Cruises to Hawaii: Aloha!
Hawaii is the island state of the United States, an archipelago of nineteen beautiful volcanic islands. The state is synonymous with tropical relaxation, and a hugely popular tourism destination. Cruising in Hawaii is fast becoming established as an excellent way to experience the islands.
The Ports: Cruise Around Hawaii
Honolulu is the state capital, located on the island of Oahu. Here visitors can enjoy the sun and sand on Hawaii's famous Waikiki Beach, the history of the downtown area, and the urban delights of the CBD. Although a big city complete with skyscrapers and suburbs, Honolulu still has the laidback charm of greater Hawaii. Cruise ships dock next to the Aloha Tower Marketplace. For those embarking or disembarking, there are luggage storage facilities, and there are also usually free shuttles between Aloha Tower and Pier 2, where some of the bigger ships dock. The Marketplace is conveniently located right in the city centre.
On the largest island in the archipelago, called Hawaii or 'Big Island,' is Hilo. It is an energetic and authentic city, often overlooked in favour of Honolulu. There is plenty of history to be explored in Hilo, including the Pacific Tsunami Museum, the King Kamehameha statue, and the Hilo Art Museum. The city is also a great starting point to explore the amazing natural history on display in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Cruise ships visiting Hilo as part of their Hawaii cruise dock at the container and cargo berths of Hilo Port, just two miles from downtown.
Kauai is often listed on Hawaii cruise itineraries, and it is in fact not a port but an entire island- the oldest and fourth largest of the archipelago. There are 43 beaches on the island's edges, and rainforest-covered mountains in its interior. Adventure activities are a favourite on this "Garden Isle". Cruise ships dock at Nawiliwili Harbour on the southeast side of the island, which is outside of the town of Lihue. Kalapaki Beach and shopping area is an easy walk from the dock.
Lahaina is a town on the island of Maui that has a great resort scene, with plenty of nightclubs, restaurants and souvenir shops. Party lovers will enjoy Lahaina! The town is compact and easily explored on foot. To the north is the gorgeous Kaanapoli Beach. Cruise ships anchor offshore and bring passengers ashore in tenders.
Kailua-Kona is a region on Big Island, sitting on the western coast of the Hualalai Volcano. Many Hawaiian kings made their homes there in the distant past, thanks to the great weather and clear waters. Coffee grown in the region is highly prized, so visitors should be sure to have a cup of the local offering! There is a Space Center which is a great options for families who want to escape the sun for a while, and plenty of watersports including sport fishing are available to tourists. Kailua-Kona is a tender port, and the tenders arrive onshore in the middle of downtown Kailua Village, from where everything is within easy reach.
The Cruises: Hawaii Holidays
Cruises to Hawaii leave most often from San Francisco or Los Angeles. The trip to the islands takes around 4 days, giving cruise passengers an opportunity to ease into the cruise and relax by the pool! Cruises to Hawaii are generally quite long itineraries of at least 2 weeks, due to the distance from the mainland. Many are round trips, some are one way and some continue into the Pacific to French Polynesia.
Most major cruise lines, especially the American-based ones, cruise to Hawaii. Princess has plenty of itineraries, as do Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean. Cruise Sale Finder has details on all the best Hawaii cruise deals!