Events & Activities

Whalers Village Museum 


Whalers Village is strategically situated to provide a direct view to the ‘Au‘au Channel, one of the densest Humpback Whale population centers in Hawaii. The shallow warm water surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands constitutes one of the world’s most important habitats for the endangered North Pacific Humpback Whales. This protected area is designated as the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is jointly managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the State of Hawai`i.

A whaling life
It’s hard to believe now, but from 1825 to 1860, Lahaina was a bustling whaling town. The Whalers Village Museum takes you back in time through the eyes of an ordinary sailor or “whaleman.” It was man verses the whales and the elements.

The forecastle of a whaling ship has been recreated, where 25 men lived cramped together for voyages that lasted as long as five years. Other exhibits include antique ornaments and utensils made from whale ivory and bone, and one of the world’s largest scale models of a whaling ship.

The museum also has a prized collection of 19th century scrimshaw—pictures finely carved on whale teeth and bone, then rubbed with ink to bring out the design. Self-guided audio tours are available in English, Spanish, German and Japanese.

About the whales
Imagine drinking orange juice through your teeth. That’s a pretty good description of how a baleen whale eats krill. Visit our section on the different whales that visit and live in Hawaiian waters.