Maui Arts & Entertainment

Planning Underway for Maui Whale Festival 2018: Calendar of Events

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The Pacific Whale Foundation has released a tentative schedule of events for Maui Whale Festival 2018. This marks the organization’s 38th year of celebrating humpback whales with fun, engaging and inspiring activities. Pacific Whale Foundation has presented the Maui Whale Festival since 1980 as part of its mission to protect the oceans and marine wildlife through research, conservation and public education.


“Our goal is not only to build awareness, but also commitment and action as a result,” said PWF Founder and Executive Director, Greg Kaufman. “The 2018 Maui Whale Festival will offer enhanced educational components, targeted outreach, and better opportunities for meaningful engagement and activism.”

Here is a sneak peek of some of the events being offered:

Run & Walk for Whales: Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 at the Māʻalaea Harbor Shops. Choose from a 1-mile, 5K, 10K or 11.5 mile course in one of Maui’s largest sporting events. Also includes a Courtyard Party and the Wild & Wonderful Whale Regatta with chances to win a free trip to Maui and other prizes.

Online Auction for Whales:  February 11 – 24, 2018. Bid on great deals for a good cause, including one of a kind gifts and once in a lifetime experiences.


Digital Chat with the Experts: Date TBD.  An interactive global forum with renowned scientists and marine conservation advocates.

World Whale Film FestivalFeb. 16, 2018 at the Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel.  Featuring filmmakers and multimedia artists from around the world using the power of visual storytelling to inspire ocean and wildlife conservation, with a special presentation by PWF Founder Greg Kaufman.

Concert CruisesFriday, Saturday & Sunday, Feb. 16, 17 & 18, 2018.  Music and dancing at sea with live performances by Hawaii’s top recording artists, including John Cruz, HAPA and Amy Hānaiali’i Gilliom.

‘An Unknown Future’ Masquerade Gala: Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 at the King Kamehameha Golf Club.  A social affair featuring live music and dancing, cocktails, sustainable seafood pūpū, and stirring presentations on “The Endangered Five” cetaceans facing extinction.


Great Whale CountSaturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at various locations.  Citizen-science volunteers receive training and materials to conduct this annual shore-based survey of humpback whales.

Great Whale Count VIP Cruise: Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018.  Be the first to find out the results of Great Whale Count 2018 on this whalewatch ecotour with the PWF Research Team.

Events throughout February:

VIP Cruises with the Experts: Whalewatch ecotours with PWF Founder Greg Kaufman and other renowned whale researchers and marine conservationists.


Ultimate Whalewatch: Learn first-hand what it’s like to be a whale researcher on special ecotours with PWF researchers and marine biologists.

Whale Photo Safari Cruises: Photo workshops at sea led by professional wildlife photographers.

Trail of the Whale: PWF’s certified Marine Naturalists will be stationed along Maui’s coast to help you locate and learn about whales from shore.

Because of logistics and cost, PWF is considering various options for changing the location of the parade and festival. The full schedule of events for Maui Whale Festival 2018 is expected to be finalized by the end of the year.

Whale breach in Kīhei. PC: Pacific Whale Foundation.

Maui’s Great Whale Count happens Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. PC: Pacific Whale Foundation.

Run & Walk for Whales, happening Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 at the Māʻalaea Harbor Shops. PC: Pacific Whale Foundation.

Concert Cruises, happening Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Feb. 16, 17 & 18, 2018. PC: Pacific Whale Foundation.

Run & Walk for Whales, happening Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 at the Māʻalaea Harbor Shops. PC: Pacific Whale Foundation.

World Whale Film Festival, happening Feb. 16, 2018 at the Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel. PC: Pacific Whale Foundation.


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