Aloha! After a traditional Hawaiian flower lei greeting at your gate, you’ll be transferred to the luxurious Waikīkī Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. From there you’re free to explore the “Playground of the Pacific, ” at your leisure.
DAY 2 (Thursday) NORTH SHORE | POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER
Start your day off with a beautiful scenic tour of O`ahu’s famous North Shore, the legendary surf mecca. You’ll stop at Haleiwa, the social and artistic hub of the North Shore filled with cool surf shops and boutiques, great restaurants and charming art galleries. You’ll also see famous surf spots, including Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach and Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline) — during winter, these spots are known for monstrous waves reaching 20 to 40 feet.
Enjoy the afternoon at the Polynesian Cultural Center, and experience authentic island villages showcasing the traditional lifestyles of some of Hawaii’s original descendants from Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Tahiti. Go native with a variety of interactive experiences from island games and tantalizing dances to a private canoe tour, where you’ll see a variety of Polynesian dances during the festive canoe pageant.
DAY 3 (Friday) PEARL HARBOR & DOWNTOWN TOUR
Immerse yourself in history. As you travel from Waikiki toward Pearl Harbor, you will visit the Punchbowl Crater, home of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and enjoy breathtaking city and ocean views. Traveling through downtown, you’ll see the state capitol building, the governor’s mansion, Iolani Palace (the only royal palace in the United States) and the imposing King Kamehameha statue.
From there, you will visit Pearl Harbor and enjoy observations from an expert tour guide. First, you’ll take a boat shuttle to the USS Arizona Memorial, a floating memorial built over the sunken hull of the Battleship USS Arizona, the final resting place for many of the ship’s crew. You’ll then tour the USS Bowfin, the submarine known as the “Pearl Harbor Avenger, ” and get a close look at its torpedo room, engine room and sleeping quarters. Then you’ll have the chance to explore the decks of the 60, 000-ton battleship USS Missouri. Don’t miss the Surrender Deck on “Mighty Mo, ” where General MacArthur accepted the unconditional Japanese surrender that ended World War II. Your afternoon continues at the Pacific Aviation Museum, within former WWII airplane hangars on Pearl Harbor’s Ford Island. Experience exhibits showcasing the stories behind WWII fighter planes and bombers. Plus see planes like an authentic Japanese Zero as well as a B-25B bomber, the planes used in 1942 during the Tokyo Raid.
DAY 4 (Saturday) (EMBARKATION DAY) — NU`UANU PALI LOOKOUT / KUALOA RANCH
Spend another day exploring O`ahu’s beautiful outdoors. After checking out of your hotel, your luggage will be taken directly to Pride of America. From Waikīkī, you will travel to a famous Hawaiian historical land mark, the Nu`uanu Pali Lookout. A magnificent stone terrace perched more than 1, 000 feet above the O`ahu coastline, the Pali Lookout is the site of the Battle of Nu`uanu, where in 1795 King Kamehameha I won the struggle that finally united O`ahu under his rule. Your day continues at Kualoa Ranch. Enjoy a scenic drive showcasing the mystical and dramatic cliffs along the Ko`olau Mountain Range with cascading waterfalls and gorgeous ocean views, and you’ll see why this part of O`ahu has been the location for numerous TV shows and movies.
During your time at Kualoa Ranch, step back in time and learn how ancient Hawaiians lived and thrived as a people. Learn about early Hawaiian aquaculture and agricultural practices developed thousands of years before foreigners arrived. Ride a catamaran fashioned after traditional Hawaiian canoes to an ancient Hawaiian fishpond where you will learn how early settlers cultivated and caught fish. Continue on to an oyster pond where modern day cultivation is done using ancient techniques.
Enjoy interactive experiences showing the many uses of the taro plant, ti leaves and coconut palm fronds. Witness the turning of taro root into poi. Learn the cultural history of hula and lei making and try your hand learning an authentic hula dance. After lunch and Ocean Voyage tour aboard the catamaran, you’ll transfer directly to the Port of Honolulu. From there, you will board Pride of America for your amazing 7-Day Hawai`i cruise, a chance to journey through the rest of the islands and further explore the Aloha State in all its majesty.