How Long Is A Cruise To Hawaii?

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Hawaii is a beautiful destination with some incredible scenery and culture to explore. But because of its location, it’s a little bit isolated – it’s not like the Caribbean where you can set sail from the US and be there within a day or two.

cruise ship in Hawaii

It’s worth knowing how long a cruise to Hawaii will take you, so that you can decide whether it’s right for you – are you happy with that number of sea days, or would you prefer to book an itinerary elsewhere?

Let’s take a look.

How Long Is a Round-Trip Cruise to Hawaii?

Round-trip cruises to Hawaii tend to last for 14-15 nights and incorporate a number of sea days. It takes around five days of sailing for cruise ships to reach Hawaii from the US west coast, so most cruises are for 5 days of sailing, 5 days around Hawaii and then 5 days to return.

That’s quite a long time to spend at sea, so it’s important that you make sure you’re comfortable keeping yourself entertained during a cruise to Hawaii. The cruise ships will of course be equipped with a lot of different things for you to see and do, but many people prefer the idea of stepping off the ship each day – that won’t be possible on a Hawaii itinerary.

people playing ukelele

What Is the Shortest Cruise to Hawaii?

The shortest cruises to Hawaii from a different destination tend to sail from either the US coast or from Canada and will last for 9 days. This gives the ship time to sail to the islands and then sufficient days to explore a couple of ports before guests disembark to fly home.

So if you were hoping to book 7 day cruises to Hawaii from California or other nearby destinations, you’re out of luck – by the time you get there, it’d be time to disembark.

These cruises will all be one-way and will require flights. The shortest cruises ‘around’ Hawaii are a little shorter and tend to last for 7 days, but these are fly-cruises where you will fly to Honolulu, board your ship, sail around the Hawaiian islands and then disembark in Honolulu to fly home.

Honolulu view

If you’re comfortable with these options, this is often the best way to see Hawaii. You’ll get more time in the islands, seeing more of the ports and more of the scenery instead of a couple of quick port calls as part of a longer itinerary.

You can also combine a fly-cruise with a hotel stay on the islands, which is the ultimate way to sample Hawaii culture and soak up the atmosphere and sights either before or after your sailing.

There are also cruises that are a lot longer that incorporate Hawaii into their itineraries. Because Hawaii is quite a remote destination, ships will often use longer sailings to explore further afield destinations such as Western Samoa, Tahiti and other parts of French Polynesia.

These are sometimes offered as one-way itineraries either from the US or Canadian coastlines, although you can get return itineraries from the US – these will last around 28 days or so.

Na Pali Kauai

How Long Is a Cruise From California to Hawaii?

Ports in California are the most common for cruises to Hawaii, with itineraries lasting anything from 14 nights up to epic longer journeys of 80 nights or sometimes even more. Cruises set sail from Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, giving you plenty of choices.

That choice extends to the cruise lines as well. Cruises from LA depart from two different ports. Those from South Beach are limited to Carnival with most sailings taking place on Carnival Miracle, but the other ports offer more choice.

Los Angeles (San Pedro) has cruises to Hawaii with Princess Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises, although the Viking voyage is a 120-night world cruise, so it’s not for everyone.

Hawaii cruises from San Francisco are available on Princess Cruises, Cunard, Carnival and Holland America ships. Cunard and Holland America cruises to Hawaii are longer itineraries, but Princess and Carnival offer shorter two-week cruises.

And from San Diego, you can choose between Holland America and Princess again, with shorter itineraries from both cruise lines available, including on the popular Koningsdam.

Koningsdam, Holand America Line
Koningsdam, Holand America Line

If you want to cruise to Hawaii from California, you need to settle on a port first and then decide which cruise line is the best fit. But despite California being one of the closest states, there still aren’t any short Hawaiian cruises available.

How Long Is a Cruise From Florida to Hawaii?

Cruises from Miami to Hawaii are available, but they are not common. The long journey means they tend to be included on world cruises only, or at least a leg of those, for luxury cruise lines. The shortest cruise from Miami to Hawaii lasts for 41 nights.

That’s available with Seabourn and is sailing from Miami to Los Angeles that crosses the Panama Canal before visiting Mexico and then sailing onto Hawaii before doubling back to the west coast.

Longer world cruises are available with Regent Seven Seas and Oceania, lasting for 132 and 196 nights respectively. These depart from Miami and will include some ports of call in Hawaii, but in reality, they are cruises that visit many different countries over a number of months, rather than specifically being a ‘cruise to Hawaii’.

Seabourn Odyssey ship
Seabourn Odyssey

How Long Is a Cruise From Vancouver to Hawaii?

The shortest cruises to Hawaii depart from Vancouver, lasting just 9 nights on a one-way sailing. Most cruises last two weeks, including some round-trip options, but longer cruises of up to 65 nights are also available.

Vancouver doesn’t just offer the best choice when it comes to itinerary length, but also cruise line too. From Vancouver, you can sail to Hawaii with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, NCL, Holland America, Princess and Seabourn.

Some itineraries are direct to Hawaii, while others will incorporate some Alaskan ports en route, giving you the chance to experience both extremes of nature’s scenery from glacial wonders to tropical greenery.

Princess Cruises ship in Hawauu
Photo: Princess Cruises

How Long Is a Cruise From Seattle to Hawaii?

As Seattle is not a common departure port for many mainstream lines, cruises to Hawaii tend to be longer – from 22 nights to 63 nights. They are not generally offered as return cruises, instead ending either in Fiji, French Polynesia or Australia.

There are a handful of cruise lines offering these longer itineraries, including Carnival and Holland America. Seabourn is another option if you’d prefer a more luxurious cruise to the Hawaiian islands on your way to Australia, as one leg of a larger world cruise.

Suggested read: The Best Luggage Storage Places Near Seattle Cruise Terminal

Carnival Cruise
Carnival cruise ship in Hawaii

How Long Is a Cruise From Australia to Hawaii?

Cruises from Australia to Hawaii last for between 15 and 35 nights, depending on the itinerary. The cruises all depart from either Sydney or Brisbane, with shorter itineraries being one-way. Longer round trips are available.

The shorter trips are offered by Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, with good options for ships including Ovation of the Seas. A typical itinerary may include a port of call in New Zealand, but generally travels to French Polynesia and then onto Honolulu where guests will disembark to fly home.

The time in Hawaii for these itineraries is short – sometimes there may not even be excursions available as the arrival is on the last day.

Longer itineraries are offered by Holland America and Princess Cruises, and will either be sailings from Australia to New Zealand via the Hawaiian islands, or they’ll continue on from Hawaii to the North American coastline. These tend to visit a couple of Hawaiian islands. 

Ovation of the Seas
Ovation of the Seas

To Conclude

There are a lot of different options for cruises to Hawaii, but most of them spend a couple of days at most exploring the islands before moving onto somewhere else.

This is great if you want variety, but be aware that the high number of sea days does mean you’ll need to make sure the ship has enough for you to stay entertained.

If you want the best overall Hawaii experience, and you aren’t looking for a super-long cruise, then the recommended option would be a fly-cruise that departs from Honolulu and says exclusively around Hawaiian ports.

You’ll get more time to put yourself amongst the Hawaiian culture and you won’t be stuck at sea for long periods of time.


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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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3 thoughts on “How Long Is A Cruise To Hawaii?”

  1. Prepare for a 4-14 day voyage by cruise or ferry. Factors like route, weather, and boat type affect the duration.

    • This trip is worth trying, but only if you have a lot of experience navigating a boat and are prepared for problems like boat leaks, engine failures, etc.

  2. Gracias por todas las informaciones que nos ofreces ya que nos facilitan el elegir tal o tal crucero.

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