Cruise to Honolulu: Why You Should Stay an Extra Day or Two

Diamond Head crater is one of the top things to do in Honolulu. Cruise to Honolulu and experience this amazing hike.
View of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach area from the top of Diamond Head crater.

Whether you are taking a direct cruise to Honolulu, or starting there and cruising around the rest of the Hawaiian Islands, it is well worth planning to spend a couple of extra days there to take in the city and its culture. This is one of the most iconic tourist cities in the world, and there are so many things to do in Honolulu that it would be a shame to only spend a few hours before or after your cruise here. From learning about the history and the culture of Hawaii, to indulging in the diverse and delicious cuisine, here are 5 reasons why you should spend an extra couple of days in Honolulu.

Cruise to Honolulu to Visit Pearl Harbor

It was over 80 years ago that America received a formal invitation to join the fray in World War 2 with the attack on Pearl Harbor, “a day that will live in infamy” as President Roosevelt described it. Today, it is a popular attraction for tourists on a cruise to Honolulu to visit the various museums and memorials to pay their respects. Here you can visit the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Missouri Battleship, and the Pacific Aviation Museum to learn about that fateful day and the people who lost their lives. History buffs will likely want to visit all three and should plan on spending at least a half of a day here. Be warned, reservations are recommended at the USS Arizona Memorial as it can get pretty busy, and bags are not allowed inside.

Relax on Waikiki Beach

You will likely be visiting a lot of beaches during your cruise to Honolulu, so adding another to the list may seem a bit redundant. But Waikiki Beach is not just the most popular beach in Hawaii, it is also one of the most iconic beaches in the entire world, making it well worth adding to your list of things to do in Honolulu. As you’d expect, the waters here are clear as crystal, the equatorial sun is unstoppable, and the crowds are bustling with activity as tourists enjoy surfing, swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. If that’s not enough for you, there are tons of restaurants and shopping outlets in the area, where you can indulge yourself while supporting the local economy. 

Explore Diamond Head State Monument

To truly take in the magnificence of both the city of Honolulu as well as Hawaii as a whole, you need to be able to get a panoramic view of the island. That is why a visit to Diamond Head State Monument is one of the most popular things to do in Honolulu for tourists. A hike to the top of this massive volcanic crater takes about 1 to 2 hours, but you will want to leave some time to admire the view and grab some pics (it is arguably the most grammable spot on the island, afterall). If you aren’t an expert hiker, fear not; it is a pretty moderate hike and you will have plenty of lush landscapes to enjoy along the way. Reservations are required, so be prepared if you don’t want to miss out!

Discover the Bishop Museum on Your Cruise to Honolulu

It is important to pay your respects and honor the local culture when visiting any exotic locale, and a cruise to Honolulu is no different. For that, you can head to the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, a world-class museum that features many Hawaiian artifacts and teaches about the history of Polynesian cultures. Experience their interactive displays, see historical artifacts, and learn about the rich history of the people who have called Hawaii home for hundreds of years. Whether or not you are a history buff will determine how long you want to stay here, but everyone should make time to add this to your list of things to do in Honolulu.

Indulge in Local Cuisine on a Cruise to Honolulu

Easily one of the best reasons to travel anywhere is to try the authentic, local cuisine that is offered, and that is our final recommendation for what to do on a cruise to Honolulu. You do not want to miss out on traditional dishes like poke (marinated raw fish) and slow-roasted kalua pig. For a Hawaiian twist on a hamburger, try the loco moco, which is rice, hamburger patty, fried egg, and gravy. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, look for the Portuguese-style donuts called malasadas. But our favorite dish is the fruit and acai bowls served at the Sunrise Shack on Waikiki Beach. With all the different things to do in Honolulu, you will need to fill up in between activities, which gives you the perfect opportunity to try all these delicious dishes.

To book your very own cruise to Honolulu, visit — we can help you book the smart way! We give you our exclusive bonus offers and all qualifying cruise line offers, plus all of the cruise line loyalty program benefits. Book online at or call 800-288-6006 today.

Related: Cruise to Hawaii: A Guide to the Islands’ Must-See Attractions

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