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Things to do in HAWAII before/after the group liveaboard

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 07:55 AM

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Its time to think about what to do before and after the group live aboard. Any ideas?


WOW...this trip is almost full and so its a great time to start thinking of what you all want to do before and/or after the trip. We will set up a private forum for these detailed discussions but in the meantime we can use this topic for you to start thinking and planning with other members as to what you want to do.




Getting There, Passports & Visa Documentation:
Guests will fly into the Kona International Airport (KOA) on Saturday.  Taxis are readily available at the curb in front of all baggage claim areas.  The KONA AGGRESSOR II® operates out of the downtown pier in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.  This is a 20-minute drive from the airport.
A few major airlines fly into Kona: American Airlines, United, Delta, Alaska Air, and Hawaiian Air. There are many direct flights from the US to Honolulu with connecting service to Kona. Recommended Hotels: Royal Kona Resort.

Visitors must have a current passport, adequate funds to support themselves, and a return airline ticket. It is the travelers' responsibility to ensure they have the proper visa to travel into each country on his or her itinerary as well as for re-entry and return to their country. Since regulations vary by country, contact your consulate or embassy of your country for the requirement.
The KONA AGGRESSOR II® will dock Saturday afternoon at the Kailua Pier at 5 pm to greet and board passengers.  After all guests are aboard the yacht departs for its night anchorage to prepare for Kona liveaboard scuba diving Sunday morning. After a full week of diving, the KONA AGGRESSOR II® returns back to Kailua-Kona Friday afternoon after lunch. Checkout is Saturday morning at 8 am. A crewmember will assist guests with taxi arrangements to the Kona Airport or a local hotel Saturday morning.

Friday afternoon, the KONA AGGRESSOR II® returns to Kailua-Kona Bay. Guests may spend the afternoon shopping, sight seeing or just relaxing onboard until the evening cocktail party hosted by the crew at 5 pm. After the party, everyone will dine at a local restaurant. This is the only meal not included in the charter. Saturday morning checkout is 8:00 am.


Flying to Hawaii: How to Choose the Right Airport

Posted by: Sheila Beal last updated on February 22, 2018


So you've picked the Hawaiian island that's perfect for you and now you must determine the logistics of getting there. Every first time visitor has faced the head scratching challenge of finding the right airport to begin their Hawaii vacation. This article will help you understand how to navigate with ease in Hawaii.

As you may have been researching airport options in the Hawaiian Islands, you may have noticed that some islands have multiple airports. Though some islands may have a small regional airport that appears to be more convenient on paper, I recommend you opt to fly into the major airport of each island and here's why:

  • There's many more flights and airlines servicing the major airports which provide you with more options to suit your time schedule.
  • Larger planes fly into the major island airports, with the exceptions of the two smallest islands — Lanai and Molokai. That means that you are less likely to fly on a propeller-type aircraft.
  • There are significantly more car rental companies and rental car inventories at the major airports.
  • The major airports are all within an easy driving distance (less than an hour) from all the major resort hotel areas.

Let's take an island by island look at the major airports and special flight considerations.

Oahu's major airport is in Honolulu with the airport code of HNL. It's by far Hawaii's largest airport and hub.

Most transpacific flights fly into Oahu. As you research flights from your home airport, you'll likely discover that almost all your options require you to fly into Oahu first. From Oahu's HNL, you can easily connect to any other island in Hawaii. Inter-island flights to the neighboring islands from Oahu are short – generally around 30 minutes or less.

Maui's major airport is in Kahului with the airport code of OGG. There are a few flights from the US Mainland that fly directly into OGG. If you can take one of those flights, that would certainly be convenient. If not, you'll probably have to connect in Oahu's Honolulu (HNL) airport.

The only circumstance where you might want to consider flying into another Maui airport is if you plan on making secluded Hana (HNM) your Maui vacation base.

You may notice there's an airport in Kapalua that appears to be convenient to West Maui resorts, however, for the reasons mentioned above, I still recommend you fly into Kahului (OGG). Kapalua is a small regional airport.

Kauai's major airport is centrally located in East Kauai in Lihue with the airport code of LIH. There are a limited number of flights from the US Mainland that fly directly to Kauai, but most visitors connect in Oahu's Honolulu (HNL) airport.

BIG ISLAND (West Kona Side)
Most folks coming to the Big Island for a vacation tend to stay on the west side of Hawaii's Big Island in Kailua-Kona, Keauhou, and the Kohala Coast. That's the "beachier" side of Hawaii Island. The major airport on this side of the island is north of Kona in Keahole with the code of KOA.

Just like Maui and Kauai, there are a limited number of flights that arrive directly into Kona (KOA) from the mainland, but connecting in Oahu's Honolulu (HNL) airport is easily done.

BIG ISLAND (East Hilo Side)
Though the west side of Hawaii's Big Island is home to the beautiful beach resort hotels, the east side does have its attractions, namely Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the active volcano, Kilauea. For first time Big Island visitors with a week or more vacation, I recommend you fly into the east side airport of Hilo with the code of ITO to begin your vacation exploring the volcano wonders. Then drive over to the West side for your beach vacation. See more on where to stay on Hawaii's Big Island.

Just like Maui and Kauai, there are a limited number of flights that arrive directly into Hilo (ITO) from the mainland, but connecting in Oahu's Honolulu (HNL) airport is easily done.

major airport is near Lanai City with the airport code of LNY. To fly into Lanai, you must connect in Oahu's Honolulu (HNL) airport or at Maui's OGG airport.

Molokai's major airport is Kaunakakai in with the airport code of MKK. To fly to Molokai, you must connect in Oahu's Honolulu (HNL) airport or Maui's OGG airport. If you are visiting Kalaupapa National Historic Park, you will need to fly into Kalaupapa Airport with the code of LUP.


Hawaii Island Hopping: Guide to Booking Hawaii Inter-island Flights or Ferry

Posted by: Sheila Beal last updated on February 26, 2018


From our many trips to Hawaii, we've determined that island hopping around the Hawaiian Islands may not be as straightforward as you might think. In fact, navigating from island to island can sometimes be confusing. To help clear confusion, we've created this guide to inter-island travel. Though this guide was originally written in 2009, we keep it up to date as ferry and flight services come and go in the Hawaiian Islands.

Three things you need to know from the start

1. The predominate method of inter-island travel is by flying. Many people assume there's a network of ferries to transport you from island to island. That's not the case in Hawaii. Ferry service is only available between the islands of Maui and Lanai. To travel between all the other Hawaiian islands, you must fly. Let's look at frequently asked questions about how to travel between the four major Hawaiian Islands:

  • How do you travel between Oahu and Maui? You must fly. There is no passenger ferry service.
  • How do you travel between Oahu and the Big Island? You must fly. There is no passenger ferry service.
  • How do you travel between Oahu and Kauai? You must fly. There is no passenger ferry service.
  • How do you travel between Kauai and Maui? You must fly. There is no passenger ferry service.
  • How do you travel between Kauai and the Big Island? You must fly. There is no passenger ferry service.
  • How do you travel between Maui and the Big Island? You must fly. There is no passenger ferry service.

2. The vast majority of flights route through Oahu's (HNL) Honolulu Airport. A secondary hub within Hawaii is Maui's OGG airport. As you island hop, you'll discover that some islands have more than one airport. How do you know which airport to choose? Check out our guide, Flying to Hawaii – How to Choose the Right Airport. With Oahu's Honolulu Airport being the major hub of Hawaii, all the other islands are often referred to as "neighboring islands".

3. If you want to travel from neighboring island to neighboring island, most of the flights will connect in HNL. As Maui's OGG airport has become a secondary hub, some flights will connect through Maui, but not as many as Honolulu. With a limited number of direct flights between neighboring islands, we recommend that you search for direct flights when they are available as they can save you hours of needless transit and connection time that you could be spending on a beach.

So, as you are searching for inter-island flights between say Kauai (LIH) and the Big Island (either Kona's KOA or Hilo's ITO), for example, the vast majority of flights for that route include a connection in Honolulu (HNL).  In that example, if you aren't careful in selecting your flights, you can end up spending upwards of six hours in transit for what should be about an hour-long flight if it was direct. If a direct flight is not available, then be careful to choose a connecting flight that minimizes the connection time.

Here, we want to provide you with the resources you need to find inter-island travel providers. We'll start out looking at the air options.


Inter-island Travel by Air

Here are all the inter-island air carriers along with a few notes including some of the local background. (Note that you can visit these airlines websites directly to determine their current deals, flight maps, schedules and much more information.)

Hawaiian Airlinesblocked.gif
This airline is most established and has the largest inter-island fleet of all jet engines. They fly to all the major islands. Hawaiian Airlinesblocked.gif is our preferred airline for inter-island flights. From our experiences, their inter-island aircraft is significantly larger (e.g. jets), roomier, more stable and cleaner than the others. As another benefit, they usually provide free maps to your destination island, too.

'Ohana by Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines offers flights to Lanai and Molokai from Honolulu. See the Hawaiian Airlines route map for more details and sites serviced. Their new turboprop planes seat 48 passengers. We have flown with them and really liked their new planes and friendly service.

Mokulele Airlines
This very small airline flies to Oahu, Maui, Molokai, and Hawaii's Big Island. Mokulele flies with nine-passenger Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft. We have flown several times on Mokulele. Their flights normally leave from the commuter terminals which are much less stressful than the main terminals.

Makani Kai Air
This small airline offer flights to and from Oahu, Maui and Molokai — including flights to the remote Molokai peninsula of Kalaupapa. They also offer charter service. They fly nine-passenger Cessna Grand Caravan turboprop planes.

*** General Advice For Finding the Cheapest and Shortest Flights ***

When you are looking for an inter-island flight, it's best to explore all your options. Check fares and schedules directly on each of the above airlines. It should be a relatively easy search. As you search, be sure to look for non-stop flights to get to your destination in the shortest amount of time.

How much are inter-island flights in Hawaii? On average, they cost about $150 roundtrip.

Mokulele Airlines will often offer flash sales which they post on their deals page. Their deals are usually the cheapest flights you can find for Hawaiian island hopping.

Inter-island Travel by Ferry

Over the years we've see ferry services in Hawaii come and go. Currently, there is only one ferry service in operation. It runs between Lanai and Maui only. Here is the list of current Hawaii ferry service options.

Maui-Lanai Expeditions
This passenger ferry offers ferry service from Lahaina on Maui to Lanai at Manele Bay. In addition to the ferry service, you can purchase Lanai tour packages with this ferry service.

Notes: We have made numerous changes to this article as we are made aware of them. Service, routes, type of aircraft, etc. are all subject to change without notice.

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