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The Islands of Aloha

Nothing excites a traveller more than the prospect of a holiday in Hawaii. Make it a cruise holiday and the excitement bubbles over uncontrollably.  

There are many options for a Hawaii cruise. Several of the main stream lines sail a round trip from the West Coast to Hawaii. These cruise lines include Holland America, Celebrity, Princess Cruises and several others. These cruises take roughly 15-18 days to complete, and involve some nine days at sea, perfect for relaxing.

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An island chain of many contrasts

The second option for a Hawaii cruise is Norwegian Cruise Lines, Pride of America ship. This is a rare cruise ships that is American flagged. What that means is that it doesn’t need to stop at a foreign port before returning to an American one. In other words, the Pride of America can have exclusively American port stops.  

So, when you sail the Pride of America, you fly to Honolulu and board the ship there. You then spend the next seven days sailing to each of the Hawaiian Islands, spending overnights in some of them, and finally winding up back in Honolulu seven days later.  

The cruise experience offered on a cruise from the west coast differs greatly from the inter-island cruise on the Pride of America mainly in the respect that there is little time spent at sea on NCL’s ship. The ship spends long days in port, only moving along to the next port in the evening. Because NCL’s ship is based in Hawaii, it has no casino. Also, because so much time is spent on shore, there are much fewer things to do onboard the ship since most people prefer to spend their time ashore.  

On a cruise from the west coast, you get a more traditional cruise ship experience, but less time in the islands. You will have nine days at sea, which for some people is a blessing, while a curse for others. The cruise ship experience will be more traditional in that you will have a full menu of entertainment options, as well as all the standard amenities one has come to expect from large cruise ships, including a casino, library and daily game opportunities.  

A cruise from the west coast to the islands will provide you with both a traditional cruise ship experience as well as a decent amount of time on each of Hawaii’s five islands (Kona, Hilo, Honolulu, Maui, and Kauai). A cruise on NCLA’s Pride of America will give you an intensive island experience with relatively little time spent on the ship.  

The nice thing about a cruise to Hawaii is that each island is unique, with plenty to see and do. On Oahu there’s the Polynesian Cultural Centre, which lets visitors experience a variety of islands such as those in Hawaii, along with Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand and the Marquesas – all in one day. The Battleship Missouri Memorial, along with the whole Pearl Harbour experience is certainly worth a visit, if for no other reason than to gain an appreciation for what these fighting men went through on that fateful day.  

Maui focuses on water activities, including whale watching excursions, and other pursuits that take place in and around the water. The Haleakala Volcano is a popular attraction. Be sure to visit the top before sunrise and watch the sun come up over the volcano. The sight will be worth the trip. Then, if you’re physically adventuresome, you can bike down the volcano once daylight has arrived, using one of the outfitters that offer that excursion.  

Kauai is the natural island and everything here is lush and green. It’s packed with mountains of green vegetation, and filled with unlimited majestic waterfalls. Kauai has been the locale of choice for many movies and television programs. If you’re going to spend the money for a helicopter tour, this is the island on which to do it because so much of the land is inaccessible any other way. Zip lining is another popular excursion here, as is hiking through the dense foliage for those in good physical shape.  

Hawaii is an island chain of many contrasts, and there is no better way to experience them than on a cruise visiting several of the islands. Aloha!

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