Maui is one of the most spectacular paradise islands on the globe, boasting miles of golden sand, lush rainforests and seas teeming with marine life. A cruise to Maui gives you the opportunity to discover historic villages, volcanic landscapes, and Hawaiian culture, while basking in the relaxing ambiance the island is renowned for.
Here’s our list of the top 10 things to do on a Hawaiian cruise to Maui.
Explore the Ocean
1. Snorkel with Turtles
Native to Hawaii, green sea turtles are the largest hard-shell sea turtle in the world. You can get up-close and personal with them, on a thrilling snorkeling adventure. First up, you’ll board an eco-friendly catamaran with expert marine naturalists from the Pacific Whale Foundation, to learn about the abundant marine life of Maui’s coral reefs. Then, get ready to spot your first green sea turtle and colorful fish, such as the Ornate Butterfly and the Saddle Wrasse.
2. Learn About Marine Life
The Maui Ocean Center is among the most popular Maui attractions, where you’re guaranteed to have firsthand encounters with marine life that you won’t find anywhere else. The state-of-the-art aquarium and marine park offers one of the world’s largest collections of live Pacific corals, presentations by marine naturalists, outdoor tide pools and an Open Ocean exhibit with a 240-degree view acrylic tunnel. Here, you’ll see no less than six species of sharks, stingrays and hundreds of tropical fish.
3. Go Whale Watching
One of the most incredible things to do on a Hawaii cruise, is to witness a humpback whale powerfully breach the surface of the ocean and land with a gigantic splash. A whale watching cruise takes you from Ma’alaea Harbor out to sea, to put you in the midst of the majestic creature’s natural habitat. Along the way, marine naturalists let you know the meanings behind whale behaviors and you might even have the special privilege of seeing mothers interacting with their calves.
4. Sail the Seas
In Hawaii, wind is referred to as ‘makani’, or an adventurous spirit. What better way to enjoy it, than by sailing the seas with stunning views of the Moloka’i, Lana’l and Kaho’olawe islands? Hop aboard a stylish catamaran and, while you keep a look out for jumping dolphins, you’ll enjoy a savory feast and tropical drinks – along with that balmy sea breeze in your hair.
Discover Nature and Adventure
5. Rainforest Hiking
Rainforests are among the most beautiful places to visit in Maui. A hiking adventure is the best way to see native ferns, flowers and fruit trees up close, with experts on botany and geology to guide you. Best of all, you’ll discover thundering waterfalls that reach up to 40 feet high, with shimmering pools below for a refreshing dip.
6. Helicopter Tours
Get a bird’s eye view of the best of Maui, by soaring high in the sky on a helicopter tour, with a pilot who also operates as a State of Hawaii Certified Tour Guide. You’ll get a thrilling view of the famous Haleakala Crater, a dormant volcano that rises 10,023 feet above sea level, as well as lush valleys and waterfalls gushing over dramatic cliffs.
7. Hana Road Trips
Discovering the road to Hana is one of the top things to do in Maui, as it winds through spectacular rainforest with over 600 curves and 54 bridges. It’s also a treat for culture-lovers, with legendary stories and historic moments to learn about via a knowledgeable guide. Along the way, look forward to seeing Palikea Stream, Waianapanapa State Park and the quaint Hana Town, to pick up a few unique souvenirs.
Delve into Culture, Food and Shopping
8. Hawaiian Luaus
A cruise vacation to Maui means you get to experience a traditional Hawaiian Luau. The lively event features colorful cultural performances, music from Hawaii and greater Polynesia, the inspiring sound of the conch shell and dramatic Samoan Fire Knife dancers. At the heart of the tradition is a feast, with scrumptious dishes often including baked salmon and coconut pudding.
9. Tropical Plantations
On a family cruise to Maui, the kids will love touring a pineapple plantation, and so will you! The Hali’imaile Pineapple Plantation offers a journey through Maui’s pineapple history, as you tour growing fields and taste the famous Maui Gold Pineapple. Lunch here is a special treat, giving you the chance to sample some of Hawaii’s succulent, local produce. The Maui Tropical Plantation is another foodie option, where you take a tram through 60 acres of tropical grounds with sugar cane, pineapple, papaya, coffee, banana and macadamia nut fields.
10. Landmarks and History
Hawaiian history was changed forever, at the famous battle at Iao Valley State Park in 1790. Take a scenic tour of the region to discover the site, as well as the 1,200 foot tall Iao Needle. Nearby, you’ll have the chance to stop at the town of Lahaina, once a whaling village which is now popular for boutique stores and restaurants along the vibrant Front Street.
A cruise to Maui offers a fascinating insight into Hawaii’s renowned culture, on a backdrop of natural wonders that simply have to be seen to be believed. With whale watching, snorkeling, hiking, sailing and tropical tours, you’re sure to make the most of this paradise destination.