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Cruises to the Hawaiian Islands

Oahu Waianae Boat Harbor
Oahu’s Waianae Boat Harbor. Photo by Phil Davis/Getty Images.

Hawaii cruises are relaxing and unforgettable adventures that introduce you to the spirit of aloha and allow you to experience the islands as they were meant to be experienced — by sea.

The Hawaiian islands have become universal symbols of relaxation, and AAA’s concierge cruises amplify the rejuvenation by treating you to a host of benefits, including exclusive parties, gifts and excursions.

AAA concierge Hawaiian cruises also offer priority boarding and complimentary specialty dining, and are coordinated by an experienced AAA host who will help you with all your travel needs so that you can focus on being refreshed by the Hawaiian islands.

Continue reading to learn more about our cruises to Hawaii or contact your AAA agent today to begin making plans.

Nawililwili in Kauai Na Pali Coast
Nawililwili Harbor in Kauai Na Pali Coast. Photo courtesy of Holland America.

Hawaii Cruises — An Introduction to the Islands

We offer a variety of cruises to choose from, so to help you select the ideal Hawaii cruise for your interests, here is a brief introduction to some of the most popular islands.

1. Island of Hawaii
First on the list is the state’s namesake. The island of Hawaii is both the largest and the youngest island in the archipelago. Its impressive size, compared to the other islands, has earned it the nickname “The Big Island.”

The island of Hawaii is home to many amazing geographic features, ranging from snow-capped mountains to massive volcanoes. Here you’ll encounter beautiful coastlines, verdant valleys and jet-black sands.

The Big Island puts its true ecological and natural diversity on full display for cruisers and there are endless adventures to be had on this magnificent slice of paradise.

2. Oahu
Many cruises to Hawaii will have you making an extended stop in Oahu. This island is often referred to as “The Gathering Place,” as it’s a central hub for all kinds of activity.

Oahu is home to the vast majority of Hawaii’s people, fusing Western and Eastern cultures in homage to the traditions and heritage of the Native Hawaiian people.

This fusion creates a distinct contrast in Oahu between modern and ancient cultures that makes it an awe-inspiring, beautiful geographic region.

The island is packed with everything from fast-paced city life to more slow-speed surf towns. You’re sure to find loads of activities, magnificent restaurants and enough beautiful vistas to keep your interest the entire stay.

3. Molokai
Molokai is an island like no other. As the second-smallest inhabited island in Hawaii, it’s a mere 38 miles long and 10 miles across. But don’t let Molokai’s size fool you — there’s still a Pandora’s box of adventures waiting for you on these shores.

Molokai holds the unique distinction of being home to the world’s highest sea cliffs (3,900 feet high), as well as the longest continuing reef structure in the U.S.

Much of the population on Molokai is descended from Native Hawaiian ancestors. This fosters the island’s strong home pride and emphasis on preserving the land of Molokai.

One effect of this value for the natural landscape is that you won’t see any buildings taller than coconut trees here. No traffic lights, no large stores — this is a place where life slows down to keep pace with authentic Hawaiian life.

4. Kauai
Kauai is known as the “Garden Island,” and it’s not hard to see why. Hawaii’s fourth-largest island brims with beautiful emerald landscapes and lush vegetation.

Kauai is home to tropical rainforests, fantastic waterfalls, a network of crystal-clear rivers, fine-pointed mountain spires, and rocky cliffs carved by time and nature. Its terrain can make it difficult to access by land, so cruising Hawaiian islands like Kauai is the best way to get a close-up look.

5. Maui
Hawaii’s second-largest island, Maui, is often called “The Valley Isle.” It’s decorated with breathtaking beaches, the mythical Iao Valley, and heavenly sunrises/sunsets.

Maui has repeatedly earned the vote of “Best Island in the U.S.” by Condé Nast Traveler readers. Are they correct? You’ll have to cruise to Maui to see for yourself.

Shore excursions include visiting fruit plantations, dining at magical restaurants like Wailele Luau (where you’ll eat only the best Polynesian cuisine), and traditional dances and storytelling experiences.

6. Lanai
Lanai is another popular sight on Hawaiian island cruises. As the smallest inhabited island in Hawaii, it rarely pops up as a stop for cruise excursions, but its size and gorgeous shoreline make it worth seeing from the ship’s deck as you cruise by.

While not a stop on your cruise itinerary, do jot down Lanai for future visits, as this island offers huge incentives for tourism. Lanai has fantastic luxurious resorts, a world-renowned golf course and loads of rugged back roads to make discoveries in.

Kaumana Caves in Big Island
Kaumana Caves in Big Island. Photo by Estivillml/Getty Images.

Hawaiian Island Cruises From AAA

AAA offers a broad selection of cruises to help you get up close and personal with the energetic cultures and iconic landscapes of Hawaii, including concierge cruises that unlock a host of benefits and experiences.

Here are some of the top cruise to Hawaii offerings from AAA. (Keep in mind that dates, amenities and itineraries are subject to change.)

Concierge Spring Hawaiian Islands Cruise
This magical 18-day cruise by Holland America features four of the state’s top islands, numerous excursions, fantastic food, and a genuine introduction to Aloha culture.

You’ll be able to lounge in the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, spoil yourself at the ship’s casino, relax at World Stage (a massive music venue), and dine in a variety of sophisticated restaurants and dining rooms.

On top of the standard Hawaiian cruise experiences, this is a AAA concierge cruise, which includes:

  • Roundtrip motor coach between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.
  • Up to $250 per stateroom onboard spending credit
  • Experienced AAA Host on board to assist with all your travel needs
  • Exclusive hosted AAA parties and onboard events
  • Special AAA Hawaiian gift

Of course, the best part of joining a concierge cruise to Hawaii is that your journey will be spearheaded by an experienced AAA host. Your host will manage all the logistics of your trip and will always be available to answer your questions and make your trip easier.

This 18-day cruise starts and ends at Vancouver, B.C.’s bustling seaport. From there, your itinerary will flow like this:

  1. Four days at sea, cruising from Vancouver to the Hawaiian islands. This gives you ample time to enjoy the ship’s expansive amenities, connect with fellow travelers, and relax in one of the many leisure centers.
  2. Hilo, Hawaii. Your first port stop offers numerous excursions, including a trip to Rainbow Falls and Kaumana Caves, Circle of Fire helicopter experiences, a visit to historical Hilo and Akaka Falls, a trek to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and much more.
  3. Kona, Hawaii. Your next port introduces you to the coffee farms and microclimates of Kona. Port activities include tours of Place of Refuge National Historical Park, an Atlantis submarine dive, rafting and snorkeling adventures, and walks through award-winning Mountain Thunder Coffee Farm. On the way back to the ship, make sure to stop by Royal Kona Coffee for refreshments.
  4. Lahaina, Hawaii. Welcome to Maui — a stunning island packed with beaches, volcanic craters, rain forest, waterfalls, and a host of activities for you to enjoy. Excursions include treks to Haleakala Crater, submarine dives, scenic helicopter rides, and a journey through Polynesian entertainment at the Drums of the Pacific Luau.
  5. Nawiliwili, Hawaii. Kauai is the oldest Hawaiian island, and you may recognize it from its numerous movie appearances (Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and more). Your stop here may include river cruises, a trip to breathtaking Waimea Canyon, sightseeing by helicopter, snorkeling, and food and wine tours around the island.
  6. Honolulu, Hawaii. Your last two days in Hawaii will be enjoyed on Oahu’s south shore. Here you can experience Pearl Harbor, food tours through the heart of Waikiki, whale watching, submarine dives, museum visits, and much more.
  7. Four days at sea. Your return to Canada is spent reminiscing on the memories you made in Hawaii and enjoying the rejuvenating amenities on the ship.

Learn more about this 18-day Hawaii cruise here, or contact a AAA agent today to make your travel plans.

Concierge Fall Hawaiian Islands Cruise
This 15-day autumn cruise to Hawaii features world-class entertainment, impeccable service, and a colorful variety of shore excursions. Your ship is the Crown Princess, by Princess Cruises — a luxury resort on the sea, offering onboard festivals, sporting events, musical productions, and six salons and spas for joyful rejuvenation.

By booking your trip as a AAA concierge cruise, you gain access to additional benefits, including:

  • One complimentary dining experience for two (for one of your port days).
  • A special Hawaiian-themed welcome gift.
  • $100 of onboard spending credit.
  • Priority check-in.
  • Access to exclusive AAA-hosted parties.
  • Complimentary transportation between Vancouver, B.C., and Seattle.

As with all our concierge cruises, the best part of booking through AAA is that your trip will be overseen by an experienced host who knows your itinerary like the back of their hand. Your host will handle all the complexities of the trip for you so that you can focus on relaxing.

Port stops on this 15-day cruise include:

  1. Honolulu, Hawaii. As Hawaii’s state capital and largest city, Honolulu offers over 30 excursions for you to choose from. Popular destinations include tropical rainforest walks, Pearl Harbor tours, Iolani Palace visits, scenic helicopter adventures, treks to Diamond Head Crater, and immersive Hawaiian Luaus at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
  2. Kauai, Hawaii. Your next port will help you get up close and personal with the raw beauty of Hawaii’s rugged landscapes. This stop offers over 20 excursions, including helicopter rides, horseback tours through the mountains, off-roading past gorgeous waterfalls, numerous hikes and walks, snorkeling, zipline, and much more.
  3. Maui, Hawaii. This picturesque island was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, giving it immense significance to Hawaiians and making it a special stop on this cruise. The dozens of excursions at this port will help you connect with the history and natural beauty of this island. Notable activities include Atlantis submarine dives, catamaran sailing, food tours, pineapple and lavender farm visits, and lei-making lessons with local Hawaiians.
  4. Hilo, Hawaii. Welcome to the Big Island. While you cruise around this Hawaiian island, take time to explore the iconic black-sand beaches, lush rainforests, and rugged lava fields. Excursions include volcano tours, trips to Akaka and Rainbow Falls, lava field and snorkeling adventures, dolphin swims, and helicopter volcanic landscape viewing.

Click here to learn more about this fall Hawaii cruise, or contact your AAA agent to book your cruise today.

Flying over Hawaii
Flying over Hawaii. Photo by Konstantin Kuteev/Getty Images.

Hawaiian Cruise FAQs

Hawaii may get referred to as one “place,” but it’s quite misleading to think of it that way.

By now, you can see that there is an astounding amount of terrain to cover in Hawaii — with endless discoveries to make.

Here are some frequently asked questions by Hawaiian cruisers who’d like some help preparing for their upcoming adventure.

What Is Hawaii’s Exact Location?

Hawaii is located deep into the Pacific Ocean — about 1,500 miles north of the equator and about 2,500 miles west of Los Angeles.

How Long Does It Take to Get to Hawaii?

It usually takes four days to reach Hawaii by cruise ship. Don’t worry about getting bored during your transit, though, as your ship offers spas, entertainment centers, sports venues, restaurants, pools, casinos, and a litany of other relaxing activities.

When Is Best Time of Year to Cruise Around the Hawaiian Islands?

The best times of year to visit Hawaii on a cruise are during the spring and fall. These shoulder seasons help you avoid the summer crowds while at port, keeping your trip as relaxing as possible.

Trying to avoid the rain? Book a spring cruise for high temperatures and low rainfall.

Want to avoid the heat? Then select our fall concierge cruise to Hawaii for cooler temperatures.

How Can I Get Around Hawaii?

Getting around Hawaii is simple, as our cruises offer a variety of transportation options. You’ll be able to explore by bus, boat, private car, helicopter, and in some cases, even horse! You can also make use of public transportation, which is available in the larger cities.

What Should I Wear In Hawaii?

The annual temperatures in Hawaii range from 70 to 90 degrees. With this in mind, it’s wise to select clothes with plenty of breathability. Typically, you’ll be fine with shorts and t-shirts during the day, and casual slacks and sundresses being ideal for your evening outings.

Book Your Cruise to Hawaii With AAA

AAA is here to help make your cruise an unforgettable one. Whether you opt for a short trip around the islands or a more extensive stay, there’s an itinerary for you.

To begin planning your rejuvenating Hawaiian adventure, contact a AAA agent today.

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