Holger Leue  /  Lonely Planet Images
Shellblower, Kohala Coast.
updated 9/5/2008 11:00:41 AM ET 2008-09-05T15:00:41

Book by: October 31, 2008
Travel by: Various dates through 2009

The deal
Hawaii is one of those destinations that’s breathtaking virtually year-round. Mix the allure of the islands’ natural beauty, indigenous culture and tropical climes with the perks of a cruise and you have a swoon-inducing vacation on your hands any time, any season. With no real calendar limitations, we scoped out good-value journeys to the picturesque 50th state with as much island time as possible. Our findings: Travel as soon as November or as far in the future as April and you can scoop up significant savings. Discounts on these sailings range from 39 percent to 60 percent, while prices start at $1,149.

Early-bird discount of 52 percent with Carnival
If you can sail in the spring, you may be able to pocket savings of more than half on a 12-night westbound cruise from Carnival. Departing Ensenada, Mexico, on April 12 aboard the Carnival Spirit, you’ll have five opportunities to see stunning sunsets as the ship make its way across the Pacific Ocean. The first stop: Hilo, Hawaii, followed by two ports of call on Maui: Kahuliu and Lahaina. Looping back to the Big Island, the ship spends a day in Kailua-Kona before moving on to Nawiliwili, Kauai. You’ll have two days in Honolulu, Oahu — the final destination. Reflecting price reductions of 52 percent, interior staterooms cost $1,149 and up, with oceanview rooms just $60 more. Cabins with a balcony run from $1,549.

Seven nights, Hawaii only, from $1,249
Norwegian Cruise Line has two 2009 sailings from Honolulu reduced by as much as 39 percent. Choose between the February 7 and April 18 departures for interior rooms priced from $1,249 and discounts up to $800. Balcony units on both trips start at only $1,799 — that’s $250 less than rack rates on inside cabins. The itinerary for the seven-night round-trip excursion aboard the Pride of America details one day each in Hilo and Kailua-Kona, both on the island of Hawaii. In between, there is also a two-day stop in Kahului, Maui. Nawiliwili on Kauai is the last port of call. You’ll have a day and a half there before the ship makes its way back to Oahu.

Save 60 percent on a 15-day round-trip sailing
For a Thanksgiving cruise this year, take the Zandaam to the South Pacific from San Diego. The 15-day Holland America Line sail provides ample time to luxuriate at sea before island hopping in Hawaii. Hilo is the first port of call, followed by Honolulu, Port Allen (Nawiliwili), Lahaina and Kailua-Kona. You’ll have another four days cruising the Pacific before an evening in Ensenada, Mexico, and a morning return to San Diego the next day. Rates on interior staterooms, normally priced from $3,219, have been slashed 60 percent. You pay $1299! Discounts can be found across the board on the November 22 odyssey: Oceanview cabins are going for $1,499 and up, and balcony rooms are priced from $2,799.

The dollars
All quotes are per person and based on double occupancy. Rates cover accommodations, meals and entertainment on the ship. Fees and taxes, as well as shore excursions, personal expenses, alcoholic beverages and tips are additional.

The catch
Grass skirts not included.

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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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