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The Port City of Honolulu: What to do Before Leaving on a Cruise


Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital, isn’t as big of a cruise ship port as, say, Florida or California. However, it does have its fair share of cruise ship action from companies like Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Norwegian. That said, many of those are repositioning cruises, with only one regularly running routes out of Hawaii. As Hawaii’s most populous city, Honolulu is no doubt a major tourist destination. People come here from all over the globe to see the natural beauty of the islands. If you’re here as part of a cruise and have a stop in Hawaii, or if you’re taking off on a cruise from Hawaii, you may be looking for things to do while waiting.

What you do will depend on how much time you have, of course. Let’s assume you have the day, or at least several hours. Here are some things to check out within reasonable distance of the port of Honolulu, provided you have access to transportation.

Pearl Harbor

Located about eight miles from the port is the Pearl Harbor Monument (also known as the WW II Valor in the Pacific National Monument) — a must see for young and old. Visit the museum and visitor center, and get a guided tour of the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri, both of which hold deep historical significance commemorating the events surrounding the December 7, 1941 attack. A closer option if you don’t have time for Pearl Harbor yet still want to see something patriotic, visit the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, which is two miles from the port. You can even walk there if you choose.

Port Area

For those of you who only have a couple of hours to kill, better to stay close to the port. Don’t worry, there’s still lots to do in this immediate vicinity. Go shopping, get a bite to eat, or visit the state library of Hawaii, which is only a few blocks away. Try a visit to the Hawaii State Art Museum in the Capitol District Building – -a moving tribute to Hawaii’s diverse artistic and cultural legacy as well as thriving local arts community. Visit the State Legislature to get a glimpse of local government in action. If the kids are acting up, take them to the Children’s Discovery Center, chock full of hands-on, interactive exhibits.

Ala Moana Beach Park

If you can get away for a couple of hours, you may want to drive out to Ala Moana Beach Park just a couple of miles away. This popular free public park is situated halfway between Waikiki and downtown Honolulu, spanning 100 acres and a mile and a half of shoreline perfect for sunbathing, swimming, picnics, jogging, fishing, and surfing. If you fancy some souvenirs, head across the street to the Ala Moana Shopping Center. If you can’t find what you need here, it can’t be found!

Hoku Hawaii Tours offers several Pearl Harbor tours to suit your time schedule and interests. If you’ve got the time come see us!