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8 Maui Whale Watch Magazine • WhaleWatchingOnMaui.com how to choose Best THE FOR WHALE WATCHING Okay, so you've decided that 100% without a doubt, you're going whale watching. Bravo, you've made a very smart decision. Flying thousands of miles to Maui and not going whale watching is sort of like ordering a fantastic meal when you're really hungry and not eating it. So, now that you're settled on seeing the humpbacks, the next choice is – and it's really important – what type of boat do you want to go on? e choices are endless, so we've created the following guide to help you out. Enjoy! Boat SIZE TUSH matters cush FAR or close PLACE of harbor XTRA stuff Group size refers to the number of passengers onboard. is number depends upon the type of boat, tour and company policy. Smaller boats tend to allow for a more intimate & personal experience and may cost a little more, whereas larger boats accommodate larger groups, sometimes allowing up to 149 passengers or more, and may cost a little less. TIP Ask in advance: "How many people does your boat carry?" Not all boats are created equal. Cushioned seats with a backrest can make all the difference, no matter what type of boat you choose. At the same time you'll need to be aware of seating configurations, as some boats set their seating up in a way that results in some unlucky passengers getting stuck in the middle, meaning you better run in order to get a good seat! TIP Ask in advance: "Do all your seats have cushioned backrests?" e law states that no boat can approach a whale closer than 100 yards. However, if whales approach the boat, that's perfectly ok. Smaller boats are more maneuverable and can get to the whales faster, something exciting but not for everyone. Plus, some of the smaller and faster ras can get a bit wet and rough, so make sure to find the right match for your whale watching style. TIP Ask in advance: "Does your company guarantee whale sightings?" ere are five places that boats depart on Maui. Maalaea is the biggest harbor, about 45 min. – 1 hour from most hotel areas. Kihei boat ramp is closest to Kihei & Maalaea, but trickier for boarding. Lahaina Harbor, Mala Wharf and Kaanapali are close to all West Maui hotels and condos, but Lahaina Harbor offers the most consistently calm waters for boarding & whale watching. TIP Ask in advance: "Where do you leave from?" Considerations like having a bathroom, shaded seating, space to move around and railings for toddlers are all important things to think about. Also, if features like an onboard restroom, front row seating, kid discounts and hydrophones are important, check in advance. And be aware that not all boats allow young children to go on their whale watch trips. TIP Ask in advance about any features that are important to you. SPONSORED BY MAKAI ADVENTURES

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