Cruising the Hawaiian Islands during your next family vacation will add so many magical memories to your time away from home. As a travel advisor, I can create the perfect Hawaiian cruise itinerary for your family’s vacation needs. This means you get to learn about more than the basic excursions that are available in the ports. Plus, I can help you avoid those cruise lines that simply travel around the Hawaiian Islands with minimal stops. After all, don’t you want to experience all the different Hawaiian Islands instead of just cruising past them?!
I have two favorite options for cruising the Hawaiian Islands during family vacations. The first option is a large cruise line, while the other is a smaller ship cruise. Each one has its own benefits, although honestly, I prefer the additional TLC you receive on the smaller ship cruises.
There is only one major cruise line that makes stops in the Hawaiian Islands. And since I know you want to spend time on these islands instead of simply passing by, I know this will be an incredible Hawaiian cruising option for your family!
During this Hawaiian cruise, you will spend time on four of the Hawaiian Islands. Your family will begin this journey in Honolulu, Oahu. From there, you will sail to Kaului, Maui, for two days. This will be the time to venture over to Kaanapali Beach or even make the drive along the Honoapiilani Highway. I recommend going for a hike deep in the jungle if you are willing to get into such a strenuous workout. And if you aren’t, you can simply do a little snorkeling or swimming instead.
Day four will have you arriving in Hilo, Hawaii, and I highly recommend you wake up in time to watch the sunrise from the deck. A trip on the Hilo hop on hop off tour bus will get you to all the major attractions on the eastern side of this Hawaiian Island. So, if Rainbow Falls, Downtown Hilo, and Big Island Candies are on your to-do list, we will make sure this is part of your itinerary. However, you may prefer to spend your time over in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The following day will have your ship arriving on the western side of the island at the port of Kona. After a short boat ride to shore, you can spend the entire day in the water. Scuba diving, snorkeling, and paddleboarding are only a couple of the water sports you can enjoy during this day’s adventures. If you do not want to spend all day in the water, though, I recommend making time to ride in a buggy to the Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. There you will discover heiau temples, kii, which are wooden statues, and hale, which are thatched structures.
Day six and part of day seven are spent in Lihue, Kauai. Helicopter rides are best on this underdeveloped island. Taking a ride on one will allow you to see panoramic views of the Napali Coast, Jurassic Park Falls, and Waimea Canyon. You can also drive through the Tunnel of Trees or simply relax on the beach during your last few hours on this Hawaiian Island.
Day eight has you returning to Honolulu, Oahu, but that doesn’t mean this magical journey must end. Instead, I can book a couple of thrilling adventures and extend your time away from home a little longer.
As I mentioned above, taking a smaller cruise ship to the Hawaiian Islands is my preferred choice for exploring this gorgeous destination. There are only 36 passengers on board, so you get a lot of extra one-on-one time during your cruise.
This cruise ship also visits four of the Hawaiian Islands. The islands you will spend time on include Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the Big Island of Hawaii.
Your Hawaiian adventures will begin with two days in Molokai. There are no stoplights or rush hours on this Hawaiian Island. Instead, you will be met with tranquil surroundings, as well as the locals who are more than ready to share their cultures and traditions. While you can explore the Molokai Museum and learn how to make poi, I recommend hiking to the rushing waterfall in Halawa’s Cathedral Valley.
It is all about the island of Lanai on day three of this eight-day Hawaiian Island adventure. This day is all about relaxing in between thrilling activities. I suggest you begin with a visit to Sweetheart Rock before walking over to the Lanai Culture and Heritage Center. Here you will learn about plantation days on the island. Before you head back to your ship, you can spend time swimming, snorkeling, or even kayaking.
Maui is waiting for you on day four of your Hawaiian cruise. It is best to spend most of your day in the water as you explore the Humpback National Marine Sanctuary. You will have the opportunity to see dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine life during your visit. And if you plan your cruise just right, you may spot different whales too! Before you leave Maui, you may wish to take a little time to wander around the historic town of Lahaina.
The captain of the ship is in charge of the day’s activities on day five of your Hawaiian cruise. Depending on the weather, time of the year, and a few other factors, your captain will take you to where the best adventures are! You may have the chance to see massive volcanoes in the distance. Perhaps even watch whales and dolphins right next to the ship, and so much more.
Day six will have your ship docking on the Kona Coast. This is where the Pu’uhonua O Hanoanau National Historical Park and Koloko-Honokohau National Historic Park are located. The kids will love becoming Hawaii Junior Rangers as they hike to discover petroglyphs and what remains of the Aiopio fish trap.
You will have numerous options for your time in the Puu Waawaa State Wildlife Sanctuary on day seven. If you are up for a true adventure, you must hike the trail that takes you six thousand feet up the Hualalai Volcano. You will find yourself passing lava tubes, even entering one if you wish, and looking carefully into a pit crater. And if you want a more low-key adventure, there are shorter hikes available that still have you seeing lava tubes and craters.
Your journey ends in Kona in the early morning hours of day eight. I can extend your time in Kona, so you do not need to rush home after this fun and yet relaxing time with your family.
As you can see, there are ways to cruise to Hawaii and see the islands. This means you can easily see multiple islands without the hassle of taking an airplane to each individual island. Plus, you will have so much time on each island when you take a Hawaiian cruise. This is because you travel between islands at night when you are sleeping. This means full days of island adventures with your family instead of hours in airports waiting for your flights!
If you are ready, I would love to invite you to schedule a planning session with me by clicking here. This will take you directly to my digital calendar to set up a time that is convenient for you.
And if you haven’t made up your mind about how you want to see the Hawaiian Islands just yet, you can sign up for my newsletter here. This way, we can stay in touch as I share more travel information in the future.
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