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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Honolulu

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.

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Cruise Companies that sail to Honolulu


Why visit Honolulu ?


Honolulu location iamge - CruiseDirection

Largest city of the state of Hawaii

World famous for its beaches, surfing, mammoth waves, and most famous of all, Waikiki Beach

The name Honolulu, meaning ‘sheltered bay’ in Hawaiian, is derived from the natural harbour, which made it the obvious port of call for ships travelling between North America and Asia. Historically, in the early 19th century, King Kamehameha I started to popularise Honolulu, when he decided to move from the Big Island, some 200 miles away, because of the better harbour. Following the ‘discovery’ of the islands by Captain Cook missionaries were among first settlers; eventually the monarchy was overthrown and the USA annexed the islands.  

Waikiki Beach is the epicentre of Hawaii’s tourist industry and though heavily commercialised; with shops, bars and restaurants fronting the beach, making it one of the planet’s largest resort playgrounds; it is indeed still beautiful and presents an accurate impression and overview of the city. All the normal beach activities are available at Waikiki, ranging from surfing lessons to canoeing and horse riding. Luaus or Hawaiian feasts, are plentiful too and a must experience for those with appetites. You could easily stay put at Waikiki and not wish to go anywhere else, but it would be a shame to miss the many wonders Honolulu has to offer.  

Not to be missed is Chinatown, in downtown Honolulu, which is an historic and mysterious area covering 15 blocks of complex Oriental and Asian culture, with a head-spinning array of foods and goods on display. Little known Manoa Valley is a quiet and beautiful respite from the adrenaline rushing Waikiki. Tolani Palace, the last residence of the monarchy, is also a glimpse into Hawaii’s Polynesian past. Local artefacts may be seen at the Bishop Museum, which also focuses on Vulcan logy and includes a simulated volcano that erupts at regular intervals. The museum is recognised internationally for its research, information and collections on natural and cultural history of the Pacific region.  

Honolulu is not laid out in straight lines like other US cities and tends to follow the contours of valleys, ridges or shorelines to take the streets in a natural direction. This may be confusing to the visitor, but is an interesting concept. The names of landmarks are used to point out directions, so as long as you learn in which direction these landmarks are you will soon get the hang of it and quickly feel like a local. Names you will hear frequently include Diamond Head, the famous mountain east of Honolulu and Makai, meaning ‘toward the sea’, which is south.  

A trip to Honolulu conjures up many fantasies for the aspiring traveller and the bottom line is that these fantasies can all be lived out.

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