Within Walking Distance
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.
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
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.
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.