My husband and I took a HPS whale watching kayak tour on April 10, at the tail end (no pun intended) of whale season. Despite that, we saw close to a dozen whales, including a baby an mama who swam alongside as we paddled at a safe distance. One single male swam towards us, came up about 25-30 yards in front of our kayaks, swam beneath us and came up again behind us. WOW! We did a catamaran whale watching tour a few days before in Kaanapali, and it was great, but nothing compares to seeing these amazing animals from a kayak at water level!
Some of the great things about HPS that we both really liked:
1. You are not mixed in with other families, so it was just my husband and me with our guide, Chelsea (who is fantastic!). We went at our pace, didn't feel rushed and didn't feel held up. That alone is worth paying extra.
2. HPS is very environmentally conscious. It was so discouraging a few days later when I saw a different company's kayak guide with a group of kids while we were snorkeling off Polo Beach. He picked up a little octopus, put it on top of a guy's head for that "perfect" vacation photo, then played catch with it! Really?!? I felt so bad for the poor little thing, and wish I had said something. By comparison, HPS guides respect the animals and the earth. It's a privilege to be able to enjoy seeing these marvelous animals (the whales, not the HPS guides, LOL!) in their natural environment in Maui, and awe at watching them but not chasing or disturbing them for a "photo op".
3. Chelsea is very knowledgeable about the ocean, the animals and the island. During our paddle "breaks" it was great to talk with and listen to her. Great guide, awesome sense of humor, and lots of fun.
4. After kayaking for a couple of hours, we had the best snorkeling of our vacation right off the kayaks near Makena Landing. Clear water, lots of bigger fish, sea turtles, and no other snorkelers.
If you're recommending a kayak or canoe tour I highly recommend using Hawaiin Paddle Sports!! I wanted to do a surfing lesson too, but we ran out of time. Next trip, for sure. Thank you Chelsea and HPS for such an awesome 3 hours!!