Cruise Hawaii Going on a Cruise to Hawaii

Hawaii cruises are one of the best ways to explore this fascinating set of islands, which, though forming America's 50th state, often feel a very long way away from the mainland. In fact, Hawaii is one of the most popular cruise destinations, so there are plenty of lines and itineraries to choose from. Most of the big lines, including Norwegian Cruise Lines, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity, operate routes in this region, but there are smaller, more specialist options too consult a cruise agent on these.

There are obvious attractions to Hawaii. Lovely beaches, all the water sports you can think of, beautiful flora and fauna the latter including whales and dolphins which you can watch from chartered yachts and fresh produce including pineapples, bananas, coffee and macadamia nuts. But while you're drinking your pina colada and boogie boarding (well, probably not at the same time) bear in mind that there are other things worth knowing about the Hawaii. Hawaii cruises worth their salt will give you the chance to get a sense of the islands' rich history and culture.

Hawaii, a 1,523 mile chain of islands, is just under 2,400 miles west southwest of San Francsico. There are eight main islands Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kahoolawe, Molokai, Kauai, Niihau and Lanai. Its climate seems like it was made for beach bums. There's enough rain to produce lush vegetation but it is tempered by virtually guaranteed sun at one point or another on the islands (the west and/or south sides of the islands often enjoy 350 days of sunshine a year), and year round temperature averaging no more than 90 degrees because of trade winds warm, but not unbearably so.

The islands all have their different characters something to think about when you are planning your route through them. Oahu's waterfalls, the Big Island's live volcano (Kilauea) and Mauna Kea, the highest peak in the state you can ski there. There are 70 odd parks and sites of natural or historical interest in total, with plenty of good hiking trails.

Today, Hawaii cruises are one of the state's most lucrative sources of income. In fact, the islands are used to visitors. Anthropologists think that the first Hawaiians were settlers from east Polynesia from the Society Islands (of which Tahiti is a member) and the Marquesas islands who set sail for their new home at some point between the 7th and 13th centuries CE. By the time Cook called in the late 1700s their population had grown to 300,000 but, as has been the case elsewhere, mass epidemics related to the arrival of Westerners dramatically reduced the population. By 1820 it had fallen to less than half the figures of the previous century. Some visitors, it seems, are more fortuitous than others. Today the population is about 1.5 million, most of whom live in the capital Honolulu (on Oahu) and on Hawaii island.

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