With its cobalt blue waters, vibrant coral reefs, pristine golden sandy beaches and mysterious volcanoes, it is easy to see why Hawaii has been described as paradise on earth.
Here you can watch humpback whales from the historic town of Lahaina, snorkel in the marine haven of Kailua Kona and see the majestic Rainbow Falls in Hilo.
What better way to visit Hawaii than to go on a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America which sails the four main Hawaiian islands in seven days year-round.
Your itinerary departs Honolulu, spends two days at Kahului, then calls at Hilo and Kona, two days at Nawiliwili before arriving back at Honolulu.
It is the only line that spends nearly 100 hours capturing the spirit and soul of the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii including two overnight stays.
Whether you are out to pound the surf, explore the Kualoa Mountain Ridge or learn the iconic hula dance, a cruise holiday in Hawaii is irresistibly memorable.
Here are the highlights of your cruise to Hawaii:
Your first port of Kahului in Central Maui is a melting pot of adventure and entertainment. The town centre is dominated by chains such as Costco, Target and shopping centres. Take a tour of the Lao Valley State Monument which is insanely beautiful and rich in Maui culture.For adrenalin seekers, try the Flyin’ Hawaiian Ziplines which has the longest, highest and fastest zipline course in Maui.
The town of Hilo on the Big Island is renowned for the Rainbow Falls in the Wailuku River State Park. The bubbling basalt-lava rock pools known as Boiling Pots are nearby. To the south is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, home to the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea. It has been constantly erupting for the past 20 years producing some of the most spectacular sights.
The former royal vacation home, Hulihee Palace dating back to 1838 is located in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. Kona is also home to King Kamehameha I’s residence at the Kamakahonu National Historic Landmark while the Kamakahonu Beach has some of the most colourful reefs, perfect for snorkelling.
If you looking for a bit of history, dining experience and retail therapy, visit the historic mansion Kilohana Plantation, home to galleries, a rum distillery and restaurants. There’s also the Kauai Plantation Railway which weaves visitors around the orchard and gardens.
You can also learn to surf at Kalapaki Beach, go kayaking at the Wailua River and swim in a fresh water pool at Secret Falls. For an aerial view of Kauai island, book a tour with Blue Hawaii Helicopters which will take you over the Hanapepe Valley and then to Manawaiopuna, otherwise known as Jurassic Park Falls. You will also be able to get a panoramic view of the NaPali Coast and Bali Hai Cliffs.
Hawaii is a melting pot of various cultures. Everyone is a minority – from the original Hawaiians who sailed from Polynesia, to the Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Hispanic and Latinos. Many were brought to the islands to work on the sugar and pineapple plantations which were once prevalent on every major island. Each immigrant group brought its own unique cultures to Hawaii.
Life in Hawaii is lived outdoors. Whether it’s surfing, swimming, fishing, hiking or picnicking with the “ohana” (extended family and friends). The locals’ respect and love for nature and outdoor living is unparalleled.
Everywhere you go, the generous spirit of aloha is infectious, making visitors feel most welcome. To make the best of your cruise holiday onboard Pride of America, here are some shore excursions you might consider.
A food safari of Maui
No holiday is complete without savouring the authentic taste of Maui. NCL has a shore excursion which takes you to several well known restaurants in the historical district of Wailuku at the foot of the West Maui Mountains where you can taste shave ice and pan-fried Wahoo fish fillets.
Best of Hilo
This six-hour tour will take you on a leisurely drive through the “Hilo Walk of Fame” known for the banyan trees that have been planted by celebrities. Visit the Liliuokalani Gardens, the largest ornamental Japanese garden outside of Japan.
Explore historic Kona with a stop at St Benedict’s painted church and step back in time at the Puuhonua O Honaunau, once a political and religious sanctuary. Stop to taste the local Kona coffee and you may even be tempted to buy some home.
Road to Hana
The Hana Highway is a long stretch of road connecting Kahului to Hana in east Maui. Go for a scenic bus tour on the northeast coastline of Maui without having to navigate the twisting road yourself. The views are spectacular. The excursion includes a meal and refreshments.
Dine on a sumptuous buffet of local delicacies before feasting your eyes on the graceful hula and traditional fire dancers – it is a cultural extravaganza not to be missed.
Go on a Pearl Harbour tour and visit the remains of USSArizona, one of the ships sunk during the Japanese attack on the unsuspecting base on the island of Oahu. Feel the weight of history as you read the names of the men who lost their lives. Visit Battleship Missouri where the Japanese signed the Instrument of Surrender that ended World War II.