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Hawaii Kalalau Kauai Aerial


Hawaiian cruises.

Experience Aloha with a cruise to Hawaii.

Just the word "Hawaii" conjures visions of turquoise waves lapping at colorful sands, a rich historical tapestry that's as Polynesian as it is American and a welcoming culture you can distill into a single word: Aloha. Once you arrive, trace the history of Pearl Harbor on Oahu, where you can tour battleships and see the memorial to that fateful day in 1941. Cruise to Hawaii and head to the Big Island to scale volcanoes like Mount Kilauea and chase waterfalls on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Or enjoy the sun and surf on the remote shores of Kauai and Maui. Discover the magic with a Hawaiian cruise.

Arrivals Plaza Perfect Day at Coco Cay Aerial

Save Big With These Hawaii Cruise Deals

Explore more while spending less with Hawaii cruise deals onboard our best cruise ships.

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Hawaii Rainforest


Hawaii offers some of the world's best in outdoor exploration. The best Hawaii cruises allow you to trek through the lush Hana Rainforest, or enjoy a more volcanic experience on the Big Island. Marvel at the lava flows of Kilauea, or savor the coffee that grows in the soil made fertile by millions of years of eruptions.

Hawaii Beach With City View


Hawaii is a group of islands with hundreds of beaches. Do you cruise to Oahu and hit Waikiki — where the people-watching is as good as the tanning — or to the scenic Napali Coast of underrated Kauai? Decisions, decisions.

Hawaii Forest Waterfall


Hawaii offers a tropical twist on the hip travel hobby called "forest bathing." It's all the rage among spiritually minded travelers these days and a great way to see nature close. Hike to Rainbow Falls on the Big Island, or through the lush Hana Rainforest on Maui.

Hawaii Volcano


The volcano goddess Pele takes many forms in Hawaii. Hawaii is the United States' most volcanic state, but your experience doesn't have to be death-defying. Daredevils will want to get up close and personal with the active lava flow of Kilauea, but you could instead hike up Mauna Loa, which is extinct.

Honolulu Iolani Palace


Hawaii might look like a postcard, but it's more than just a pretty face. Your Hawaii cruise will let you counterbalance naps on Waikiki with a tour of the USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor or a visit to Iolani Palace, the residence of Hawaii's royal family. 

Hawaii USS Arizona Memorial


No trip to Oahu is complete without paying your respects to the victims of Pearl Harbor at the USS Arizona Memorial. However, there's a lot more to Hawaiian history. You should also learn about Hawaii's Polynesian heritage at Honolulu's Iolani Palace, the former home of the long-ruling Kamehameha dynasty.

Kona Coffee from Hawaii


When imagining Hawaiian beverages, you might think of a fruity drink with an umbrella, but the state is the only permanent coffee producer in the U.S. Head to the Big Island to tour the plantations where the good stuff is grown, from famous Kona Coffee to craft producer Mount Thunder.

Polynesian Cultural Center


Hawaii's Polynesian past is still palpable today. On Oahu, check out the Polynesian Cultural Center, where you can tour six different recreations of traditional villages. Watch a Polynesian dance, play ancient games that have been handed down through the generations, and learn the old ways of fishing without a net.

hawaii volcanos


Go for bigger, bolder Polynesian adventures filled with sunset surfing and evening luaus in the Aloha State. Royal Caribbean® returns to Hawaii with two revolutionary Quantum Class ships, Ovation of the Seas® and Quantum of the Seas® .

Ovation of the Seas docked in Skagway, Alaska


From rushing waterfalls to active volcanoes, discover the beauty of Hawaii on an 9-night adventure onboard Ovation of the Seas® . Soak up the sun along emerald beaches or dance at a luau in Maui. And keep the good times rolling on this stellar Quantum Class ship with surf sessions on the FlowRider®, globally inspired dishes and so much more.


Aerial Quantum of the Seas

quantum OF THE SEAS

Quantum of the Seas® takes you on an epic adventure to the best of Hawaii. Hang ten on Waikiki Beach one minute. Then savor a fresh roast of coffee grown in the ancient lava fields of Kailua Kona the next. And in between, fill your days with endless onboard thrills like RipCord® by iFLY® skydiving simulator, delicious dining options and top-notch entertainment.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Hawaii Cruises Insider

Hawaii is ideal to visit 365 days per year, whether you're looking to laze on a beach, explore the rainforest explorer or scale a volcano. However, prices and crowds increase when kids are out of school and during Christmas and New Year's.

With warm weather year-round, Hawaii is one of the U.S.'s sunniest states. The rainy season goes from November to March, but don't worry too much about the weather during these months; it isn't a constant monsoon — there's simply a greater chance of showers.

Looking for a more remote Hawaiian getaway? Kauai's Napali Coast is renowned but surprisingly uncrowded. If you dock in Kauai, you can drive along the seemingly hidden Napali Coast. Even in Maui, which has become more popular, "secret" beaches (and red ones, like Kaihalulu Beach) provide respite from the crowds.

Three Hawaiian fire dancers at a traditional luau. Hawaii

Polynesian Culture in Hawaii: History of Dancing and Island Influences | Royal Caribbean Cruises

September 29, 2023

Hawaii is more than resorts, volcanoes and beaches. The best trips to these paradise islands invite you to discover Polynesian culture in Hawaii.

couple sitting in beach chairs on hold hands in front of a sunrise. The Caribbean.

Hawaii Vacations for Couples: 8 Most Romantic Spots To Visit | Royal Caribbean Cruises

September 27, 2023

A guide to Hawaii vacations for couples including where to go, what to do and how to amp up the romance on a Hawaiian cruise to the islands.

Ho'omaluhia Botanical Park

Hawaii Hidden Gems: Secret Beautiful Places for Vacation | Royal Caribbean Cruises

September 26, 2023

The most beautiful Hawaii hidden gems including secret spots on Oahu, Big Island, Maui and Kauai. Includes hikes, gardens, black sand beaches and more.

Hawaiian Traditions: A Deep Dive Into Luau History

August 16, 2023

Learn about luau history, its traditions, and how to experience this unique Hawaiian celebration.

Kauai, Hawaii Green Mountainside Clouds

The Culture of Hawaii: History & Folklore

December 13, 2022

What is Hawaii's historical background? Who was Hawaii’s First King? Enjoy a tour guide tailored to you on the culture of Hawaii & its island folklores.

Plan some slower days during your trip to jibe with the leisure-loving locals. The phrase "island time" isn't a joke.

Don't discount mainstream destinations like Oahu's Pearl Harbor and Kilauea on the Big Island — they're popular for a reason!

While some best practices (like not walking too close to volcanoes) are obvious, be aware of lesser-known laws. For example, it's actually illegal to hike Honolulu's popular Haiku Stairs.


Seafood is an important part of the Hawaiian diet, but there's so much more to enjoy. Visit Hawaii and prepare for a feast like no other, with nods to Polynesia, Japan and even the American heartland.

Hawaii Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl

Poke bowls are a great way to enjoy Hawaii's renowned ahi tuna. Ahi tuna has become famous all over America, most commonly seared and added to Asian-style salads. The best way to sample this Hawaiian favorite, however, is in bowl form. There are several varieties of poke, with modern versions substituting avocado and spicy mayo for classic accompaniments like seaweed and rice.

Polynesian Pork Plate


Is there any meal more Polynesian than a whole, roasted pig? Vegetarians have plenty of choices in Hawaii, but this isn't one of them. After cooking for hours over an open flame, this tender meat is plucked off the bone and plated, or sandwiched in a Hawaiian roll.

Hawaii Taro Root Poi


Taro root is a common food in the Asia-Pacific region, but usually not in the U.S. — outside of Hawaii, at least. The purple paste known as poi is a puree of this much-loved root vegetable, and it pairs well with other Hawaiian staples, such as the aforementioned Kalua pork (dip it!) and fresh fish.


Dive deeper into the beautiful Hawaiian cruise ports, from attraction-filled Honolulu, to waterfall-rich Maui, to Kauai (home to the famed Napali Coast), to Hilo and Kona, gateways to the volcanos and coffee farms of the aptly named Big Island. during your cruise to Hawaii.

Honolulu, Hawaii, Waikiki Beach Aerial View

Oahu (Honolulu), Hawaii

Hilo, Hawaii, Rain forest on coast

Hilo, Hawaii

Kailua Kona, Hawaii, Kaloko-Honokohau National Park

Hawaii (Kailua Kona), Hawaii

Kauai, Hawaii Canyon Aerial View

Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii Aerial View Crystal Blue Beach

Maui (Lahaina), Hawaii

Mount Kilauea, Hawaii Lava Flow

Mount Kilauea (Cruising), Hawaii

Napali Coast, Hawaii Panoramic View

Napali Coast (Cruising), Hawaii

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13 Unforgettable Hawaii Cruises, Including a Tiny 36-Passenger Sailing and a Disney Ship

By Meena Thiruvengadam

13 Best Hawaii Cruises 2022 Disney Norwegian Viking and More

The thing about Hawaii cruises is that there’s no bad time of year to take one. Thanks to its year-round sunshine and warm weather, Hawaii will be there for you whenever you’re ready to set sail. 

Several cruise lines, including Holland America, Princess Cruises, and Viking Cruises, call on ports in Hawaii, with many of them traveling to or from the United States or Canada. Norwegian Cruise Line is the only company that sails exclusively between Oahu and neighboring Hawaiian islands. The  Pride of America , a United States-themed ship, makes stops in Maui , Kauai, and the Big Island before returning to Honolulu , a perfect home base for visiting Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor. 

Sailing between the Hawaiian Islands is generally relatively calm, though there are occasional reports of rough patches on cruises that cross the Pacific Ocean. And while every month is a good month to cruise to Hawaii, peak whale-watching season in the region is between January and March. It can be rainy, so you’ll want to pack a rain jacket. But a little rain might just be worth it to avoid summer crowds in one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. 

Cruises are an ideal way to explore Hawaii, and there are plenty of options that fit a broad range of travel styles and tastes.  

Norwegian  Pride of America

Norwegian - Pride of America

The best Hawaii cruises for easy island hopping 

Most cruises to Hawaii require several days at sea, but not Norwegian’s  Pride of America . The 2,186-passenger  Pride of America is the only cruise ship that sails from Oahu to neighboring Hawaiian islands, minimizing sea days while taking travelers to four Hawaiian islands in a single week. The  ship departs from Honolulu every Saturday all year long, making it easy to tack on visits to Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, and Waikiki Beach. The ship spends the night in Maui and Kauai, and makes two stops on the island of Hawaii—also known as the Big Island—in Hilo and Kona. Aboard the  Pride of America , you’ll find a Miami -inspired pool, a Gold Rush Saloon, and restaurants for every palate. 

Royal Caribbean offers several  eight- to 10-night cruises between Hawaii and the western coast of North America, giving travelers the chance to island hop between Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island before or after sailing the Pacific Ocean. This itinerary doesn’t require as many sea days as a roundtrip journey but includes plenty of time for lounging by the pool, catching shows, and trying all the on board restaurants. 

Princess Cruises in Hawaii

Princess Cruises in Hawaii

The best Hawaii cruises for travelers who love sea days

Holland America ships sail roundtrip from  San Diego and Vancouver to Hawaii , giving travelers the chance to swap a long flight across the Pacific Ocean for 10 long, lazy sea days. The journey includes stops in Ensenada, Mexico, as well as at four Hawaiian islands: Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. 

Or opt for one of Princess Cruises’ many  Hawaii itineraries . They sail roundtrip to Hawaii from Los Angeles , San Francisco , and San Diego . Ships spend long days in port, and a variety of restaurants and events, like movies screened under the stars, are sure to keep you and yours entertained on board the ship. And while 10 might seem like a lot of sea days, skipping the airport could be a priceless vacation upgrade.

The best Hawaii cruises for travelers who love sea days and small ships

For a smaller ship, consider Viking Cruises. Viking’s 17-day roundtrip  Hawaiian Islands Sojourn from Los Angeles happens on board the Viking  Star , which carries a maximum of 930 passengers. This journey includes 10 sea days and stops in Hilo, where you can see Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s largest volcano, and in Kauai, where you can take in the breathtaking sight of Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Check the ship’s daily schedule for expert lectures, and make time to experience the spa’s snow room while getting acquainted with Nordic bathing rituals.

For fewer sea days, sail from Honolulu to Vancouver on the 462-passenger Seabourn  Odyssey . Seabourn’s  11-day Hawaiian itinerary includes stops in Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island and requires just six sea days, plenty of time for playing cards, lounging by the pool, and relaxing at the spa. 

The best Hawaii cruises for travelers with lots of time

Why cruise only to Hawaii when you could cruise to Hawaii, Tahiti, and Fiji? Holland America includes several Hawaiian stops on longer itineraries, including the 51-day Tales of the South Pacific and the 35-day Hawaii, Tahiti & Marquesas voyages. Each of those itineraries departs from and returns to San Diego, crosses the Equator and international dateline, and stops in Kiribati and French Polynesia.

Princess and Seabourn also include Hawaii on longer cruise itineraries. In 2024, Seabourn is offering a  145-day cruise from Los Angeles to Athens, Greece. That itinerary includes port days in Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island before sailing around New Zealand and Australia en route to the Middle East and Greece. Spend one sea day cruising the Great Barrier Reef and the others treating yourself to spa days, meals with new friends, and drinks under the stars. The luxury cruise line Azamara plans to sail from  San Diego to Hawaii, Bora Bora, and Tahiti in January 2025.

Holland America in Hawaii

Holland America in Hawaii

The best Hawaii cruises for travelers with kids 

If Disney and Hawaii are both on your travel list, you’re in luck. Disney plans to cruise to Hawaii in 2023 and 2024 , giving you a chance to merge your Disney dreams with your Hawaii volcano and beach dreams. The Disney Wonder is scheduled to sail this itinerary, and it’s sure to quickly win over anyone who’s a Marvel fan or grew up on Disney movies. The ship’s Oceaneer Club gives kids the chance to step in Andy's Room from Toy Story or to connect with their inner superhero in a Marvel-themed room. And like all Disney experiences, there’s a good chance you may run into your favorite characters on board.

Holland America ships have cabins that can accommodate up to five guests, big enough for the whole family. On the Holland America Koningsdam, which sails an  18-day itinerary around Hawaii, the kids club is at the top of the ship and includes three enclosed outdoor play areas. Sign up for family-friendly shore excursions or leave your kids onboard to paint, learn to cook, or play video games while you explore. There’s also special programming for kids, tweens, and teens. 

The best Hawaii cruise for getting off the tourist track

If boarding a ship with thousands of strangers isn’t your idea of a vacation, UnCruise Adventures may be the cruise line for you. UnCruise itineraries are all about connecting with nature and local culture. UnCruise offers a yacht-like experience on board the 36-passenger  Safari Explorer . Sail from November through April on a seven-night itinerary that swaps touristy Oahu for Hawaii’s least developed island—Molokai. Because it’s so small, the Safari Explorer can access ports the big ships can’t and help travelers better connect with local communities. This itinerary includes a traditional evening feast in Molokai, something you won’t find on other Hawaiian cruise itineraries.


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Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

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These 8 Cruises Make It Easy to Explore Hawaii on Your Next Vacation

Here are our picks for some of the best Hawaii cruises.

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The islands of Hawaii are popular with families, couples, retirees, groups of friends, and really anyone who enjoys warm weather, tropical scenery, and the Aloha spirit of the 50th state. Each island offers a different climate, attractions, environment, and style, and even on the same island, there are major variations depending on location. On Oahu, for example, there's bustling Honolulu on the south shore and the more secluded surfing paradise of the North Shore . On the Big Island, the Hilo and Puna regions on the east coast are wet and heavily forested, whereas the Kona region, on the west coast, tends to be much drier.

Visitors to Hawaii, especially first-timers, will want to experience as much of the islands as possible, and a cruise is one way to accomplish that. You can embark from any of several ports on the West Coast (or within Hawaii itself), and the convenience of not worrying about hotel changes or local transportation is a plus. Below are some of the best cruises to see Hawaii . Dates, prices, amenities, and itineraries vary, so picking a cruise requires some planning and research. That's always part of the fun, and we hope this list will inspire you to get started.

Holland America: 17-day Circle Hawaii - Round Trip from San Diego

This cruise on the 2,650-passenger Koningsdam departs from San Diego and spends five days at sea. The ship arrives in Honolulu early, giving travelers all day to explore. Optional activities include a trip to Pearl Harbor, a whale-watching excursion, a road trip around Oahu, and a scenic drive along the Windward Coast. After an overnight sail to Kauai, the ship docks at Nawiliwili Harbor. Guests can take a Wailua River cruise to the Fern Grotto , a tour of a coffee plantation, or a trip to Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Maui is the next island on the itinerary, with a luau, a drive or helicopter flight to Haleakala Crater , a scenic drive along the East Maui coast, or an underwater cruise on the Atlantis submarine. The final two stops, Hilo and Kona, are on the Big Island. Options include visits to Volcanoes National Park and Rainbow Falls . After four days at sea, the Koningsdam stops in Ensenada, Mexico, before returning to San Diego.

Royal Caribbean: 8-night Hawaii Cruise - Vancouver to Oahu

This trip aboard the 4,905-passenger Quantum of the Seas offers passengers much to do during days at sea, including a surf simulator, bumper cars, a skydiving simulator, and a 360-degree observation deck. After departing Vancouver, British Columbia , the ship spends four days at sea before it arrives in Lahaina, Maui, for a day of exploring. Options include strolling through the historic town, visiting Haleakala Crater, whale watching, and swimming at Kaanapali Beach. The next stop is the Big Island, where guests can snorkel alongside dolphins and sea turtles or head to Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park , a Hawaiian heritage site with temples, ancient petroglyphs, and centuries-old aquacultures ponds. The final stop is Oahu, where passengers spend as much time as they want exploring Honolulu, Waikiki Beach, or the rest of the island before heading home.

Norwegian Cruise Line: Hawaii Inter-Island Cruise from Honolulu

Spend a week exploring four of Hawaii's islands during this this cruise aboard the 2,186-passenger Pride of America , with onboard activities that include basketball, volleyball, video games, theater, hot tubs, spa, and shopping. Departing Honolulu on Saturday evening, the ship heads to Kahului, Maui for two days with options like a drive on the Road to Hana, a catamaran cruise to Molokini for snorkeling with sea turtles, a tour to Haleakala Crater, and more. Next is a day in Hilo on the Big Island where guests can see a volcano, rain forest, waterfalls, or a lush botanical garden. On the other side of the island in Kona, snorkeling, fishing, cruising in a catamaran, and a reef tour are among optional activities. On Kauai , passengers can enjoy a traditional luau, hike through a rainforest, go kayaking, or take in Waimea Canyon . The cruise ends the following Saturday back in Honolulu, where passengers can explore the city, nearby Pearl Harbor , or Oahu's North Shore.

UnCruise Adventures: Hawaiian Seascapes

This eight-day cruise aboard the 36-guest Safari Explorer begins in Kona, on the Big Island, with a champagne welcome from the captain. The next two days feature a hike up the slopes of Hualalai with a naturalist guide, night snorkeling among Giant Pacific Manta rays, and plenty of opportunities for swimming or kayaking. On Maui, guests can stroll through historic Lahaina, snorkel among coral and sea turtles, or kayak in a marine sanctuary. Lanai is the next island, where guests can paddleboard or kayak past 1,000-foot-high sea cliffs, go snorkeling, or visit the quaint Lanai Culture and Heritage Center. On Molokai, guests can learn how taro is cultivated and turned into poi , or they can hike to a spectacular waterfall in Halawa Valley . At the Molokai Museum, a lesson on the island's history is followed by a pa'ina (feast), complete with traditional music. Passengers disembark the next morning at Kaunakakai , where they can either transfer to Molokai Airport or extend their stay.

Princess Cruises: 16-day Hawaiian Islands - Round Trip from San Francisco

This cruise aboard the 3,080-passenger Crown Princess departs San Francisco in the late afternoon. Swimming pools, hot tubs, miniature golf, Discovery at Sea programs, movies, dancing, and shows ensure plenty to do during the four days at sea on the way to Hawaii. Shipboard programs for youths, teens, and families provide something for everyone. On the Big Island, guests can zipline through the rainforest or ride to the top of Mauna Kea, the world's tallest mountain . Next is Oahu, where activities include a tour of Pearl Harbor, snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, and a tour of the only royal palace in the United States . On Kauai, there are hiking , snorkeling, and kayaking adventures. On Maui, guests can sail on a catamaran, Zodiac, or submarine. After four days at sea, passengers get a day to explore Ensenada, Mexico , on the Baja California peninsula, before the Crown Princess sails back to San Francisco.

Celebrity Cruises: 13-night Hawaii Cruise - Vancouver to Oahu

This cruise on the luxurious, 2,918-passenger Celebrity Edge departs Vancouver and stops briefly in historic Astoria, Oregon before continuing onto Hawaii. During the six days at sea, passengers can play blackjack in the casino, take a yoga class in the fitness center, or enjoy cocktails while hovering over the ocean on the Magic Carpet . In Hilo, guests can explore waterfalls, volcanoes, wineries, and gardens on the lush coast of the Big Island. The ship cruises to Kona on the other side of the island for another two days of snorkeling or other onshore activities. The next two days are spent in Lahaina, Maui, home base for a cruise among dolphins and whales, a plantation tour, or a traditional luau. The ship cruises to the final stop in Honolulu, where guests are free to enjoy Oahu at their leisure before heading back to the mainland.

Disney Cruise Line: 10-night Hawaiian Cruise from Vancouver Ending in Honolulu

With an itinerary that includes both Maui and Mickey, this cruise aboard the 875-stateroom Disney Wonder is perfect for families and Disney lovers alike. Departing from Vancouver, you’ll spend the next six nights at sea, with entertainment ranging from Broadway-style musicals with Disney characters to a Marvel-themed superhero academy in the Oceaneer Club for kids. The first stop is Hilo on the Big Island, where guests can visit volcanos, rain forests, and the famous astronomical observatories at Maunakea . The next day is spent in Honolulu, with options like a tour of the Dole Plantation or a hike to the top of Diamond Head for a spectacular view over Oahu. More breathtaking nature awaits on the island of Kauai, including pristine beaches, jungles, and waterfalls. The last day of the cruise is spent in Kahului, Maui, where guests can learn about Hawaiian arts and culture, go on a scenic bike ride along the Skyline Trail, or relax at Kanaha Beach Park. The next day, the Disney Wonder returns to Honolulu, where passengers can transfer to the airport or extend their stay.

Viking Cruises: Hawaiian Islands Sojourn - Round Trip from Los Angeles

This 17-day voyage from Los Angeles takes place aboard the Viking Star , an all-veranda small ship that carries a maximum of 930 guests. The first stop is the Big Island, where guests can view Kilauea by helicopter, visit waterfalls, or explore Hilo Bay by kayak. The next stop is Oahu, followed by Kauai, where excursions range from an ATV tour of the island to snorkeling along the South Shore. On Maui, highlights include Haleakala National Park, whale watching, and exclusive access to the private Lona Ridge Estate for a lesson in making a traditional lei . The ship then sails on to Ensenada, Mexico, where passengers can indulge in wine tastings, e-bike tours, and ATV adventures in the Guadalupe Valley. The Viking Star returns to Los Angeles the next day.

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Best Hawaii Deals

U.S. News has identified the best cruise deals in Hawaii by taking into account prices, cruise line ratings and cruise ship reviews. Use the list below to find your next cruise vacation.

Read Best Cruises Methodology

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10 Night Hawaii To Vancouver


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13 Night South Pacific: Kauai Maui & Moorea from 11/20-12/02/2024

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Best Hawaii Cruise Deals

Cruisers traveling to Hawaii should expect longer sailings between around seven and 30 days. Travelers can depart from ports along the West Coast of the United States, like San Diego and Seattle, and will have the chance to visit beautiful islands like Kauai, Maui and Oahu. Some itineraries sail on to the South Pacific, featuring stops in picturesque destinations like Bora Bora and Tahiti. Popular shore excursions on Hawaiian cruises include hiking among volcanoes and waterfalls, attending luaus, snorkeling, whale watching and more.

Keep in mind, a Hawaiian cruise will be a pricier option than other types of cruises. Prices may start at around $200 for an inside room and about $475 for a suite per person, per night, depending on the cruise line you choose. Lines that sail to Hawaii range from budget-friendly options like Carnival and Royal Caribbean to more luxurious lines like Regent Seven Seas and Crystal Cruises, so prices vary considerably. Hawaii cruise fares are at their most expensive during the winter, early spring and summer, so consider traveling in the offseason to get a better cruise deal.

See Other Cruise Deals:

See more Hawaii Cruise Deals » See the Best Caribbean Cruise Deals » See the Best Bahamas Cruise Deals » See the Best Alaska Cruise Deals » See the Best Mexico Cruise Deals » See the Best Europe Cruise Deals » See all Best Cruise Deals »

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Sail on a Luxury Cruise Ship to Hawaii

Embark on an unforgettable vacation to a tropical paradise aboard one of our luxury Hawaii cruise ships. Stop in stunning destinations around the region including Honolulu, Hilo, and Lahaina aboard the award-winning Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Eclipse or Celebrity Solstice, where you’ll enjoy unrivaled service, spacious accommodations, and world-class cuisine. Once you’re on board, you’ll find out there’s no better way to explore the magic of the Hawaiian Islands.


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Set sail on a journey across the Pacific Ocean towards paradise on one of our luxury Hawaii cruise ships. Spend your days island hopping from one heavenly port to another, where you’ll marvel at Hawaii’s unique natural beauty, which is full of lush rainforests, volcanic landscapes, towering waterfalls, and breathtaking sunsets.

On cruise ships that go to Hawaii, you’ll stop in spectacular destinations in Maui, Oahu, Kailua Kona, and Hilo, where you can relax on idyllic beaches, embark on adventurous excursions, and experience Hawaii’s culture through culinary experiences, exciting luau performances, and visits to the area’s top museums and botanical gardens.

During your days at sea, you’ll also be endlessly entertained, where fine dining, impeccable service, and unlimited entertainment options await. Savor delicious cuisine at our slate of global-inspired restaurants with dishes crafted by a Michelin-starred chef. Lounge by the outdoor pool and admire the ocean views or step inside the adults-indoor solarium and catch up on some reading. 

Watch riveting performances in the Theatre, where you’ll find yourself singing along to old favorites and pop hits. Treat yourself to a reinvigorating afternoon at the Spa. Squeeze in a workout in the cutting-edge Gym. Watch the sunset while drinking a refreshing cocktail at one of the ship’s alfresco bars and lounges, or enjoy the enviable view from the privacy of your own veranda.

Throughout your journey, allow us to take care of everything from organizing exciting shore excursions for your party to arranging an unforgettable night of dinner and dancing at one of our specialty restaurants on board. Rest easy and start planning your next vacation with Celebrity. 

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Hawaii Cruises

Awaken your sense of wonder onboard our Hawaii cruises. Glide to remote islands and explore long-lasting traditions. Trace Oahu, Maui, the Big Island and Kauai on a roundtrip Hawaii cruise from California. Snorkel in sapphire lagoons. Hike lush rainforests. Stand in the cooling spray of crystal waterfalls. On Honolulu overnights, stroll moon-lit Waikiki. Another legendary archipelago awaits on these cruises: Tahiti . Experience lush islands ringed by blue lagoons and teeming with rainbow fish. Welcome to paradise with the cruise line named best in the region.

Best Cruise in Hawaii

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Roundtrip San Diego

Circle the islands on an 18-Day Circle Hawaii cruise from California. Starting from USD $1,799 per person.

Roundtrip Vancouver

A luxurious 16-Day Circle Hawaii cruise from Vancouver, B.C. Starting from USD $1,599 per person.

Hawaii & Tahiti Cruises

Cruise Hawaii and Tahiti on this 35-Day Hawaii, Tahiti & Marquesas roundtrip from San Diego. Starting from USD $4,519 per person.

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HONOLULU, HAWAII Honolulu is breezy by day and all lit up after sunset. Take a walk under the stars on Waikiki or dine at one of many amazing eateries on our luxurious overnights.

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HILO, HAWAII A natural beauty, Hilo is surrounded by ambrosial gardens and dramatic waterfalls. Head to its black-sand beaches or helicopter over the Kilauea Volcano, known for bubbling lava lakes.

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Take in Hawaii’s serene landscapes from the deck of this perfectly sized Pinnacle-class ship. Koningsdam has numerous dining and entertainment options and a blend of nautical meets modern décor.

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Cheap Hawaii Cruises - Cruises to Hawaii

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Featured Hawaii cruise deals

Cruising guide, why cruise to hawaii.

Cruises take travelers to four major Hawaiian islands -- the perfect way to see it all without having to coordinate interisland flights and multiple hotel stays. As restaurant prices can be high on the remote islands, a cruise can also be an affordable way to explore since you can eat your meals on the ship. Some ships even offer sailing along the Napali Coast, so you won't have to book your own boat tour in Kauai.

What are Popular Activities in Hawaii?

Beach time and water sports are popular in the islands, with snorkel and kayak trips and surf lessons topping the list. Scenic cruises to see the seasonal whale population or gaze at the gorgeous Napali coastline are more sedate ways to get onto the water. The famous Road to Hana twists and turns to reveal beautiful waterfalls and lush sceneries to tourists with steady stomachs. Caffeine fiends can tour a coffee plantation and taste the local wares.

Hawaii's volcanoes also top the activities list. You can bike down Haleakala on Maui (or take a bus to the summit to see the sun rise or set), wander through lava tubes at Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, or tour the observatory at the top of Mauna Kea.

A Hawaii cruise lets visitors experience Hawaiian culture as well. Ships stay in port late so passengers can attend a luau, offering a chance to try local culinary favorites and watch a spectacular show with hula and fire dancing. You can also visit places like Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, a refuge in olden times and still a sacred site for Hawaiians.

When is a Good Time to Cruise to Hawaii?

You can cruise to Hawaii year-round, thanks to Norwegian Cruise Line's Honolulu-based ship. High season is the winter (late December through April); summer is also popular due to honeymoon season and school breaks. Early fall can see an uptick in cruise ships, as cruise lines route ships to the islands on their way from Alaska to a warmer destination.

The slow travel season between Thanksgiving and Christmas is one of the best times for deals. Summer and fall see the least amount of rain, but seas can be rough in August. If you're looking for whales, January through March are the peak months for sightings.

What are Popular Ports in Hawaii?

Most cruises to Hawaii call on the same limited number of ports: Honolulu on Oahu; Hilo and Kona on Hawaii (the Big Island); Kahului Harbor or Lahaina on Maui; and Nawiliwili Harbor on Kauai.

Small-ship cruise line UnCruise sets sail for smaller harbors, such as Molokai, Lanai and Olowalu in West Maui.

Where do Hawaii cruises depart from?

Honolulu is the main departure port in the islands. Norwegian Cruise Line sails roundtrip from that port, but most big ships sailing to Hawaii depart from mainland North American ports, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, sailing one-way to Honolulu. Smaller ships can depart from Molokai and Kailua-Kona.

What are Tips to Find Cruise deals to Hawaii?

Here are our best tips for finding a cheap cruise or cruise deal to Hawaii. If you book a “guaranteed cabin” (they select for you), a cabin on a lower deck or sail on an older ship from a brand you like, then you can get the best price for a specific cruise to Hawaii. Last minute cruises deals to Hawaii appear as you get closer to the sail date, usually 1-2 weeks in advance. Taking a cruise to Hawaii in the shoulder season (before or after the peak season) can also be a great way to find a cruise deal.

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2023 Hawaii Cruises: Explore the Hawaiian Islands & More

Hawaii Cruise Vacation

If you're looking for 2023 Hawaii cruises , no one does Hawaii better than Norwegian. With a Norwegian cruise to Hawaii, you'll be immediately island hopping as your cruise starts and ends in Honolulu. We're the only cruise line that homeports in Hawaii and have been voted the best Hawaii itinerary by Porthole Cruise Magazine.

Norwegian's 7-day Hawaii cruises depart every Saturday from Honolulu on board Pride of America . If you're looking for a longer cruise that visits other destinations outside of Hawaii, Norwegian offers several itineraries that include explorations of the South Pacific islands , and even an Alaska & Hawaii combination itinerary. It doesn't get better than that! No matter which route you choose, nobody does Hawaii like Norwegian. Read on and start daydreaming.

Ready to start planning? Explore all Hawaii cruises with Norwegian.

2023 Hawaii Cruise Ports

Get to know Norwegian's award-winning cruises to Hawaii by learning a bit about each port you'll visit.

  • Honolulu : Your cruise will start and end in Honolulu (if you book the 7-day weekly cruise). Hawaii's largest city is the perfect starting point for exploring before your cruise begins, with landmarks such Pearl Harbor and Waikiki Beach
  • Hilo : Located on the northeastern side of Hawaii, Hilo has plenty of natural beauty. Some people compare the city to a giant greenhouse with its beautiful tropical flowers.
  • Kona: With its crystal clear waters and plenty of underwater adventure, Kona is the perfect spot to explore many of the big island's state parks, coffee plantations, and historical sights.

Hilo, Hawaii.

  • Kahului : Kahului is located in Central Maui. Maui is known as "The Valley Isle" and is the second-largest island in Hawaii. Some of Hawaii's most famous sites and natural wonders are here.
  • Lahaina : Lahaina is a historic whaling town that was once the capital of the Hawaiian kingdom in the early 19th century. It's located on East Maui and is known as "Lele," which means relentless sun.
  • Nawiliwili : Located in the picturesque port near Lihue on Kauai, Nawiliwili gets its name from the local Wiliwili trees that once lined the harbor. Kauai is the oldest and most northern island. Many consider it to be the most beautiful island in Hawaii.

Nawiliwili, Hawaii

See More Ports of Call With Longer Cruise Itineraries

Longer Hawaii cruises will take you to far-flung destinations in the South Pacific or north to Alaska. 2023 Hawaii cruises that include the South Pacific visit idyllic islands like Moorea, Bora Bora, Raiatea, and Tahiti.

Choose a Hawaii and Alaska cruise , and you'll stop at three islands in Hawaii before heading to Alaskan ports such as Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, and Ketchikan.

RELATED CRUISES: 12-Day South Pacific Cruise from Honolulu 16-Day Alaska & Hawaii Cruise from Honolulu

Things To See and Do in Hawaii

Cruising around Hawaii is about more than just enjoying the natural beauty of the islands. You'll find a lot of interesting historical landmarks and cultural sites. Here are some of the best things to see and do on our 2023 Hawaii cruises.

At Wailuku River State Park, you'll see the 80-foot Waianuenue Falls, also called Rainbow Falls. Panaewa Rainforest Zoo is the only rainforest zoo in the U.S., home to many exotic plants and animals, including two Bengal tigers. Oenophiles might want to book a volcano wine tasting when cruising to Hilo . You'll learn about their unique winemaking process, and how they infuse the wines with local tropical fruits or local tea and honey.

Unsure what to do in Hilo? Consider a "Best of Hilo" tour , or even the Volcanoes and Taste of Hawaii tour that is limited to 12 guests and will take you around Hilo and Kilauea Volcano.

Kona, Hawaii

If your cruise stops in Kona , book a shore excursion to taste two of Hawaii's most iconic products — coffee and chocolate. If you want to go out on the water, book a Zodiac whale watching tour, a snorkel trip, or a Kona tour by land and sea.

Cruise guests interested in learning more about Hawaii should consider the Historic Kings Trail tour that discusses the importance of King Kamehameha. You'll follow in his footsteps, walk across hardened lave, dine under a statue of Kamehameha, see an 18th-century temple, and more.

RELATED CRUISES: 9-Day Hawaii Cruise from Honolulu 13-Day South Pacific Cruise from Honolulu 16-Day Honolulu Cruise to Vancouver

The famous Hana Highway starts in Kahului and goes along the northern coast for just over 50 miles. When you book a Road to Hana excursion, you won't need to navigate the windy roads on your own and can focus on views of waterfalls, lava cliffs, and lush coastline.

Cruising to Lahaina offers plenty of opportunities to visit interesting landmarks. It's also on the National Register of Historic Places. Not-to-miss historical stops include Lahaina Prison (Hale Paahao) and U.S. Seamen's Hospital. Consider visiting Haleakala Crater, taking a whale watching tour, paddling in a canoe, and seeing Maui's oldest living Banyan tree.

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When you visit Nawiliwili , consider visiting Alekoko Fishpond, an aquaculture reservoir that dates back around 1,000 years old. Consider the historic Kauai Museum or Grove Farm Homestead Museum if you enjoy visiting museums.

If you have a few days before or after your cruise, spend some time exploring Honolulu . If you don't have the extra vacation time, Norwegian offers several Honolulu excursions with airport drop-off , including to Pearl Harbor, U.S.S. Missouri, North Shore, and Honolulu City.

Still deciding which Hawaii cruise is right for you? Don't forget to sign up for Norwegian's emails. You'll get the latest cruise deals and special offers delivered right to your inbox. When you're ready to book your 2023 Hawaii cruise, you know you'll be getting the best deal available.

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Hawaii Cruise Lines & Programs

When it comes to exploring the Hawaiian Islands, there's no better way to get your fill of the tropical landscape than on a  Hawaii cruise . Not only will you be able to indulge in breathtaking views of the sunset while sailing on the high seas, but you'll have an opportunity to experience the local culture once your Princess Cruise is docked at one of the many ports around the islands.

As you examine your Hawaii cruise vacation options, one choice you might want to consider is the Aloha Spirit Program. This is a great way to ensure that you experience all Hawaii has to offer while on your  Hawaiian cruise .

Aloha Spirit Program benefits

By opting for the Aloha Spirit Program, you can taste the local flavor and step back in history to see Hawaii as it was decades ago. Those who sign up will be able to enjoy an Aloha sail away deck party, engage in a hula session and view classic Hawaiian movies.

The Aloha Spirit Program also gives you an opportunity to learn the native language through a series of lessons, which may helpful while you're on dry land, exploring the sites.

If you want a taste of the local cuisine, the Aloha Spirit Program has you covered as well. Some Hawaiian-inspired dishes you may be able to try while on board include the grilled Ono steak with lime butter, grilled tiger shrimp kebabs, mango lime relish, seared yellowfin tuna on cucumber-fennel slaw and Kalua duck with plum wine sauce. Whether you have a big appetite or you simply want to immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture, the Aloha Spirit Program is the perfect way to do so.

There are many Hawaiian cruise vacations to choose from, but one Princess ship you should consider booking for your journey is the Grand Princess . This beautiful, luxurious vessel takes travelers to some of the most exciting ports in Hawaii and offers more-than-enough entertainment along the way.

The Grand Princess is renowned for its Lotus Spa where visitors can relax and unwind at sea. The ship also features the Piazza, an elegant gathering place featured on many Princess vessels, and hosts Movies Under the Stars for visitors looking for a romantic evening on board.

Even if you're traveling with kids, there's something for the whole family. The Grand Princess features programs for those who are under 18, meaning your children will never be bored while you take advantage of the other amenities around the ship. The Grand Princess is home to a casino, exclusive lounge and a wide selection of restaurants for adults who want to have fun, too.

There are numerous staterooms to choose from, including several rooms that give travelers a magnificent view of the ocean. Those who book a stateroom can also take advantage of 24-hour room service - the perfect solution when you need a midnight snack!

Other cruise ships to Hawaii, the Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess , are also among the Princess Cruises ships to Hawaii.

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Hawaii Cruise Ships

A large number of travel enthusiasts have Hawaii on their bucket list. Hawaii cruise destination loved by the world for its unmatched beauty. Nothing can be better than enjoying the soft breeze and warm sun on the Hawaiian beach. If this tempts you, book a cruise ship to Hawaii!

Taking a cruise ship to Hawaii is one of the ultimate luxurious experiences you can share with your family and loved ones. Witness the stunning scenic beauty of this place while relaxing on the deck. Additionally, as you are taking a cruise to explore the oceans, you are not restricted to just one island. Instead, you can plan your itinerary in a way so that you make the most of this place.  

Trending Cruise Ships to Hawaii

Here is a list of the seven best cruise ships to Hawaii.

1. Norwegian Pride of America Cruises 

This is the only U.S.-flagged cruise that sails from Honolulu. In addition, this ship offers top-class facilities, including accommodations, dining, activities, and many more. Additionally, one of the benefits of boarding the Norwegian Pride of America cruise ship to Hawaii is you can schedule your vacation any time of the year because it makes round trips throughout the year. 

2. Carnival Miracle

Carnival Miracle cruise ship is a huge vessel that can accommodate more than 2000 guests. Most people choose this ship to escape their mundane lifestyle because Carnival Miracle takes you to another world.

As you board this cruise, you will find yourself in fantasy land. All its onboard spaces are named after popular characters like Phantom Lounge,  Dr. Frankenstein’s Lab, Sam’s Piano Bar, and many more . So, if you choose this cruise to Hawaii, you can enjoy the wonderful scenery on your way and access premium quality services.

3. Diamond Princess

The  Diamond Princess is one of the popular ships that belongs to the Princess cruise line. It is said that this ship is a destination in itself. 

You will be offered varied amenities, delicious food, and several activities to make this journey more memorable.

As you will spend a few days on the cruise before reaching the ports, your room must suit all your requirements. On board Diamond Princess, you get several room options to choose from. In addition, you also get tempting culinary experiences as the chefs are always on their feet to prepare delectable food. You can explore several fine-dining options, along with other fun activities.

Also, Read:  What is a best time to cruise to Hawaii ?

4. Ovation of the Seas  

With a capacity of 4,000 and more accommodations , the Ovation of the Seas Cruise to Hawaii is a huge cruise. This particular ship belongs to the Royal Caribbean cruise lines. This ship has sixteen decks that offer incredible views from all sides.

The cruise provides activities like rock climbing, surfing, skydiving, archery, etc. After you spend the day on outdoor or indoor activities, spend the night with your family or loved ones and taste delicious food and drinks. Other onboard activities include theater performances, game shows, and live bands. The ship also features an array of health and fitness facilities.

5. Royal Princess  

The Royal Princess is another cruiser from the  Princess cruise line . This cruise ship to Hawaii has a crew of  more than 1,000 and can accommodate around 3,000 guests . This particular cruise line works towards maintaining a good customer relationship on board. Hence, they provide attentive staff and prompt services.

If you choose the Royal Princess Cruise to Hawaii , you are in for a magnificent treat. This ship has a varied range of entertainment options. You can watch original musicals, magic shows, or even a film under the stars. The cruiser is also well-equipped with duty-free shopping areas. In addition, there is a Youth Center that is a haven for every young boarder. However, there is an age restriction for kids below three to enter this zone.

6. Koningsdam 

One of the popular Hawaii cruise ships of the Holland America Line is the Koningsdam cruise ship. This cruiser can host more than 2,500 guests at a time. This premium ship is an absolute example of elegant nautical traditions. 

There are 12 decks, each with adequate rooms for each facility. Moreover, you can savor gourmet food at every meal because there are plenty of fine-dining restaurants. This cruiser also has separate programs for kids of every age so no one feels left out. Here you have the freedom to choose as many indulgences as you like. Boarding the Koningsdam Cruise to Hawaii will give you a break from your routine life as you can try anything that surprises you. 

7. Norwegian Spirit

The Norwegian Spirit is the latest edition of the Norwegian Cruise Line. This modern cruiser is made in such a manner that it offers the best services of the fleet. This resort-style ship, which can accompany  more than 2000 guests , is one of the best ships to travel to Hawaii.

There are some of the other notable cruisers:

  • Ruby Princess
  • Sapphire Princess
  • Quantum of the Seas
  • Celebrity Eclipse
  • Radiance of the Seas
  • Crown Princess
  • Zuiderdam 

Also, Read:  Top Things to Do On Hawaii Cruising

Book Your Cruise to Hawaii with CruiseBooking

These above-mentioned  Hawaii cruise ships  are among the  most popular choices . Upon choosing from these cruisers, you will experience absolute thrill and excitement. In addition, you can capture such extraordinary sights and encounter Hawaiian culture as you head for the Islands.

If this is your  first time planning a cruise trip , you can choose cruisebooking.com to assist you. Select which cruise you want, and we will take care of the rest. From the Cruise Ship Specials to Hawaii to offshore excursions, you will not have to worry about anything except what to pack.

  • Diamond Princess
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  • Norwegian Spirit
  • Ovation of the Seas
  • Royal Princess

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10 Best Hawaiian Cruise Ship Tours and Activities

By Carnival Cruise Line

  • North Shore Adventure
  • Wonders of Haleakla
  • Monoliki & Turtle Town Zodiac Snorkel Adventure
  • Amazing Waterfalls Swim with BBQ Lunch
  • Zippin Volcano
  • Waimea Canyon & Wailua River Tour
  • Mudbug Waterfall Off-Road Adventure
  • Kona Coast Helicopter Tour
  • Kona Historical Tour
  • Pearl Harbor Museums & Memorials

Wherever you sail with Carnival, you’re bound to have the time of your life. As tempting as it might be to stay aboard and experience everything our ships have to offer, though, a handful of memorable cruise ship tours will make the experience even more remarkable, especially when sailing to a tropical paradise like Hawaii.

To help you get a head start on planning your cruise to Hawaii , we put together a list of ten tours and activities to make sure you have the best Hawaii cruise possible. From excitement and thrills to relaxation and exploration, these Hawaii cruise excursions have something for everyone, no matter your interests and passions.

So start packing those bags because ocean breezes, rich history and culture, and perfect, endless beaches await your arrival.

woman overlooking hawaiian coast from the top of a hill during a cruise ship tour

1. North Shore Adventure

Few places on Earth are as stunning and inspiring as Oahu’s famous North Shore. To immerse yourself in everything that makes the destination so special, the North Shore Adventure excursion takes you through lush green forests, along the base of towering mountains, and to beautiful and renowned Sunset Beach.

Along the way, you’ll see sea turtles, sample the local cuisine, visit a pineapple plantation, and soak in the culture that makes the North Shore so unique.

2. Wonders of Haleakala

If Mother Nature in her grandest form puts a bounce in your step, then the Wonders of Haleakala excursion on Maui is perfect for you. Feel like you’re on a different planet as you gaze out at the Haleakala Crater, the largest dormant volcano in the world. At almost 10,000 feet elevation, we challenge you to find a better view of the islands than the one from the observatory.

beautiful view of the haleakala crater from the top of a hill during a cruise ship tour

3. Molokini & Turtle Town Zodiac Snorkel Adventure

While there’s obviously quite a bit to take in while touring the beautiful landscapes in Hawaii, there’s another world waiting for discovery just beneath the sea.

On the Molokini & Turtle Town Zodiac Snorkel Adventure excursion, you’ll snorkel amongst tropical fish within the Molokini Crater and pay a visit to what’s lovingly called Turtle Town, where you’ll get up close to Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles.

4. Amazing Waterfalls Swim with BBQ Lunch

Few things in life are as spectacular as a set of waterfalls hiding within the lush confines of nature. The Amazing Waterfalls Swim with BBQ Lunch is one of the Hawaii excursions you’re bound to describe to anyone that will listen when you get back home.

Thick rainforests, two of Hilo’s most famous waterfalls, and plunging beneath a private and secluded waterfall are just some of the moments to expect while on this wondrous excursion.

amazing view of the akaka waterfall in Hawaii during cruise ship tour

5. Zippin Volcano

Thrill seekers have plenty of ideal Hawaii excursions to choose from as well. And speaking of thrills, how does ziplining across eight separate lines and 160 feet over incredible tropical river gorges sound? As if that wasn’t enough, the Zippin Volcano excursion ends with a tour through the Kaumana Cave Lava Tube system where your inner explorer will have the time of its life.

6. Waimea Canyon & Wailua River Tour

Since we’re on the topic of exploration, the Waimea Canyon & Wailua River Tour is another awe-inspiring excursion that lets you explore the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, also known as Waimea Canyon, from aboard a riverboat.

Tour Waimea River, learn about the area’s unique history and culture, and let local musicians serenade you with some of Hawaii’s most famous and enchanting songs.

a river boat cruising through the wailua river during a hawaiian cruise ship tour

7. Mudbug Waterfall Off-Road Adventure

For cruisers that don’t mind a getting a bit dirty while thrill-seeking, the Mudbug Waterfall Off-Road Adventure is an ideal opportunity to mix some excitement, amazing scenery, and a little bit of mud along the way.

From behind the wheel of your all-terrain vehicle, you’ll wind through trails spread throughout the south shore of Kauai , and absorb the scenery that makes it one of Hawaii’s undiscovered gems.

8. Kona Coast Helicopter Tour

Maybe you’ve seen pictures of the famous Kona Coast , or even glimpsed it in a movie or on TV. Whatever you know about it, we promise you it doesn’t do it justice. Get to see the immense valleys and hypnotizing waterfalls like few others with the Kona Coast Helicopter Tour , a rare opportunity to soak up the majestic coastline from a vantage point that will forever be one of your favorite memories.

aerial view of the coast of hawaii from the cockpit of a helicopter tour

9. Kona Historical Tour

As we said, there are Hawaii cruise excursions for everyone, not just adventure seekers and nature lovers. Hawaii’s deep sense of history and culture is put on full display on the Kona Historical Tour , a chance to gain insights into the folklore and ancient legends that have helped shape Kona’s endearing and enduring culture over hundreds of years.

Along the way, you’ll visit an ancient temple, view Keauhou Bay and the birthplace of Kamehameha III, and experience sacred sites that still resonate with locals and visitors alike.

10. Pearl Harbor Museums & Memorials

The Call to Duty: Pearl Harbor Museums & Memorials excursion is an opportunity to experience another side of Hawaii’s rich history. You’ll feel transported back to the 1940s with a tour of many of the infamous locations from World War II, including the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, and the USS Missouri.

With sites from the beginning of the Pacific theater of war to the end, you’ll gain a new perspective on those harrowing days and walk away with a greater appreciation for the sacrifices, battles, and triumphs all centered around Hawaii.

aerial view of the pearl harbor memorial of uss arizona

A cruise to Hawaii is so much more than the excitement and fun you’ll experience while aboard the ship. These ten cruise ship tours and activities are a wonderful way to take full advantage of the sights, sounds, and culture that make Hawaii one of the most beautiful, intriguing, and inspiring places on the planet.

There’s no time like the present to pick your favorite excursions, find your beachwear, and prepare yourself for a Hawaiian vacation you’ll never forget.

Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by  ship  and destination.

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Best Hawaii cruise shore excursions

Donna Heiderstadt

A Hawaii cruise offers a convenient way to island-hop as you experience Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the island of Hawaii from both sea and land — but what exactly should you do while ashore? Choosing a cruise shore excursion in Hawaii can be tough since the 50th State offers a wide range of activities, including snorkeling and whale watching, visits to historic landmarks and sacred Hawaiian sites, and scenic excursions to breathtaking canyons and volcanoes. Foodies, fans of Hollywood blockbusters and thrill-seekers can easily get their fix, too.

With an average of eight to 10 hours on each island — although some cruises do stay overnight in select ports — it's possible to enjoy experiences that not only explore Hawaii's best-known natural, cultural and historic sites but also satisfy your own personal interests.

While shore excursion offerings, itineraries and prices vary by cruise line, here are our overall picks for the best Hawaii cruise shore excursions and what you can expect to pay.

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Prices may vary among third-party sellers, and from cruise line to cruise line. To account for that, we are using the following price key to help you get an idea of the costs to expect for each tour.

  • $ = under $70.
  • $$ = $70-$140.
  • $$$ = $140-$200.
  • $$$$ = over $200.

Honolulu, Oahu

best cruise ship to hawaii

Pearl Harbor

Price: $$-$$$

Pearl Harbor, one of Oahu's best-known sights, can be tricky to visit on your own because the historic World War II memorials commemorating the Dec. 7, 1941 bombing by the Japanese are located on an active military base with stringent security protocols. (No bags of any size are allowed and phones and wallets must be carried in a clear plastic bag or in a pocket.) A guided tour will get you into Pearl Harbor in a hassle-free manner and make it easy to visit the multiple sites — the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Missouri battleship, USS Bowfin submarine and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum — with the required reservations already arranged.

Some cruise lines offer multiple Pearl Harbor excursions with variations in the sites visited, so be sure to read tour descriptions carefully. If your cruise begins or ends in Honolulu, Pearl Harbor visits are often offered on embarkation or disembarkation day packaged with a hotel or airport transfer. Other Pearl Harbor shore excursions include a Honolulu city tour that visits Diamond Head Crater and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Important to know: Most Pearl Harbor shore excursions last five to seven hours and are appropriate for all ages. There is quite a bit of walking involved and some stair climbing is required to visit the USS Missouri, where the formal surrender ceremony by the Japanese took place on Sept. 2, 1945, ending WWII. The somber USS Arizona Memorial, where 1,177 sailors and civilians died (many of them entombed in the sunken wreck) is reached by a short boat ride.

Related: Shore excursions: What new cruisers need to know

Diamond Head Crater hike

Diamond Head Crater, the photogenic volcanic landmark seen in many images of Waikiki Beach, isn't just amazing to look at — it's also incredible to climb. Active cruisers can take on the challenge during a guided Diamond Head adventure hike to its 763-foot summit. The payoff? Stunning 360-degree views of Waikiki, downtown Honolulu and the Pacific Ocean.

This excursion requires you to ascend a series of moderate but sometimes uneven switchback trails followed by a walk through a narrow 200-foot tunnel. You'll then climb up two sets of steep stairs (76 steps and 99 steps, respectively). Those who choose the more difficult route to the summit will need to climb the 99 steps and an interior spiral staircase to reach the historic lookout bunkers. If you choose the easier route to the summit up the scenic Loop Trail, you'll then descend into the bunker and down the spiral staircase and 99 steps. You can also retrace your steps and descend on the Loop Trail.

Important to know: Book an early morning tour if it's offered, since temperatures escalate quickly by midmorning; wear sneakers and a hat and bring sunscreen and water. The hike is about 1.6 miles roundtrip and takes 60 to 90 minutes depending on the group and the number of people on the trail; total tour time is three to three and a half hours.

Oahu's North Shore tour

If you've visited Honolulu before or simply prefer scenic locales to cities, a good option is a tour that whisks you away from the bustle of downtown Honolulu and Waikiki and through the Ko'oalu Mountains to the immersive beauty of Oahu's North Shore. This lush and dramatic coastline is known for the big waves that pound its beaches from October to March and for its waterfalls, sugarcane fields and historic fish ponds. The region is visually stunning and its small towns offer a chance to sample Hawaiian cuisine, especially garlic shrimp, and shop for locally grown products such as macadamia nuts and pineapples.

Highlights include big-wave surfers riding the famed Banzai Pipeline (during winter months); the Byodo Temple, a Buddhist shrine built amid towering green peaks in 1968 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii; the waterfalls of Waimea Valley; and historic Haleiwa Town.

Important to know: North Shore excursions are typically five to seven hours in length with at least half the time spent on the tour bus. On sailings that end in Honolulu, some cruise lines offer panoramic North Shore tours combined with an airport drop-off (available for those with flights departing after 5:00 p.m.).

Iolani Palace and Hawaiian Monarchs tour

If Hawaii's royal history intrigues you, some cruise lines offer excursions that visit Iolani Palace, the final residence of the islands' kings and queens, and other sites of royal significance. Constructed in 1882, Iolani is the only royal palace in the United States; it was home to King Kalakaua, who built it, and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani, who was imprisoned there after the U.S. annexed Hawaii. A circa-1883 statue of King Kamehameha I, who unified the Hawaiian Islands in 1810, and Kawaiahao Church, completed in 1842, are also nearby in downtown Honolulu.

Other royal sites that might be visited on a more extensive tour include the Pali Lookout, where Kamehameha I conquered the island of Oahu in 1795, and Mauna Ala, the royal mausoleum where six of the last eight Hawaiian monarchs are entombed.

Important to know: Most Iolani Palace and royal-focused shore excursions last about four hours and combine a bus tour with a self-guided audio tour of the palace.

Related: 10 cruise ship excursions to avoid

Kahului, Maui

best cruise ship to hawaii

Haleakala Crater

Price: $$$-$$$$

Experiencing Haleakala Crater is on many Maui visitors' must-do lists and there are several ways to visit the slumbering 10,023-foot-tall volcanic peak that dominates the island's landscape. (Don't worry – it last erupted in 1790.) A few shore excursion options require that your cruise ship overnights in Kahului, the main port, or Lahaina, or has a late sail-away time.

Haleakala means "House of the Sun" and perhaps the most surreal experiences are tours at sunrise or sunset (available on sailings that overnight in Maui). To experience sunrise high above the clouds you'll need to depart the ship before 3:00 a.m. and wind your way up Haleakala's curving roadway in total darkness before watching the sun brighten the horizon and illuminate the vast 3,000-feet-deep crater with its dramatic orange-hued cinder cones. In contrast, a sunset tour lets you survey the crater and then watch as the sun disappears below the clouds and the night sky fills with twinkling stars. If you just want to experience Haleakala's scenic slopes and crater in daylight, panoramic sightseeing tours are also available.

If you're more adventurous, there are also Haleakala downhill biking tours, which transport you by minibus to an elevation of 6,500 feet and let you ride 14 miles down the switchback road on Haleakala's slopes amid the farms of Upcountry. Most bike tours do not offer access to the summit and crater.

Important to know: Haleakala tours typically last four to seven hours. Because of Haleakala's high altitude and volcanic nature, they aren't recommended for anyone with respiratory or heart problems. Temperatures are much cooler (45 to 65 degrees) at the summit, so bring a sweater or jacket.

Road to Hana

Driving Maui's legendary Road to Hana, a narrow, twisting, 52-mile route with more than 600 hairpin curves and 59 one-lane bridges, takes considerable concentration — but a Road to Hana tour on a professionally driven minibus frees everyone in your travel group to relax and enjoy the epic scenery along the way. Most cruise lines offer full-day excursions to Hana, a low-key hamlet located on the island's east coast amid jagged volcanic rocks and black-sand beaches.

Besides the thrill of this one-of-a-kind drive, which takes two to three hours to navigate, a Road to Hana excursion offers a chance to experience Maui's splendid bays and lush landscape of lava pinnacles, tropical fruit trees, giant ferns and rushing waterfalls. Highlights include the black-sand beach at Wai'anapanapa State Park, Pua'a Ka'a State Park and the Seven Sacred Pools of Ohe'o Gulch with its multiple cascades and soothing natural pools.

Important to know: Road to Hana excursions typically take nine to 10 hours, include lunch and aren't recommended for anyone prone to motion sickness. Sites visited vary by cruise line and some tours allow time for swimming.

Molokini Crater snorkel

Maui is home to one of the premier snorkel spots in Hawaii: Molokini, a mostly submerged crescent-shaped volcanic islet located about 2.5 miles off Maui's southern coast. This protected marine conservation site is reached via a scenic catamaran sail, during which guides will outfit you with snorkel gear and provide instructions for exploring these crystal-clear reef waters teeming with colorful sea life. Some excursions also visit Turtle Arches, lava formations known for frequent sea turtle sightings, and during humpback season (December to April), it's also possible to spot whales in the area.

Important to know: Molokini Crater snorkel tours are generally four hours long and all equipment, as well as breakfast, lunch or snacks and beverages, are provided. Water conditions can vary, so if seasickness is a problem, take that into consideration before booking.

Related: Ship-sponsored vs. independent shore excursions on cruises: Which should you book?

Whale watching

If you're cruising Hawaii between December and April and you're fascinated by whales, Maui offers a terrific opportunity to see pods of humpbacks in their winter playground. More than 10,000 of these charismatic giants migrate here annually to mate and give birth. Their activities — tail slaps, breaches and calves swimming alongside their mothers — are all on display as you venture out in a whale-watching boat, or perhaps a more adventurous Zodiac. Most tours are led by naturalist guides, and in some cases a portion of the cost is earmarked for conservation through the Pacific Whale Foundation.

Important to know: Expect to spend about three hours at sea as guides search for whales; sightings, while likely, aren't always guaranteed. Water conditions can also vary and seasickness is a possibility.

Nawiliwili, Kauai

best cruise ship to hawaii

Waimea Canyon tour

Price: $-$$

Nicknamed the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," Waimea Canyon is a 10-mile-long gorge known for the dramatic red and green hues of craggy cliffs that extend up to 3,000 feet below its rim. Located within Waimea Canyon State Park, which now requires reservations for individual visits, this scenic treasure can be viewed from lookout points.

A shore excursion that allows for about 30 minutes of viewing and picture taking is certainly the easiest way to see the canyon from a cruise ship. These tours include lots of scenic touring during the 90-minute drive each way between the cruise terminal and the canyon; many stop at the Spouting Horn blowhole or small towns in Kauai's Koloa district.

But there are caveats, namely that rainy conditions on Kauai, which is Hawaii's wettest island, can fog in the gorge and make for a disappointing outing. Kauai's driest months are April to September.

Important to know: Most Waimea Canyon excursions take four to five hours; some longer Best of Kauai excursions combine a visit to the canyon with a Wailua River cruise to the Fern Grotto.

Related: Best time to cruise Hawaii

Hollywood in Hawaii tour

Fans of "Jurassic Park" probably know that much of the 1993 Steven Spielberg movie was filmed on Kauai — but a number of other big-screen and TV classics were, too. Movie-set tours are popular excursions, especially for film buffs. These tours take place on minibuses or motor coaches outfitted with TV screens, so you can watch snippets of Hollywood movies where they were filmed and, in some places, get out and snap photos yourself.

Besides "Jurassic Park," other movies and TV shows filmed on the island include "Tropic Thunder," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Six Days and Seven Nights," "Blue Hawaii," "South Pacific," "Donovan's Reef," "Gilligan's Island," "Fantasy Island" and "The Amazing Race."

Important to know: Most movie-set excursions take about five to six hours and primarily involve scenic touring — so even if you haven't seen the movies, it's an entertaining and comfortable way to sightsee Kauai.

Wailua River cruise and Fern Grotto

Price: $$ - $$$

Kauai is home to Hawaii's only navigable river, the Wailua River, which offers access to one of its lushest hidden spots: the Fern Grotto. This excursion combines a relaxing cruise with insights into Hawaiian culture and entertainment in the form of Hawaiian song and dance. The tourist boats that navigate this peaceful river through Wailua River State Park are run by a local family with members providing commentary.

Access to the Fern Grotto, a natural lava-rock cave covered with lush tropical vines, requires a 10-minute walk along a mostly flat, paved and shaded path. Upon arrival at the Fern Grotto, photo ops and additional entertainment await. Wailua River cruise tours also generally stop for picture-taking at Opaeka'a Falls, a 151-foot cascade that plunges into a secluded pool.

Important to know: Most Wailua River and Fern Grotto excursions are three to four hours long. Tours that combine those sights with a tour of Waimea Canyon last about seven hours and include lunch.

 Hilo, Hawaii

best cruise ship to hawaii

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

While Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, one of Hawaii's most popular tourist attractions, is accessible from both cruise ports on the island of Hawaii, it's a quicker trip (about 30 to 35 minutes' drive each way) from Hilo. Most cruise lines offer excursions, but almost all of them are just a basic introduction that only touches on what this 505-square-mile national park has to offer.

The main activity involves visiting several viewpoints and steam vents on the rim of Kilauea Crater with a guide who offers commentary on this active volcano's history, geology and current status. It's unlikely you'll see molten lava, and most tours do not drive out along the famous Chain of Craters Road. Some tours, however, do include a walk through the 500-year-old Thurston Lava Tube.

Other longer and more costly excursions of up to seven hours combine a visit to the national park with a helicopter flight-seeing tour and/or stops at various waterfalls or gardens near Hilo.

Important to know: Standard Hawaii Volcanoes National Park tours are about four hours long, and many also make a stop at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Visitor Center for tastings and shopping. The walk to the rim of the Kilauea crater is mostly on gravel or dirt pathways, but some areas overlooking the crater have potential trip hazards. Also, because the crater emits volcanic gases, these tours aren't advised for people with respiratory issues.

Hilo waterfalls and gardens

Hilo's location on the island of Hawaii's lush leeward side makes it a mecca for cascading waterfalls and verdant gardens. Cruise ship excursions that visit several falls or combine a visit to a single waterfall with a stop at a botanical garden, tropical zoo or orchid farm are popular.

The two major falls near Hilo are the 100-foot Rainbow Falls, which earned its name from the prismatic effect that takes place on sunny mornings, and the powerful Akaka Falls, which is reached via a walk through a tropical forest and tumbles a breathtaking 442 feet. Other tour stops could include Hilo's Liliuokalani Gardens (the largest Japanese garden outside of Japan), the Nani Mau Gardens or the Pana'ewa Rainforest Gardens and Zoo.

Important to know: Waterfalls and gardens shore excursions vary in length from four to seven hours, and participants should expect to be on their feet for a good portion of the tour. Rainbow Falls is easily accessible from the parking lot. To see Akaka Falls, you must navigate quite a few steps and walk a half-mile circular path.

Related: Avoid these 10 mistakes when booking cruise shore excursions

Volcano Winery

The island of Hawaii is home to Volcano Winery, the southernmost winery in the U.S. If sipping vino is a favorite pastime — and you have a curious palate — an excursion here could be a relaxing way to spend a few hours. Volcano Winery, which is family-owned and located at an elevation of 4,000 feet, specializes in tropical blends by mixing distinctive local fruits such as yellow guava and even tea and honey with grape varietals that include Pinot Noir and Cayuga to produce uniquely flavored wines. It also produces some 100% grape wines.

Important to know: Excursions to Volcano Winery are generally three hours long and include a tour of the winery and a tasting.

Kona, Hawaii

best cruise ship to hawaii

Kona Coast snorkel

For passengers who didn't get a chance to snorkel in Maui, the waters just off Kona's rugged lava coast offer another excellent opportunity to spy on Mother Nature's underwater handiwork. Most cruise lines offer a snorkel excursion by catamaran that will allow even novices to don a mask and fins and behold the intricate coral and dazzling reef fish that call the area's tranquil bays and coves home. Dolphin spotting is also possible.

A more adventurous option is a snorkel tour by Zodiac, which combines the thrill of zipping around in a 24-foot motorized raft with enjoying up-close views of coastal caves and lava tubes — and some snorkel time, of course.

Important to know: Most catamaran snorkel excursions are appropriate for all ages, last about four hours and include either breakfast or lunch; all equipment, including flotation aids, is provided and some catamarans are equipped with a diving board and waterslide for added fun. Zodiac excursions are more physically demanding and are not recommended if you have back or neck problems; you also need to be able to climb back into the raft via a small four-rung ladder.

Atlantis Submarine

Price: $$-$$$$

If you've never been in a submarine, Kona offers a chance to see the area's abundant sea life as you venture 100 feet below the surface of the Kona coast's crystal-clear waters. The Atlantis Submarine (also operating on Maui and Oahu) is U.S. Coast Guard-certified, fully air-conditioned and offers individual viewing portholes.

Important to know: Atlantis Submarine excursions last about one and a half hours and are not recommended for anyone prone to claustrophobia or motion sickness; you must be at least 3 feet tall and able to climb a vertical 12-step ladder into and out of the submarine. Excursion costs vary widely from cruise line to cruise line.

Kona coffee tour

Kona is famous for the coffee that grows in its rich volcanic soil, so if you want to taste a cup of Joe right at the source, this port is the place to do it. Cruise lines offer a variety of coffee-themed excursions; some are geared to education about the farming and production process while others focus more on sampling the goods and buying souvenirs to take home.

Some foodie-focused tours combine coffee sipping with locally grown chocolate tastings and visits to Kona-based breweries, while other full-day excursions pair a visit to a coffee farm with a cloud forest tour or a tour of Kona's top historic sights and a snorkel in Kealakekua Bay.

Important info: Kona coffee excursions are mostly three to four hours long. However, costs vary widely depending on the type of excursion, from a simple tasting room visit to a farm-based roasting experience.

Place of Refuge and Painted Church

History buffs will find plenty to love on this guided bus excursion, which visits cultural and religious sites along the Kona Coast. Three key locations are on the itinerary, the first being Kealakekua Bay, where legendary Captain Cook met his demise at the hands of local Hawaiians in 1778 and is memorialized in a monument.

Nearby is the second stop: St. Benedict's Painted Church. While the outside of this small Catholic church built in 1899 looks traditional, the inside dazzles with the artwork of Father John Velghe, a Belgian priest who drew the murals in an effort to teach local Hawaiians how to read.

The third is Pu'uhonua O Honaunau, which means "Place of Refuge at Honaunau." Built in 1650 and carefully restored, this cultural site is an ancient Hawaiian religious sanctuary where the bones of Hawaiian chiefs were once stored. It later became a place of refuge for defeated warriors.

Important to know: Place of Refuge and Painted Church excursions are typically three to four hours long and involve a minimal amount of walking.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

  • The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • A beginners guide to picking a cruise line
  • The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
  • 15 ways cruisers waste money
  • 12 best cruises for people who never want to grow up
  • The ultimate guide to what to pack for a cruise

best cruise ship to hawaii

Holland America: Strong Hawaii Cruise Pricing Offer

  • October 31, 2023
  • Cruise Industry News


Holland America Line’s upcoming cruises to Hawaii start at $999 per person, double occupancy, with savings of up to 25 percent on all fall 2023 through spring 2024 Hawaii departures.

The company announced roundtrip itineraries ranging from 16 to 35 days from San Diego, California to Vancouver, Canada, visiting Hawaiian ports of Honolulu, Hilo, Kahului, Kona and Nawiliwili, with all cruises offering an overnight or late-night departure from Honolulu.

Ensenada, Mexico, is visited on all Hawaii sailings, and depending on the itinerary Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

“Our Hawaii sale is an incredible opportunity to take advantage of exceptional rates on cruises that perfectly blend sea days and beautiful ports,” said Beth Bodensteiner, chief commercial officer, Holland America Line.

According to a statement, the 16-, 17- or 18-day Circle Hawaii cruises depart from San Diego aboard the Volendam or Koningsdam. Additional departures include Collectors’ Voyages with combined Hawaii cruise and Mexico sailing, and the 35-day “Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas” Legendary Voyage.

Guests vacationing over the holidays can embark Koningsdam December 21 for a 16-day Circle Hawaii cruise or 23-day Circle Hawaii and Baja Peninsula Holiday Collectors’ Voyage. The Hawaii offer includes the Koningsdam’s 22-day Solar Eclipse Cruise along the coast of Mexico before crossing to Hawaii, the company said.

The San Diego-Vancouver itinerary departs April 5, heading south to Cabo San Lucas before spending the April 8 total eclipse day at sea. The Koningsdam then makes way to Puerto Vallarta before crossing  to Hawaii.

Guests on all cruises to Hawaii are able to assist Maui’s recovery from wildfires through Holland America Line’s On Deck for a Cause charitable program, participating in a noncompetitive 5k fundraising walk around the ship’s promenade deck.

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