Whalers Village Museum -

Portrait of the Seafaring Life

     Kä‘anapali, Maui - Vibrant, dynamic, and aligned with the sophisticated dreams of diverse travelers, Whalers Village Fine Shops & Restaurants simultaneously honors the wild and rugged years that gave it its name—with the world-renowned

Whalers Village Museum.

     Located near a dramatic display of a 40-foot sperm whale skeleton at the

entrance of the shopping center, the museum illustrates the heyday of whaling in

Lahaina (1825-1860), which brought hundreds of sailors into town eager to recuperate on Maui’s balmy shores, and holds Hawai‘i’s largest collection of harpoons, tools, sea chests, sailor journals, and ship logs. Self-guided audio tours, available in English,German, Spanish, and Japanese, combine with artifacts, photo murals, movies, and graphics to show the dangerous life the sailors led, forced to remain aboard the whaling ships on voyages that could last as long as five years.

One of the finest whaling museums in the Pacific, the museum features special

exhibits, such as a 19th-century birdcage made from whale bone, ornaments and

utensils made from whale tooth ivory, and a scale model of a whaling ship—one of the largest in the world—with a perfect replica of the cramped living quarters of the 25-member whaling crew.

     Whalers Village Museum is known internationally for its collection of scrimshaw—the seafarer’s lonesome art, practiced during long hours at sea, and consisting of engraved or tattooed pictures on sperm whale teeth and sperm whale bone, etched in with razor-sharp knives, rubbed over with ink to bring out the design.

     The museum opened in 1984 under the direction of curator and whale expert

Lewis Eisenberg, and was built by the original developer of Whalers Village Shopping Center, the James Campbell Estate. James Campbell (1826-1900) survived a whaling shipwreck in his youth to become a prominent business man in the islands during Lahaina’s whaling years.