Hawaii Cruise

Set Sail for Paradise With Our Hawaii Cruise Guide

by Christian Petzold - updated March 7, 2023

Hawaii is one of the most fascinating destinations in the world, with its stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, and rich culture. The islands are also an ideal starting point for a remarkable cruise adventure. With a range of cruise options available, a Hawaiian cruise promises an unforgettable journey that combines island exploration with luxurious onboard amenities. 

From the vast and rugged landscapes of Kauai to the picturesque beaches of Maui, a Hawaiian cruise is a dream come true for anyone seeking a one-of-a-kind experience. This article explores the various aspects of cruising from Hawaii, including itinerary options, onboard amenities, and activities to help you plan the perfect Hawaiian cruise adventure.

Hawaii Cruise Overview

Few places in the world can compete with the unmatched natural beauty of Hawaii. Nestled in the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian Islands boast a unique allure that is entirely their own. It’s no surprise that Hawaii cruises and vacations are often found on the top of many a traveler’s bucket list, as few things scream “relaxation” quite like the gentle sea breezes and warm sun of Hawaii.

Hawaii Cruise

Step aboard the stunning cruises from Hawaii and discover the perfect fusion of awe-inspiring Hawaiian islands and peaceful days at sea. Embrace the essence of Hawaii on your cruise with unforgettable overnight stays in Honolulu and Lahaina, Maui, including the world-renowned Kaanapali Beach. The picturesque beauty of Hawaii can never truly be captured on a postcard – you must experience it for yourself.

Hawaii Cruise Ports

Honolulu Harbor is a bustling hub of activity, boasting the distinction of being the most expansive commercial and passenger port in all of the Hawaiian Islands. With two impressive cruise ship terminals, it is a gateway to adventure and exploration for travelers worldwide.

Positioned at the heart of vibrant downtown Honolulu, the port’s strategic location is within easy reach of the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and some of Oʻahu’s most iconic landmarks. Stroll along the world-famous Waikīkī Beach or marvel at the grandeur of Diamond (Diamond Head) State Monument, both within easy distance of the harbor. As you embark on your journey from this bustling port, the possibilities are endless, and the memories you’ll create will last a lifetime.

Hawaii Cruise Honalulu

What Places Do Hawaii Cruises Usually Travel To?

While most cruises – except for Norwegian’s Pride of America, which offers weeklong cruises roundtrip from Oahu – depart from and return to a mainland US port, they all typically make stops at four of Hawaii’s most iconic islands: Oahu, the Big Island (also referred to as Hawaii), Maui, and Kauai.

You may be concerned that a cruise won’t give you enough time to immerse yourself in the island experience fully. Worry not. Most Hawaiian cruises provide ample time in port, often stretching to two full days, allowing you to truly delve into each island’s unique culture and captivating scenery. 

How Long Do Hawaiian Cruises Last?

Embarking on a Hawaiian cruise is an adventure that comes in all shapes and sizes, with options ranging from seven nights to 18 nights or more, depending on your desired itinerary. The shortest of these voyages is the seven-night round trip sailing from Honolulu that stays within the Hawaiian Islands. At the same time, those departing from California require at least 15 nights of travel time, owing to the islands’ remote location. 

Remember that if you choose a roundtrip sailing from Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego, you’ll spend roughly eight days at sea as you journey to and from Hawaii, so selecting the right ship is essential to make the most of your time onboard.

Many ships opt to alternate between Hawaii or Polynesia in the winter and Alaska in the summer, and as a result, repositioning cruises to and from Hawaii are frequently available in May and September as vessels traverse the vast Pacific. One of the most popular repositioning itineraries is the 10-night cruise departing from Vancouver, BC, which culminates in the awe-inspiring beauty of Hawaii. 

What Costs Should I Expect When Booking a Hawaiian Cruise?

Embarking on a Hawaiian cruise is a choice that can fit any budget, with prices ranging from $500 to over $5000, depending on various factors such as the season, cruise line, theme, and departure port. The typical Hawaiian cruise spans anywhere from seven to 14 days, offering a perfect balance between island exploration and onboard relaxation.

Here are some benefits of booking a Hawaiian cruise:

  • No need for extensive planning or additional lodging and food costs – pack your bags and show up ready for adventure.
  • Complimentary and delectable cuisine is offered onboard, saving you money on expensive hotel restaurants.
  • Experienced staff who can offer helpful tips and directions to the most famous sights and attractions, making for a stress-free and enjoyable vacation.
  • A seamless journey that combines island exploration and onboard relaxation, providing the perfect balance of adventure and leisure.

Whether basking in the sun and sand of Maui or marveling at the majesty of Kauai’s rugged landscapes, a Hawaiian cruise promises an unforgettable voyage that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

What Are Some Popular Activities on a Hawaiian Cruise?

Regarding entertainment and activities, a Hawaiian cruise promises a wide range of options to suit all tastes and preferences. Depending on your chosen cruise line, you can expect the following:

  • Cooking classes, liquor tastings, lecture series, crafts, trivia, game shows, bingo, pool games, dance classes, galley tours, ropes courses, fitness classes, movies, casino tournaments, and plenty of live music throughout the day.
  • Unique experiences like surfing, skating, ziplining, laser tag, go-kart racing, escape rooms, and even skydiving.
  • There are more options on sea days than port days, but still, plenty to explore while docked in port.
  • State-of-the-art fitness facilities, luxurious spas, and sun decks onboard provide the perfect space for relaxation and rejuvenation.

With so many activities and amenities at your fingertips, a Hawaiian cruise is an extraordinary adventure full of excitement, entertainment, and relaxation.

Hawaii Cruise Pool

Do you need to pay?

A Hawaiian cruise offers many free onboard activities such as music, trivia, and sports, but some activities, such as tastings, bingo, or cooking classes, carry a fee. Newer ships may offer more options, but these may also come with additional costs. The pools and fitness facilities are free, but certain classes and spa treatments incur a charge.

Are there night time activities?

As the sun sets and the stars appear, a Hawaiian cruise promises many opportunities for excitement and relaxation, with a few exceptions where ships overnight in specific ports. Cruise ships typically sail during the nighttime hours, leaving your evenings free to explore all the ship offers.

As the centerpiece of the evening, dinner is one activity most everyone will participate in, with a range of dining options available to suit any taste. Beyond that, you’ll find various evening entertainment options, from lavish production shows in the main theater to live music performances and crew talent shows.

For those looking to enjoy the excitement, you’ll find casinos, dance parties, piano bars, music trivia, movies, star-gazing parties, and even late-night adult games and comedy shows.

Overall, a Hawaiian cruise promises an unforgettable adventure, relaxation, and exciting experiences. With a variety of cruise options to choose from, there’s something for every budget and preference. Whether looking for a romantic getaway or an exciting family vacation, a Hawaiian cruise perfectly balances island exploration and onboard leisure. With plenty of activities and entertainment to suit any taste, a Hawaiian cruise is a dream come true that you will remember.

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