Ferry From Oahu To Maui

Ferry From Oahu To Maui: An Island Hopping Guide For 2024

The Hawaiian Islands are a tropical paradise, filled with lush green landscapes, crystal clear waters, and a rich cultural heritage and they are one of my most favorite places to go. From the bustling city of Honolulu in Oahu to the tranquil beaches of Maui, each island offers its own unique charm and experiences.

And what better way to experience all that Hawaii has to offer than by visiting both Oahu and Maui?

For travelers looking to island hop, we will explore the various options for traveling between these two islands and provide tips on how to make the most of your journey.

Ferry From Oahu To Maui

In the past, travelers could take a ferry from Oahu to Maui, connecting the two islands through the scenic waters of the Pacific Ocean. However, in 2009 the last passenger ferry service between these islands shut down due to financial and other difficulties. Despite efforts to reinstate this service, it has yet to be revived.

How Long of a Boat Ride Is It From Oahu to Maui?

The ferry ride from Oahu to Maui used to take approximately three hours, making it a convenient and scenic mode of transportation between the two islands. However, with the discontinuation of the ferry service, travelers now have to find alternative ways to make this journey.

Why Has the Ferry Between Oahu to Maui Not Been Reinstated?

The operational costs, regulatory challenges, competition with airlines, consumer preferences and past attempts and failures are all factors that make it difficult to establish a successful ferry service in Hawaii.

Despite its potential benefits for inter-island transportation, the high costs and strict regulations make it challenging to compete with established air travel. Previous attempts at establishing a ferry service have also faced obstacles such as legal challenges, protests, and low ridership.

The ocean surrounding the Hawaiian Islands hosts vibrant marine ecosystems, featuring breathtaking coral reefs and an array of marine life, including majestic whales. This area is a hub for biodiversity, making it a crucial spot for marine conservation efforts – so I think this is a good thing to not have the service?

Other Options For Traveling From Oahu To Maui

While taking a ferry from Oahu to Maui may no longer be an option, there are still plenty of ways to travel between these two islands. Here are some alternative modes of transportation:

Flying From Oahu To Maui

The most popular and convenient way to get from Oahu to Maui is by air. There are multiple flights departing daily from Honolulu International Airport (HNL) to Kahului Airport (OGG). The flight time is approximately 30 minutes, making it a quick and efficient way to travel between the islands. Hawaiian Airlines tends to be the most popular.

For travelers looking for more other options that are sometimes more affordable, there are also smaller regional airlines such as Mokulele Airlines and Island Air that offer inter-island flights at lower prices. However, be sure to check the baggage restrictions and additional fees for these budget airlines.

A Hawaiian Cruise is a great way to see multiple Islands
A Hawaiian Cruise is a great way to see multiple Islands

Cruising From Oahu To Maui

For travelers who want a more relaxing and luxurious option, cruising from Oahu to Maui is another viable choice. Many cruise lines offer multi-island itineraries that include stops at both Oahu and Maui.

These cruises typically depart from Honolulu and take about two days to reach Maui. Along the way, you can enjoy various onboard activities and amenities while taking in the beautiful views.

The Best Way To Get From Oahu To Maui

Based on cost, convenience, and duration, flying from Oahu to Maui is the best option for most travelers. The flight time is short and there are multiple airlines to choose from, making it easy to find a flight that fits your schedule and budget. However, if you have more time and want a more leisurely experience, cruising can be a great option as well.

Need just a day trip? Day Trip from Maui to Oahu: Pearl Harbor & City

It’s important to keep in mind that peak travel season for Hawaii is from December to April, so flights and cruises may be more expensive during this time. If you’re looking to save money, consider traveling during the shoulder or off-season months of May through November.

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Additionally, if you plan on visiting multiple islands during your trip, a cruise may be more cost-effective than purchasing individual flights. It also allows for a more seamless and stress-free travel experience, as you won’t have to worry about transportation between islands.

Getting Around The Hawaiian Islands

As mentioned, the most common way to get between islands in Hawaii is by flying. There are multiple airlines that offer inter-island flights, with the main hubs being Honolulu on Oahu and Kahului on Maui. Prices can vary, but generally, flights between islands are relatively affordable and convenient.

However, for a more unique and adventurous experience, you can still consider taking a ferry or boat ride between Maui and Molokai. These options may take longer than flying, but they allow for stunning views of the Hawaiian coastline and provide a more intimate experience with the ocean.

Another alternative to flying is taking a cruise that stops at multiple islands. This can be a great option if you prefer a more relaxed and all-inclusive vacation. You’ll have the opportunity to explore different islands without the hassle of booking separate flights and accommodations. Plus, many cruise lines offer package deals that include airfare, making it a cost-effective option for traveling between islands.

The very first time I visited Hawaii I sailed on the Norwegian Cruise Line: Pride of America. It was an incredible experience as we stopped at different ports on four of the main islands – Oahu, Maui, Hawaii (also known as the Big Island), and Kauai. The ship also provided onboard activities and entertainment, making it a well-rounded travel experience.

Exploring Each Island

Each Hawaiian island has its own distinct personality and offers a variety of activities and attractions.

Oahu, known as the “gathering place,” is home to the capital city of Honolulu and boasts famous beaches like Waikiki. It also features historical sites such as Pearl Harbor and the Iolani Palace, as well as the vibrant and bustling city life in Honolulu.

Maui, known as the “valley isle,” is a popular destination for its stunning beaches, including the iconic Road to Hana. It also offers opportunities for whale watching, snorkeling, and hiking through lush rainforests. For a taste of luxury, head to Wailea or Kaanapali, where you’ll find upscale resorts and spas.

Still not sure what Island to Visit: Maui or Oahu Family Vacation : Which Hawaiian Island is Better?

Where To Stay In Oahu

Choosing where to stay in Oahu depends on your budget and preferred type of accommodation. Waikiki is the main tourist hub, with a wide range of hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals. It’s also conveniently located near popular attractions such as Diamond Head and the Honolulu Zoo.

For a more laid-back experience away from the crowds, consider staying on the North Shore or in the Ko Olina area. The North Shore is known for its world-class surfing beaches and small town vibes, while Ko Olina offers luxurious resorts and a quiet atmosphere.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

📍Budget OptionWayfinder Waikiki is a great budget option for those looking to stay in the popular tourist area of Waikiki. It offers comfortable rooms at an affordable price and is located just a short walk from the beach, restaurants, and shopping. Find the best rates

📍Mid Range Option -The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort offers a great mix of value and amenities. This sprawling resort has multiple pools, a private lagoon, and direct beach access. It also offers a variety of dining options and is located in the heart of Waikiki. Find the best rates

📍Luxury Option -For a luxurious and unforgettable stay, the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina is the top choice. This five-star resort offers stunning ocean views, exquisite dining options, and world-class amenities such as a spa, golf course, and beachfront cabanas. It also provides easy access to popular attractions like Pearl Harbor and Waimea Valley. Find the best rates

Where To Stay In Maui

Similar to Oahu, choosing where to stay in Maui depends on your budget and desired type of accommodation. Most visitors tend to stay in the resort areas of Kaanapali, Lahaina, or Wailea, which offer a variety of hotels and vacation rentals.

For a more authentic and local experience, consider staying in towns like Paia or Makawao. These charming towns are located near popular attractions such as Haleakala National Park and offer a more relaxed vibe.

📍Budget Option – The Maui Beach Hotel offers affordable rates and a central location in Kahului, making it a great base for exploring the island. It also has an on-site restaurant and pool. Find the best rates

📍Mid Range Option For a comfortable stay with stunning ocean views, consider the Aston Kaanapali Shores. This beachfront resort offers spacious condos with fully equipped kitchens, as well as amenities such as a pool and fitness center. Find the best rates

📍Luxury Option The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is the epitome of luxury on the island. This five-star resort boasts breathtaking ocean views, impeccable service, and top-notch amenities including multiple pools, restaurants, and a spa. Find the best rates

Four Seasons Maui
Four Seasons Maui

Vacation Rentals in Oahu and Maui

If you prefer a more private and home-like experience, there are plenty of vacation rentals available in Maui. From cozy cottages to luxurious villas, there is something for every budget and group size.

📍Best location for vacation rentals in Maui –The town of Kihei on the south shore of Maui is a popular spot for vacation rentals, with many options available within walking distance to beaches and restaurants. Other great areas include Lahaina on the west coast and Paia on the north shore.

📍Best location for vacation rentals in Oahu -If you’re planning a trip to Oahu, the beach town of Kailua is one of the best locations for vacation rentals. It offers a quieter and more laid-back atmosphere compared to popular tourist areas like Waikiki, but still has beautiful beaches and easy access to attractions.

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