Cruise Specialists voyage hosts Kevin and Susan are enjoying a tropical voyage aboard Seabourn and taking us along for one of their unique adventures in Hawaii.
Our arrival was a milestone for the small island of Lanai. The Sojourn is the first passenger cruise ship to call at Manele Bay. Ninety seven percent of Lanai is owned by Larry Ellison, the high-tech billionaire. There are about 3000 residents. Again, the ship couldn’t anchor as Lanai law does not allow the coral to be disturbed in any way.
Hunting and horseback riding are the main activities on the island. Deer hunting is done mostly by bow and arrow which helps keep the wildlife population in check. Lanai used to be covered in pineapples until about 30 years ago. Dole was a big name on this island.
Now Lanai caters to tourists at two deluxe hotels. There is one hospital and one school and no traffic lights. The town of Lanai is very small—just one short main street. Many residents take the ferry over to Maui which is 9 miles away to do their main shopping or for work. This quiet, peaceful island is very far removed from Honolulu in many ways.
We steamed into Nawiliwili harbor on the island of Kauai and decided to rent a car and tour some of our old haunts. We’ve spent a lot of time on the Garden Isle and it is high on our list of lovely places.
We picked up a Hertz jeep and headed south to Poipu Beach. Since Hurricane Iniki in 1992 the entire southern part of Kauai has been basically redone. The apartment we once rented was swept away by a tidal surge from the most destructive storm to ever hit Hawaii.
We stopped by Spouting Horn to see the blowholes and were treated to a few geysers. Then we drove down to Waimea Canyon…the Hawaiian version of the Grand Canyon.
On the way back to Lihue we stopped at the Waimea Plantation Cottages. We stayed there shortly after they were converted from cabins for the workers at the sugar cane factories. The cottages are decorated with formica furniture and linoleum right out of the 1950s. The cost per night was under $100 for our sugar shack. After an article in Travel and Leisure magazine featured the resort, the prices shot up dramatically.
Our last port of call was Lahaina, Maui. This old whaling town is filled with historic sites and jewelry stores. Something to suit everyone’s tastes!
We went to Bebe (baby) beach and then strolled Front Street before taking our last tender ride of the cruise back to the Sojourn.
Time At Sea
We had six days of ocean cruising before reaching LA. Again, we were fortunate with the weather during the crossing and Seabourn pulled out all the stops to make it a memorable passage.
- There were several interesting lectures every day on a variety of topics and stargazing at night.
- A wonderful classic operatic concert was held outdoors under tropical skies along with an on-deck dance party.
- There were arts and crafts classes and bridge and galley tours.
We met up with friends Ralf and Anne Vargas for dinner and luckily it was still warm enough to dine outside. Being on a ship is a wonderful way to make your special day extra special. We went to the show featuring Tim Rice music (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, The Lion King, etc) and then we cut a rug.
When we returned to our cabin it was filled with balloons and rose petals and even a bottle of chilled champagne (for my birthday!). This is the first time we have been on Seabourn since we took the world cruises in 2001 and 2002 on the Seabourn Sun. We were very pleased with this beautiful ship, the great staff and crew and the activities and dining experiences.
It was a wonderful, tropical journey to some of the most beautiful islands in the world. A dream cruise! Aloha.
Are you ready to see Hawaii in a whole new way?