Is Norwegian Cruise Line Still Going to Hilo & Kona?

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has long been a popular choice for travelers seeking remarkable vacation experiences at sea. With it’s impressive fleet of ships and comprehensive itineraries, NCL has consistently catered to the desires of adventurous individuals seeking to explore breathtaking destinations around the world. Among these sought-after destinations are the enchanting ports of Hilo and Kona in Hawaii, known for their stunning landscapes and vibrant cultural heritage. However, with the ever-evolving global circumstances and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many cruise enthusiasts are left wondering about the current status of NCL's voyages to Hilo and Kona. As the situation continues to unfold, it’s vital to stay informed regarding any updates or changes implemented by Norwegian Cruise Line to ensure that your travel plans align with the latest guidelines and protocols.

Can Cruise Ships Go to Hawaii Now?

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) has recently given it’s approval for the restart of cruise operations for Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) to visit the islands. This is undoubtedly great news for cruise enthusiasts who’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of these popular cruise lines to the beautiful Hawaiian islands.

The approval from HDOT comes with certain conditions. One of the key requirements is that the cruise lines must have onboard testing and medical capabilities. This is a crucial aspect in ensuring the safety and well-being of both passengers and crew members. In addition, the cruise lines have agreed to adhere to any additional restrictions that may be imposed if deemed necessary, further emphasizing their commitment to maintaining a safe environment for everyone involved.

The return of these cruise lines to Hawaii is expected to bring a significant boost to the local economy, as the tourism industry has been heavily impacted by the pandemic. With the resumption of cruise operations, it’s anticipated that there will be an increase in tourist spending, job opportunities, and overall economic growth in the region. This is particularly crucial for destinations such as Hilo and Kona, which heavily rely on tourism for their livelihoods.

Moreover, the reopening of Hawaii to cruise ships not only benefits the local economy but also provides an opportunity for travelers to experience the enchanting beauty of the islands once again. From it’s stunning beaches to it’s lush landscapes and vibrant culture, Hawaii offers a truly memorable vacation experience. With NCL and CCL resuming their operations, travelers will once again have the chance to explore the islands, enjoy their renowned hospitality, and create unforgettable memories.

However, it’s important to note that the approval from HDOT doesn’t necessarily mean that all cruises to Hawaii will resume immediately. The cruise lines will need to make their own announcements regarding their specific itineraries and schedules. It’s advisable to stay updated with the latest information provided by the cruise lines themselves to ensure accurate and timely planning.

The approval from HDOT for Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line to restart their operations and visit Hilo and Kona is a positive development for the cruise industry and the Hawaiian tourism sector. It signifies the progress being made in the recovery of the travel industry and offers a glimmer of hope for those longing to once again set sail to the stunning islands of Hawaii.

Safety Measures and Protocols Implemented by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) to Ensure the Well-Being of Passengers and Crew Members.

Both Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) have implemented a number of safety measures and protocols to prioritize the well-being and safety of their passengers and crew members. These measures include enhanced cleaning and sanitation procedures, mandatory pre-boarding health screenings, and the implementation of social distancing guidelines throughout the ships.

Visiting Hilo, Hawaii aboard cruise ships offers passengers the opportunity to discover the authentic charm of this vibrant town. While the terminal facility may be situated a short distance from the town center, a pleasant walk allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in a unique cultural experience. Welcoming locals entertaining with live traditional performances add a vibrant touch to the arrival, setting the stage for an unforgettable adventure.

Do Cruise Ships Go to Hilo?

Cruise ship itineraries can indeed include stops in Hilo, Hawaii. Hilo is a popular port of call for many cruise lines, and the town offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. When cruise ships dock in Hilo, they typically utilize a terminal facility situated approximately 3 kilometers (2 miles) away from the towns center.

While the distance between the cruise ship terminal and downtown Hilo is walkable, it’s worth noting that part of the route traverses the towns industrial zone. However, this doesn’t deter passengers from exploring the charms of Hilo. In fact, visitors are often greeted by eager locals showcasing live traditional music and vibrant dancing, setting a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The town is located on the eastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii and boasts lush rainforests, majestic waterfalls, and dramatic volcanoes. These natural wonders, such as the iconic Rainbow Falls and the nearby Volcanoes National Park, are often included in shore excursion options for cruise passengers.

In addition to it’s natural beauty, Hilo also showcases the rich cultural heritage of Hawaii. Visitors can delve into the local traditions by exploring historic sites like the Hilo Farmers Market, where they can sample fresh tropical fruits and experience the vibrant local culture. The Lyman Museum and Pacific Tsunami Museum provide insight into the islands geological history and it’s resilience in the face of natural disasters.

Activities and Attractions in Hilo for Cruise Ship Passengers

Hilo, located on the Big Island of Hawaii, offers a range of activities and attractions for cruise ship passengers. One of the must-see attractions is the stunning Akaka Falls, a towering 442-foot waterfall surrounded by lush vegetation. Another popular spot is Rainbow Falls, known for it’s beautiful rainbow that appears in the mist on sunny days.

Visiting the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is also a great option, where you can see Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Explore the park’s unique landscapes, including crater rim drives and lava tubes. If you’re interested in history, the Lyman Museum and Mission House provides insight into Hawaii’s natural and cultural heritage.

For those looking to relax, Hilo boasts several scenic beaches like Richardson Ocean Park and Carlsmith Beach Park, where you can swim, snorkel, or simply enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Don’t forget to try some local Hawaiian cuisine, like fresh poke or traditional plate lunches, to savor the flavors of the island.

In conclusion, Hilo offers plenty of options for cruise ship passengers, whether you’re craving adventure, natural beauty, or relaxation. There’s something for everyone to enjoy during their time in Hilo.

As the cruise industry gradually resumes operations amidst the ongoing pandemic, the Hawaiian Islands have also welcomed the return of cruise ships, albeit at a slower pace. With only one major ship expected to arrive in port this month or the next, the revival of Hawaii cruises remains tentative. However, the horizon looks promising as the majority of cruises to the picturesque islands are set to resume in the fall of 2022.

Are Cruises to Hawaii Cancelled?

The Covid-19 pandemic brought the entire cruise industry to a grinding halt, with ships remaining docked and voyages canceled indefinitely. The Hawaiian Islands, with their prominent place on the cruise itinerary, were no exception to this shutdown. However, as restrictions eased and vaccination rates increased, there have been signs of a slow resurgence in the cruise industry as it attempts to find it’s footing in this new normal.

As for cruises to Hawaii, the situation remains fluid. While there have been some restarts and tentative plans, the majority of the cruise lines are eyeing a return in the fall of 202Norwegian Cruise Line, known for it’s stunning voyages, is gradually restarting it’s operations but isn’t currently scheduled to visit Hilo or Kona in the immediate future. Only one major ship, apart from Pride of America, is anticipated to dock in the ports of Hilo and Kona in the coming months.

This cautious approach by cruise lines is aimed at mitigating risks and ensuring the safety of passengers and crew members. The industry has implemented rigorous health and safety protocols, including mandatory vaccinations, enhanced cleaning measures, and regular testing. These measures are crucial for the resumption of cruises, especially in popular destinations like the Hawaiian Islands, where tourism plays a vital role in the local economy.

While the return of cruises to Hawaii may be slow, it’s a positive sign that the industry is gradually finding it’s way back. Travelers eagerly awaiting the chance to set sail and experience the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands can start looking forward to the upcoming fall season when an array of cruise options will likely be available. Until then, it’s important to stay updated on the latest developments and announcements from cruise lines regarding their plans for voyages to Hawaii.

Ultimately, the reinstatement of cruises to Hawaii will heavily depend on the evolving situation with the pandemic and the adherence to health and safety protocols. Travelers are advised to closely monitor the updates from cruise lines and consult with travel advisors to stay informed about the latest changes and possibilities. With careful planning and a renewed sense of optimism, the resumption of cruises to Hawaii may be just around the corner.

Source: These Hawaii Cruises Can’t Find Staffing


In conclusion, the future of Norwegian Cruise Line's voyages to Hilo and Kona remains uncertain. While the company shows intent to resume operations in Hawaii, the ongoing global pandemic and the dynamic nature of travel restrictions create an unpredictable environment. Ultimately, the decision about Norwegian Cruise Line's return to Hilo and Kona will depend on a multitude of factors, including the containment of the pandemic and the safety measures implemented by the cruise industry and local authorities.

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