Can You Take a One-way Cruise to Hawaii?

Embarking on a cruise to Hawaii is a dream for many travelers, but some of you may have considered if can you take a one-way cruise to Hawaii. While other options might come to mind, this type of journey can offer a unique travel experience.

This article explores the possibility of cruising to the state in one direction and discusses practical considerations and the various options for adventurous ocean explorers.

Can you take a one-way cruise to Hawaii?

Yes, during seasonal changes, cruise lines often offer one-way or repositioning itineraries to Hawaii from ports on the mainland or outside the United States, such as Vancouver, Canada. However, they are significantly less common and require separate travel plans for the return or the next destination.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are several cruise companies that offer one-way trips to Hawaii
  • Honolulu, Lahaina, Kona, Hilo, and Nawiliwili are some of Hawaii’s best ports.
  • One-way cruises to Hawaii leave from Vancouver, Sydney, Los Angeles, and Tahiti.

One-way cruise to Hawaii

Giant cruise ship
Giant cruise ship | Image by Ed Judkins from Pixabay

Because of the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) of 1886 in the United States, one-way cruises to Hawaii are possible, but they aren’t as prevalent as they formerly were. Because of this regulation, foreign-flagged ships can’t transport passengers directly between ports in the United States without first stopping in another country.

As a result, most cruises leaving from the United States to go to Hawaii are round trips. However, cruise lines occasionally offer these trips during seasonal ship repositioning, such as from Vancouver to Hawaii.

How to take a one-way cruise to Hawaii?

It’s necessary to begin booking a one-way trip to Hawaii by determining which cruise lines provide this type of service. Research and make comparisons of the available options based on the itineraries, amenities, and prices. When you’ve made your decision, book your trip.

Remember, you must plan your return or onward journey separately, as the cruise won’t return to the original port. Since they don’t depart very often, it’s best to get up-to-date information by contacting a travel agent specializing in cruise vacations.

How long is a one-way cruise to Hawaii?

The amount of time spent on a one-way cruise to Hawaii varies greatly depending on the port of departure and the itinerary. It takes about 5 days and nights of continuous cruising to reach the Hawaiian islands from the west coast of the United States for example.

There are shorter choices, like a 7-night cruise that leaves from Vancouver, Canada and ends in Honolulu. On the longer side, an 18-night cruise from Sydney, Australia, to Honolulu may be available.

These differences are due to the lengths of the trips and the number of stops on the cruise schedule. Always check its specific details when planning.

Is it cheaper to fly or take a cruise to Hawaii?

Several factors determine whether flying or cruising to Hawaii is cheaper. Generally, when comparing a flight ticket with a cruise fare, flying is often cheaper and more economical. Direct flights just easier and definitely faster. However, going to the state for a vacation involves more than just the cost of transportation.

Cruise fares usually cover accommodation, meals, and entertainment. This can save you money compared to paying separately for flights, hotels, dining, and activities in the state. These trips also allow you to travel across the ocean and make stops at different ports, something that flights can’t offer.

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However, the cost-effectiveness also depends on specific factors such as where you depart from, the time of year, the type of accommodation you choose on a cruise or in Hawaii, and your personal spending habits. Therefore, conducting a detailed cost-benefit analysis is recommended considering all factors before deciding if flying is cheaper.

Where do one-way cruise ships leave from to go to Hawaii?

star cruise
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Numerous ports offer departures for cruise ships making one-way voyages to Hawaii:

  • Vancouver, Canada
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Tahiti, French Polynesia
  • Seattle, Washington

Advantages and disadvantages of one-way cruises

Advantages of One-Way Cruises

  • These trips let people stay in ports longer, giving them more time to visit each place.
  • One-way cruises, especially those that move from one port to another, can be a cheap way to travel because these lines often offer discounts.
  • Since one-way these types of trips don’t happen as often, the ships might be less busy, making the trip more relaxing.

Disadvantages of One-Way Cruises

  • Since the trip ends at a different port, people have to figure out how to get back or where they want to go next, which can be complicated and expensive.
  • One-way cruises only happen sometimes and might only be available at certain times of the year.
  • Even if the price is cheaper, there may be other costs, like flights to and from the port where the cruise starts and ends.

Best Hawaii cruise ports

1. Honolulu, Oahu

Waikiki beach
Waikiki beach | Image by Jed S from Pixabay

As Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu offers a mix of city life and beach relaxation. Visit the historic Pearl Harbor, hike Diamond Head for amazing views, or relax at the famous Waikiki Beach. It also offers diverse restaurants, shops, and other entertainment options.

2. Lahaina, Maui

Lahaina used to be a town where whalers lived, but now it’s a popular place to shop and eat. There, you can do things like snorkeling, watch whales, and look around the historic town of Lahaina. You might also enjoy a luau or whale watching.

3. Kailua-Kona, Big Island

Kailua-Kona is known for its beautiful beaches and coffee farms. Activities include going coffee farm touring, snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay, and seeing the historic Hulihe’e Palace.

4. Hilo, Big Island

Akaka falls
Akaka falls | Image by xiSerge from Pixabay

Home to rainforests, waterfalls, and gardens, Hilo is great for nature lovers. Visit Volcanoes National Park, Akaka Falls, or the Liliuokalani Park and Gardens.

5. Nawiliwili, Kauai

Kauai is known as the “Garden Island” because of its beautiful nature. Here, you can visit Waimea Canyon, which is often called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” take a boat tour along the Napali Coast or just relax at Poipu Beach.

Remember that each port offers a different slice of Hawaiian culture and natural beauty, so choose activities that match your interests and make the most of your time on the islands.

Final Thoughts

One-way cruises to Hawaii, though less common, provide a unique travel experience, often during ship repositioning or from non-U.S. ports. However, you need to plan carefully, especially when returning home and managing expenses. Despite the challenges, these journeys blend ocean travel and Hawaiian charm, promising a memorable experience.