Choose Your Cruise: Hawaii

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Seafarers sailed into Hawaii long before cruise ships began charting courses for the exotic Pacific islands. More than 1,000 years ago, in fact, Polynesian settlers paddled their outrigger canoes to see much of what modern-day visitors see on their arrivals in Hawaii: verdant volcanic peaks forming a backdrop to fertile valleys of sugar cane, thick groves of coconut palms and ocean as blue as Windex.

Today, cruise ships often begin or end their cruises to the Hawaiian islands from Southern California, a sea journey of more than 2,500 miles. Ships also visit Hawaii when repositioning before and after the Alaska cruise season.Certainly, few places on earth are as beautiful as Hawaii. The tropical landscape is lush and at the same time, dramatic, with high craggy peaks, smoldering volcanoes and powdery Pacific beaches. Hawaii, in fact, boasts some of the world’s most active volcanoes.

Eruptions are frequent and gentle for the most part. The natural spectacle is perhaps best viewed from the deck of a cruise ship, and indeed few moments can match watching the rivers of glowing, red lava stream into the Pacific.

On a Hawaii cruise vacation, you will have a chance to experience shore excursions that include nature walks, helicopter flight-seeing, tropical forest tours and snorkeling. Cruises around Hawaii typically include stops in Hilo and Kona on the Big Island plus Kahului on Maui and Nawilliwilli, Kaua’i and its the dramatic Na Pali coastline, the inspired coastline where parts of Jurassic Park were filmed.

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