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Aloha and welcome to Hawaii!
© HVCB / Kirk Lee Aeder
The Islands of Aloha® are bursting with colour and culture, all set amongst some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery. Famed for its year-round tropical sun, surfing traditions and hula dancers, Hawaii has so much more to offer and prides itself on its wealth of adventure activities. Whether you visit this idyllic archipelago to honeymoon, relax on a palm-fringed beach, surf Hawaii’s waves, watch humpback whales, trek its mountains, dive with dolphins, cruise around, kayak through rainforests, tee off on one of its 80 golf courses, cycle down a volcano, enjoy a festival or get pampered in a luxury spa before hitting the town, Hawaii’s diverse island charms cater for every holiday style and budget.
Few destinations can match Hawaii’s magical combination of lush rainforests, active volcanoes, cascading waterfalls, rugged valleys, turquoise clear waters, palm-fringed sandy beaches, excellent shopping and great nightlife. Whether you explore the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Big Island’s Mauna Kea (the world’s tallest mountain, measured from its base), gaze in awe at Kauai’s magnificent Waimea Canyon or the plunging cliffs off its breathtaking Napali Coast, go whale-watching or kite-surfing in Maui, relax on Waikiki’s famous beach over on Oahu or simply hide away on the exclusive islands of Lanai and Molokai, the six main islands are uniquely different in their own right – making Hawaii the perfect destination for island-hopping.
© HVCB / Sri Maiava
As the most isolated landmass in the world, where better to escape from the stresses of everyday life? Its combination of spectacular beaches and wondrous scenery has inspired many top filmmakers to fall under its spell so you may already know the archipelago better than you think! From Raiders of the Lost Ark to Elvis’ Blue Hawaii and from Jurassic Park to the recent TV hit “LOST”, Hawaii’s incredible variety of worlds will ensure it plays a starring role in your best ever holiday list.
Although over 100 islands actually make up the state of Hawaii, the six main islands which cater for visitors are Oahu, Maui, Kauai, the Big Island (Hawaii), Molokai and Lanai. Lying in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with Japan to the West and the US to the East, Hawaii is approximately 2,500-miles away from each country making it the most isolated land mass in the world.
Culture and traditions
The islands have a total combined population of 1.2 million made up of a variety of ethnic groups, including Caucasian, Japanese, Filipino, Chinese and, of course, Hawaiian. From the first Polynesian settlers to the various immigrants of the last two centuries, the islands of Hawaii are a cultural melting pot of food, language and customs. All these cultures and traditions combine to provide Hawaii with its rich history and unique cultural diversity.
Language – Hawaii is certainly the Aloha state. Commonly heard as a greeting and also used to say goodbye, ‘Aloha’ is not only the magical expression that gives Hawaii its nickname but also represents a way of life. Indeed, Aloha could be said to be a living personification of the best of Hawaii and its people and to use the word is to offer a great token of respect.
The leiThese beautiful flower garlands are presented as a token of goodwill and represent the Aloha spirit. Friends and families give each other ‘lei’ at special celebratory events and this world-famous greeting is something which holidaymakers are keen to experience when visiting Hawaii. ‘Lei’ greetings can easily be arranged upon arrival either at the airport or at the hotel and provide the perfect start to a holiday. After all, what better way to feel at home than with a traditional warm welcome!
Hula – The ‘hula’ is the traditional dance of Hawaii and perhaps the most famous of the islands’ cultural expressions. The graceful movement of the hands, arms, hips and feet combine with the shuffle of traditional grass skirts not only to form a great artistic display but a different story, with each dance recounting a different tale from Hawaii’s history.
Luau – Definitely not to be missed, a ‘Luau’ gathering is a traditional Hawaiian feast and a true celebration all things Hawaiian. Encompassing aspects from across Hawaii’s culture, such as lei giving and hula dancing, one of the highlights of a Luau is its food with traditional Hawaiian foods such as poi and kalua pig (pork prepared in an earth oven). Many hotels stage regular luaus, allowing guests an introduction to the Hawaiian culture.
Star gazing – Today some of the world’s best star gazing and the largest collection of telescopes on earth are to be found at the astronomical observatories on the Big Island, thanks to the world-class clarity of the Hawaiian night skies. It is actually believed that the founders of Hawaii, the Polynesians, first realised there was land in the direction of Hawaii not by chance but by reading the stars and as they set sail to find this land they came across Hawaii, where they settled.
Kayak / Canoe – Step back into the history of Hawaii’s kayaking days to the origins of the Outrigger canoe which served as the main means of transport for the islanders. The tradition continues today with canoes and sea kayaks regularly taken out to ride the waves as an adventurous sport. Options range from kayaking through rapids in the heart of the rainforests, along the Napali Coast or down former irrigation systems.
Sponsored by NCL Cruises
Why cruise Hawaii?
Quite simply it’s… the best way to island hop Hawaii. From high-rise Waikiki to the awe-inspiring canyons of Kauai, there’s so much to see and so many scenic contrasts in the Hawaiian Islands and for the complete picture of paradise, your customers will want to see it all.
And now they can on just one wonderful holiday with NCL Freestyle Cruising. Guests board their luxury floating resort in Honolulu and we bring the very best of Hawaii to them, with no airports, no transfers and no need to keep packing and unpacking.
Why cruise NCL America?
NCL America offers something special that no other cruise line can! Our US registered ships fly the Stars & Stripes, which means they can operate inter-island itineraries without having to call at a non-American port. For your customers this means less time at sea, more time in port and exciting new Hawai’ian experiences every day.
There are three fabulous, contemporary ships in the NCL America fleet:
- Pride of Aloha – with her distinctive Hawai’ian Island style and décor
- Pride of America – featuring ambience and décor reflecting everything your clients love best about the USA
- Pride of Hawaii – a brand new ship making her debut in June 2006
NCL Freestyle Cruising
NCL America ships, like every ship in our fleet, feature the fun, freedom and flexibility of NCL Freestyle Cruising.
- NCL Freestyle Dining – Open seating for everyone. Guests dine whenever, wherever, with whomever they want
- NCL Freestyle Service – One crewmember per stateroom means better service
- NCL Freestyle Activities – Enrich body and mind with new Lifestyle Programme
- NCL Freestyle Attire – From resort casual clothing to formal wear, the guest decides
- NCL Freestyle Disembarkation – A morning of leisure replaces hours of waiting
- NCL Freestyle Gratuities – Service Charge is added to guest’s on-board account
And did you know?
NCL Freestyle Cruising offers your customers even more exciting innovations, including:
- Golf Hawaii – Hawaii has more than 80 golf courses and NCL has negotiated guaranteed tee times and low green fees on some of the best, exclusively for our guests. There are even Golf Pro Shops on Pride of Aloha and Pride of America.
- Family-friendly accommodation – we lead the way in versatile family accommodation with flexible suites, penthouses and inter-connecting staterooms.
- Stay longer – your customers can choose from a great range of add-ons, including Hawaii resort stays and US city stays.
NCL America… the best way to island hop Hawaii
We hope that this course will give you the chance to find out more about what the Islands of Aloha® have to offer and we look forward to welcoming you to our islands soon.
Now take the test. You’ll find the answers to the following questions on this page or on www.hawaii-tourism.co.uk.
Header images, left to right: 1: Lava, © Big Island Visitors Bureau / David O. Baldwin | 2: Kaneohe Bay, © Oahu Visitors Bureau | 3: Kokee State Park, © HVCB / Ron Dahlquist | 4: Molokini, © HVCB / Ron Dahlquist