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What Cruise Lines Sail The Hawaiian Islands

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What Are Popular Activities In Hawaii

Norwegian Cruise Line – Cruising the Hawaiian Islands

Beach time and water sports are popular in the islands, with snorkel and kayak trips and surf lessons topping the list. Scenic cruises to see the seasonal whale population or gaze at the gorgeous Napali coastline are more sedate ways to get onto the water. The famous Road to Hana twists and turns to reveal beautiful waterfalls and lush sceneries to tourists with steady stomachs. Caffeine fiends can tour a coffee plantation and taste the local wares.

Hawaii’s volcanoes also top the activities list. You can bike down Haleakala on Maui , wander through lava tubes at Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, or tour the observatory at the top of Mauna Kea.

A Hawaii cruise lets visitors experience Hawaiian culture as well. Ships stay in port late so passengers can attend a luau, offering a chance to try local culinary favorites and watch a spectacular show with hula and fire dancing. You can also visit places like Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, a refuge in olden times and still a sacred site for Hawaiians.

Ships For Group Travel & Private Yacht Charter In Hawaii

Weve vetted the small boat options in Hawaii to offer everything from a small Hawaii yacht to an expedition ship offering luxury Hawaii cruises. These cruise ships sail around Hawaii staffed with expert naturalist guides to interpret the destinations unique environment and wildlife. Enjoy up-close exploration on guided shore excursions, swimming, snorkeling and sea kayakingjust to name a few activities included aboard. From luxury Hawaii cruises to finding a private yacht charter in Hawaii, our small ships can give you the experience you seek. The hallmark of small ship cruising is inclusivity, and as much time off the ship as possible. Consider these ships as a floating basecamp to see Hawaii as few do.

This luxury motor yacht embodies an ambiance of refinement and relaxation, with just 36 guests. The Safari Explorer cruises the Hawaiian Islands and Alaska’s Inside Passage.

The luxury 200- to 264-guest Le Soleal offers a cruise experience with a French touch. Enjoy sleek and stylish decor, welcoming and attentive service, cutting-edge technology, 5-star cuisine and fascinating itineraries in remote regions.

When Is A Good Time To Cruise To Hawaii

You can cruise to Hawaii year-round, thanks to Norwegian Cruise Line’s Honolulu-based ship. High season is the winter summer is also popular due to honeymoon season and school breaks. Early fall can see an uptick in cruise ships, as cruise lines route ships to the islands on their way from Alaska to a warmer destination.

The slow travel season between Thanksgiving and Christmas is one of the best times for deals. Summer and fall see the least amount of rain, but seas can be rough in August. If you’re looking for whales, January through March are the peak months for sightings.

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Sailing Hawaii: A Leisurely Cruise Around These Picture

Suzy Carmody on the vibrant culture and storied history that awaits cruisers visiting the remote pacific archipelago of Hawaii

We started our Pacific voyage on board Distant Drummer, our 45ft Liberty cutter-rigged sloop, from Wellington, New Zealand, in June, 2015, bound ultimately for North America and the Pacific Northwest. The 26-day passage to Tahiti went well and we spent six months enjoying the delights of French Polynesia. By November, as the cyclone season switched from the northern to the southern hemisphere, boats were gathering in the Marquesas for the crossing to the Hawaiian Islands.

In mid-December we left Nuku Hiva in the company of three other boats, with whom we kept in touch during the passage via an SSB radio check-in each evening. For the first week we stayed on a tight starboard beat to try to gain as much easting as possible, in case the later Trades backed towards the north.

We planned our passage to avoid cyclones and to minimise our time in the low-wind zone of the ITCZ. It worked out quite well: the wind did not drop below 15 knots, but the weather was pretty squally until we reached about 8°N. For the final week the sailing in the northeast tradewinds was superb. We celebrated Christmas at sea and all arrived in Radio Bay on the Big Island, Hawaii, in time to welcome in the New Year.

Some of the cruisers having a hula dancing lesson with Birdie our teacher . Photo: Suzy Carmody

When Is The Best Time To Take A Hawaiian Cruise

Hawaiian Island Cruise

In reality, theres never a bad time to cruise to the islands of Hawaii. However, various times of the year have their own advantages to consider when planning a Hawaiian cruise.

Late spring is usually considered the best time to take a Hawaiian cruise. Spring cruises see better weather as this is the first part of the dry season. Being one of two shoulder seasons means a drop in fares, and the cruise ships are typically less crowded.

The winter months are the most popular time for tourists to visit Hawaii, as many hope to escape the cold winter weather or travel for the holidays. However, this is also the rainy season on the islands . Cruises at this time are often crowded during these peak travel periods and prices may be higher because of this. Travelers considering a one-way cruise with a flight versus a roundtrip Hawaiian cruise package should remember that flights are also at their peak prices due to popular demand.

Many families look to travel in the summer while school on the mainland is out. The weather is ideal as this period is the driest part of the dry season for the islands. Because of this, cruises can be crowded, and prices may spike because of the demand. Only certain cruise lines offer standard and interisland cruises at that time, so options may be more limited than other times of year.

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Hawaiian Cruise Ports & Departure Locations

Most U.S. departure ports are located on the West Coast, with cruises leaving from Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. Some Hawaiian cruises depart from Canadian ports, like Vancouver, or other international destinations, like Tahiti.

Cruises that depart from Hawaii itself, like those leaving from Honolulu, take cruisers around the various scenic islands. The most common Hawaiian island stops include Kona, Hilo, Maui, and Kauai. The specific ports offered are usually dependent on the cruise line itself.

Vacation packages provided by several Hawaiian cruise lines offer many options for the duration of the cruise. Trips can typically last between 7-14 days. Cruisers looking to eliminate flights may prefer cruising roundtrip from the mainland, which can feature as many as eight days at sea.

When planning a Hawaiian cruise, departure location, destination, and duration are key considerations.

Wild Side Specialty Tours

With Wild Side Specialty Tours , passengers can embark on an island-hopping cruise. Cruise charters may be booked privately, or passengers may sail in groups of six. Wild Side Tours requires at least one overnight trip, but the cruise may be designed for multiple nights to visit all of the Hawaiian Islands. You will cruise aboard a 50-foot yacht, and all overnight accommodations, meals and activities are included in the price. Available excursions include snorkeling, diving and whale watching.

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Holland America Cruises Round

Holland America has a handful of 16- to 18-night voyages in 2019/2020 that run round-trip from sunny San Diego, aboard the 1,964-passenger Oosterdam or 2,104-passenger Eurodam. Itineraries vary slightly but typically incorporate stops in Oahu , Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island, along with scenic cruising past the Kilauea volcano and a dip into Ensenada, Mexico.

Excursion highlights include a farm-to-fork, Food & Wine magazinebranded culinary tour of the Big Island, or a visit to the Grand Canyon of the Pacific at Kauais 2,857-foot-deep Waimea Canyon. Note that these lengthier voyages include up to 10 days at sea: Pass some of that time in the ships numerous music venues, including BB Kings Blues Club, Lincoln Center Stage , and dueling-piano venue Billboard Onboard. Rates from $1,699/person

Best Time For Hawaii Cruises

NCL’s Pride of Hawaii cruise ship and Hawaii Tour –

The winter months — especially during the Christmas holiday season, from late December through the first week of January — are the most popular times to visit Hawaii. This is the best time of the year for whale-watching , but it’s also when the weather is the rainiest and flights are most expensive. Summer is a popular time for family travel, though only Norwegian is offering cruises at that time.

Shoulder season would be May through June and September through mid-December. The weeks between Thanksgiving and mid-December are an especially good time for deals. Late-spring sailings tend to offer great weather and less-crowded ships . April, September and October can also see a larger selection of cruise ships visiting the islands, as ships tack on Hawaii cruises as they reposition between Alaska and their winter-season homeports.

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Hawaii Cruises: Sail Year

What could be a more ideal vacation than a cruise to Hawaii? Hawaii is one of the most exotic locations in the world, with the perfect mix of blissful island relaxation, Polynesian paradise, and aquatic adventure. No matter whether your dream is to climb a volcano, surf the big waves, or stand on a black sand beach with the tropic breeze in your hair, one of Norwegian’s 2022 Hawaii cruises can take you there.

Now is the perfect time to book a Hawaii cruise on Norwegian. With our enhanced flexible booking policy and partnership in the Healthy Sail Program, your next cruise experience will be the safest and best yet.

Ready to start planning? Explore all 2022 Hawaii cruises.

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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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 didn’t want to completely rough it on our honeymoon but we also didn’t 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 couldn’t even have imagined only seven days ago. I dream of diving with manta rays, of Pele, the goddess of fire, of paddle boarding at Shark’s Fin Cove and swimming in the cool water under the cascading falls of Moâ’oula.

Hawaii Cruise And Tour Packages

Get 30% Off Select Hawaiian Cruises Plus Free Offers From ...

Enjoy the simplicity, convenience and bundled rates of Hawaii cruise and tour packages. Take the headache out of searching for hotels and transportation and forget about coordinating a multi-destination vacation. Hawaii cruises offer all the fun, romance and entertainment of ocean cruises along with the sightseeing and experiential adventures of land tours.

With over 50 years in the Hawaii tour business, YMT Vacations offers an expert inter-island cruise and tour itinerary of the Hawaiian Islands. The tour is 12 days, with 7 nights aboard the Norwegian Cruise Lines Pride of American cruise ship and 4 nights on the island of Oahu. The cruise portion originates on Oahu and includes port stops on Maui, Hawaii Island and Kauai. Explore Iao Valley or Lahaina on Maui. Visit Volcanoes National Park or go snorkeling in Kona on Hawaii Island. On Kauai, cruise along the otherworldly Na Pali Coast. Upon return to Oahu, a Polynesian Tour Director escorts guests through a tour of Pearl Harbor and Honolulu. The final two days are unscheduled, allowing for leisure time.

Apart from YMT Vacations cruise and tour itinerary, there are classic cruise packages available. Choose from six cruise lines that sail in Hawaii, some with multiple cruise ships. Browse Hawaiian cruises below or to search using your own parameters.

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Hawaii Cruises That Departs From California

This is the most common way that people cruise to Hawaii and it is a fine option. Unfortuantely, because of the distance from the mainland, this adds several sea days to your voyage. For example, for cruises from San Diego this would add FOUR sea days to your trip. On a round trip Holland America Line Zuiderdam “Hawaii Circle Cruise” that turns a cruise with five days in Hawaii to a 17-day cruise that includes a stop in Ensenda, Mexico to satisfy regulations regarding the PVSA. Of course, if you want something special and have plenty of time, Zuiderdam also hosts a 45-day Tales Of The South Pacific scheduled for October next year that leaves and returns to San Diego but explores Hawaii and the South Pacific for a starting price of only $7,000 vs the 17-day Hawaii Circle Cruise for $1,899.

For folks with lots of time, this is a great option since it generally isn’t that much more expensive than booking an inside cabin on Norwegian’s Pride of America cruise ship. For example, both of them are about the same price for Hawaii cruises in the spring of 2022 at a starting price for an inside cabin coming in about $2,000 per person. Certainly that’s a lot of extra value for the Holland America Line option.

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

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Hyatt Waikiki Standard View

Steps from the azure blue waters and soft sands of Waikk Beach, Hyatt Regency Waikk Beach Resort and Spa offers magnificent personalized services and luxurious amenities including world-class dining, award-winning spa, interactive cultural activities, 24-hour fitness centre, swimming pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and more than 60 on-site boutiques. The resort provides the perfect place for those who want to make the most of their island experience and connect with the heart of Hawai`i. And for your convenience, Norwegian Cruise Line can assist you with island adventures, transfers and more.

Steps from the azure blue waters and soft sands of Waikk Beach, Hyatt Regency Waikk Beach Resort and Spa offers magnificent personalized services and luxurious amenities including world-class dining, award-winning spa, interactive cultural activities, 24-hour fitness centre, swimming pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and more than 60 on-site boutiques. The resort provides the perfect place for those who want to make the most of their island experience and connect with the heart of Hawai`i. And for your convenience, Norwegian Cruise Line can assist you with island adventures, transfers and more.

Why Cruise To Hawaii

Hawaii Cruises for 2010 – Cruising the Hawaiian Islands

Cruises take travelers to four major Hawaiian islands — the perfect way to see it all without having to coordinate interisland flights and multiple hotel stays. As restaurant prices can be high on the remote islands, a cruise can also be an affordable way to explore since you can eat your meals on the ship. Some ships even offer sailing along the Napali Coast, so you won’t have to book your own boat tour in Kauai.

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