Kona, HI

  • Kona, Hawaii
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Explore Kona, HI

Dive deep into Hawaiian history on a Carnival cruise to Kona, on the sunny, leeward side of the Big Island of Hawaii. On your Kona cruise, you can tour a Hawaiian royal palace, see the first Christian church in Hawaii, and explore an ancient Hawaiian sanctuary. The black-lava coast of Kona, Hawaii, is ideal for deep sea fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking—all fueled with strong Kona Coast coffee.

  • Fish for a “grander”, a 1,000-lb. marlin, off the Kona Coast.
  • Discover the island’s royal history at Hulihee Palace.
  • Swim with rainbow-colored tropical fish while snorkeling during Kona cruises.

Things To Do

Local Attractions

Cruises to Kona deliver you to the historic village of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island’s west coast at the foot of Kona coffee country. In the village, you can explore a royal palace across from Hawaii’s oldest Christian church and chill out on the local sands. Experience dolphins in their natural habitat and not in a cage while on the Wild Dolphin Swim & Snorkel excursion.

  • Hook a big game fish on a deep sea fishing trip.
  • See how coffee goes from a leafy plant to your mug on a plantation tour.
  • Grab a boogie board to ride the waves on the Kona Coast.
  • Swim with Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins.
  • A tour is available for each of the points mentioned above.

Fun Facts

  • The wall-of-fame along Kailua-Kona Waterfront Row honors the 40 anglers who have caught 1,000 lb. marlins off the Kona Coast.
  • Hulihee Palace is just one of two royal palaces in the United States; the other one, Iolani, is located in Honolulu.
  • Of the approximately 450 types of reef fish in Hawaii, 27% are native and found nowhere else on the planet.

Within Walking Distance

The Port Area In Hawaii

The quaint village of Kailua-Kona welcomes cruises to Kona, Hawaii. While on the most technologically advanced passenger submarine in the world, you’ll see Hawaii’s colorful underwater world without getting wet during the Atlantis Submarines excursion. The Hulihee Palace was once the summer home of Hawaii’s royalty. Just across the street is Mokuaikaua Church, the oldest Christian church in Hawaii, with its white steeple, lava-stone walls, and traditional New England style.

Beyond the Port Area

Above the town of Kailua-Kona, nestled on the slopes of Hualalai Volcano and around the funky village of Hualoloa, lies Kona coffee country. Hualoloa is a 2-block long town on the two-lane Mamalahoa Highway in the heart of the Kona coffee belt, where you can sit down at one of the several coffee shops and enjoy the famous brew produced here.

Beyond the Port in Hawaii

You can easily spend an afternoon wandering the grounds of the Mauna Lani Resort, north of Kailua-Kona. The sprawling and verdant grounds have walking trails leading to the Kalahuipuaa Fish Pond, ingenious ancient Hawaiian fish farms, and lava caves. About an hour’s drive south of Kona cruises is Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park, a very sacred site for ancient Hawaiians. Set ocean-side and filled with black lava, this “city of refuge” is the place where defeated warriors or anyone breaking the law could come and be safe. Today you can take a self guided walk on the 180-acre site, which includes burial sites, old trails, portions of the old village and 10-ft. tall (and 1,000–ft. long) lava rock wall.

Beaches in Kona

Beaches in Hawaii

Take to the waves on your cruise to Kona, Hawaii. Just outside of Kailua-Kona, down the main street of Alii Drive is Kahaluu Beach Park, one of the safest for children thanks to its shallow waters. The reef at Kahaluu Beach Park is a favorite of multi-colored tropical fish and sea turtles and the snorkelers who swim with them. Keep your eyes peeled as you cruise Alii Drive—White Sands Beach is known to disappear under the high tide. When the beach is available, it’s great for kids, snorkelers, and boogie boarders.

Watersports in Kona

The highlight of any trip to the Kona coast has to be the Captain Zodiac Snorkel Adventure excursion. The Kona coast has the calmest ocean conditions of all the Hawaiian coastlines. Explore the Kona Coast and snorkel in the pristine waters of Kealakekua Bay. On this thrilling excursion you will explore the Kona Coast and snorkel in the pristine waters of Kealakekua Bay. Board your high speed 24-foot Zodiac raft for a close-up view of sea caves, lava tubes and marine life. Enjoy your Captain/Naturalist as they explain local Hawaiian history en route to the Captain Cook monument and marine sanctuary. Get a brief orientation before jumping in to explore the underwater sanctuary.

Hawaii Watersports

Those looking for beach activities on a Kona cruise can head north to Anaehoomalu Bay, known as A-Bay among the locals. This gold-sand beach, bordered by palm trees and royal fish ponds, has every type of aquatic sport from snorkeling and kayaking to windsurfing and scuba diving. The reef at Kahaluu Beach Park is a favorite of multi-colored tropical fish and the snorkelers who swim with them. The coast of Kona, Hawaii, is one of the world’s sportfishing capitals. Join local captains on the quest for marlin, billfish, swordfish, and other whopping catches in the teeming ocean waters.

Travel Tips


  • As the 50th state in the U.S., Hawaii uses U.S. dollars. The main language is English, though locals pepper their speech with Hawaiian words.
  • Kona is a region on the Hawaiian Big Island’s west coast. The area gets sunny and warm temperatures year round. Shorts and sandals are the norm.
  • Hawaii cruises visiting Kona tender passengers to Kailua Pier, in the middle of Kailua-Kona village.