Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) has been the first to announce that, for now, it will halt Maui as a port of call on Hawaii cruises. Before the Maui fire, Kahului was their first port of call after leaving Honolulu, and they stayed two days a week there, on Sunday and Monday. More cruise lines will be changing schedules soon following the devastation amidst the Maui fires.
Norwegian Cruise Line has begun notifying guests, initially for the next three Pride of America weekly Hawaii cruises, that modifications to the itinerary have become necessary. Their website has not been updated to reflect the change at the time of publication.
NCL decided to alter the itinerary of its own accord to relieve any unnecessary strain placed on Maui’s infrastructure so that a total focus on recovery operations can occur.
NCL replaces Maui with overnight on the Big Island at Hilo.
NCL said, “In an effort to alleviate the pressure on local resources, we have made the decision to replace our scheduled stop in Maui with an overnight stay in Hilo, Hawaii.”
The interim itinerary will also include more time on Kauai, according to NCL, that will “Provide an optimal opportunity to immerse in the splendor and natural allure of the Hawaiian Islands.”
Future changes for all Hawaii cruises remain unknown at this time.
The initial change will apply to Pride of Americas’ three upcoming cruises in August, which leave each successive Saturday from Honolulu. NCL is aware of the rapidly changing situation and is monitoring the Maui conditions for further changes, which we believe are highly likely. We’ll have more updates on this as we get more details.
Princess Cruises alters Hawaii cruise plans.
We have yet to see all of the Hawaii cruise industry changes, and our focus remains on more critical aspects of the fast-evolving situation on Maui. That having been said, Princess Cruises also announced it will alter its first Hawaii cruise itinerary. It will eliminate its scheduled call on Maui on Monday and will replace that with a stop on the Big Island at Kona.
Fragile Maui infrastructure is far from ready for cruises.
First responders on Maui are actively helping the island’s recovery from the wildfires, which is in its infancy phase. The lack of cruise ships will help to unload additional burdens on the failing infrastructure immediately.
With all of Maui’s resources already stretched too thin, the rerouting of cruise ships will let resources be directed to critical recovery efforts for the immediate future. The state continues to discourage visitors to Maui at this time.
The resumption of cruise itinerary stops on Maui may range from weeks to months. That will be determined based on the extent of the damage that is still just coming to light in relation to the availability of resources on the island.
Many cruise lines stop on Maui, and we expect numerous changes ahead.
For those Hawaii visitors with cruise plans between now and the end of 2023, please get in touch with your cruise line for potential changes.