Top Activities in Oahu on a Hawaii Cruise
There’s a lot more to do on Oahu than lie around on Waikiki Beach, go shopping in Honolulu’s malls, or attend a luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center – not that there’s anything wrong with those. But if you’re in the mood for some real adventure during your Hawaii cruise, you can find it easily on Hawaii’s most populated island – and sometimes just a short distance from Waikiki.
Here are our top five adventure activities on Oahu that can get your adrenaline pumping before, after or during your Hawaii cruise:
Surfing: Hawaii and surfing go together like fish and poi (of, if you prefer, fish and pineapple). Hawaii Surf Guru gives daily lessons — at Ala Moana near Waikiki — for all levels, beginners to advanced. Highly advanced surfers can head to Oahu’s North Shore, where, especially in winter, monster waves draw champion boarders to beaches like legendary Waimea Bay. Just watching them hang ten is an adventure in itself!
Shark Diving: Ever dreamed about diving with sharks (except maybe in your nightmares)? With North Shore Shark Adventures of Haleiwa you can dive with sharks while safely secured within an underwater metal cage. (You’re safely secured, that is; the sharks are swarming around outside the cage.) The 20-minute shark encounters – which commonly include up to 15-foot-long gray reef sharks, sandbar sharks, and hammerheads swimming within inches of you and your snorkel mask — take place about three miles off the island’s North Shore. If you have an underwater camera, bring it. And if you get out to sea and change your mind about entering the shark cage, you can still watch from the boat, and sleep peacefully that night.
Ziplining: On Oahu’s first ziplining tour, at Keana Farms near the island’s North Shore, you can enjoy high-up views of a working tropical farm along with lush mountains and beaches in the distance — and get a rush in the process. The site has seven dual ziplines, so you can zip down from a mountain and over trees and fields with another family member or companion. The entire tour takes about three hours.
Horseback riding: Beaches are great for sunning, swimming and beachcombing, of course, but for a bit more action you can also ride horses along the surf. A prime spot for riding along Oahu’s North Shore is at Turtle Bay Resort, where you’ll find 12 miles of oceanfront trails. (Watch for the resort’s landmark banyan tree where a scene from “Pirates of the Caribbean” was filmed.) You can either join a relaxed-pace group tour or, if breaking into a trot or cantor is more your speed, set your own pace with a private ride.
Hiking: Not far from downtown Honolulu, you can take two demanding hikes up the craters of extinct volcanoes: Diamond Head and Koko Head Crater. To climb Diamond Head, take Kalakaua Avenue east from Waikiki, turn left at Monsarrat Avenue, and drive a mile up the hill. A tunnel leads to the inside of the crater and the trailhead. The trail is just ¾ of a mile long, but is steep and rocky at times. The reward is 360-degree views of surf, sand and palms from Waikiki all the way down to Koko Head. Reaching the 1,200-foot summit of Koko Crater is even more strenuous — the Koko Crater Trail climbs 1,000 feet over steep, uneven railway steps – but the views at the top are unmatched. Follow the Kalanianaole Highway to Koko Head Park Road in the Hawaii Kai area of east Oahu, and try to go early before the sun gets too high — but prepare to work up a sweat whenever you go. Carry lots of water on both hikes.
To book your cruise to Hawaii and take advantage of all the islands have to offer, call our expert travel advisors today at 1- (888)-804-CRUIse(2784)., visit us at www.CruiseExperts.com or email us at info@CruiseExperts.com to find out the best deals for Hawaii.
Kimberly Wheeler joined the team at CruiseExperts.com in September 2014. Her role as a Social Media Marketer is to pass on the expertise of the agency to help travelers understand the world of cruising through blogging. Kimberly has an extensive background in Public Relations and Marketing and a passion for engaging the public. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and Journalism with an option in Public Relations from Fresno State University in May 2014.