Up Close 2 Hour Whale Watching Tours 808-667-5565  Book Now →

CaptainSteve_WhaleMainPageImageUp Close 2 Hour Whale Watching Tours–Available December 15th-April 15th

We welcome everyone back for our 2020-2021 whale season! We have lowered our Private Charter rates for anyone booking now until the COVID capacity restrictions are lifted or changed.  Booking now locks in the lower price for private charters!  We are currently limited to 50% capacity on our rafts so Canefire can take 12 passengers and Canefire II can take 18 passengers.  The current status of our capacity limits is subject to change at any time due to state and DLNR requirements.
Special prices are valid until our capacity restrictions get lifted or 4/15/21.
Canefire COVID Special Private Charter Rates-available Tuesdays & Thursdays (and at 2:30 on most Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat)-book online at:

Whale Watch 9:45/12:15    $720 plus taxes/fees (reg $1,200) up to 12 max

Whale Watch 7:30/2:30      $600 plus taxes/fees (reg $1,000) up to 12 max

Canefire II COVID Special Private Charter Rates-available every day-call 808-667-5565 to book!

Whale Watch 9:45/12:15    $1,080 plus taxes/fees (reg $1,920) up to 18 max

Whale Watch 7:30/2:30      $900 plus taxes/fees (reg $1,600) up to 18 max

Our most asked question is “when is the best time of day to see the whales?” Well, those whales are out there all day and all night long. They really don’t care what time of day it is. It typically is a calmer boat ride on the ocean in the morning which is why our morning trips can sell out 5-14 days in advance during our busy months of January-March. Our tradewinds typically pick up in the afternoons and the whales do love the wind so our afternoon trips typically have fantastic whale action although the ride can be bumpier.

Imagine that out of the corner of your eye you see a glowing turquoise color moving through the crystal clear, deep blue waters of the Pacific. The silence is broken as the captain sings out, “Thar she blows!” He explains that it’s the white pigmentation on the 15-foot-long pectoral fin of a mother humpback whale with the bright Maui sun reflecting off it. You look down as a 45 foot, 45 ton whale glides under your raft with her newborn calf riding on her back. Your heart is racing, and the silence is broken again, this time by the vigilant crew. He yells, “Breach at 2 o’clock!” You look out to see the 40 foot, 40 ton male escort whale in mid air. He spins and crashes to the surface with a thunderous roar. Then the captain stands and exclaims, “Looks like a large competitive pod out toward the shipwreck on Lana’i. Hold on, let’s go!” You look down at your watch: 20 minutes ago you were still standing on the dock. The most recognized visitors to Hawaii each and every year are the North Pacific humpback whales. While not every animal in the population visits Maui County, there are many days when you might think that is the case. It is widely accepted throughout the cetacean research community that the Au’au Channel (Coastal Maui and Lana’i) receives the second largest concentration of Humpbacks during the winter months. The largest concentration is located just off the coast of Moloka’i, which is also in Maui County and within the range of Captain Steve’s rafts on a calm day.

Protect yourselves while out in the sun with our whale and turtle sun protection shirts! Our Solar Performance Long Sleeves offer superior sun protection featuring UPF 50+ solar protection & PURE-tech™ moisture wicking technology. They’re lightweight, comfortable, & sure to keep the sun’s rays from penetrating through to your skin.

You can purchase these shirts as upgrades during your booking or at our online store. These shirts are in MENS SIZES (Deb is in an XS. Sleeves run long to cover hands for sun protection).  NEW for 2021 are our whale neck gaiters/sunshields also for sun protection! 

Early Bird Whale Watching Tour (7:30 am, 2 hours)
Save $10 per person!

Adult: $49.99 ($53.57 inclusive of taxes/harbor fees), Regular Price: $59.99

Child (3-12 yrs.): $39.99 ($42.86 inclusive of taxes/harbor fees), Regular Price: $49.99

Morning Whale Watching Tour (9:45 am, 2 hours)

Adult: $59.99 ($64.29 inclusive of taxes/harbor fees)

Child (3-12 yrs.): $49.99 ($53.57 inclusive of taxes/harbor fees)

Afternoon Whale Watching Tour (12:15 pm, 2 hours)

Adult: $59.99 ($64.29 inclusive of taxes/harbor fees)

Child (3-12 yrs.): $49.99 ($53.57 inclusive of taxes/harbor fees)

Late Bird Whale Watching Tour (2:30 pm, 2 hours)
Save $10 per person!

Adult: $49.99 ($53.57 inclusive of taxes/harbor fees), Regular Price: $59.99

Child (3-12 yrs.): $39.99 ($42.86 inclusive of taxes/harbor fees), Regular Price: $49.99

Whale of a Package

Purchase our “Whale of a Package” and receive 10 whale watches at the Early Bird price, which can be used during any whale watch tour, for $499.90 ($535.73 inclusive of taxes/fees-price valid through 3-31-21).

This is a savings of $107.17 off of the regular whale watch price of 10 seats ($642.90 inclusive of taxes/fees). The advantage to buying the “Whale of a Package” is you can use your seats on the prime trip times of 9:45 and 12:15 which are not discounted. The “WOAP” can be shared with as many people as you want.

Once you purchase your “WOAP”, you just have to call us or email us at Captain Steve’s Rafting to pick your whale watch times. Call us at 808-667-5565 to purchase this whale of a deal or you can purchase the WOAP below!


Know your boarding capability! Please read!

You will board our rafts at the Mala Small Boat Ramp. When the tide is high, loading is as simple as stepping onto the pontoon off of the dock and is quite easy. Getting off, you need to be able to step up onto the pontoon yourself and then onto the dock with a little balance help from your friends. When the tide is low, it can be a very large step down onto the pontoon from the dock. For safety when it is a very large step down, you might have to sit down on your derriere on the dock, swing your legs over and step onto the raft. This is usually no problem at all for most of us. However, it can be very difficult or impossible for those with hip/knee replacements or some older folks. To disembark at low tide, you may be required to step up on the pontoon, sit on your derriere on the dock, swing your legs up on the dock, then stand up (getting to your knees if you have to). Again, it can be difficult if you have hip/knee replacements. We encourage you to know your loading capability. To check when the tide is high, you can go to this link and put in the date (remember you will disembark two hours after you get on and the tide matters at both times).

What’s Included & Restrictions

We provide personalized information on Hawaii’s humpback whales and a quick ride to get to the active whales in our fast rafts. Life jackets are also available upon request. These excursions are NOT recommended for pregnant women, people with bad backs, or children under the age of three years. Please bring reef safe sunscreen and note that aerosol sprays are not allowed on our rafts to protect the reef and to improve the overall passenger experience.

Captain’s Note

All of my whale seasons have been awesome! I love the whales but it’s the people, our employees and our customers (so many of which return year after year), that make it so much fun for me. I am looking forward to this next season! Captain Steve’s Rafting Adventures contributes to science! Help us and get to know your whales too by sharing your whale photos at:


We will adhere to the requirements that are in place at the time by DLNR, which governs all state commercial boating.  As of 2-1-21, The President signed Executive Order 13998 which now “requires all persons traveling on all commercial maritime vessels to wear a mask when boarding, disembarking, and for the duration of travel.”  The only exception on our trips will be during a snorkel trip when the guest is in the water snorkeling or while eating our breakfast or lunch.  Otherwise, everyone will need to now wear a mask during the entire trip.  Social distancing will occur to the extent practical as a small vessel company.  Currently we are restricted to 50% capacity, which is subject to change at any time.  We will have hand sanitizer available at all times, and we will clean and sanitize our rafts between all trips.  While we have always sanitized our snorkel gear after each trip, we recommend that you bring your own snorkel gear if you would like. On our snorkel trips, we will now be required to serve our food to you but you may also bring your own food if you would like (no glassware allowed and only small bendable coolers will fit inside our benches).  We will no longer provide shared sunscreen so please bring your own sunscreen and note that spray sunscreen is not allowed on our vessels.  Our crew will receive daily health screenings.  We kindly ask that any guest who is feeling sick or is exhibiting any symptoms to stay home. Maui County’s current travel policies can be found at this link: