When we think of cruising, our minds are instantly cast to warm climes, white sand beaches, turquoise seas and lush green landscapes. With its swinging palm trees and a gorgeous tropical appeal, Hawaii is all of this and more, making it a hugely popular cruise destination for travellers looking for sun, sea and respite. But as well as being an island of paradise, Hawaii offers a wealth of fantastic shore excursions and a divine culture that you’ll never want to leave.
We spoke to three travel bloggers about Hawaii, underpinning what it is that makes this tropical paradise the ultimate cruise destination.
It’s perfect for island hopping
Ashlee Galea is an Aussie living in Hawaii who enjoys sharing Hawaii insider knowledge and travel advice on her blog, The Hawaii Admirer. Ashlee told us why she finds the Hawaiian Islands and their culture so fascinating.
“While it is America’s 50th state, it was once a royal kingdom governed by Hawaiian Kings and Queens. The native Hawaiian culture, with its friendly spirit of aloha, shines brightly across the islands and sets this travel destination apart.
“Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is the most isolated archipelago in the world. It’s blessed with some of the world’s best beaches, snorkelling and dive sites, surfing breaks and hiking trails, waterfalls and rainforests, hotels and resorts, festivals and events - the list goes on.”
Kait Hanson moved from the East Coast to Hawaii and blogs about her adventures at Communikait.com. She too fell in love with Hawaii’s magical culture, and in particular, being able to island-hop.
“Hawaii is such a special place to visit. From the coastlines to the food, the history and the landmarks, there is something special for everyone in the Hawaiian Islands.
“I’m partial to Oahu because I think that while it’s definitely the most crowded island, there is something so quintessentially Hawaii about Waikiki Beach and seeing the Honolulu skyline, complete with seeing Diamond Head Crater. I love Hawaii because whether you are a beach person or a mountain person, prefer solace or thrive in crowds, there is a Hawaiian island for you to enjoy.”
There are incredible underwater adventures to be had
Love getting out on the water? What about exploring below the waves? In Hawaii, there is a whole underwater world just waiting to be uncovered.
Kait told us about her favourite underwater excursion: “My favourite Hawaii activity is night diving or snorkelling with the Manta Rays on Hawaii Island (commonly referred to as the Big Island), where they circle feed off the shores of Kona.”
If you’re looking for something a little more adrenalin-inducing, Sarah from travel blogging duo Exploring Kiwis, has just the thing.
“Though I’ve visited the Aloha State five times, I always manage to find something new (and incredible) to do. The highlights of our last trip included cageless free diving with 50 sharks on the North Shore of Oahu. Time and time again, I know that we’ll return to Hawaii.”
If that isn’t enough to get your heart pumping, explore deep below the surface on a unique and exhilarating Atlantis Submarine Adventure, where you can see Hawaii’s marine life up close and marvel at the ‘Brig Carthaginian”, a sunken 1920s ship which has since become an artificial reef.
Hawaiian cuisine is second to none
Stunning vistas and incredible excursions are not the only things Hawaii does best. It also has a fantastic foodie delights to dig into.
Ashlee gave us her recommendations of traditional cuisine to try in Hawaii: “I recommend everyone tries traditional Hawaiian food, dishes like Pork Lau Lau, Kalua Pig, Poi, Squid Luau, Chicken Long Rice, Lomi Salmon and Poke. A great place to go is Highway Inn in Honolulu - ask for their Malihini (Newcomers) Guide for a little history and explanations of each food item to get an authentic feel of Hawaii’s foodie scene.”
As well as sampling some of Hawaii’s stunning cuisine, she also recommends taking part in a customary celebration in Hawaii: “Of course, no trip to Hawaii is complete without a visit to a traditional luau. There, you’ll have the opportunity to try all of these traditional foods whilst taking in a stunning cultural show and sipping on cocktails fresh from a coconut - paradise!”
The rainforests are some of the best in the world
You can’t go to Hawaii and not explore its world-renowned rainforests and natural pools and waterfalls. Whichever Hawaiian Island you visit, you’re sure to find a unique hiking excursion to embark on.
If you find yourself in Maui, you’ll certainly want to explore the region’s most popular rainforest valley in Lahaina which is home to several natural freshwater streams and waterfalls, which range from 10 to 40 feet in height and offer opportunities for you to swim and enjoy a refreshing, all-natural, shower.
If you prefer solo exploration, head to Hilo and go on a self-guided tour of the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. Follow the boardwalk and marvel at over 2,500 species of exotic plants, a stunning three-tiered waterfall and an open-air Orchid Garden.
So, as well as offering serious R&R on white sand beaches with a cocktail in hand, Hawaii’s paradise offerings run deep below the water’s surface and are waiting to be discovered along the trails of its tropical rainforests.
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