pacific whale foundation introduces new raft cruises

PWF_RAFTPacific Whale Foundation has just upped their level of adventure with newly launched raft cruises. With the addition of a second high-tech ocean raft to its fleet, PWF is adding more ecotours to its line-up.

The new 38 foot raft, named Ocean Adventurer, features a rigid channeled fiberglass hull designed to cut through the waves for a smooth ride. An overhead canopy provides ample shade. Guests can sit on forward facing seats or on the pontoons. The vessel can accommodate 30 guests and has an onboard bathroom, fresh water shower and dive ladder. It operates out of Lahaina Harbor.

“We’re pleased to offer the quality wildlife watching experience that our guests expect from Pacific Whale Foundation, combined with the thrills of ocean rafting,” says Greg Kaufman, founder and Executive Director of Pacific Whale Foundation. “We searched extensively to find these modern rafts, which feature the latest technological advances for an ultra smooth ride.”

Ocean Adventurer has joined Ocean Freedom, Pacific Whale Foundation’s other high tech ocean raft, in offering raft whalewatch cruises out of Lahaina Harbor. Both rafts are operated by Pacific Whale Foundation’s U.S. Coast Guard certified captains, and led by Pacific Whale Foundation’s Certified Marine Naturalists.

Both Ocean Adventurer and Ocean Freedom are equipped with propeller guards for the safety of whales in the area. The vessels follow all State and Federal laws regarding approaches to whales, and also adhere to Pacific Whale Foundation’s “Be Whale Aware” guidelines for safe operation in areas where whales are present.

Ocean Adventurer also carries photography enthusiasts on its Whale Photo Safari every Sunday morning. These three-hour cruises are led by professional marine wildlife photographer David Fleetham and depart at 8:00am. Participants learn and practice expert techniques for photographing whales and other wildlife using their own digital cameras, to learn to get the best results from whatever model they currently own.

Starting in April, the two ocean rafts will offer new cruises for summer, including:

• Wild Dolphin Watch Raft Cruise:

This tour visits wild dolphin habitats, home to spinner, spotted and bottlenose dolphins. Along the way, guests learn about Pacific Whale Foundation’s ongoing research study of odontocetes (toothed whales and dolphins). Dolphin sightings are guaranteed, or guests go again free.

• Lana‘i Wild Side Raft Adventure

Traveling on Ocean Adventurer, this tour circumnavigates Lana‘i, with multiple stops for snorkeling and swimming along the scenic wild coast of this privately owned island.

• West Side Raft Snorkel Adventure

Depart at a leisurely 10:30 am on a thrilling raft snorkel cruise to Honolua Bay, Olowalu or even Lana‘i. The captain chooses the best location based on the day’s ocean conditions.

To learn more about these adventures, please visit http://www.pacificwhale.org or contact Thad Buck, Sales and Partner Relations Representative at Pacific Whale Foundation, at thadbuck@pacificwhale.org or at  808-856-8330. For reservations, please call Pacific Whale Foundation at (808) 249-8811 ext. 1.

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