Book Your Hawaii Cruise Now

| Monday, 12 Nov 2012

Prices for Hawaii cruises go up January 1st

NCL-America just announced a fare hike for Hawaii-based Pride of America coming January 1st.

About six months ago we published an article called "The Best Way to See Hawaii" to show that only one major cruise ship allows you to fly to Hawaii and spend seven days visiting each of the major Hawaiian islands; Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai and Maui, and then return to Honolulu to fly home.

That ship is NCL-America's Pride of America, and the reason for its exclusivity to all-Hawaii cruises is two obscure federal laws; the Passenger Vessel Services Act and the Jones Act. Combined, these two laws only allow U.S.-flagged ships to transport passengers between any two U.S. destinations, including all of the ports within the Hawaiian Islands which are all-American. No "foreign-flagged" cruise ship can give you this same solely Hawaii cruise.

Pride of America begins its seven day cruise in Honolulu, visits all of the best sites in the entire island chain, and ends in the same Honolulu pier where it started. It spends every single day in port - with no days at sea, and includes three back to back (two-day stays) at Maui, Hawaii and Kauai. The time it spends at sea offers dramatic views of Kauai's Napoli coastline and a strikingly dramatic nighttime view of the flowing golden lava from the massive live volcano on the island of Hawaii - from a sea-side vantage point.

Are you aware of Pride of America? Tell us here: Cruise Forum

Book Now - Prices Going Up January 1st

If you are thinking about cruising in Hawaii I highly suggest you read our article "The Only Way to See Hawaii." And immediately after that I suggest you book your cruise on Pride of America, because Norwegian just announced that fares on the ship are going up an average of 10-percent as of January 1st, 2013.

Prices will be going up an average of 10% across the board, but you can still avoid this bump in prices for a cruise to sail in 2013 and as long as you make the booking before January 1st. Also keep this in mind; the ship is getting a major refurbishment in March of 2013, so you could book your cruise before the fare hikes in January, but for a cruise sailing after the late March dry dock upgrades. The ship will get new restaurants and stateroom upgrades such as Wi-Fi and flat screen televisions.

The line credits high demand as the reason for the fare hike - but the cost of maintaining a U.S.-flagged cruise ship always means higher fares than average cruise ships flagged in foreign nations anyway. Other cruise ships are only allowed to run cruises out of U.S. ports if they stop in foreign ports on the itinerary - according to the laws we mention above. That is very hard to do in the isolated Pacific island chain of Hawaii.

U.S.-flagged ships must maintain an all-American crew, who all belong to one union or another, so the dues along with various guaranteed benefits raise the cost of crewing. That translates to higher cruise fares for you - but it is worth it for the exclusivity of the all-Hawaii itinerary only Pride of America can provide.

But the demand factor suggests that you should act soon if you want to secure your Hawaii cruise before prices go up. There is competition for not only the best prices but also the best staterooms.

Why Pride of America?

While it is true that you can find cruises that sail to Hawaii from the U.S. coast, they must visit Mexico or Canada before they sail on to Hawaii, and after five days just getting there these cruises do not offer you the same immersion in Hawaii as Pride of America. In most cases they only spend about five days in the 50th state. Even worse, if you take a roundtrip Hawaii cruise from the U.S. you will likely spend 14 days on the ship but only five of them in Hawaii.

About Pride of America

NCL-America's one ship, Pride of America, is the only true mainstream cruise ship of size (80,000-tons) in the world with an all-American crew. The ship has an "American" theme to its d├ęcor, which is fitting for its name, but operationally it is a "Norwegian Free-style" ship. There are 10 restaurants onboard, some with an extra service charge and some included in the cruise fare. The nighttime shows often feature local Hawaii folkloric artists - one of the advantages to keeping the ship in port overnight. Because the cruise begins and ends in Honolulu you can also choose to arrive a day or two early and stay in a hotel to see Oahu before your cruise starts.

Prices for the 7-day cruise currently start at about $899 per person for an inside cabin, and about $1199 for a balcony cabin. Remember that the rates are higher than average cruises because it costs a lot more to operate a vessel within the restrictions of U.S.-registry maritime law.

The ship has an all-American crew which is admittedly different from an average cruise. Expect them to be much more informal. The crew is not the reason we recommend this cruise. We recommend it highly as the best way to see Hawaii. If all you are looking for is a "sit by the pool to drink pina coladas" cruise then you can go to Mexico or the Caribbean for less. But for a fantastic, destination-immersive Hawaii cruise, Pride of America is one of the "required" bookings for all cruise aficionados.

Are you aware of Pride of America? Tell us here: Cruise Forum

Recommended Articles