Happy August! As this is the first post of the month we will be taking the time to promote a special country or place to help our readers learn more about the world waiting to be explored. This month we are promoting the Hawaiian Islands. Once a country of it’s own, Hawaii is now the U.S.A’s 50th state with tourism being its main industry.
Growing up in Oahu, I can say from first hand experience that it is a wonderful place with beautiful scenery, rich history, and a laid back local culture. It is a place that I miss dearly and one that I would definitely recommend experiencing firsthand.
Hawaii consists of an archipelago with 8 “main” islands which all have their own special characteristics and culture that make it unique:
- Hawaii – “The Big Island”
- Maui – “The Valley Isle”
- Lanai – “The Pineapple Isle”
- Molokai – “The Friendly Isle”
- Oahu – “The Gathering Place”
- Kauai – “The Garden Isle”
- Niihau – “The Forbidden Isle”
- Kahoolawe – “The Target Isle”
Some have a certain island that they particularly enjoy but for those that have never visited the islands themselves we at Onsite Travel suggest visiting all of them on a cruise in order to get a “flavor” of each. This way if you fall in love with one you can always come back!
There are two main ways of cruising the Hawaiian Islands available:
- Pride of America with Norwegian Cruise Lines : a U.S. based ship that starts and ends in Honolulu and cruises the Hawaiian islands for 7 nights/8 days
- The Pride of America is a mid-sized ship that can hold about 2500 passengers at a time. It’s rooms are smaller than the later option but it cruises all year round and offers discounts to military and local residents of both California and Hawaii. With this option, our travel agents suggest booking your flights a few days earlier and/ or a few days after the cruise ends and staying overnight in a hotel to spend a few days at the state capital. The Hilton Hawaiian Village or the Ilikai hotels are located between the pier and Waikiki. This will allow you to see North Shore, Pearl Harbour, and Waikiki. Something to keep in mind with the NCL Pride of America, the service on this cruise is about 1 star lower then you may be used to.
- A secondary option is with Princess or Holland America Cruise: two cruise companies who do cruises of the islands that start and end in the West Coast (California). Still 7 nights in the islands with with 4-5 days at sea on either side of the islands.
- Although this cruise is longer, it is around the same price as the Pride of America cruise with great service and technically the better “bang for your buck” if you have the vacation time. Because of the longer time period, these cruises have some days at sea to relax and sometimes overnight stays at the islands so you have more time to explore. However, they also only run for three months: September, October, and November. This is perfect for those that want to stay away from busy summers in Hawaii, which is when the islands are flocked by tourists.
Throughout August we will be posting small “blurbs” on twitter (@onsite_travel) and at the bottom of our posts on travel tips with more facts about Hawaii and sites worth seeing.
Aloha and A Hui Hou!
image (coast of Kauai) by Paul Bica: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dexxus/5621252335/