Guests can enjoy whale watching from the aquarium’s Harbor Plaza throughout the month. Located near Mā‘alaea Bay, the Harbor Plaza at Maui Ocean Center is a perfect place to spot whales. Volunteers from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary will be available on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help guests spot whales and interpret whale behaviors.
A perfect complement to whale season is the aquarium’s “Whale of a Tale” tour upgrade, offered exclusively in January. Guests may upgrade to the “Whale of a Tale” tour for $10 per person plus aquarium admission on Tuesdays, Jan. 4, 11, 18 and 25. Beginning at 11:30 a.m., the hour-long tour includes a trained ocean naturalist guide and a visit to the Marine Mammal Discovery Center, where guests will learn about whales and other cetaceans through interactive exhibits. The tour concludes with whale watching in the aquarium’s Harbor Plaza. Space is limited and the public is encouraged to make advance reservations by calling (808) 270-7088.
The interactive “Meet the Diver” tour will introduce guests to the important daily duties of divers and aquarists at Maui Ocean Center. “Meet the Diver” is offered on Wednesdays, Jan.5, 12, 19 and 26 at 1 p.m. for $10 per person plus aquarium admission. The tour includes meeting a member of the aquarist team, the staff responsible for the care of marine animals and exhibits at Maui Ocean Center, observing the rarely visited behind-the-scenes areas of the aquarium and a supervised feed of sharks and sea turtles at the Hammerhead Harbor and Turtle Lagoon exhibits. Space is limited and the public is encouraged to make advance reservations by calling (808) 270-7088.
Guests can learn about Hawai‘i’s beloved green sea turtles in an up-close and personal setting during Turtle-rrific Thursday, Jan. 20. Beginning at 2 p.m., this interactive program is hosted by the Aquarium’s curatorial team at the Turtle Lagoon. Guests will learn about the biology, behavior and diet of green sea turtles from the team that cares for the animals on a daily basis. This activity is complimentary with aquarium admission and appropriate for all ages.
Visitors will have another opportunity to learn all about green sea turtles during “Hangin’ with Honu” on Friday, Jan. 28. A special guest speaker, accompanied by a green sea turtle, will host casual turtle talks at the Turtle Lagoon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The story behind the turtles at Maui Ocean Center along with other interesting turtle facts will be discussed. This activity is complimentary with aquarium admission and appropriate for all ages.
Throughout the month, the aquarium hosts a variety of exciting children’s activities that are complimentary with paid admission. On Saturdays, children are invited to a story and craft hour beginning at 11:30 a.m. in the Hawaiians and the Sea exhibit. Stations offering whale-themed crafts are available in Marine Mammal Discovery Center on Jan. 17 and 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Jan. 14 and 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children can learn basic anatomy and information about humpbacks with the whale activity page, available on the aquarium’s Website or at the front gate.
The mission of Maui Ocean Center is to foster understanding, wonder and respect for Hawai‘i’s marine life.