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Tuesday March 11, 2014


Maui (Lahaina), Hawaii
Maui has always occupied a special place in the hearts of Hawaiians. The great warrior King Kamehameha, who united the islands under his rule, chose to make Lahaina his capital and Ka'anapali was once the favorite playground of Hawaiian royalty. And no wonder - Maui boasts stunning landscapes and superb beaches. Mt. Haleakala, a dormant volcano, rises 10,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean. Once hailed as "The Valley of the Kings," Maui's Iao Valley is a tropical paradise dominated by the Needle, a volcanic monolith towering over the valley floor. Then there is Lahaina, once home to a royal court and a raucous port-of-call enjoyed by 19th-century Yankee whalers.

Haleakala means "The House of the Sun." To the Hawaiians, it appeared that the sun both rose from and set in the depths of its massive crater. Today, the centerpiece of Haleakala National Park, it is one of Maui's major attractions.


Click on a picture to view larger image.


Excursion:  Whale Watching

Your adventure begins at the pier where you board a vessel equipped with stabilizers for a smooth and comfortable sailing experience while viewing magnificent Pacific humpback whales. Your crew includes an expert naturalist who is on hand to provide facts and figures about Maui's whales.

You'll cruise around the scenic waters off Maui where humpback whales migrate from Alaska every year to mate and calve from December through May. Once whales are spotted, your captain will maneuver the boat to position it so you'll have the best views of these astonishing mammals without disturbing them.

Humpback whales are famous for singing to each other to communicate. During mating season, vocalization is used to attract mates or challenge suitors. These whales also possess a hunting technique called "bubblenet" feeding, which involves working as a group to capture schools of herring, with each whale having a particular role in the hunt. Indeed, they are highly intelligent creatures of the deep.

Remember to bring your camera to capture these amazing photo opportunities. Snacks and beverages are available for purchase onboard the boat

Excursion:  Iao Valley & Maui Tropical Plantation

Your journey begins at the pier where you'll board your air-conditioned motorcoach and travel from Lahaina Harbor to Iao Valley via Highway 380, Kahului and Wailuku Town. We'll pass through Kepaniwai Park, the site of Kamehameha's victory against Maui's army.

In Iao Valley, enjoy a guided drive through Maui's "Valley of the Kings" to Iao Valley State Park. Stroll the path that offers stunning views of the lush valley and leads to a scenic overlook of The Needle, the sacred volcanic pinnacle that rises from the valley floor.

Next, we'll head to Maui Tropical Plantation, a 60-acre working farm. Enjoy a narrated tram tour through a variety of agricultural fields, such as sugar cane and macadamia nut orchards. Watch a coconut-husking demonstration and visit the "Made in Maui" Country Store where you can purchase macadamia nuts, Hawaiian-grown coffee, guava jam and many other island products before we re-board the motorcoach for the return route back to the ship.



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