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Cruises to Kauai

491 Reviews
4 Awards
Kauai (Photo:Pierre Leclerc/Shutterstock)

About Kauai

Kauai is the oldest of the eight major Hawaiian Islands, with volcanic rock dating back more than 5 million years. But the island still displays all the beauty and vigor of youth. From lush rain forests and valleys to majestic mountains and long stretches of white sand, there's no question: Nature takes center stage here.

In fact, Kauai has more beaches per mile of coastline than any of the other islands. Only 3 percent of the island has been developed for commercial and residential use; the rest is agricultural and conservation lands. Two-thirds of Kauai's land area is impenetrable.

Kauai is notable for many other reasons. British Capt. James Cook and his crew first landed in Hawaii at Waimea, on Kauai's west coast, in 1778. When Kamehameha the Great embarked on his campaign to unite all the islands under one rule, Kauai clung to its independence. After Kamehameha failed twice to take the island by force, Kauai's king finally agreed to cede his island to the Hawaiian king. After Kamehameha died in 1819, his son, Liholiho, became king. He lured Kauai's king, Kaumualii, aboard his royal yacht and sailed to Oahu. There, Kaumualii was coerced into marrying Kaahumanu, Kamehameha's widow, further ensuring that Kauai would remain under Hawaiian rule.

Kauai is the only Hawaiian island with navigable rivers; it also has a breathtaking gorge that Mark Twain dubbed the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" and 15 miles of sheer cliffs rising along an uninhabited coastline. Hollywood has been so taken with Kauai that the island been cast in more than 60 movies and TV productions.

To ensure that concrete will never conceal Kauai's beauty, officials passed a law stipulating that no buildings on the island can stand higher than a palm tree (three or four stories). So no matter when or where you are on Kauai, nature will always reign.

  • More about Kauai

  • Why go to Kauai?

  • Kauai Cruise Port Facilities?

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Seven Seas Mariner
Seven Seas Mariner (Photo: Regent)

132 Night
132 Night World CruiseDetails

378 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Jan 6, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Koningsdam
Koningsdam docked alonside in San Diego. (Photo: Holland America Line)

18 Night
Circle HawaiiDetails

815 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 13, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Pride of America
Pride of America alongside at Kahului on Sunday, April 10, 2022 (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

7 Night
Hawaii Hnl Inter IslandDetails

2,282 Reviews
Leaving:Honolulu
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Pride of America
Pride of America alongside at Kahului on Sunday, April 10, 2022 (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

7 Night
Hawaii Hnl Inter IslandDetails

2,282 Reviews
Leaving:Honolulu
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Hawaii - OtherDetails

2,078 Reviews
Leaving:Tahiti
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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16 Night
Hawaii CruiseDetails

1,922 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Apr 14, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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25 Night
South Pacific CrossingDetails

795 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 6, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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16 Night
Hawaii CruiseDetails

1,810 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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15 Night
Hawaii CruiseDetails

2,176 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Feb 15, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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25 Night
Transpacific CruiseDetails

906 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Feb 12, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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17 Night
Circle HawaiiDetails

815 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 7, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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16 Night
Hawaii CruiseDetails

1,810 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Aug 5, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Hawaii - OtherDetails

2,078 Reviews
Leaving:Honolulu
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Sep 15, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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16 Night
Alaska - OtherDetails

2,078 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Aug 30, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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16 Night
Hawaii - OtherDetails

2,078 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
May 8, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Kauai

Why go to Kauai?

Pros:

Ancient volcanoes, lush rainforests and spectacular beaches provide breathtaking vistas

Cons:

Beware of rain and roosters; there's a surprising amount of each

Bottom Line:

Kauai is worth a visit for its Na Pali cliffs alone; the landscapes here are staggering

Kauai Cruise Port Facilities?

There are no services at the port -- just pickup areas for tour buses, rental car shuttles and free shuttles to shopping centers. You can walk or take a free shuttle to the nearby Harbor Mall and Anchor Cove Shopping Center with restaurants, shops, ATMs, bathrooms, Internet access and tour bookings. Kalapaki Beach (with watersports rentals) and the Kauai Marriott Resort are located next to the mall areas.

Good to Know?

Look out for roosters -- and their families. When Hurricane Iniki hit in 1992, coops were blown apart and many chickens were released into the wild. The chickens appear to be thriving on this freedom, and you will see them everywhere -- at the car rental parking lot, the beach, public parks, etc. They don't pose a serious threat, especially because you're unlikely to be overnighting in a hotel, listening to the roosters crow at many times other than sunrise. Watch out for them while driving or when leaving food out on your beach mat, though.

Getting Around?

By Car: The best way to get around on Kauai is by rental car. Major car rental agencies operate free shuttle services from the pier.

By Shuttle: Kmart, Hilo Hattie, Coconut Marketplace, Anchor Cove, Harbor Mall, Kukui Grove Center and Wal-Mart also offer free shuttle services from the pier. Both the Anchor Cove and Harbor Mall shuttles will get you to Kalapaki Beach, and they run every 10 minutes; the beach is adjacent to Anchor Cove and across the street from Harbor Mall.

By Taxi: Taxi companies include Kauai Taxi (808-246-9554) and Pono Taxi (808-634-4744).

On Foot: It's about a 10-minute walk along a sidewalk to the nearby shopping and beach areas, but if it's hot, you might as well take the free shuttle if isn't too crowded.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

ATMs are located at the Anchor Cove and Harbor Mall shopping complexes near the harbor, but the closest full-service banks are 1.5 miles away in Lihue on Rice Street.

Language?

English is the official language, but try your hand at any Hawaiian phrases you pick up. Aloha means hello and goodbye, mahalo means "thank you," and aloha ahiahi means "good night." If you hear Aloha, e komo mai, don't panic. It means "Welcome!"

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ships dock at Nawiliwili Harbor, on the southeast side of the island, not far from the airport.


Kauai Cruise Reviews
Thursday - Spent the 1st day at Kauai Back country Mountain tubing. Was a unique, fun experience. They do not offer shuttle pick up (see rental car pickup hints below) so we rented a car for the day and afterwards weRead More
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daun0
Kauai was our first stop. Disembarkation lines were horrendous at all the ports, but especially here because everyone was anxious to enjoy Hawaii after five days at sea. We arrived two hours late due to sea conditionRead More
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cboyle
Limited transportation from the pier- only 11 taxis on the entire island. Shuttle busses only went to shopping malls. We had a great excursion with Kauai Backcountry Adventures but were stressed out about making it bRead More
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robbinsca
Will visit Kauai again, but certainly not with a cruise. Read More
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BLG729

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