Of all the major Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is the quietest and most untouched. As a result, Kauai is an excellent destination for animal-loving adventurers. Around the island of Kauai, that species of marine wildlife can be seen playing, eating, and swimming in the crystal-blue waters.

Thousands of tropical fish in more colors in the rainbow swim through the coral reefs. Rare monk seals can be spotted around the shores. From the shores of Kauai, you may catch a glimpse of humpback whales. And if you’re fortunate enough to take an adventure off-shore, you may get to see these majestic whales up close.

Humpback whales are an important creature in Hawaiian’s indigenous culture. According to native Hawaiian traditions, all forms of life have meaning and are connected, including the people, the land, the plants, and the creatures. Because of this, there is a strong bond and deep respect that exists between native Hawaiians and all of the animals, plants, and land. Humpback whales are considered to be the animal form or manifestation of Kanaloa, the god of the oceans. Centuries ago when the Polynesians found Hawaii, it is believed that the whales were their guide.

Humpback whales tend to migrate to Kauai from December through March. The best time to see these gorgeous creatures is in January and February.

Are you planning a vacation to Kauai and want to see a humpback whale? Keep reading for more information about humpback whales and how you can spot one on your adventure in Kauai.

The Hawaiian Humpback Whale

Did you know that humpback whales can grow to be 45 feet long and weigh up to 40 tons? These gorgeous creatures are a fascinating sight to behold.

Whale Feeding

Humpback whales primarily feed in the summer months in the northern parts of the pacific ocean. They consume up to 3,000 pounds of krill and small fish per day. During this feeding period, they pack on fat and blubber to sustain them through their migration. 

Whale Singing

Whale songs are a cherished phenomenon in Hawaii. Whales sing for many different reasons and as far as scientists can tell, it’s only the males who sing. They sing for mourning, comfort when they’re lonely, to signal when there are boats in the water, and for many other situations.

Endangered Species

Humpback whales are on the endangered species list but they are making a small recovery since being listed as endangered. Scientists struggle to pinpoint the exact increase in the elusive whale populations but are optimistic. However, an estimated 10,000 whales migrate to Hawaii each year.

Their Migration

Kauai is one stop along the whales’ migration from the northern parts of the Pacific ocean. When they visit Kauai each year, their primary activity isn’t feeding. Instead, it’s mating and giving birth to their calves. 

Mating is very competitive for whales. Some of the mating displays for the males include thrashing their bodies, doing tricks, and chasing the females. They also sing elaborate mating songs that reverberate miles through the water that can last up to 20 minutes. 

The gestation period for female whales is about 11 months, so the whales that mated the year before often return to Kauai to give birth. The mothers are very protective of their young, but while teaching them how to swim through the water, they often breach the surface of the water and twist through the air. This is one of the most incredible sights to see on a whale-watching excursion.

How to see these Whales

The best way to see the Hawaiian Humpback Whale is by catamaran cruise. These quiet vessels can safely bring you close enough to the whales so you can see them in all their glory while respecting their space.

Aboard a catamaran cruise, your family can learn about the whales, enjoy a delicious meal, and see the beautiful whales. Visit for more information.

Kauai Sea Tours

Are you and your family ready to explore Hawaii on a boat tour? Kauai Sea Tours has been providing award-winning tours since 1991, with a history of ten consecutive TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards. Our team is passionate about creating incredible adventures in paradise and we’re excited to go whale-watching with your family.