Cruises to Hawaii take in the islands’ heady mix of crystal-clear waters, tropical cities, tumbling waterfalls and colourful volcanic landscapes – think cerulean waters lapping up against golden beaches, garlands of scarlet flowers and verdant emerald jungle scenery. Hawaii promises paradise to all its visitors, which is probably why cruises to Hawaii have become a favourite for many.
What do you think of when you picture Hawaii? Hula dancers, surfers, lush forested mountains dropping straight into the sea, flowers – thousands of flowers, in garlands, in people’s hair, growing wild. The air is fresh, warm and perfumed.
Well, the reality is not far from the imagination, it really is exceptionally beautiful and a joy to explore. Hawaii has long been the holiday destination of choice for thousands of Americans and it’s not hard to see why. The six main islands that make up Hawaii have attractions for everyone from the pleasure seeker who wants to take it easy and let life come to them, through to those wanting to get involved surfing off the famous Waikiki Beach on Ohau or hiking in Haleakala National Park on the flanks of a massive volcano.
This is a land of sun and nature, popular, but not spoilt. Each of the Hawaiian Islands has its own distinct flavour that means exploring is varied and there’s plenty to see. On Oahu there’s much more to see than it’s possible to cover on just one trip – you’ll be spoilt for choice. Cosmopolitan Honolulu, the vibrant resorts of Waikiki and Turtle Bay contrast with the laid-back serenity of the North Shore, where you’ll find fantastic surfing spots. In Kauai, the ‘garden island’, you’ll discover a dramatic landscape with lush, tropical rainforest, cascading waterfalls and beautiful sandy beaches. Maui is blessed with stunning beaches and one of the best coastal drives in the world. Adventure is always around the corner, especially when hiking around the 10,000ft dormant volcano, Haleakala, and its surrounding national park. Big Island lives up to its name; it’s twice the size of all the other major islands combined and is home to world’s most active volcano, K’lauea. Adventure seekers will love the mountains, waterfalls and incredible stargazing activity. To get the best views of the islands state take a light aircraft excursion and fly over the atolls, lagoons and volcanoes from which Hawaii was born.
For historians and the curious then a visit to Pearl Harbour is a must. The World War II Pacific National Monument Centre will help you learn more about the invasion and while you’re there you’ll have the chance to descend down into the sea and view the coral reefs and wrecks that are brought to life by thousands of brightly coloured fish and marine life.
Most cruises to Hawaii stop at the capital, Honolulu. Here you’ll be greeted by grass-skirted hula dancers as you prepare for time ashore that could include sophisticated shopping or watch the surfers riding spectacular waves – from a dry seat in a bar on the beach, of course! You could even get stuck in yourself with a surfing lesson from a pro if you’d prefer. Whether it’s a day in port on a longer itinerary or a week-long exploration of the Hawaiian Islands, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained on one of our cruises to Hawaii.
Best time to travel
In our opinion there’s no ‘bad’ time to visit Hawaii. With a tropical climate and year-round warm temperatures ranging between 20-30 degrees year round, sunshine is never very far away.
Rainfall happens at any time but the wettest months are from November – April. However, most of the islands have their own microclimates so it’s best to be prepared for every eventuality.
Hawaiian food mixes dishes from the USA and traditional Polynesian dishes.
Hawaiian plate lunches are a mix of the region’s best-loved dishes, such as poke (marinated raw tuna), scoops of white rice, macaroni, pulled kalua pork, chicken katsu or teriyaki beef. These meals are a bit like a Japanese bento box and draw on their influences from Japan. Desserts include shave ice which is exactly how it sounds, flavoured with syrups and local fruits, and coconut pudding dessert.
Hawaiians consider the shark a god and consider it with great respect.
More than a third of the world’s commercial supply of pineapples comes from Hawaii.
Things to do
- • Watch volcanoes erupt into the ocean at Volcanoes National Park
- • Dive under the waves in one of the 35 dive locations on offer
- • Take out a traditional outrigger canoe to explore the brilliantly blue waters
- • Visit Lolani Palace to view the only royal palace in the USA
- • Grab your binoculars and spot humpback whales breaching on a whale-watching tour
- • Lace up your hiking boots and hike to hidden watefalls
- • Relax on sun-baked beaches with a refreshing cocktail in hand
- • Book an excursion to the beautiful national parks to see the dramatic scenery
- • Stop at a traditional restaurant and order a delicious plate lunch and a shaved ice
- • Wear a traditional lei and enjoy the beautiful exotic flowers
- • Stop for a drink in the bars of Waikiki Beach
- • Play a round of golf on one of Kauai’s 160 golf courses
- • Stargaze at the skies above Maunakea at the International Centre for Astronomy