Whether you’re looking to get close to an active volcano or get acquainted with the local fare, The Big Island has something for everyone. And if you cruise with Norwegian, you can enjoy a Hawaii getaway for half the cost of a land vacation. Need more reasons to escape to paradise? Here are just a few of the many reasons to take a Hawaii cruise vacation.
1. FOR THE DREAMERS
There’s no need to daydream about breathtaking waterfalls, vibrant flowers and ever-present rainbows. At Rainbow Falls, this is an everyday reality. Visit to see the 80-foot waterfall and feel the enchantment as the mist surrounds you. The rainbows created by the mist seem to spring up from nowhere and provide the perfect backdrop to one of Hawaii’s most magical places. If nature is still calling your name, head over to Akatsuka Gardens to see orchids live and up close. You’ll be amazed by all of the different shapes, sizes, colors and patterns.
2. FOR THE THRILL-SEEKERS
Go with the (lava) flow at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. You’ll feel your adrenaline start to kick in as you feast your eyes on Kilauea, the world’s most active volcano. Make your way to Thurston Lava Tube to walk through a 500-year old cave formed by a river of lava. Experience an unexpected surprise when you emerge on the other side to find a tropical rainforest. You can continue exploring the different landscapes with the park’s 150 miles of hiking trails, where terrain ranges from lush rainforest to volcanic craters.
3. FOR THE FOODIES
We’ll trade in a cupcake or cronut for a malasada any day. These deep-fried beauties originally came over with immigrants from Portugal. Hawaiians fell in love with the fluffy goodness so much that there are now bakeries in the Aloha State that specialize in this “Hawaiian Doughnut.” But unlike a traditional doughnut, malasadas don’t have a hole, which just means more room for warm dough and fruity fillings (and we are more than okay with that!). Don’t leave Hawaii without heading down to Punalu’u Bake Shop for some malasadas and so you can say you’ve been to the southernmost bakery in the United States.
4. FOR THE CAFFEINATED
If you‘re a coffee connoisseur (or just need a little afternoon pick-me-up), Kona, Hawaii’s coffee country is for you. There are about 600 coffee farms in the area (but we don’t recommend trying to visit them all unless you never want to sleep again). We do recommend checking out Kona Joe’s Coffee though. They use methods similar to the world’s finest wine makers to create their award-winning coffee. Over the years they’ve trained their trees to grow like grapevines so more beans get direct sunlight. Learn all about Kona Joe’s unique process and then sample some of the Hawaiian specialty yourself.
5. FOR THE SUN GODS AND GODDESSES
Sink your toes in the sand at Hapuna Beach. This is the largest of Hawaii’s white sand beaches and is terrific for swimming, snorkeling and getting a little sun-kissed. Make sure you set up camp early because this beach is as popular as it is beautiful. Then head over to Punalu’u Beach to see the other end of the sand spectrum. Punalu’u is Hawaii’s most famous black sand beach, where the sand is actually made out of small bits of lava! Turtles frequent the black sand beaches because the dark sand retains more warmth than white sand. So stop by Punalu’u and you might find yourself sunbathing next to a turtle.
A Hawaii Cruise aboard Norwegian Cruise Line takes you to four islands (Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the The Big Island) in seven days, the most of any cruise line. With an award-winning itinerary and two overnight stays, you’ll get to immerse yourself in the celebrated Hawaiian culture.
Need more reasons to cruise? Read what Cruise Fever has to say about Norwegian's Hawaii cruises.
NOTE: This article was updated for accuracy on December 28, 2018.