies.

Each trip is led by our Certified Marine Naturalists, all of whom hold graduate or undergraduate degrees in marine biology or related sciences. These dedicated crew members receive continual professional training through our rigorous certification program, which includes testing their knowledge about wildlife behaviors and biology, Hawaii’s marine environment, local geography and culture, hospitality, and safety procedures. They also conduct our popular and innovative onboard Jr. Naturalist Program for children.

This focus on experience and expertise is why we are consistently voted among the best ocean tours on the island!


Safety Is
Important To Us

When it comes to our guests’ safety, we pride ourselves on not only meeting, but exceeding all industry standards. For example, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) requires two to three crew per vessel and that half are CPR and First Aid certified. On our ecotours, you will see up to seven crew members per trip, all of whom are certified in First Aid, oxygen administration, and CPR for adults, children and infants. Hawaii has no specific requirement for certified lifeguards on vessels, but all our crew members on snorkel trips are lifeguard certified.

Our well-stocked kits on each vessel include multiple oxygen set-ups, back and neck supports, and complete AEDs (defibrillator). We also employ a USCG licensed Maritime Safety Coordinator who conducts in-house American Red Cross certifications, safety drills, trainings and inspections to ensure our guests receive the most safe and comfortable cruise possible.

For our snorkel tours, our crew will provide the equipment, instruction and encouragement needed to help guests feel 100% comfortable on the ocean. We offer multiple free options for flotation devices, as well as a brief “Snorkel 101” class for those who want an introduction or a refresher. Full face snorkel masks are not allowed on our trips for safety reasons.


Boats To Boast About

We have invested in the most modern and environmentally-sound catamarans on Maui. Our vessels feature SmoothCat technology for an ultra-comfortable ride, and run on energy-efficient, low-emissions engines. Ocean Guardian and Ocean Odyssey now run on 100% Pacific Biodiesel fuel and we are strongly committed to converting all vessels to run on this much cleaner-burning fuel that is free of fossil fuels. We developed and outfitted all of our vessels with Whale Protection Devices, the first devices in the nation for commercial vessels that guide whales away from propellers and running gear.