Did you know there is a whale museum in the Whalers Village in Kaanapali? It can be easy for one to miss because of its location alone. Situated on the top level of Whalers Village, here you’ll also find an excellent view of the west Maui mountain range and the ‘Au’Au Channel.
The Whalers Village Museum takes you back in time to an era when Hawaii was the whaling capitol of the Pacific. Hawaii, conveniently located between the whaling grounds of the Arctic and Japan, created a strategic stop for whalers. Lahaina and Honolulu Harbor became regular stops for American and European vessels. From 1820 to 1884 whaling played an important role in changing the Hawaiian economy.
With downtime on their hands and plenty of whale byproduct, whaling sailors used common tools to create scrimshaw. Scrimshaw are drawings carved on whale teeth, tusks of walruses, and bones. Beginning on whaling ships in the Pacific, scrimshaw continued until the ban on commercial whaling. The Whalers Village Museum happens to be home to one of the largest collections of scrimshaw.
New to the museum is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, kiosk computer touch screen display with NOAA photos, video, audio and the latest research and information on the ocean and marine environment. There are only three Kiosk in existence. One is located at the Sanctuary Learning Center in Kihei and the other is at the Lahaina Courthouse.
The Whalers Village Museum is open daily from 10am to 4pm and features ongoing events. Admission for adults is $3.00. Seniors, Kama’aina, Military and students $2.00. Children 13-18 years $1.00. Children under 12 are free. The self-guided audio tour is free and the museum validates 3 hours of parking free.