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Cruising to Hawaii

Tropical beauty, warm hospitality, mysterious volcanoes, Polynesian culture, islands with their own distinct characteristics – all this is waiting for you on a cruise to Hawaii. As you plan your Hawaiian cruise adventure, here’s what you need to know:


First, there are a variety of departure ports to choose from. Depending on the cruise line you select, you could depart from Los Angeles/San Pedro, Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Ensenada, Mexico; or Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Some cruise ships actually use Honolulu as home port, so you would fly from the mainland to meet the ship. While flying may allow you to spend more of your vacation in the islands, you would miss out on some fun and relaxing days at sea.


You should also know that Hawaii is much more than its beaches. Hawaii’s swimming and surfing beaches are fantastic, but there is much more to see and do on every island you’ll visit.


On the Big Island of Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park is a stark and beautiful landscape of cooled – and sometimes flowing – lava. Maui has wonderful golf courses where it may be hard to keep your eye on the ball – you’ll be looking at the view instead. Incredible underwater features formed by lava make the island of Lanai a scuba divers’ dream. Kauai has the gorgeous Waimea Canyon, the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” On Oahu, the bustling city of Honolulu has much to offer, and a visit to Pearl Harbor is an especially moving experience for visitors of any age.

Also, be aware that you’re likely to call on one non-U.S. port. Due to the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886, foreign-flagged ships cannot transport passengers from one U.S. port to another without making at least one stop at a foreign port. This is the reason that many cruise ships departing from Los Angeles or San Diego make a stop in Ensenada, Mexico, on the way to or from Hawaii. Foreign-flagged ships that sail inter-island cruises in Hawaii usually call on Fanning Atoll to the south, but these cruise itineraries are rare.  One U.S.-flagged ship – Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America – is able to sail inter-island cruises without calling elsewhere.

For more information, tips and ideas about your Hawaiian cruise, talk with your personal cruise expert.