Hawaii Cruises – Vacations Like No Other

May 18, 2008 by  
Filed under Hawaii Vacation |

Hawaii is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world, served by every major cruise line. And it’s no wonder why – the islands are a beautiful tropical paradise, with excellent weather year round, few natural disasters, excellent infrastructure, English-speaking locals, and a culture that’s just different enough to be intriguing, and just like home enough to be comforting. Tourism has been a major force in the Hawaiian economy since the turn of the twentieth century, and the plethora of resorts, excursions, sight-seeing locations, and spas are top notch.

There are two popular methods for cruising Hawaii: inter-island cruises or mainland to island cruises. The former are often short, two to three night affairs, often done as prelude or capstone to a land-based vacation on the island proper. Mainland to island cruises may be as short as 7 nights or as long as a month, originating from ports as diverse as Ensanada, San Diego, Los Angeles, Aukland, Sydney, Vancouver, Tahiti, and of course, Hawaii itself. You can cruise round trip or one way, depending upon the length of time you have available.

Inter-island cruising is a beautiful way to experience more of the islands while you’re on a longer Hawaiian vacation. Once you’ve rested and explored all the sights on the island you’ve selected for your land stay, simply board the ship and let it take you to the highlights of the rest of the archipelago. Watching the islands fade into the sunset horizon is an experience not to be missed.

If you’re cruising to or from the mainland on a “repositioning” cruise, expect to spend at least four days at sea – it’s a long haul across the Pacific Ocean. This is the best time to explore the ship and experience the spa, pool, fitness center, non-stop dining, and just relaxing in the sun with a good book and a cold drink. Honeymooners might particularly appreciate having time to themselves for a few day before arriving at the islands and throwing themselves into the activities.

On a two-week cruise you’ll visit six or seven ports of call, especially on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii (“The Big Island.”) Shore excursions range from helicopter sight-seeing rides, nature hikes, and snorkeling in Hawaii to surfing, luaus, and educational outings like Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu. You can swim with dolphins or visit the spa in a top-end luxury resort. Take a hula dancing lesson, ride a catamaran, peer into the mouth of a sacred volcano, or watch annual whale migrations. Of course, the best shore excursion of them all might simply be a day spent relaxing on the world-famous white sand beaches.

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