What To Wear On A Maui Whale Watch

If you’ve been counting down the days until your Maui whale watch, you’re not alone. There’s something life-changing about seeing massive humpback whales in their natural habitat. Now, your long-awaited trip to Maui and whale watch tour is creeping closer, and you couldn’t be more excited.

But there’s just one problem: you have no idea what to wear. You wonder, will it be hot, cold, windy, or rainy? Will I get sunburned or soaked? Will I spend the whole tour feeling uncomfortable?

What To Wear On A Maui Whale Watch Sunburn

While it’s impossible to predict what Maui’s tropical weather will be like on the day of your whale watch, that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. To ensure your Maui whale watch is as comfortable as a first-class seat on Hawaiian Airlines, here are some handy tips when considering what to wear.

What To Wear On A Maui Whale Watch Clothing


Sun Protection

Sun protection is a must, must, MUST wherever you go on Maui— even on cloudy days. While your boat will probably have some shaded seats, shadows move as the boat travels and the day goes on. Even if you book a morning whale watch and the day starts off cool, the sun might be blazing by 8 am. On your whale watch, you should pack the following:

  • Sunglasses: Essential on the water. The glare coming off the ocean can be blinding, and you don’t want to spend your entire Maui whale watch squinting. Polarized sunglasses are the best for whale watching because they block reflections on the ocean surface and allow you to see the whales better. However, leave the expensive sunnies at home if you’re worried about them getting wet. Cheapies will do just fine.
  • Hat: Brimmed hats with chin straps are the best for whale watching. Large hats will help protect you from the sun, and the chin strap keeps it from blowing away in the breeze.
  • Sunscreen: Reef safe only, please! Wearing sunscreen is crucial on the water, but avoid using sunscreens with toxic ingredients like oxybenzone. Instead, non-nano zinc oxide or titanium dioxide should be the only active ingredients in your sunscreen. These are not only better for you and the reef but also fantastic at preventing sunburn.
  • Long-Sleeved Shirt: If you’re susceptible to getting burned, wear a long-sleeved UV shirt for extra protection. This will come in handy if you get wet too.

What To Wear On A Maui Whale Watch Tour Guests


Staying Warm

Even though Maui is known for its warm weather, it can still get chilly on whale watches— even in the sun! The wind coming off the water can be cold, so pack a light jacket or hoodie to bring on board. Layers are key on whale watches.


Staying Dry

Even if it’s raining, you can still have an amazing whale watch! Whales don’t take days off in the rain. All you need to stay dry is a poncho or rain-slick. Even if it’s not raining, bringing along rain protection is a good idea. Windy days can kick up water and spray you, especially on rafting vessels. Lahaina— where we operate our whale watches— usually gets much less wind than Maalaea, which is why it’s our favorite place to whale watch!

What To Wear On A Maui Whale Watch Splash



Some boats might make you remove your shoes before boarding. Otherwise, tennis shoes or sandals are usually fine. But, again, remember they might get wet.


What Not To Bring

Don’t bring anything that can’t get wet, like expensive cameras or phones without waterproof cases. Of course, taking pictures is encouraged, so be sure to bring a GoPro or splurge on a waterproof case for your phone. Also, bringing a dry bag to store car keys and other items is highly encouraged.

What To Wear On A Maui Whale Watch Photography


Why Book With Us?

When you book with us, you’re guaranteed a whale of a time, literally! Your next trip with us is free if we don’t find whales.

But that’s not all: you’ll discover that raft tours are the only way to go when it comes to Maui whale watching. If a whale chooses to approach the boat, you’ll be blown away by up-close, ocean-level views. Sometimes whales come within feet of the raft! It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, it’s life-changing. We’re whale geeks too, so prepare for tons of information about whales and their behavior coming your way.

What To Wear On A Maui Whale Watch Up Close

Plus, at 50 feet, our raft is the largest in the state. But we don’t book tours to capacity, so you can get better views and enjoy personal space. On our Lahaina whale watch, you’ll experience the excitement of a rafting trip with a smooth, stable “Cadillac Ride.” You’re also afforded luxuries that most other raft tours can’t match, like an onboard head, padded seats, plenty of shade, and a hydrophone to listen to the whale songs! We can’t wait to see you on our Lahaina whale watch soon!