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Aloha! Welcome to Hawaii, where sun-drenched coastlines, dramatic volcanic landscapes, and verdant rainforests come together to create a beautiful slice of heaven on Earth. Why stay on a single Hawaiian island when you can enjoy island hopping with a cruise holiday?

Most cruise itineraries begin with a perfect pre-cruise stay in Honolulu, the capital of Oʻahu. This stunning paradise is home to the vibrant Waikiki neighbourhood, famed for its iconic palm-fringed beaches and towering buildings. A sight of the spectacular Diamond Head crater also looms over the apparent horizon at a distance. The second largest of the Hawaiian islands, Maui, is a hotspot for braving thrilling water sports and witnessing the humpback whales during their annual migration. The Big Island is where you can marvel at the two extremely active volcanoes – Kilauea and Mauna Loa. And if you wish to avoid the flurry of activity in these popular islands, Kauai is perfect for soaking up some tranquillity!

Hawaii Cruise Highlights

Haleakalā National Park

Haleakalā National Park is a proud testament to Hawaii’s natural grandeur that goes beyond its pristine beaches. This expansive national park is the gateway to the Haleakalā Crater, a dormant volcano that rises at 10,023 feet above sea level. Haleakalā directly translates to “the house of the sun,” and legends say that a god named Maui lassoed the sun as he stood on the volcano’s peak to slow down its descent. Early risers can catch the spellbinding sunrise over the horizon, while the ever-changing swirl of colour and golden rays dance across the morning sky.

Waimea Bay Beach Park, Oʻahu

Nestled on the North Shores, Waimea Bay Beach Park is one of the most gorgeous beaches in Hawaii. Skilled surfers love this spot for its 30-foot-tall waves that peak at 40 feet during winter months, and many spectators flock to this area to watch the surfers play along with the giant waves. This place is also a great destination for discovering the jewels lying under the waters through snorkelling and diving. Eateries and picnic tables are present along the shoreline, so you can dine al fresco while indulging the sea breeze.

Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, Kauai

Many hollywood blockbusters were filmed at the Nā Pali Coast, such as Kingkong and Jurassic Park. With its rugged natural glory and stunning scenery, it’s easy to fall in love at first sight with this 17-mile coastline. The emerald-coloured cliffs with steep ridges perched above the Pacific, accentuated by cascading waterfalls and glistening streams, make this place a complete package of enchantment.

History and Culture

Multiple volcanic eruptions created the Hawaiian islands millions of years ago. Sights and scenery abound, these chain of islands are a wonderful aftermath shaped by time from an occurrence that was supposedly a catastrophic disaster. The Polenesian seafarers, believed to have navigated using the stars and the signs from nature solely, discovered the inhabited island group and established a settlement – the rest is history.

Hawaii is steeped with cultural traditions. Most of these are passed down through generations and are still practised until today. These are some of the long-celebrated traditions and rituals you can look forward to when you’re in the state:


  • A Lei wreath will welcome you upon arrival as an expression of Aloha!

  • Watch a Hula performance, a traditional dance and sacred activity performed by females in their flower crowns and grass skirts while swaying in the Pacific breezes

  • The feast of Lūʻau - a Hawaiian traditional dish served alongside live music, cultural performances, and grand festivities

Things to Do in Hawaii

Watch the whale migration spectacle in Lahaina, Maui

Whether from the shores or more closely on a raft, there are many different ways to enjoy whale-watching in Lahaina, especially during the annual migration of humpback whales when they return to their winter feeding grounds. Feast your eyes on the impressive performance of the huge marine creatures as they soar high from the waters and dive back with a massive splash. Federal Law mandates everyone to maintain at least 10 yards distance from these protected species to ensure a safe, sustainable, and guilt-free adventure.

Surf, swim and sunbathe in Waikiki Beach, Oʻahu

Waikiki Beach is second to none when it comes to surfing, and it’s all thanks to its rideable and gentle waves that allow novice surfers to easily get back on their feet when they stumble. Some of the best surfing destinations in the area are Canoes, Queens, and Publics. While surfing is already embedded in the lives of the locals here, this tropical oasis is so much more than its dynamic surfing scene. It also makes an excellent spot for swimming and sunbathing, as well as world-class dining and shopping, so there’s never a dull moment in Waikiki. After an action-packed day, cap off your night with a restful slumber in a high-rise hotel overlooking the breathtaking Diamond Head.

Join a coffee plantation tour in Kona, Hawaiʻi

Coffee connoisseurs should never miss visiting the coffee farms in Kona and sampling the local Hawaiian coffee! There are over 600 coffee plantations spread across the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa, so won’t run out of options for coffee tours. Walking tours usually last from 30 minutes to two hours, and conclude with a free tasting of the organic roasted Kona coffee. While here, you can also purchase beans to take home from the stores dotting the Big Island and the neighbouring islands.

Local Cuisine

Hawaiian cuisine is heavily influenced by its Poleneseain roots mixed with its own local flavours – together they create the true tastes of Hawaii. As a melting pot of diverse fare, the typical Hawaiian menu also includes dishes with European and Asian twists.

Thanks to its strategic geographic location surrounded by the oceans, seafood is a premium fresh product that the islands take great pride in. Poke, a diced raw fish salad, is also a quintessential part of the region’s cuisine. Another mainstay on the household dining tables is Poi, a classic side dish made from taro root. There’s always extra room for dessert, and this is where Haupia enters. It’s a traditional coconut pudding to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Hawaii Cruise FAQs

How long does a Hawaii cruise take?

A round-trip cruise exploring all four Hawaiian islands is possible in a week, but longer sailings with additional itineraries are available for those who want to extend their cruise holiday. Don’t worry, there are also options for shorter cruises if you don’t have the luxury of time!

Is there a cruise that goes around Hawaii?

While there are many cruises that include select islands of Hawaii in their itineraries, only the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) can sail through all four islands in eight days, including the embarkation and disembarkation. The ship departs at Honolulu, makes its way to Maui and travels to Hawaiʻi islands next, and ends the journey in Kauaʻi before going back to Honolulu.

What is the best month to go to Hawaii on a cruise?

For pleasant weather, the most favourable months for cruising would be in April, May, September, and October - with a peak season being in May when the tropical climate is at its best state. If a little bit of rain does not faze you, you can also visit during the winter months (January through March) for the best whale-watching experience. 

What kind of traveller would enjoy a cruise in Hawaii?

Hawaii is perfect for sun-seekers who want to experience a slow-paced beach lifestyle. While there’s something for every traveller, cruising is most suitable for mature travellers who prefer sailing the ocean and waking up to a different destination everyday. With a Hawaii cruise, no flights are required and you’ll unpack only once during the entire trip. 

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