LAHAINA - West Maui will celebrate the annual migration of Pacific humpback whales during the upcoming Lahaina Whale and Ocean Arts Festival.
The event will begin with a Whale Watch Cruise hosted by National Geographic whale photographer and marine mammal specialist Flip Nicklin on Thursday, Feb. 27.
The cruise leaves Lahaina Harbor at 9:45 a.m. Tickets are $34.95 plus taxes and fees. Call the Lahaina Visitor Center at 667-9193 to register.
The Hawaii Ocean Project and LahainaTown Action Committee are jointly hosting an exclusive whale watch with world-renowned underwater photographer Flip Nicklin on Feb. 27 to kick off their Whale and Ocean Arts Festival. One of the world’s leading photographers of whales and dolphins, Nicklin’s work has been published in 20 editions of National Geographic. The Hawaii Ocean Project will donate part of the proceeds to LAC to support its efforts to promote and preserve Lahaina’s vitality. Advance bookings are required; visit the Lahaina Visitor Center in the Old Lahaina Courthouse or call 667-9193.
On Saturday and Sunday, March 1-2, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Banyan Tree Park, artists will display their best marine-themed art for sale, while musicians and hula troupes entertain.
Children will enjoy a keiki ocean art contest, with prizes provided by festival sponsors.
Research groups - including Whale Trust, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and Hawaii Ocean Project - will have naturalists on-hand to talk story and offer visitors and residents opportunities to learn more about the whales and marine life. Each whale group will also have information available and merchandise for sale.
The event is free to the public. While enjoying the fun, bring a nonperishable food donation for the Maui Food Bank.
For more information, go to www.visitlahaina.com or call the Lahaina Visitor Center at (808) 667-9175.