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How Long Is A Cruise To Hawaii


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Cristina Hutchings



A cruise to Hawaii is a dream vacation for many travelers, offering the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. With its stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches, and rich cultural heritage, Hawaii is a tropical paradise that has captivated the imaginations of people around the world. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family-friendly vacation, or an exciting island-hopping adventure, a cruise to Hawaii is an ideal way to explore this enchanting destination.


While planning a cruise to Hawaii, it’s important to consider various factors, such as the cruise routes, the duration of the voyage, and the cruise lines that operate in the region. Understanding these aspects will help you make informed decisions and ensure that you have a memorable and enjoyable experience.


In this article, we will delve into the different cruise routes to Hawaii, explore the factors that can affect the duration of a Hawaiian cruise, discuss popular cruise lines that offer trips to the islands, and provide some essential planning tips to make the most of your Hawaiian cruise vacation.


So, if you’re ready to embark on a virtual journey to the stunning Hawaiian Islands, let’s dive in and discover what awaits you on a cruise to this Pacific paradise.


Cruise Routes to Hawaii

When it comes to cruising to Hawaii, there are two main routes that cruise lines typically take: the West Coast route and the Transpacific route.


The West Coast route is popular among those departing from California, typically from ports such as Los Angeles, San Diego, or San Francisco. These cruises offer a convenient option for travelers on the West Coast, as they eliminate the need for a long international flight. The journey usually takes around 7 to 10 days, with several days at sea and stops at ports in Hawaii, such as Hilo, Honolulu, and Maui.


The Transpacific route, on the other hand, is a longer voyage that appeals to those who have more time to spare or are looking for a unique cruise experience. This route often starts in Vancouver, Canada, or other ports in North America, and crosses the vast Pacific Ocean, making stops in ports like Maui, Oahu, and Kauai. The duration of a Transpacific cruise to Hawaii can range from 14 to 21 days, allowing passengers to truly immerse themselves in the beauty of the islands.


Both routes offer their own advantages, and the choice between them depends on your preferences, budget, and available time. If you prefer a shorter trip with a focus on Hawaii itself, the West Coast route may be the better option. However, if you enjoy the journey as much as the destination and have the luxury of an extended vacation, a Transpacific cruise can provide a true sense of adventure.


It’s worth noting that some cruises may include additional stops in Mexico or other Pacific islands along the way, adding to the overall itinerary and making the journey even more exciting.


Duration of a Hawaiian Cruise

The duration of a Hawaiian cruise can vary depending on several factors, including the cruise route, the number of ports visited, and the cruise line you choose. Generally, a Hawaiian cruise can range from 7 to 21 days.


For those opting for a West Coast route, where the cruise departs from California, the typical duration is around 7 to 10 days. These cruises usually include multiple sea days, allowing passengers to relax and enjoy the amenities on board while making stops at ports in Hawaii, such as Hilo, Kona, Honolulu, and Maui. These shorter cruises are perfect for travelers with limited time or those who want a taste of the Hawaiian islands without an extended voyage.


In contrast, Transpacific cruises to Hawaii have a longer duration due to the distance traveled. These voyages typically last around 14 to 21 days. They involve a more immersive experience, as you’ll spend more time at sea and have the opportunity to explore multiple Hawaiian islands, such as Maui, Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island. These longer cruises are ideal for those who want to fully immerse themselves in the beauty and culture of Hawaii and have a more relaxed pace of travel.


It’s important to note that the duration of a Hawaiian cruise can also be extended if you choose to combine it with other itineraries or if the cruise includes stops at additional destinations along the way. For example, some cruises may start in Australia or include stops in Mexico or other Pacific islands, which can add several days to the overall duration.


Ultimately, the duration of your Hawaiian cruise depends on your preferences, available time, and budget. Whether you prefer a shorter getaway or a more extensive exploration, there are options to suit every traveler’s needs.


Factors Affecting Cruise Duration

Several factors can influence the duration of a Hawaiian cruise. Understanding these factors can help you choose the right cruise for your preferences and make the most of your time exploring the beautiful islands of Hawaii.


1. Cruise Route: The chosen cruise route plays a significant role in determining the duration of the trip. As mentioned earlier, the West Coast route tends to be shorter, ranging from 7 to 10 days, while the Transpacific route can extend to 14 to 21 days. Consider whether you want a shorter or longer cruise experience when selecting your route.


2. Number of Ports Visited: The number of ports visited during the cruise can add or subtract from the total duration. More ports mean more time spent at each destination and less time at sea. If you want to explore multiple Hawaiian islands in-depth, consider choosing a cruise that includes more ports of call.


3. Itinerary Add-Ons: Some cruises may offer add-on options such as pre-cruise or post-cruise land tours, allowing you to spend extra time in Hawaii before or after the cruise. These add-ons can extend the overall duration of your trip, providing an opportunity for further exploration and cultural experiences.


4. Cruise Line Schedule: Different cruise lines may offer varying schedules and sailing frequencies to Hawaii. Some lines may have more frequent departures, which can give you more flexibility in choosing a cruise duration that aligns with your travel plans.


5. Seasonal Considerations: The time of year you choose to embark on a Hawaiian cruise can also impact the duration. Some cruise lines offer specific itineraries during peak travel seasons, which may have a different duration compared to their regular schedules. Additionally, weather conditions and sea conditions during certain seasons may affect the sailing time.


Considering these factors will help you select a Hawaiian cruise that suits your desired duration and allows for an enjoyable exploration of the islands. Keep in mind that each cruise line may have its own unique itinerary and duration options, so researching and comparing different offerings is key to finding the perfect fit for your vacation.


Popular Cruise Lines to Hawaii

When it comes to cruising to Hawaii, several reputable cruise lines offer exceptional experiences and itineraries. Each cruise line brings its own unique style and amenities, ensuring that there’s something for every type of traveler. Here are some of the popular cruise lines that operate trips to Hawaii:


1. Norwegian Cruise Line: Known for its “Freestyle Cruising” concept, Norwegian Cruise Line offers a variety of itineraries to Hawaii. Their ships feature a wide range of dining options, onboard entertainment, and activities for all ages. With multiple departures from ports like Los Angeles and Vancouver, Norwegian Cruise Line provides flexibility and convenience for travelers.


2. Princess Cruises: Princess Cruises is renowned for its elegant ships and immersive itineraries. With departures from various West Coast ports, Princess Cruises offers a mix of shorter cruises and longer Transpacific voyages to Hawaii. Their onboard experience includes enriching activities, exceptional dining options, and world-class entertainment, ensuring a memorable journey.


3. Royal Caribbean International: Known for its innovative ships and diverse itineraries, Royal Caribbean International offers cruises to Hawaii that cater to different preferences. With departures from California and Vancouver, their ships provide a wide range of amenities, including thrilling activities like rock climbing and surf simulators, as well as award-winning entertainment and dining options.


4. Holland America Line: Holland America Line offers an intimate and sophisticated cruising experience to Hawaii. With departures from Vancouver and San Diego, their ships provide a blend of comfort, elegance, and enriching activities. Passengers can enjoy world-class dining, live music, and cultural enrichment programs, immersing themselves in the spirit of Hawaii.


5. Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Cruises offers a luxurious and upscale experience for those cruising to Hawaii. Departing from Vancouver and California, their ships provide an array of amenities, including gourmet cuisine, spa treatments, and engaging onboard activities. Celebrity Cruises is known for its exceptional service and attention to detail.


These are just a few of the cruise lines that offer trips to Hawaii. It’s important to research each company’s itineraries, amenities, and customer reviews to determine which cruise line aligns best with your preferences and budget. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to embark on an unforgettable journey to the beautiful islands of Hawaii.


Planning Tips for a Hawaiian Cruise

Planning a Hawaiian cruise requires careful consideration and preparation to ensure a smooth and enjoyable vacation. Here are some valuable tips to help you make the most of your cruise:


1. Choose the Right Time: Consider the time of year you want to visit Hawaii. The high season, which typically runs from December to April, brings larger crowds and higher prices. If you prefer a more affordable and less crowded trip, consider traveling during the shoulder seasons, such as May or September, when the weather is still pleasant.


2. Research Itineraries: Research different cruise itineraries and consider the number of ports you want to visit. Decide whether you prefer a shorter cruise with more time at sea or a longer voyage with multiple stops in Hawaii. Look for itineraries that align with your interests and desired activities.


3. Pre and Post-Cruise Extensions: To maximize your time in Hawaii, consider adding pre or post-cruise extensions. This allows you to explore the islands on land before or after your cruise. It’s a great way to experience Hawaii in more depth and immerse yourself in the local culture.


4. Budget Wisely: Set a budget for your Hawaiian cruise, inclusive of the cruise fare, onboard expenses, gratuities, excursions, and any additional expenses like airfare and accommodation if required. Be mindful of these costs to avoid any surprises and ensure a stress-free vacation.


5. Pack Wisely: Pack for a variety of activities and weather conditions. Bring lightweight and breathable clothing for the warm climate, as well as comfortable shoes for shore excursions. Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, hats, and swimming gear. It’s also advisable to pack a small day bag for carrying essentials during shore excursions.


6. Research Excursions: Research and book shore excursions in advance to secure your preferred activities and maximize your time on the islands. Whether you want to explore volcanoes, visit historical sites, go snorkeling, or simply relax on beautiful beaches, there are plenty of options to cater to every interest.


7. Stay Hydrated and Mindful of the Sun: Hawaii’s tropical climate can be intense, so remember to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun. Drink plenty of water, apply sunscreen frequently, and seek shade during the hottest parts of the day to avoid sunburn and dehydration.


8. Familiarize Yourself with Hawaiian Culture: Before your trip, take some time to learn about the local culture, traditions, and etiquette in Hawaii. Respect the customs of the islands, be mindful of environmental preservation, and treat the locals with kindness and respect.


By following these planning tips, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on an unforgettable Hawaiian cruise. Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveler, this magical journey will leave you with lasting memories of the pristine beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant culture of the Hawaiian Islands.



A cruise to Hawaii is a fantastic way to explore the captivating beauty and rich culture of the Hawaiian Islands. Whether you choose to embark on a shorter West Coast voyage or a longer Transpacific journey, you will have the opportunity to discover the stunning landscapes, relax on beautiful beaches, and immerse yourself in the warm Aloha spirit.


When planning your Hawaiian cruise, consider the various factors that can affect the duration, such as the cruise route, number of ports visited, and the cruise line you choose. Researching and comparing different cruise lines will help you find the perfect itinerary that aligns with your preferences and budget.


Popular cruise lines like Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line, and Celebrity Cruises offer exceptional experiences and itineraries to Hawaii. Each brings its own unique style and amenities, ensuring a memorable journey for every type of traveler.


Remember to plan ahead and take into account essential factors such as the best time to visit, budgeting wisely, packing appropriately, and booking shore excursions in advance. Also, take the opportunity to learn about Hawaiian culture and customs, showing respect for the land, its people, and traditions.


Ultimately, a well-planned Hawaiian cruise will provide you with a magical experience, filled with breathtaking sights, exciting adventures, and cherished memories. So, set sail for the beautiful Hawaiian Islands, bask in the tropical paradise, and create unforgettable moments that will stay with you long after the cruise is over.