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
Click on a picture to view
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
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.