When should you plan your island trip to see the last great animal migration?
Humpback whales are in Hawaii seasonally, traveling back and forth from colder, food abundant climates like Alaska, to warmer waters like Hawaii for mating and giving birth. If you are hoping to go whale watching in Hawaii, it’s important to plan around the humpback whales’ migration!
During the summer months, humpback whales are in Alaska, feeding off fish, plankton, krill and storing up energy for their long journey to warmer waters. As the weather cools, the humpback whales begin to arrive in Hawaii in late November and early December. Even this year we have seen some arrive as early as October, they are juveniles eager to reach our warm Maui Nui Basin.
Whale Watching Calendar
The most whales are in Hawaii from the end of January until the middle of March. The whales begin their migration back to Alaska, and the last are typically seen in the month of April.
Because the whales are in Hawaii during these months, the Maui Nui Basin becomes a designated sanctuary for humpback whales from December 15th to April 15th, restricting certain ocean activities to provide a safer place for the humpbacks to spend their winters.