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Best Hawaiian cruises

Craving a bit of sun, sea and Aloha Spirit? One of these cruises can take care of that.

Updated

Aerial view of mountains and sea in Hawaii

Whether you’re looking for a family vacation to beat school holiday blues, a romantic retreat laden with breathtaking sunsets, or a hassle-free getaway, you’ll find the perfect cruise sailing to the Paradise of the Pacific in 2020.

Best Hawaii cruises

We’ve done the research, so you can pick which cruise liner suits you.

Best for families: Celebrity

Celebrity has two sister ships set to sail to Hawaii in 2020: Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Eclipse, both with ample multi-generational entertainment options on board. Leave the kids in the safe hands of the staff at the children’s club, and peruse the well-stocked library, or grab a well-deserved cocktail in the adults-only Sunset Bar.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for couples: Holland America

Holland America’s medium-sized cruise ships offer an intimate experience for any couples looking to rekindle their spark. To really wow your loved one, in a Spa Verandah Suite for alfresco dinners on a private terrace and in-room couples spa treatments.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for short trips: Norwegian

Norwegian is one of the only cruise lines to offer a five-day itinerary around the Hawaiian islands, so you can essentially fit a trip into a long weekend. Departing from Honolulu you’ll visit the port towns of Hilo, Kona, Kahului and Nawiliwili. If you’ve got more time to spare, the line also offers cruises up to two weeks long.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for cruises from the West Coast to Hawaii: Princess

There’s no need to fork out for an expensive flight to Hawaii, as Princess offers regular cruises from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Vancouver. You can even choose to include a hotel package before and after your cruise which includes complimentary transfers to and from the port.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Price ($-$$$):

Best for cultural immersion: Royal Caribbean

Embrace the Aloha Spirit when you cruise with Royal Caribbean. As well as plenty of culturally enriching shore excursions including a guided tour to Pearl Harbor and Honolulu’s Iolani Palace, you’ll be treated to local flavors on board and an impressive ukulele show.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • Price matches
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

How we picked the best cruises.

We compiled this shortlist of the best companies cruising to Hawaii using our own experience and the opinions of trusted travel websites, up-to-date blogs, and reviews on unbiased sites.

From our research, we chose cruise liners with well-curated itineraries that stop off at key ports around Hawaii, and allow cruises enough time to explore the islands. We looked at the facilities offered onboard including cabin facilities, dining options, and daily entertainment, and compared this to the company’s price point to understand the overall value for customers.

When is the best time to go to Hawaii?

Hawaii’s idyllic islands, positioned in the middle of the Pacific, make for an awesome, year-round destination.

Many people travel to Hawaii in search of sunshine during the winter months, making December through to April peak cruising season. During this time choose from a huge number of ships, though prices will be at their highest and island ports at their busiest.

To avoid the crowds and benefit from lower rates, May to June and September to November offer some of the best times to cruise. While September is still considered to be hurricane season, this seldom affects the islands, and you can generally expect blue skies throughout your trip. As is true with many shoulder seasons, you’ll have fewer cruises itineraries to choose from and a smaller selection of shore excursions on offer.

What are the must-do cruise excursions in Hawaii?

Appreciating the great outdoors is what Hawaii is all about. Here are some shore excursions that allow you to experience the best of the Aloha State’s landscapes.

  • Maui. The gateway town to Haleakala National Park, hire a bike or lace up your walking boots to start exploring the island’s remote waterfalls and volcanic landscapes.
  • Honolulu. No trip to Hawaii would be complete without a visit to the state’s most famous beach, Waikiki, where sunbathing, snorkeling and shopping all go hand in hand.
  • Nawiliwili. An island for adventurers and water sports, try your hand at kayaking, scuba diving or waterfall chasing on the lesser-visited Kauai island.
  • Molokai. If you’re lucky enough to visit during humpback whale season from December to April, consider hopping on a whale-watching expedition for an unforgettable day at sea.
  • Hilo. Tours from Hilo to the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park offer visitors the chance to enjoy a drive around the Kilauea Caldera, take a walk through a volcanic tunnel and even step foot on lava.

Bottom line

With sweeping bays, picturesque hikes, and crystal clear waters, a cruise to Hawaii might just be the relaxing break you need. To find out where you can save on cruise rates, check here for the latest deals and promo codes.

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