Are you arriving on Oahu only to leave the island within a few hours of landing? The only reasonable explanation for this, is that you have a cruise coming up. A boat cruise is a fantastic way to fit in a tour of the Hawaiian Islands without having to hop off and on commuter flights, and with most scheduled Hawaiian Island cruises departing from Honolulu, it makes sense that your looking for quick transport from the airport. In order to help make your exciting island hopping excursion go as smooth as possible, we’re here with everything you need to know about getting from HNL to where you need to be.
How Get to Honolulu Harbor Cruise Ship Terminals from Honolulu International Airport in the Most Convenient Way Possible
Know Which Cruise Ship Terminal You’re Departing From
There are two terminals that your ship could be departing from at Honolulu Harbor. The one that you and your party are most likely going to, is found at Pier 2. The entrance to this terminal is found at the West end of Channel Street at 521 Ala Moana Boulevard. Alternatively, you may be headed to Pier 11. The entrance to this terminal is located on the North extension at 1 Aloha Tower Drive.
Cruise lines that depart from Pier 2 include:
- Carnival Cruise Line
- Crystal Cruises
- Cunard Line
- Holland America (HAL)
- Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)
- Oceania Cruises
- P&O Cruises
- Phoenix Reisen
- Princess Cruises
- Regent Seven Seas
- Royal Caribbean
- Seabourn Cruises
Be sure to check the itinerary from your travel/booking agent to verify that you’re embarking at Pier 2, or in the off-chance Pier 11. The good news, is that even if you arrive at the wrong terminal (i.e. you didn’t choose reputable transport from HNL) you’re just minutes away from the other.
When to Arrive at Your Terminal
Even though this isn’t an international flight, you need to treat it as such, arriving at Pier 2 (or alternatively Pier 11) approximately 2-hours before the ship leaves the port. That being said, you don’t want to arrive too early as some security regulations may prohibit early entrance to the ship. If your flight arrives in the early AM and your cruise doesn’t embark until later in the afternoon or early evening, you will want to prepare to keep occupied. Keep reading.
What to Do When You Have Time to Spare
Given the aforementioned security regulations and the fact that Honolulu’s cruise ports have limited space for early arrivals to hang around in, it’s a good idea to plan your itinerary until embarkation time rolls around. Thankfully, you’ve got options, with downtown Honolulu located less than a mile from both Pier 11 and Pier 2. Within minutes you can walk over to a slew of boutique shops, cafes, eateries, and even craft breweries (both Honolulu BeerWorks and Gordon Biersch are 10 minutes away from Pier 2) should you want to get a head start on your libations. However, if your luggage doesn’t have a good set of rollers and/or you don’t want to wander off too far, you can kill time at Aloha Tower where you’ll find The Old Spaghetti Factory, Hooter’s, Barnes & Noble, and more.
Book a Direct No-Share Flat-Rate Shuttle
It’s one thing to get to your accommodations from HNL in a convenient manner, so that you can begin your vacation without a hitch. But in the end a 30-minute or hour delay here and there won’t matter as much in the grand scheme of things. But when it comes to getting from the airport to your cruise ship terminal in time for embarkation, it’s a completely different scenario. Without trusted transport, you might miss the boat, figuratively and literally!
The best way to remove this risk while enjoying a comfortable, convenient, and friendly yet professional experience is to skip the alternatives and book a direct, no-share, flat-rate shuttle.
There are six key reasons why a direct, no-share, flat-rate shuttle is the only option for those of you arriving at HNL and heading to the Honolulu cruise ship terminal/s:
- Driving a rental car from HNL to Honolulu Harbor can place in you a HI-92 E or the 1-H-1 E (to Bishop St) traffic queue that will have you stressing about making it to the terminal in time. Plus, why rent a car when you’re about to hop on a cruise?
- Shared shuttles take too long. You’re waiting for all other harbor and hotel destined passengers to gather themselves from baggage claim and get dropped off with their luggage. And when it comes to those getting off at the Honolulu Harbor with you, be prepared for an all out battle to get off the bus/shuttle and in line to embark.
- Traditional taxis are too expensive. Save your money for the cruise ship cocktail bar!
- Ride-hailing service pickup zones (Lyft/Uber) are harder to get too and can be much more expensive if you need a vehicle big enough for your entire party and luggage.
- The number of stops that the city bus takes from the airport to Honolulu Harbor is beyond excessive. In addition, it comes with another set of obstacles.
- The other options above don’t offer the same amount of ALOHA (lei greetings included).