MAUI, HAWAIʻI — Maui Ocean Center’s new Humpbacks of Hawai‘i Exhibit & Sphere does what has never been done before: bring guests eye-to-eye with life-sized humpback whales. The first-of-its-kind-in Hawaiʻi 3D Sphere cost several million dollars to develop and marks a new era in the confluence of technology and marine observation, using underwater videography and 3D imaging to give viewers a glimpse at these creatures’ behaviors beneath the surface.
“Our exhibit allows people to get up close and personal with humpback whales, virtually swimming alongside them without disturbing the delicate ecosystem of Hawaiʻi’s oceans,” said Tapani Vuori, General Manager, Maui Ocean Center. “The experience stirs emotions that foster a commitment to preservation and spreads awareness of the complex social lives and migrations of whales throughout Hawaiʻi and the world.”
“The Humpbacks of Hawaiʻi Exhibit & Sphere goes beyond whale-watching, providing insights and knowledge about Maui’s humpback whales that are not widely known,” said Kelly King, Maui County Council Chair. “The exhibit will serve as a valuable cornerstone for Hawaiʻi’s whale experience, enabling residents and visitors to enjoy the beauty of humpback whales year-round.”
Humpbacks of Hawaiʻi offers a new and exhilarating dimension to Maui’s famous whale watching season, breaking the barrier of the ocean to bring guests eye-to-eye with Maui’s humpback whales in their home beneath the waves. South X Southwest, a prestigious art, technology, and culture showcase, named Humpbacks of Hawai‘i as a finalist in the 2019 Interactive Innovation Award’s Visual Media Experience category.
The Humpbacks of Hawai‘i Exhibit & Sphere is the newest attraction to open at the Maui Ocean Center, Maui’s most popular attraction and named among the “Top 10 Aquariums in the World” by TripAdvisor. For more information, visit mauioceancenter.com or call (808) 270-7000.
All filming was done in compliance with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) permits and supervision.
About Maui Ocean Center
Encounter Hawaiian marine life at Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawai‘i. Named among the “Top 10 Aquariums in the World” by TripAdvisor, Maui Ocean Center is home to the world’s largest display of live Hawaiian corals and exhibits featuring sharks, stingrays, turtles, and endemic marine life found nowhere in the world. The new Humpbacks of Hawai‘i Exhibit & Sphere is the first of its kind, bringing guests eye-to-eye with life-sized humpback whales in a virtual, 3D encounter. The Aquarium offers 20+ daily presentations, tours, and cultural activities as well as ocean-view dining at Seascape Restaurant, shopping at Maui Ocean Treasures, and Shark Dive Maui® in the Open Ocean exhibit. Open 9am-5pm (final admission at 4:30pm) daily. Maui Ocean Center is part of the global family of Coral World International.
E hi‘i a maopopo ka ho‘oha‘oha‘o ana a me ka ho‘ihi no ka Hawai‘i ola ma ke kai.
The mission of Maui Ocean Center is to foster understanding, wonder and respect for Hawai‘i’s marine life. Maui Ocean Center was inducted into the “Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame 2015” by TripAdvisor, is a “Top-Rated Attraction in Hawai‘i” by Zagat Survey US Family Travel Guide, and recognized “for commitment to sustainability and an adventure that is nature and culture-based” by the Hawai‘i Ecotourism Association.