Image: Waikiki, in Honolulu, Hawaii
Lucy Pemoni  /  AP
Book one of these early-bird specials for three Hawaii sailings at discounts as high as 49 percent.
updated 6/30/2008 9:58:35 AM ET 2008-06-30T13:58:35

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Various through spring 2009

The deal
Surrounded by thousands of miles of ocean, it only makes sense to see Hawaii the way ancient Polynesian voyagers did — from the sea. These pearls of the Pacific are packed with breathtaking natural wonders but they’re also a pricey cruise destination. So we recommend booking one of the early-bird specials we scoured, for three Aloha State sailings. Discounts run as high as 49 percent and prices drop to as low as $1,199.

Circle Hawaii cruise aboard HL Zaandam
For the best savings and the most epic Hawaiian odyssey, you can’t do better than the terrific bargain by CruisesOnly. A 15-night Hawaii voyage with Holland America next fall sells for just $1,499 in an interior cabin. At this price, discounted by 32 percent off rack rates, the upscale Zaandam hits high seas round trip from San Diego on November 22. En route, you’ll take in five of Hawaii’s most stunning spots — Hilo, Honolulu, Nawiliwili (Kauai), Lahaina (Maui) and Kailua-Kona — as well as Ensenada, Mexico on the way back to California. Eight entire days at sea are also covered in the itinerary. Oceanview staterooms are also reduced in price to just $1,699!

Aloha voyage on Pride of America
We also spotted a fantastic early-bird special by Orbitz, at a price that’s as simply unbeatable. A seven-night Hawaii sailing in December 2009 sells at half-price! Interior cabins on this weeklong journey aboard Norwegian’s Pride of America now go for $1,199; oceanview units sell for $100 more. The regular price of this odyssey is $2,049, which means you’ll save 41 percent. The ship departs round trip from Honolulu, along the way calling at Kahului on Maui; Hilo and Kailua-Kona on Hawaii; and two days in Nawiliwili on Kauai. You’ll sail aboard Pride of America, described by CruiseCritic.com as “a unique ship specially designed for Hawaii”. 

Hawaii odyssey aboard Carnival Spirit
For a fun-filled Hawaii sailing aboard Carnival Spirit in April 2009, we recommend the Vacation Outlet special we screened. This 12-night voyage has been reduced in price by 49 percent, to just $1,299 in an oceanview cabin! This cruise departs from Honolulu toward Canada’s West Coast city of Vancouver, en route taking in five Hawaiian beauty spots. Those include Kauai’s Nawiliwili; Kahului and Lahaina on Maui; and Hilo and Kailua-Kona on Hawaii. Five entire days at sea are covered, too. Balconied cabins are also on sale with this early-bird special, for just $1,499!

The dollars
The rates above are listed per person, based on double occupancy. The cost covers onboard accommodations, meals and entertainment, as well as port charges. You’ll just have to dish out extra for government taxes and fees.

The catch
Airfare to Hawaii is pretty pricey year-round so you’d be wise to book soon.

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Photos: Hawaiian paradise

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  1. Waimea Canyon, Kauai

    Kalalau Valley, on Kauai's west side, is more than 3,000 feet deep and provides stunning panoramic views. Waimea is nicknamed "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific." (John Borthwick / Lonely Planet) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Honolulu, Hawaii

    Men row their Hawaiian outrigger canoe towards Waikiki beach, with Diamond Head in the background. Outrigger canoes are now used for recreation purposes and to ride the waves, but in times past they were the main means of transportation between the Hawaiian Islands. (Mike Nelson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. The tranquil waters of Oahu

    Hanauma Bay is one of the finest stretches of beach in the world. (Eric L Wheater / Lonely Planet) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Surfer's paradise

    Australian Luke Egan competes on Oahu's North Shore, one of the best places in Hawaii to ride the big waves. (AFP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Water colors

    A school of manini fish pass over a coral reef at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Donald Miralle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Wailua Falls

    The beautiful 83-foot tiered Wailua Falls is an easily accessible, must-see waterfall on the island of Kauai. Wailua Falls was first made famous when it was featured in the television show, "Fantasy Island." (James Randklev / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Emerald peaks

    The iconic, towering emerald peaks of the 1,200-foot Iao Needle, stand out in Maui's Iao Valley State Park. (Adina Tovy Amsel / Lonely Planet) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Historic reminder

    The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, marks the resting place of many of the battleship's 1,177 crew members who lost their lives during the Attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 by the Japanese. The memorial is the "ground zero" of World War II. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Aloha!

    Hula dancers welcome the sailing crew of a Hokule'a, a canoe, into Kailua Bay. (Ronen Zilberman / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. The heart of Hawaii

    The sun sets on Honolulu, Oahu's capital and Hawaii's largest, most populous city. (Robert Y. Ono / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Polynesian heat

    Brandon OFueo Maneafaiga, 23, of Waianae, Hawaii balances two flaming knifes during the 13th Annual World Fireknife Championship at the Polynesian Cultural Centre in Laie, Hawaii. (Lucy Pemoni / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Explosive attraction

    People watch from a viewing area as an explosion takes place on Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, in Pahoa, Hawaii. Legend says the volcano goddess Pele dug fire pits as she traveled from island to island looking for a home with her brothers and sisters. She finally settled at Kilauea's summit, where she lives at Halemaumau crater. (Leigh Hilbert / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Forces of nature

    The Dragon's Teeth are bizarre lava formations eroded by wind and salt spray at Makalua-puna Point. (Karl Lehmann / Lonely Planet) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Heaven on Earth

    Astronomy observatories are seen on the peak of the snow-covered, Mauna Kea mountain near Hilo, Hawaii. Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano. (Tim Wright / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. On the way to Sainthood

    Tourists walk through a cemetery past the grave, left, of Father Damien at Kalawao, Hawaii. After cancer patient Audrey Toguchi prayed to Father Damien, known for helping leprosy patients in Hawaii, to help her, and her cancer went away, Pope Benedict XVI approved the case in July 2008 as Damien's second miracle, opening the way for the 19th century Belgian priest to be declared a saint. (Eric Risberg / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Cool colors

    Rainbow eucalyptus (Mindanao Gum) trees grow in Keanae, Maui. Once a year, these magnificent trees shed their bark and take on the colors of the rainbow. (James Randklev / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Magic Sands

    An aerial view of La'aloa Beach Park or Magic Sands beach in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The beach is called Magic Sands because when rough surf hits, all of the sand is emptied off the beach and temporarily moved out to sea. (Brian Powers / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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