You'll have lots of time to practice saying "aloha" if you decide to take a boat from the Hawaiian Islands to the mainland. It's over 2,500 miles from the West Coast to Hawaii, and no ferry boats travel this distance. But you'll have a fine pick of cruises that will pamper you with luxurious accommodations, excellent meals and a variety of fun activities. You can book a one-way cruise aboard a luxurious cruise ship leaving from the mainland and heading west, or else choose a circle tour starting and ending in the same city. The cruises start at about 14 days, but you can select a longer option that calls in both Hawaii and Mexico if you have the time. There are many different itineraries with options for shore excursions like snorkeling and whale watching, so be sure to check out your different options!

Cruise Options

The most popular Hawaiian cruises take passengers from one island to another, taking in the fabulous coastal scenery, including a view of molten lava pouring into the Pacific. Travelers enjoy these inter-island sailings as a way to explore several tropical isles without having to take a plane.

But cruises from the mainland are also possible. Some of these are round trip, but some go only one way. Typical cruises from the continental United States leave from either San Francisco or Los Angeles and arrive in the ports of Nawiliwili on Kauai, Honolulu on Oahu, Lahaina and Kahului on Maui, and/or Kona and Hilo on the Big Island. Some cruise lines offer sailings every month, while others ply the Pacific only rarely, and require reservations well in advance. Some popular cruise lines include Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Hawaii Cruises, and Pride of America.

Carnival Cruises and Celebrity Cruises

If you are ready to head for Hawaii on a Carnival Cruise, you can take off from either Vancouver, in British Columbia or Long Beach, in California. The Vancouver cruise is a one-way experience. It offers 11 tranquil days on the blue Pacific. That starts with six fun days at sea followed by one-day adventures on Maui, the Big Island, Kauai and finally Oahu.

The Long Beach cruise is a round trip. It takes you on the magnificent boat, the Carnival Splendor, for 14 leisurely, sun-filled days. It stops in ports of call on Maui, Oahu and the Big Island before heading back, through Ensenada, to Long Beach.

You can take a Celebrity Cruise to Hawaii from Vancouver, spending 10 peaceful nights and 11 fun-filled days aboard the luxurious Celebrity Solstice. On day six, you arrive in the port of Hilo on the Big Island, followed by a day in Kona and two days in Lahaina, Maui before docking in Honolulu.

Holland Cruises and Princess Cruises

Holland America Line offers many different types of cruises from the mainland to Hawaii. You can pretty much pick your poison from the incredible array of exciting and soothing luxury trips. Opt for Holland's 18-day round trip cruise leaving from San Diego, or make that a 25-day cruise and add in stops in Mexico. If you prefer to leave from Seattle, take the 18-day round trip from Seattle. From Vancouver, take the 16 or 17-day round trip cruise.

Princess Cruises offers a 15-day circle cruise from San Francisco that stops in the same Hawaii ports as the other cruise lines, then circles to Ensenada, Mexico before returning to home port. Another Princess Cruise makes the same circle tour leaving from Los Angeles, and another leaves from Vancouver.

Travel Tip

Island hopping while in the islands of Hawaii offers the best way to see the main islands and lesser known attractions, including Haleakala, Waikiki, Hana, and Waimea Canyon!