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Destination Overview

The eight main Hawaiian Islands form the U.S. state Hawaii. Hawaii offers some of the most breathtaking views in the world. From world-famous surfing-friendly beaches and active volcanoes, on to the historic Pearl Harbor, Hawaii offers something for everyone. Common thoughts that may come to mind when thinking about the tropical islands of Hawaii include beautiful women hula dancing in grass skirts, surfing, palm trees, pineapple and volcanoes. In fact, all of the Hawaiian Islands were formed as a result of volcanoes erupting from the sea floor.
Hawaii Cruises
Hawaii is a very popular vacation destination for cruisers of all types, but is particularly popular among honeymooners, retirees and families. The cruising season for Hawaii is year round, so there are itineraries available throughout the year. The great part about taking a Hawaii cruise is that you can go from island to island without having to fly, and also without having to go through the hassle of packing and unpacking over and over again.

Please be aware that cruise ships sailing in Hawaiian waters will not feature an operating casino onboard the ship, as having one open would violate US laws. There may be a casino available onboard cruises that visit other, non-US ports, before and/or after visiting Hawaii.

Listed based on their east to west location, the eight main Hawaiian Islands are Hawai'i (also known as the Big Island; the world's second highest island), Maui, Kaho'olawe, Lana'i, Moloka'i, O'ahu, Kaua'i and Ni'ihau. Of them, there are popular cruise ports in Hawai'i, Maui, O'ahu and Kaua'i (see below for more details).

As far as departure ports go, the most common departure port for a Hawaii cruise is Honolulu. Such cruises are typically a week in length. There are a few U.S. mainland ports (such as Los Angeles and San Diego) that are used by cruise lines offering longer, typically 14- to 15-night, Hawaii cruises. Such cruises will have a lot of days at sea, since the distance from those cities to the Hawaiian Islands is not short. For instance, on a typical 14-night cruise there will usually be around eight days at sea, not even including the first and last days of the cruise. There are a few repositioning (one-way) cruises that allow passengers to cruise to Hawaii from countries such as Canada (via Vancouver), Mexico (via Ensenada) Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
Hawaii Cruises
Cruise Lines in Hawaii
By far, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) offers the most cruises in Hawaii, as their Pride of America offers 7-night Hawaii cruises on a weekly basis. At one point in time NCL actually had three ships doing year round Hawaii cruises, but that is no longer the case.

Princess Cruises and Holland America Line offer a decent number of (14- and 15-nights long, respectively) Hawaii cruises each year, while Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean offer a very limited selection of Hawaii cruises.

Popular Ports of Call
Among the most popular ports of call featured on a Hawaii cruise are Honolulu (the starting and ending port for many Hawaii cruises, located on the island Oahu), Kahului and Lahaina (both located on the Hawaiian island Maui; typically only one of the two is visited during a cruise), Nawiliwili (located on the island Kauai), Hilo and Kona (both located on the island of Hawaii).

Honolulu, the state capital of Hawaii, is home to famous tourist attractions such as Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach. In Maui you can find great sites such as Haleakala, a 3,000-foot deep crater, and Ka'anapali Beach. While on the island Kauai is the exquisite Na Pali Coast, as well as Waimea Canyon (a breathtaking gorge often referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific"). Hilo is the home to Volcano National Park, Akaka Falls and Banyan Drive (also known as the "Hilo Walk of Fame"). In Kona features world-renowned resorts, as well as great beaches (including the ultra-popular Kamakahonu Beach), golf courses, spas and restaurants.
Waikiki Beach
When's the Best Time To Go?
It depends on what your priorities are. If you're a price-driven consumer, then you'd want to stay away from mid-June through mid-August Hawaii cruises, as well as mid-December through mid-January, Hawaii cruises. The prices during those times are typically higher than the rest of the year because families travel more while kids are out of school. The "off season" for Hawaii is generally considered to be mid-April through June, and September through mid-December.

As far as temperature goes, it's always hot (or at least pretty warm) in Hawaii. Temperature doesn't really fluctuate very much throughout the year, and the climate in Hawaii is fairly typical of a tropical area. However, it isn't quite as humid in Hawaii as it is in many other tropical locations. The coolest time of year is typically December through February, when the average daily high temperature is usually in the high-seventies to low-eighties. The warmest months of the year in Hawaii are usually June through September, with daily highs averaging in the upper eighties. There are generally just two seasons in Hawaii, summer (April through October) and winter (November through March).

Popular departure ports for Hawaii cruises:
Honolulu (Hawaii), Los Angeles (California), San Diego (California), Vancouver (British Columbia)

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