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Hawaii's Humpback Whales and Marine Environment

Program Number: 12140RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/10/2013 - 2/16/2013; 1/24/2016 - 1/30/2016;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Kaanapali, Hawaii
Price starting at: $1,389.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Science & Nature Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 6 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

Got whales? Grab your camera and get ready to see the humpback whale up-close swimming right off the shoreline from your beachfront hotel. In the winter and spring, humpback whales migrate to Maui, making the island one of the world’s greatest places to see whales. Look for whales as you embark on whale-watch cruises and snorkeling adventures led by local whale research and conservation groups. Take in lei-making demonstrations highlighting Hawaii's traditional welcoming gift and try your hand at making your own.


• Stay in a beachfront hotel with ocean-view rooms in Kaanapali on Maui's sunny west side. Spectacular whale spouting and breaching is often seen from shore.
• Explore Maui, one of Hawaii's most-visited islands during the whale breeding and birthing season.
• Whale-watch boat excursions allow you to learn from naturalists who are researching and studying whales as you get closer to the action.

Activity Particulars

Walking from three blocks up to one mile over the course of the day. Some stairs, walking on boat decks and uneven surfaces. Optional snorkeling and swimming.

Coordinated by Hawaii Pacific University.


Nestled on the Hawaiian island of Maui, the small town of Kaanapali is known worldwide for its three-mile stretch of white sand beaches and crystal clear water. Each evening at sunset, visitors to Kaanapali can witness the traditional cliff diving ceremony that reenacts the dive once made by Maui’s beloved King Kahekili.

Ocean view rooms at Kaanapali beachfront hotel on tropical 27 acres with three swimming pools, tennis courts, restaurants and fitness center.
Meals and Lodgings
   Maui Beach Hotel
  Kahului, Maui, Hawaii 6 nights
 Maui Beach Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Hotel is conveniently located near the airport and program sites on the harbor side of Kaahumanu Avenue in Kahului, Maui. It is a 20 minute drive from several lovely beaches (shuttles available or cars can be rented from airport - hotel has a free shuttle to airport). There is a large shopping mall across the street.
  Contact info: 170 Kaahumanu Avenue
Kahului, Maui, HI 96732 USA
phone: 808-877-0051
  Room amenities: All rooms have a private bathroom, hair dryer, direct dial telephone, refrigerator, color television, and in- room safe. Iron and Ironing boards are available from front desk.
  Facility amenities: The hotel has a swimming pool and pool deck, free parking, coin operated laundry, and a sundry shop.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $160.00 + tax per night. Rate depends on room category (pricing shown is for deluxe room). Ask for Pacific Islands Institute (PII) Road Scholar rate. As the program typically uses deluxe rooms, you may want to book a deluxe room for your stay to avoid having to change rooms. Need credit card to confirm.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $160.00 + tax per night. Rate depends on room category (pricing shown is for deluxe room). Ask for Pacific Islands Institute (PII) Road Scholar rate. As the program typically uses deluxe rooms, you may want to book a deluxe room for your stay to avoid having to change rooms. Need credit card to confirm.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 - 5:00 PM at hotel. You will be staying at Maui Beach Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at hotel after breakfast; check out by noon; independent departures. You will be staying at Maui Beach Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Participants are required to complete a Housing & Transportation form, a Health & Safety questionnaire and a Release of Liability form
  Parking availability:
Parking is free at Maui hotel.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
  Nearest city or town:  Kahului
  Nearest highway: Hana Highway (360) near Puunene (311) intersection
  Nearest airport:  Kahului Airport (OGG)
  Transportation to site: The hotel provides a free shuttle from 6:00am to 9:00 pm. to and from the airport. Call for reservations. Otherwise, a taxi will cost approximately $10 from the airport to the hotel.
  From End of Program
  Location: Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
  Transportation from site: Hotel provides free shuttle between hotel and airport during select times. Taxi fare from Kahului Airport (OGG) to the hotel costs approximately $10 per trip.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Driving Directions
  From Kahului Airport to Maui Beach Hotel 1: Start out going SOUTHWEST on KEOLANI PL toward HEMALOA ST. 2: Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto HALEAKALA HWY / HI-396 W. 3: Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto HANA HWY / HI-36 W. 4: Turn SLIGHT LEFT onto E KAAHUMANU AVE / HI-32 W. 5: Make a U-TURN onto W KAAHUMANU AVE / HI-32 E. 6: End at 170 W Kaahumanu Ave Kahului, HI 96732-1607, US Total Est. Time: 9 minutes Total Est. Distance: 2.96 miles
  From Maui Beach Hotel to Kahului Airport (OGG) 1. Go Northeast on W Kaahumanu Ave/HI-32 E toward Lono Ave. 2. Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto Hana Hwy/HI-36E. 3. Turn LEFT onto Dairy Rd./HI-380 4. Dairy Rd./HI-380 becomes Keolani Pl. 5. Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto Terminal/Parking/Rental Car Return 6. End at Kahului Airport. Total Est. Time: 8 minutes Total Est. Distance: 2.7 miles
  From the Continental US to Hawaii: Getting to Hawaii is Easier than You Think! Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu is Hawaii's major airport, serving as the entry point for most of Hawaii's visitors. All twenty-three major domestic carriers (such as American, Continental, Delta and United, etc.) and sixteen international carriers serve Oahu, so you can get here from just about anywhere. There are also direct flights from the mainland U.S. to Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii's Big Island, but for the most part, you may need to connect through Oahu to get to the neighbor islands. If your program begins on Maui, Kauai, Molokai or Hawaii's Big Island, and you need to transfer from Honolulu International Airport, you will need to take a short inter-island flight on one of the local carriers (Hawaiian Airlines, go!Airlines or Island Air.) Transfer flights are not difficult. They are short – 25 to 45 minutes long depending on the island destination – and frequent – there are multiple departures daily, often hourly. One-way flights between islands will cost between $50 – $90 depending on the time and season. Since Hawaii is the 50th state, you won't need to bring your passport unless you're visiting from outside the United States or traveling to another country after Hawaii. You can buy your flights directly on your own, through your local travel agent or over the Internet using the airline’s own website or through a travel website such as,, or Hawaii’s Airport Codes HNL – Honolulu, Oahu OGG – Kahului, Maui KOA – Kona, Hawaii's Big Island ITO – Hilo, Hawaii's Big Island LIH – Lihue, Kauai MKK – Molokai Inter-island Airline Information: Hawaiian Airlines 1-800-367-5320 go!Airlines 1-888-435-9462 Island Air 1-800-653-6541
Equipment Requirements: Snorkeling gear may be rented; participants may bring own to ensure a good fit.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Registration/Introductions
(Sunday, February 10)
 Afternoon: Arrival and check in.
 Dinner: Hotel Restaurant
 Evening: Introductions- Meet your fellow group members.
Accommodations: Maui Beach Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Orientation/Class: Hawaii's Humpback Whales/Whale Watch
(Monday, February 11)
 Breakfast: Hotel Restaurant
 Morning: Orientation & Class: Introduction to Hawaii's Humpback Whales
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Field trip – Expert-led Whale-Watch. From Maalaea, the group will board a boat in search of humpback whales. (Whale watching season is generally December/January-April/May.)
 Dinner: Hotel Restaurant
 Evening: Free Evening to explore or relax at the hotel
Accommodations: Maui Beach Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Maui Ocean Center/Class: Coral Reefs & Fishes/National Marine Sanctuary
(Tuesday, February 12)
 Breakfast: Hotel restaurant
 Morning: Field Trip –Maui Ocean Center- A guided tour of this aquarium which is devoted to Hawaii's unique marine environment.
 Lunch: Maui Ocean Center Restaurant
 Afternoon: Field trip continues with class on Coral Reefs and Fishes at the Ocean Sciences Discovery Center.Next, visit the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and create your own fish-rubbing (an art form which is known as Gyotaku in Japan) and make a visit to a nearby beach for some swimming or whale watching.
 Dinner: Hotel restaurant
 Evening: Class: Origins of Hawaii's Natural Environment and Marine Life.
Accommodations: Maui Beach Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Snorkel Cruise/Class: Hawaii's Dolphins
(Wednesday, February 13)
 Breakfast: Continental Breakfast on boat
 Morning: Field Trip: Expert-led Snorkel/Whale-watch to Molokini. Whale watch as the boat cruises toward Molokini. Learn about Hawaii's unique ocean ecology and enjoy snorkeling Maui's beautiful waters.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch aboard boat
 Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Maui
 Dinner: Hotel restaurant
 Evening: Class: Hawaii's Dolphins
Accommodations: Maui Beach Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Whalers Village Museum and Lahaina/Whale Watch
(Thursday, February 14)
 Breakfast: Hotel Restaurant
 Morning: Field Trip - Visit Whalers Village Museum in Kaanapali then head to Lahaina. Free time to explore Lahaina and take a self-guided walking tour of this former whaling town and present home to many art galleries and shops featuring marine-themed art.
 Lunch: Lunch is on your own to explore local eateries
 Afternoon: Board a 50 foot sailing catamaran to go whale watching in the Auau channel (between Maui and Lanai).
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
 Evening: Free evening to enjoy Lahaina or relax at hotel.
Accommodations: Maui Beach Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Tide Pools Exploration/Lei Making Class/Aloha (Farewell) Dinner
(Friday, February 15)
 Breakfast: Hotel restaurant
 Morning: Field Trip: Tide Pools, Beaches, and Hawaii’s Coastal Environment
 Lunch: Picnic lunch
 Afternoon: Return to Hotel for an afternoon Class: Lei Making. At this Lei Making Class you will string a lovely fresh flower lei for yourself or to give to someone else with a traditional Hawaiian "Aloha".
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner
 Evening: Aloha Program
Accommodations: Maui Beach Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: End of Program
(Saturday, February 16)
 Breakfast: Hotel Restaurant
 Morning: Independent departures before noon.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Kahului, Maui, Hawaii Hale Kahiko Museum
Hale Kahiko (ancient house) is a replica of a portion of a Kauhale (Hawaiian village). Join a free guided tour & take a " walk through history" or stroll through on your own using a free map. As you enter the village you will see three hale, each was built for a specific function, such as eating, sleeping or craft making. Lahaina Center 900 Front Street Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii Open: 9 am to 6 pm daily. Admission is free. Free guided tours from 10 am to 4 pm on weekdays. Tel: 808-667-9216. Admission: Free
  Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
Comprehensive listing of events and activities for the state. Contains much information about local events and activities. Searchable by dates, activity, etc. - To find information on the island's events and activities, click on the island in the map at the top of the home page. Or, you may call 1-800-Go-Hawaii. For additional information, visit
  Iao Valley State Park
The lovely, deep valley of Iao features the Iao Needle, a natural rock pinnacle presiding over the Iao stream and surrounded by the walls of the Puu Kukui Crater. Iao Valley is a peaceful lush area with easy hikes, exotic tropical plants, and clear, natural pools. The ridge-top lookout offers a fantastic view of the valley and Kahului Harbor. Iao Valley is recognized as a very special place for both its spiritual value and spectacular scenery. Contact: Maui District, Hawaii State Parks 54 South High Street, 101 Wailuku, HI, 96793, Phone: 808-984-8109 Park is at the end of Iao Valley Road (Highway 32) Park gate open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For additional information, visit
  Kepaniwai Park & Heritage Gardens
Established in 1952, this park is dedicated to preserving Maui's ethnic heritage, including Hawaiian, Portuguese, Japanese, Caucasian and Filipino cultures. As you stroll the lush tropical gardens, you'll see several thatched-roof Hawaiian huts, a Portuguese villa, a New England "saltbox" and a Japanese garden with a stone pagoda. 870 Iao Valley Road Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii 96793 Tel: 808-270-7232 Hours: Daily 7am-7pm Admission: Free For additional information, visit
  Sugar Cane Train
Railroads traveled through the history of Hawaii for more than 100 years and became a picturesque part of the Hawaiian landscape between fields of sugar cane and plantation villages. The Lahaina Kaanapali Railroad crosses a 325-foot curved wooden trestle whose elevation yields panoramic views of neighboring islands and the West Maui Mountains. Be transported from the Maui of yesteryear to the beauty and charm of Maui today. 975 Limahana Pl. Suite #203 Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761 Phone: (808) 667-6851 Toll Free: 1-800-499-2307 One Way, Roundtrip and Dinner Tours Available. For additional information, visit
  Ulalena - Maui Theatre
Ulalena is a fabulously unique theatrical experience staged at Maui Theatre in historic Lahaina Town. An original presentation which has been acclaimed by critics as masterful, exhilarating and surprising. Ulalena tells the story of Hawaii through visual expression, song, acrobatics and dance. 878 Front Street, Lahaina, Maui Toll Free (877) 661 6655 or (808) 661 6655 Doors open daily at 6pm, Tuesday - Saturday Prices start at $48.00 For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Shoal of Time

Author: Daws, Gavan

Description: General

The Illustrated Atlas of Hawaii

Author: Daws, Gavan

Description: General

Volcanoes in the Sea: The Geology of Hawaii

Author: Macdonald, G.A., A. T. Abbott, and F.L. Peterson

Description: General

Hawai`i A Unique Geography

Author: Morgan, Joseph R.

Description: General

Hawaii - A Natural History

Author: Carlquist, Sherwin

Description: General Environment

Islands in a Far Sea: Nature and Man in Hawai`i

Author: Culliney, John L.

Description: General Environment

Hawaii: The Islands of Life

Author: Daws, Gavan

Description: General Environment

Hawai`i's Humpback Whales

Author: Kaufman, Gregory D. and Forestell, Paul H.

Description: Hawai`i's Marine Environment

The Whales of Hawaii

Author: Balcomb, Kenneth C. III and Stanley M. Minasian

Description: Hawai`i's Marine Environment

Hawaiian Coral Reef Ecology

Author: Gulko, David

Description: Hawai`i's Marine Environment

Sea Turtles: An Ecological Guide

Author: Gulko, David and Eckert, Karen

Description: Hawaii's Marine Environment

Ocean Watchers

Author: Scott, Susan

Description: Hawai`i's Marine Environment

Hawai`i's Fishes

Author: Hoover, John P.

Description: Hawai`i's Marine Environment

Hawai`i's Sea Creatures: A Guide to Hawai`i's Marine Invertabrates

Author: Hoover, John P.

Description: Hawai`i's Marine Environment

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