The Pride of America, the Norwegian Cruise Line ship that sails among the Hawaiian Islands, is used for one of Costco’s top-selling cruises. Like other top-selling cruises, the Pride of America’s itinerary is seven days long, but rather than being offered periodically or every other week, the Norwegian cruise ship offers the same cruise week after week. For the foreseeable future and probably beyond, the Pride of America sails the same route among the Hawaiian Islands. Indeed, the Pride of America is the only cruise ship that can sail this route, for reasons we will get to in a moment, and if you are a Costco member, you can get added benefits by booking through Costco Travel.
The Pride of America itinerary is essentially a week-long tour around the Hawaiian Islands that begins and ends in Honolulu. After an evening departure and overnight voyage, the ship docks in Kahului, Maui, where the ship stays for nearly two days. On the evening of the third day of the cruise, the ship leaves Maui for Hilo (on the main island), arriving to port in the morning and leaving ten hours later in the evening. After sailing through the night, the ship arrives in Kailua, on the other side of the main island, in the morning.. The day is spent there before a relatively long trip (in terms of distance) to Nawiliwili, Kauai. On the morning of the sixth day, after an overnight trip from Kailua, the ship arrives in Nawiliwili, where it remains docked until 2:00 PM the following day. After leaving Nawiliwili, the ship sails through the afternoon and night to arrive to Honolulu the following morning for disembarkation. So, the seven-day cruise packs in a lot, and not a single full day is spent at sea, which is fairly uncommon. It’s a pretty quick and efficient way to see the Hawaiian Islands.
And it is, as mentioned above, the only way to see Hawaii via cruise ship for reasons related to maritime law. The vast majority of ships fly foreign flags, or “flags of convenience,” to lower operating costs and to avoid strict regulations imposed by countries like the United States. However, in order to fly a foreign flag on a ship, every cruise offered on that ship must include at least one stop in a foreign port. (This is why lots of cruises to Hawaii have a port of call in Canada or Mexico.) Since it is unrealistic for a cruise that sails only among the Hawaiian Islands to stop at a foreign port, the Pride of America actually flies the U.S. flag, and it is the only major cruise ship to do so. Thus, in order to take a cruise that begins, ends, and stays within the waters of Hawaii, you must book with the Pride of America.
If you are interested in taking a cruise aboard the Pride of America and also happen to be a Costco member, you may as well book through Costco Travel. You get some free extras by doing so, like a room upgrade, a reduced deposit fee, and a coupon book. It is also very easy to book through Costco. Since it is a top-selling cruise, Costco has a specific page for the Pride of America, and you begin the online booking process on this part of the site. You can also use the search tool on the main Costco Cruises site. You can search for cruises with Norwegian during whatever month you are interested in sailing, and then filter the results by cruise ship, leaving you with only Pride of America sailings. If you have any trouble booking online, you can always call the Costco Travel number (1-877-849-2730) for assistance.
Since it offers only one itinerary, a cruise on the Pride of America won’t appeal to everybody, but it is perfect for people who want to explore the Hawaiian Islands. You can get from island to island without having to book any flights or ferry rides, and your accommodation is taken care of as well. Moreover, if you are a Costco member, you can get some free extras. So, if you are a Costco member looking for a swing through the Hawaiian Islands, the Pride of America is definitely worth checking out.