Each Island is Unique
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 NCL’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!
It has been called ‘the forgotten city’, yet Hilo, lush, green, historical and overlooking expansive Hilo Bay, on the east coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, is actually the second largest in the State, with a population of 50,000 residents and covering a total of 54sq. miles.
Hilo is a city with a charming small town feel, it’s as if you have discovered something that few other people know and is renowned for its temperate climate, stunning tropical surroundings, variety of activities and sights, two nearby volcanoes, one of which is still considered active and its astronomical observatories. It is also the southernmost and wettest city in the US, with an annual average rainfall of 127”, which explains the lush green vegetation that is such an outstanding feature of the city.
Honolulu, capital and largest city of the state of Hawaii, is world famous for its beaches, surfing, mammoth waves, and most famous of all, Waikiki Beach.
Once a small village on the south coast of the island of Oahu, today Honolulu is a fast-paced metropolis and is home to one million inhabitants. However, compared to other US cities it is a laid back dream town with palm trees, wide sandy beaches, balmy weather and gentle breezes, which together create a heady cocktail of sun, fun, charm, excitement and culture to mesmerise even the hardest nosed traveller. Temperatures change little throughout the year, so beach and light clothing is all you ever need. Honolulu is also the primary commercial and cultural centre for the entire state of Hawaii.
First time visitors to Lahaina are entranced by its sleepy small town atmosphere, its picturesque present, historical past and its 24:7 buzz. Lahaina is at once small and local, yet full of life and excitement.
Once the royal capital of the Hawaiian Island of Maui and before annexation of the islands by the United States, Lahaina is now the largest town on Maui’s west coast and second largest on the island. Signs around the town still clearly make this fact known and such is the popularity of Lahaina today, that though the resident population is only around 10,000, it can swell to 50,000 at the height of the tourist season.
The name Lahaina means ‘merciless sun’, for indeed it is a town of long hot days and little rainfall, about 21 inches a year, so cool clothes and hats are in order. Traditionally, the warmest month is July with an average 85°F and the coldest is January at 64°F.
Nawiliwili is the gateway to the Hawaiian ‘Garden Island’ of Kauai, as well as being the main port, founded in 1930, for the area. Kauai is the most northerly of the Hawaiian Islands and is also the oldest at five million years, the greenest and the wettest. Captain James Cook is credited with first discovering Kauai when he set foot in Waimea Bay in 1778.
Apart from being wet, the climate is temperate with an average July temperature of 82°F and an average winter one of 62°F. Though it rains a lot, it is never really cold.
With a population of around 5000, Nawiliwili is not so much about fun and sun, but its spectacular surroundings and what you can do there. One of the sights not to be missed is the volcanic and pre-historic looking Na Pali coastline. For new arrivals to Nawiliwili, the ‘garden isle’ scene is set immediately by the lush green of the countryside and the brilliant colours of the abundant tropical flowers.
Though Kahului is the largest town on the Hawaiian island of Maui, it is not seen as a popular tourist destination and most visitors use it as a stop over or landing pad. It is simply a jumping off point for the natural scenic attractions on the island as a whole, for it is these that visitors come to experience.
The warmest month is September, with an average temperature of 88°F and coldest is February, which averages 63°F.