Cruising the Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight main islands located in the Pacific Ocean all part of the United States,  formed on the volcanic pacific plate.  The highest point at Mauna Kea is located on the big island at just under fourteen thousand feet high. Hawaii was first inhabited by the Polynesian long-distance navigators during 300 – 800 CE.  Captain James Cook was the first European to visit the islands in 1778 and called it the Sandwich Islands but by the 1840’s the local name of Hawaii began to take more precedence.  The winter  months run from October to April and the drier months from May to September and the tropical storms, sometimes hurricane season from July through till November.

Hawaiian Islands Cruise

The best of Hawaiian cruising takes in the ports of Honolulu (Oahu), Hilo, Kailua Kona, and Lahaina (Maui) and either starts or finishes the nine night cruise in Vancouver, Canada.

Hawaiian Islands Cruise: Drive or take a helicopter flight to experience the best of the Hawaiian Islands.
Drive or take a helicopter flight to experience the best of the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu

Our Hawaiian Islands cruise started in this beautiful place from the port of Honolulu. Honolulu on the Island of Oahu has some of the prettiest waterfalls as well as the famous Waikiki Beach known for once being the playground to the Hawaiian royalty, you can also visit the Arizona Memorial and hear the story of Pearl Harbour. Tours are pre-bookable from the ship to take you to the Arizona Memorial. One of  the easiest ways to see more of Hawaii is by hiring a car. Please allow plenty of time for same day flight departures.

Hawaiian Islands Cruise: See the Tikis at the Polynesian Cultural Centre.
See the Tikis at the Polynesian Cultural Centre

Hilo

One of the best ways to see the volcano’s of  Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea is by helicopter.   The helicopter trips are pre-bookable on-board the ship, these book up fast! Its incredible to get to be able to see these natural made sculptures from so close and witness the  lava flows. Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo is the only zoo in the United States located inside a rainforest. The Merrie Monarch Festival celebrating Hula takes place in spring  Easter Sunday for a week. If you are looking for gifts, Hilo is home to the  Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation, one of the world’s leading producers of macadamia nuts.

Hawaiian Islands Cruise: Visit the lava fields or see the lave flows from a helicopter for the best experience.
Visit the lava fields or see the lava flows from a helicopter for the best experience.

Kailua Kona

Is known for the start and finish of the Iron Man competition which takes place annually in October, the Kona Coffee Festival in November and the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament held in August. The Kona Coffee is cultivated on slops of Mauna Loa one of the volcanos in Hilo.  A great gift to take home.

The Kailua pier starts the scenic coastal route known as the “Royal Footsteps along the Kona Coast” here you will find the royal residences of Kamakahonu, Ahuʻena Heiau and finally Hulihe’e Palace used by the Hawaiian royal family up until 1914.  You can also find the historic Kona Inn as well as other shops. Other things to look out for is the Mokuaikaua Church the first Christian Church built in 1820 and the Saint Michael Archangel Catholic Church. Kahaluʻu Bay is popular for surfing and snorkling but has a rocky and grey sand beach. Laʻaloa Bay / La’aloa Beach Country Park has lovely sandy beaches as well as the Hawaiian temple haukalua Heiau. La’aloa meaning sacred. Located twelve miles away is the marine sanctuary of Kealakekua Bay, great for snorkelling and home to captain cooks monument. This is where he first set foot on the Hawaiian Islands in 1778.

Hawaiian Islands Cruise: See the Billfish as they come of the boats right on the pier.
See the Billfish as they come of the boats right on the pier.

Lahaina

The island of Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Maui is one of my favourite Islands with the quaint towns and artisan shops. Visit Haleakala, the worlds largest dormant volcano.  If you would like something a little bit different on your Hawaiian Islands cruise stop, why not hire a Corvette Convertible. The drive takes some time going up the narrow winding road but is well worth it when you reach the top. Why not visit for a romantic sun rise.  Or why not take in a boating tour and see the annual migration of humpback whales between December and March. One of the things not to miss is a traditional Luau evening.  See the traditional dancing, costumes and  taste of the traditional cuisine. Also you can visit the Maui theatre and experience the Ulalena Show, traditions and stories from the ancient Polynesian people in the form of a brilliant performance.

Hawaiian Islands Cruise: Why not hire a sports car to see the magnificent crater of the Heleakala Volcano.
Why not hire a sports car to see the magnificent crater of the Heleakala Volcano.

Vancouver

Ranked in the world’s top 5 cities for quality of life, on a clear day you’ll see as far as distant Mount Baker. Vancouver was our last stop for our Hawaiian Islands cruise. Sit and relax, enjoy the views from Stanley Park, taste oysters in Granville Island market, and explore historic Gastown. Or take in a 3D experience movie at the IMAX, only a few minutes walk away from the pier.

Hawaiian Islands Cruise: Visit Prospect Point in Stanley Park to see the great views across Vancouver.
Visit Prospect Point in Stanley Park to see the great views across Vancouver.

About MichelleDeansHarding

Website: http://WWW.MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

 Michelle has a love of travel and photography, which has currently taken her to six continents. Experiencing other cultures/history and food both independently and while working on-board luxury cruise ships. Discover more about Michelle, her enthusiasm for travel and photography via: www.MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

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