Norwegian Cruise Line, which launched the only year-round, 7-day roundtrip Hawaii itineraries in December with the premiere of its newest ship, the Norwegian Star, is experiencing a few rough seas. Literally. Since its debut in Hawaii, the Star has had to skip a number of port calls when conditions were too rough for tendering passengers to shore. In particular, Kona, on the big island, presented a fairly consistent problem so Norwegian has announced that it’s shifting its “port” there to Hilo, on the other side of Hawaii, where there’s a dock and tendering is not necessary.
The logical question would be, of course, why Norwegian originally chose a tender port when a docked one existed on the same island and a spokeswoman says the decision initially was made because it was thought that Kona was nearer to Fanning Island, not to mention a proximity to some of the major attractions there. NCL has not said whether it will return to Kona when summer comes (and seas are more moderate) or whether it plans to keep Hilo as the port of call year-round.