On the 4th day of our vacation, we lucked out with awesome weather to do our discounted $47 per person pre-booked 3 1/2 hour whale watching and snorkeling cruise aboard the Pride of Maui vessel. We departed the dock at 1:30PM sharp and we were immediately told by the crew on board that we were heading far out to Molokini island to snorkel due to the super calm conditions! (Most afternoon tours only go to nearby Turtle Town because the trade winds cause the crater of Molokini to be wavy, however the winds were light and out of the south today so the crater was super calm). On the way to Molokini we had our first (and only!) whale sighting. It was a spectacle to see but unfortunately we would not see any more whale for the duration of the cruise. Eventually we reached Molokini island some 9 miles off shore and the conditons were superb for an hour-long snorkel! Saw tons of colorful fish including the parrot fish, moorish idol and even spotted a hammerhead shark! Didn't see any turtles though. On the way back to the dock, it was a late afternoon feast of big juicy burgers, chicken patties, macaroni salad, vegetable platters, fruit bowls and macadamia nut cookies to fill us up well. Drinks and alcohol were included as well! Music was played on board as well and witnessed the sun start to set in the west. It was an awesome afternoon out on the water! All in all a great afternoon for a reasonable price. One more whale sighting would have been nice though!
Finding the Pride of Maui vessel was very confusing at first, hard to spot from the parking lot/road. It docks behind the U.S. Coast Guard station. Parking here is not free, costs about $2-4 for a few hours.