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The Best Time to Take a Hawaiian Cruise

Hawaii is a bucket list cruising destination for all types of travelers, and with good reason! This isolated, yet inviting, archipelago is renowned for its exotic destinations spread across four islands. With its diverse and lush natural landscapes, tropical climate and enchanting culture, a cruise to Hawaii is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

When it comes to planning your vacation, you might be wondering: when is it the best time to go to Hawaii? The answer will depend on factors like your preferences for activities, weather and how long you want to get away from the mainland. A few handy Hawaii cruise tips can help you determine the best time to take a Hawaiian cruise.

What’s Your Preferred Weather?

The weather in Hawaii is quite pleasant all year round, but you’ll find a bit of variation in temperature and rainfall. Summer can be quite hot, so if you’re ready to tan on the beach, this is the time! The season from April to October tends to be drier, while the wettest days occur from November to March.

aerial view of kauai mountains in hawaii during the sunset

You’ll also find some differences in weather from island to island, so be sure to do a bit of research on where you’d like to go. For example, some islands are volcanic with highly variable temperatures, some are green and lush (and thus might experience more rain), and others are known for their warmer weather and pristine beaches. No matter what climate and activities you like, we have exciting shore excursions that will make your trip memorable. Check out offerings from Maui to Oahu to the Big Island and more, and start making those important choices for your cruise vacation.

Where Are You Sailing From?

With four convenient embarkation ports, you have options for your Hawaiian cruise.

When departing from the West Coast out of San DiegoLong Beach (Los Angeles), or Vancouver,  you’ll have your pick of an 11, 14 or 16-day cruise, giving you ample time to enjoy the journey, see more of the stunning Hawaiian islands and fully unwind. Cruises embarking from the West Coast are designed for maximum relaxation and enjoyment.

When sailing from Honolulu to the rest of mesmerizing Hawaii, a 10-day cruise means there’s plenty of time to encounter the other islands before reaching your endpoint in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.

palm trees over looking the pacific ocean with a carnival cruise ship in the background

Best Time to Sail to Hawaii

Whether you’re hoping for a honeymoon getaway or planning some quality family time, there are several of Hawaiian cruises that can fit your schedule.

There are many upcoming cruises sailing from Los Angeles. You can book your vacation for either spring or fall. Or, escape the cold with a winter cruise. Christmas in Hawaii, anyone?

A 10-day Hawaiian tour beginning in Honolulu is set to hit the high seas in spring. This means you’ll get to experience the best weather the islands have to offer. Or how about a luxurious 11-day cruise to Hawaii from Vancouver, embarking in fall? With cruises setting sail at various times throughout the year, there is no shortage of opportunities to get away.

Choosing Where to Go

Are you looking for magnificent mountains, lush rainforest or stunning beaches? Hawaii has it all, and every destination is a winner. It’s a difficult choice, so you may want to pick and choose where to go based on your favorite activities. Luckily, shore excursions offer a lot of variety with something for everyone from culture seekers, shopping enthusiasts, beach bums and more.

Here are some of the captivating choices you have when cruising to Hawaii:

Honolulu: A visit to Hawaii’s bustling capital of Honolulu is an exciting blend of history and cosmopolitan energy, full of shops, beaches and fine dining. During your time in Honolulu, you may want to participate in a traditional luau for the ultimate Hawaiian party experience.

Kauai: A paradise for outdoor lovers, Kauai is known as the “garden island.” Here you can enjoy dramatic landscapes and wild beauty through a number of outdoor adventures. The stunning natural beauty of Kauai includes picture-perfect beaches, impressive coastal cliffs and dramatic canyons. For a fun way to spend your time on Kauai, join the tour of an impressive 2,857-foot-deep canyon, plus a ride up the river, which flows through the base of the canyon.

aerial view of waimea canyon in kauai hawaii during a bright, sunny day

Hilo: When visiting Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island, you’ll stop in beautiful Hilo. This town is home to misty waterfalls, bubbling basalt-lava rock pools and a beautiful State Park. There are a number of excursions that explore some of Hawaii’s famous volcanoes including the popular Volcano National Park & Tastes of Hawaii.

Kona: Kailua-Kona is located on the west coast of Hawaii Island (the Big Island). Here you can experience Hawaii’s folklore and ancient legends on the Kona Historical Tour. You can also take a snorkel adventure to get up close and personal with the island’s otherworldly marine life and landscape on the Captain Zodiac Snorkel Adventure.

woman snorkeling in Hawaii with fish

Maui: The famous island of Maui is a delight for surfers, couples and everyone in between. The popular destination is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands and is known for spectacular scenery, history and culture. For a bit of everything that Maui has to offer, try the Scenic Maui and Lahaina excursion. It’s the perfect combination of nature, shopping and traditional Hawaiian culture.

As you can see, there’s really no bad time to take a Hawaiian cruise. The islands are calling you. When will you answer?

Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.