Hawaiian Island Cruises - The Best Way To See The Islands

Hawaiian Island cruises are a fantastic way to get away and force yourself to relax. Not only are you aboard a ship where everything is taken care of, but you're on "island time" as well. No worries!

Those are two of the main attractions to cruising Hawaii—besides the fabulous weather and scenery, of course. There are so many cruise options to and within the Hawaiian Islands, though, it can be a dizzying prospect to decide which one you want.

Time is perhaps your first consideration. The Hawaiian Islands themselves are big, and they are in the middle of an even bigger ocean. They are the most isolated land mass in the world, which means your first decision is going to be: fly there, or cruise there?

A cruise to Hawaii departing from Los Angeles, San Diego, or even Mexico will run between 10 to 14 days, with stops on at least two islands, usually more. You will have several days at sea sailing to and fro, so check out the amenities on your ship before you go and decide how you want to spend your time.

As with most cruise ships, you can elect to lie out on deck all day reading the final Harry Potter installment, or be as active as you like. Most cruise ships have workout rooms or even full fitness centers. Some also have rock climbing walls, and one even has an ice skating rink!

Once in Hawaii, shore excursions will take you to the island. You can pre-arrange a shore activity, such as a luau, a round of golf, horseback riding, snorkeling, or more. You might visit the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu, or view the fabulous Kilauea volcano as it continues its eruption on the Big Island.

Another option is to fly to Hawaii, board your ship, and spend your time cruising between the islands. The waters are generally calmer than they are out on the Pacific, so if seasickness has ever bothered you, this might be the way to go. The cruise ships are large enough that few people are bothered by the waves out on the ocean, but a few are.

After arriving in Hawaii (usually Honolulu) you'll board your ship and begin your cruise. With less time spent getting to Hawaii, you can spend more time enjoying the islands. Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) is currently the only large-ship operator to cruise inter-island. They sail two ships on the inter-island route, the Pride of Aloha and the Pride of America. These are 7-day excursions, departing from and arriving back in Honolulu.

Consider the season you want to cruise, as well. Christmas and the summer holiday season are in highest demand, with few discounts available. Also, your ship is likely to be booked to capacity. Between Thanksgiving and mid-December is the best time to find bargains, and shoulder season is typically September and October.

No matter when you go you'll find a cruise to Hawaii a very relaxing experience. You only have to pack once, but can visit a whole array of destinations. You'll get the same bed every night, faultless service and outstanding food. A Hawaiian island cruise will let you pack the sandals but leave your worries at home.