If there is one state in the United States of America that exemplifies the concept of relaxation, it is Hawaii. The famous tropical island state actually encompasses a multitude of islands (137 in total!) And the state takes its name from one of these islands, also known as the Big Island. Hawaii has always been a very popular cruise destination, not just for sunning and the sights, but because it offers something unique that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else in America: island hopping!

Hawaii Island Hopping Cruise
There are many organizations that offer cruises to and from Hawaii. And while they all offer wonderful experiences and a great way to relax, not all allow you to visit multiple islands, usually focusing on one or two. To go from island to island, what you’re looking for is a multi-day cruise that docks at several Hawaiian ports. A popular choice for tourists is the Norwegian Cruise Line, precisely because it offers just that. Rather than sticking to one particular island, they dock on multiple islands, allowing you to experience what makes each Hawaiian port city unique. Another option is UnCruise Adventures, which offers similar extended cruises. You want to plan at least a 14 day cruise so that you have enough time to really see each island. If you’ve planned well in advance, you could get away with an 8-10 day cruise, although you might run out of time.

137 islands ?! Which one do I choose?
Hawaii’s 137 Islands include all islands, including uninhabited ones. Only seven of the islands are inhabited, and most people live on the four largest: Hawaii, Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. Not surprisingly, these are also the most popular. Each island offers something unique, from Kauai’s spectacular natural sights to Hawaii’s green sand beach. You can easily spend an entire vacation on one island. Perhaps you would like to visit Pearl Harbor in Oahu? If you love to scuba dive Maui’s is the place to be because you can snorkel in Black Rock. Just be sure to read what each island has to offer. Tourists often find themselves overwhelmed by the large number of sites and activities, and you must remember that the cruise will not be waiting for you when it is time to disembark.

Going on a cruise in Hawaii? You need an ESTA
Most people who travel to America by plane know that you need a ESTA (Electronic Travel Authorization System) travel permit to board the aircraft. However, the same goes for arrivals by sea. Whether you arrive by plane or by boat, an ESTA is required to travel to the United States. Fortunately, the process of obtaining an ESTA is very short and straightforward. You fill in the ESTA online form, make payment and wait for it to be approved. An ESTA is not a physical document, so you don’t need to print it (in fact, you can’t). Once the ESTA is approved, it is digitally linked to your passport. To board the plane or cruise, you just need to present your passport.

When do i need a visa?
Travel visas are also a frequently used tool for traveling to America. This is because ESTA is not available to everyone. There are a number of things that can prevent you from applying for an ESTA, such as a criminal history or the wrong nationality. The ESTA form verifies this by asking a number of security questions. In general, if you are from the UK and you do not fail any of the security questions, you can apply for an ESTA, and you should do so because it is cheaper and easier to obtain compared to the visa. If, however, you cannot apply for an ESTA for some reason, you can always go to your local U.S. Embassy to follow the standard visa procedure. It costs more and can take weeks to months. Submit your visa application in advance to avoid not being able to travel


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