Best Time to Cruise to Hawaii

No other place in the world calls to mind scenes of ultimate beach holidays quite like Hawaii does. Coconut and pineapple drinks, palm tree-lined beaches, lush mountain scenery, the sounds of tropical birds, an abundance of rainbows in the sky,… Hawaii truly embodies everything we associate with paradise. Unsurprisingly, the islands are among the world’s greatest and most popular cruise destinations. So, with that said, you might be wondering when is the best time to cruise to Hawaii?

Best Time to Cruise to Hawaii - Kauai, Hawaii

Hawaiian Seasons

This unique archipelagic American state finds itself in the middle of the Pacific, far removed from any land. Its latitude, combined with its location and regional weather patterns, gives Hawaii a year-round enjoyable climate. It’s always comfortable in paradise, simply put.

That said, however, there are huge fluctuations in climate between the individual islands. Even certain places on one island may feature totally different climates. The eight main Hawaiian Islands are all volcanic, created and dominated by at least one volcano, which results in huge elevation differences. It’s that diversity—in climate and natural features—that attracts so many people to Hawaii.

Hawaii really only has two seasons: the dry and wet season. The dry season runs roughly from April through October, with average daytime temperatures in the mid-80s and hardly any precipitation at all. Running from November through March, the wet season is only called that because there’s a slight increase in rainfall; not because it’s actually super-wet that time of year. Even in the wet season, average daytime temperatures don’t drop below the mid-70s.

While it might seem logical that the dry season with its warmer weather and fewer raindrops would be the peak season, the opposite is true. This is due to the fact that most people visit Hawaii during the coldest time of year in their home towns. Winter, in other words.

Hawaii Mountains - Best Time to Cruise to Hawaii

Hawaii Cruise Season

From sunbathing to big-wave surfing and thigh-crunching hiking, from waterfall hunting to bird watching, Hawaii’s outdoor adventures are endless. On top of that, there’s a wealth of Pacific culture to explore, fascinating historic sites to visit and amazing (street) food to sample.

And you can do so throughout the entire year. There is, however, only one main cruise season in Hawaii. That most popular Hawaii cruise season is winter, with many other places in the Northern Hemisphere covered in snow or suffering from chilly temperatures. Especially the holiday season—basically mid-December through early-January—is exceptionally busy. This is prime whale-watching season, but also the time of year that’s by far the most expensive.

Best Time to Cruise to Hawaii - Honolulu, Hawaii

So, What is the Best Time to Cruise to Hawaii?

So therefore, winter might be the best time to cruise to Hawaii. It allows you to escape the cold back home and catch glimpses of migrating whales, but it’s definitely also the priciest time. If you’re looking to save some hard-earned money, consider going to Hawaii in the shoulder seasons, from September through mid-December or from mid-April through mid-June.

There’s a lot to be said for visiting Hawaii in the shoulder season, from lower prices to still excellent weather and fewer tourists. On the downside, the selection of cruises on offer is much lower in the shoulder and off seasons than it is in winter.

As is the case when cruising to pretty much all cruise destinations, such as Bermuda and the Bahamas, the best time to cruise to Hawaii depends on several factors. These include your budget, your preferred activities, the weather and other visitors. Most of those are, of course, interdependent.

Depending on your personal needs and wants, but assuming that you’d like to save money while also enjoying near perfect conditions, we can confidently say that the shoulder season is the best time to cruise to Hawaii.

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