(BPT) - While Hawaii is known worldwide for its beautiful beaches, it may not be the first location that pops into your mind when you think of whale watching. If you’re a fan of the most majestic marine mammal on earth, you owe yourself the opportunity to view North Pacific Humpback Whales in person. Here are a few facts about whale migration to Hawaii that you may not know.
- Each year, thousands of North Pacific Humpback Whales migrate 6,000 miles from their feeding grounds around Alaska to the Hawaiian Islands to raise their young.
- The North Pacific Humpback Whale annual migration is one of the longest of any mammal.
- In 1992, the U.S. Congress recognized the importance of this whale habitat by designating the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
- From mid-to-late November, nursing mother whales begin arriving in the waters around Hawaii with their calves, followed later by young whales, adult males and pregnant females.
- The peak time to view the spectacular shows humpback whales provide in Hawaii is during the month of February, tapering off in April.
- The four-island region — composed of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kaho’olawe — is one of two favorite areas in Hawaii for humpback whales to visit.
Hawaii is a must-see locale to visit for whale lovers of any age. You can enjoy your whale watching from the shoreline of beautiful Maui, from a variety of oceanfront locations offered by Marriott International – Hawaii, including the Westin Maui Resort and Spa, Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui or The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Visitors to these resorts often view whales spouting and breaching from the beaches and nearby scenic viewing spots, or even from the lanai (balcony) of their hotel or resort guest room.
For the serious whale lover, turn your visit into a complete whale-watching adventure on Ka’anapali Beach. Sheraton Maui offers a comprehensive whale watching package called “Kohola in Ka’anapali” (“kohola” is Hawaiian for whale). In addition to deluxe oceanfront accommodations, the package includes an educational whale talk by a marine naturalist from the Maui Ocean Center, plus an exciting Maui whale watch catamaran experience for two guests with Teralani Sailing Adventures in combination with your three-night minimum stay, along with several other fun amenities.
Plan a tour of the Hawaiian Islands to increase your opportunities to see the whales in action. In recent years, humpback whales have also been frequently seen in the waters around the Big Island, Kauai and Oahu. Fortunately, a variety of Marriott International Hotel and Resort venues are located throughout Hawaii, including all the areas where whales have been spotted, to meet anyone’s vacation needs. Whether you’re a family on a budget, an adventurous traveler or a couple looking for a romantic getaway, there are locations ranging from Courtyard and Residence Inns to Ritz-Carlton hotels to suit your special whale-watching adventure. You can combine a dream vacation with your love of these amazing marine mammals for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.