Getting A Hawaii Cruise For You
Taking a cruise to Hawaii is an amazing experience. These cruises make an impressive gift, a good last minute trip and the perfect way to enjoy a long honeymoon. Hawaii cruise options include:
- Book a cruise that’s round trip: It will pick you up on the West Coast port city of your choice, take you to the Hawaiian Islands and back again. It will make port calls throughout the Islands.
- Book a cruise from port to Hawaii: The cruise will pick you up on the West Coast port city and take you to Hawaii. You enjoy a vacation on the Islands and fly back home from Hawaii.
- Book a cruise from Hawaii to home: You can fly to Hawaii, enjoy your vacation there and then take a cruise back home. This option allows you to spend as much time as you like in Hawaii prior to your cruise portion.
Choose the right option for you based on your budget and timeline restrictions. Also, consider what is most important to you. Do you want to see a lot of Hawaii or would you rather spend most of your time on the cruise itself?
Popular Ports For Hawaiian Cruises
No matter which cruise line and itinerary you ultimately decide on, you will likely visit a mix of these fantastic island hopping Hawaii cruise ports.
Many cruises to Hawaii and the surrounding area offer trips to these popular ports of call that are consistent with most itineraries. Like mainstream Caribbean cruise ports, these ports cater to the tropical cruise market. If you are looking for more than touristy attractions and activities, make sure to get out of the main port area and explore.
Honolulu serves as the main cruise port serving out of Hawaii for island hopping Hawaii cruises. As the beautiful capital of Hawaii, Honolulu boasts brilliant sand, bright blue skies, and tasty Hawaiian drinks.
The top outdoor attraction in Honolulu is Manoa Falls. There are plenty of cruise shore excursions that will bring Hawaiian cruise passengers to this massive, 150-foot tall waterfall that empties into a majestic, glimmering rock pool. To learn about Hawaii’s royal past, head over Iolani Palace, known as the “Kingdom of Hawaii”.
If you would like to swim with wildlife during your time in Honolulu, head over to Dolphin Quest Oahu where you can swim with dolphins!
To discover some of Hawaii’s exquisite natural wonders, make sure that Lahaina, Maui is on your Hawaiian cruise itinerary. Once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Lahaina now welcomes over two million people annually.
Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Snorkel At Kealakekua Bay From Kailua Kona Big Island
This marine sanctuary famous for its Captain Cook monument boasts some of the best snorkelling in Hawaii. Your zodiac will help you avoid the hour-long hike in by land and will deliver you to the best areas of the bay to explore. Youll find turtles, sea caves and maybe even a pod of spinner dolphins who call the bay home.
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What To See In Hawaii
A cruise to Hawaii means an opportunity to see the turquoise waters and colorful sands that combine with a rich Polynesian heritage to explore.
You can see the history of Pearl Harbor on Oahu, where you can tour battleships and see the memorial to that fateful day in 1941.
Cruise to Hawaii and head to the Big Island to scale volcanoes like Mount Kilauea and chase waterfalls on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Or enjoy the sun and surf on the remote shores of Kauai and Maui.
Read more: Hawaii cruise on Royal Caribbean: Everything you need to know
What To Wear On A Hawaiian Cruise
With average highs exceeding 80° F all year round, loose-fitting, breathable fabrics will make the heat more bearable until your next ocean plunge or air-conditioned reprieve. In typical aloha style, the local Hawaiian dress code skews casual, but your ship may have special events going on to dress for so check your itinerary in advance. Pride of Americas White Hot Party, for example, is a white-attire celebration youll definitely want to pack for!
Its likely youll encounter the occasional rain storm, especially from October to March, so having a packable poncho or rain jacket on hand is a good idea if youre planning an outdoor adventure far from cover. These tropical storms are usually brief, but can leave you drenched!
Planning to summit a volcano or two? It can get very chilly up top, especially if youre visiting at sunrise or sunset, so layer up for the elevation change. Some tour companies provide jackets for guests to stay warm but its worth asking if you should bring your own.
We hope you found this article helpful in planning your Hawaii cruise. No matter what time of year or who youre travelling with, youre bound to have the time of your life exploring this island paradise. Remember to book your excursions before you leave home to avoid disappointment!
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How Long Is A Cruise To Hawaii
Hawaii cruises range from seven nights to 18 nights or longer, depending on the itinerary. A cruise only within the Hawaiian Islands sailing round trip Honolulu is the shortest seven night option, while any cruise from California to Hawaii will take at least 15 nights due to the islands remote location. Round trip sailings are available from Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, but be prepared to spend at least eight days of that cruise at sea getting to and from Hawaii. Choose your ship wisely as youll be spending a lot of time on it!
Many ships alternate between Hawaii or Polynesia in the Winter and Alaska in the Summer so youll often find repositioning cruises to and from Hawaii in May and September as ships make their way across the Pacific. 10-night cruises from Vancouver, BC to Hawaii are a common repositioning itinerary.
Ports Of Call: Cruise Around Hawaii
For individuals who want to spend at least some of their time cruising around the Hawaiian Islands, you have several ports of call to enjoy.
- Hilo, Hawaii
- Nawiliwili, Kauai
- Kahului, Maui
Each port city is quite unique. Hawaii may be known as a single destination, but each of the states 137 islands is individually special. You can expect to find a variety of things to do at each port. To find out which ports you will visit, check your cruise itinerary.
- Find out if there are any sports activities to enjoy such as water skiing, snorkeling, swimming and sailing.
- Learn about the historical areas to see at the port and beyond. Many of the Hawaiian Islands have storied histories worth learning.
- Find out if there is shopping, museums, recreational facilities, restaurants and other activities available at the port city.
Plan in advance for any of these trips into port. A cruise around Hawaii has to be one of the things you truly put your heart into, so be sure to do as much planning as possible for it!
- 7 nights aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines Pride of America
- All meals included aboard the ship with Freestyle Dining
- Scenic cruising along Kauais Na Pali Coast
- Ports of Call:
- Nawiliwili, Kauai*Tender port
Additional fees applied by the cruise line are not included in your tour price. These fees include but are not limited to: daily service charge for cabin & wait staff, specialty restaurant cover charges and optional shore excursions.
Day 1 : Fly to Honolulu
Day 2 : Pearl Harbor
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Royal Caribbean Announces Hawaii Cruises In 2023
Coinciding with Royal Caribbeans 2023 Alaska cruises, the cruise line also released new sailings to and from Hawaii in 2023.
While Royal Caribbean does not offer regular cruises around the Hawaiian islands, it does offer open-jaw sailings as part of the repositioning between North America and Australia.
An open-jaw sailing is when a ship begins the voyage in port, but ends in another.
In 2023, six cruises will be available that either begin or end in Hawaii, and include stops to various islands along the way.
The 2023 Hawaii cruises are as follows:
Quantum of the Seas will sail from Oahu on a 10-night Hawaii to Vancouver cruise on April 28, 2023 and visit Maui & Kailua Kona, before ending in Vancouver.
Quantum of the Seas will return to Hawaii on an 8-night Hawaii Cruise from Vancouver on October 2, 2023 with stops in Maui , Kailua Kona, and ending in Oahu .
When Is The Best Time To Cruise To Hawaii
Boasting excellent weather all year long, there is never a bad time to visit Hawaii. Youll find the most tourists on the islands between December and April, however this window also coincides with wet season. Not to worry though, it never rains much or for very long. Youll find the most consistently good weather in April, May, September and October and may even snag a deal on a repositioning cruise during those months.
Youll have the ports to yourself from mid-May to mid-September as Pride of America is the only ship sailing Hawaii during that time. However, you may find the beaches to be crowded with locals enjoying their summer vacation.
If whale watching is on your must-see list, late February to early March offers the best chances of a sighting after the calves are born.
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Expert Advice: How To Sail Across The Pacific Ocean
You can lose a lot of friends when youre sailing across the Pacific. After the first couple of photos you
But on the west side of the mountains, the sky turned blue and the sun shone as we descended into the tourist town of Kailua-Kona. We wanted to find the site in Kealakekua Bay where Captain Cook was killed. Having sailed in his wake around Australia, New Zealand and French Polynesia, it was interesting to visit the place where he met his demise.
As a geologist I couldnt leave Hawaii without seeing some molten lava. We visited the tongue-tying Halemaumau Crater but later found out that the Eastern Rift is where all the action is. I took a tour that guaranteed some of the hot stuff. We hiked for a couple of hours through the forest up to the lava front.
It was incredibly exciting to see the lava oozing out of fissures in the crust, and then solidifying into Daliesque shapes. The heat, smoke and noise were indescribable trees were spontaneously catching fire. It was so hot my wellies melted!
It was a 20-hour passage from Hawaii to Maui across the Alenuihaha Channel. The channels between islands are known for their strong winds and the secret is to cross when the winds are predicted to be less than 15 knots. We hit the channel at sunset as the wind dropped, and had a very gentle crossing with virtually no breeze but no nightmares, either.
Molokini crater. Photo: David Fleetham / Alamy
Return Of Cruise Ships Still Up In The Air
Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Rocks are seen under the water near the Port of Hilo on Friday.
Exactly 33,400 trans-Pacific passengers arrived Thursday by air at Hawaiis major airports, but the question of when the Aloha State will once again welcome cruise ship passengers at its ports remains unanswered.
There are no formally scheduled bookings for any cruises, at any commercial harbor, at this time, said Shelly Kunishige, spokeswoman for the Hawaii Department of Transportation in an email. Resumption of cruise activity continues to be conditional on operators meeting the conditions of the CDC order.
Kunishige is referring to a conditional sail order by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which requires cruise operators to show 95% of crew and passengers are vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, or to hold test cruises with volunteer passengers to prove they can mitigate coronavirus risks.
There were numerous outbreaks of COVID-19 aboard cruise ships early in the pandemic, and the CDC dry-docked the industry in the U.S. with a no-sail order on March 14, 2020.
Previous optimism by tourism officials about a possible return of cruise ships to Hawaiis harbors later this year has been dashed, or at least dampened, by the Delta variant strain of the novel coronavirus that has resulted in a surge of new COVID-19 cases in the islands.
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Uncruise Adventures Sails Hawaii On Intimate Yacht
Small-ship adventure line UnCruise Adventures kicks off its first-ever summer sailing season in the Hawaiian Islands, in July and August 2019, building on the companys already-established Hawaii presence, which normally operates between November and April. Sign up for one of six weeklong summer itineraries, cruising round-trip from the island of Molokai with stops in Lanai, the Big Island, and Maui. Cruises embark on the 36-guest, upscale-yet-laid-back Safari Explorer yacht, making it the most intimate voyage option in the region.
The four-island itineraries include less commonly visited ports and come chockful of active adventures like hiking to a waterfall in the Halawa Valley or snorkeling alongside green sea turtles off of west Maui. A complementary cultural heritage component includes hosted visits inside a local familys home and a traditional paina feast, accompanied by traditional music and dance. Rates from $5,195, including excursions, ground transfers, and alcoholic beverages uncruise.com
Cruise Lines Traveling To Hawaii
There are several ways to book your Hawaiian cruise. You can book through any of the online travel companies or you can book with a travel agent locally.
You may want to consider booking directly with the cruise line that will take you from place to place. Shopping each of these services can help you to save money, too. Plus, not all cruises are the same. Find out what activities, port calls and overall experiences you can expect.
Popular options to cruise around Hawaii include these cruise lines.
- Princess Cruises offers a range of great Hawaiian cruises. They often leave from Los Angeles, California, but other port options may be available. A popular option is the 14-night cruise from Los Angeles on the Golden Princess cruise ship.
- Carnival Cruise Line provides Hawaiian cruises, too. This large company offers a number of different cruises, including those coming from Hawaii to the States. Twelve night cruises are popular, leaving from Ensenada or Honolulu.
- Norwegian Cruise Line also offers Hawaiian cruises from Honolulu and from Los Angeles. The Pride of America ship is one of the most popular for the Hawaiian cruises.
- Royal Caribbean Cruises offers several cruises throughout the year to Hawaii and the other Islands. They offer departures from Vancouver, specifically on the Rhapsody of the Seas.
There are many other cruise lines to choose from, too. Your goal should be to find the one that fits your needs the very best.
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Longer Hawaii Cruises & Cruisetours
If you are looking for longer itineraries, you also have options for 12-day 2022 Hawaii cruises that also sail to French Polynesia. There is also a 16-day itinerary that combines Hawaii and Alaska in one cruise. If you want a vacation beyond the seven-day cruise, but want to stick to Hawaii only, you can also extend your Hawaii cruise vacation with Norwegian’s Cruisetours. These Cruisetours are a land and cruise vacation that add four days and three nights in Honolulu before you embark on your seven-day Hawaii cruise.
Our 11-day Oahu Explorer Cruisetour takes you on tours of Pearl Harbor, Oahu’s North Shore and South Shore, Waikiki, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and Kualoa Ranch, before you transfer to the port of Honolulu.
If you’re up for more adventure, learn how to surf while on Maui. You can take a surfing lesson with an expert who will show you the basics while on dry land, and then you’re off for some practice time in the water.
Tour The Garden Island By Helicopter From Nawiliwili Kauai
Considered by many to be Hawaiis most beautiful island, theres no better way to take in Kauais lush vegetation and spectacular mountainscapes than by helicopter as most of the island is inaccessible by road. Soar over picturesque waterfalls and towering pali as you learn about the islands history and legends from a knowledgeable local pilot.
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Hawaii Island Hopping Tales From Our Experts & Travelers
AdventureSmith travelers as well as our expert staff have been aboard small boat cruises in Hawaii and can help guide your trip planning. Read on to get a feel for your ship and activity choices, as well as the region and the striking tropical landscape and culture that await you. We share fun and personal stories from our Hawaiian Island cruises to help you learn more about what its like to be on a unique Hawaii island hopping cruise. These reviews can inspire and inform, whether you are planning a Hawaii honeymoon, a getaway with friends or an active family trip. Let these tales can inspire your own Hawaii interisland cruise and know what to anticipate.
An AdventureSmith expert shares his experience on the 8-day Hawaiian Seascapes cruise aboard the 36-guest Safari Explorer.
Whats the first question a newly-married couple gets? Where did you guys go on your Honeymoon? We are outdoorsy and adventurous. We enjoy hiking and getting out there, we want to experience things that others could only read about. We didnt want to completely rough it on our honeymoon but we also didnt want the resort or the 2,000 person cruise ship.
As I drift off to sleep I begin to dream of the amazing experiences that I couldnt even have imagined only seven days ago. I dream of diving with manta rays, of Pele, the goddess of fire, of paddle boarding at Sharks Fin Cove and swimming in the cool water under the cascading falls of Moâoula.