Cruise ships coming in and out of Kona are a great reminder of how great a place Kona is which is why I was curious about the schedule for the rest of 2019. Here’s how I look at it. Everything, eventually becomes normal. The amazing weather in Kona is something we start to take for granted. The ocean views start to fade in the background (gasp!).
For years we lived in Colorado which has some pretty amazing views, sunsets and things to do. But after living there for a while it was just “normal”. People would visit and be in awe of the majestic Rocky Mountains. And we just took it for granted. We don’t want that to happen here in Kona and one thing we have going for us is that our views are always changing (something that wasn’t as much the case in Colorado). For me the trigger to remind myself to be grateful are the cruise ships coming in and out of Kona.
Here's the schedule cruise ship schedule for Kona for the remainder of 2019:
Which Cruise Lines Cruise to Kona, Hawaii?
As I look out at the ocean from my lanai as the sun starts to set I frequently see a cruise ship sailing off leaving this beautiful place. That is my trigger. The trigger to take notice that people…from all over the world…spend thousands of dollars, taking time off of work to visit Kona. The place I call home! How lucky are we!?
So as I sit, watching the cruise ships leave the island I am left wondering which cruise lines visit Kona.
With a bit of Excel magic I was able to figure that out pretty quickly. Here’s what I found out.
The cruise lines that cruise to Kona, Hawaii include:
- Norwegian Cruise Line: 53 visits in 2019
- Holland America Line: 8 visits in 2019
- Celebrity Cruises: 7 visits in 2019
- Carnival Cruise Line: 5 visits in 2019
- Royal Caribbean Cruises: 4 visits in 2019
- Princess Cruises: 2 visits in 2019
- Crystal Cruises: 1 visit in 2019
- TOTAL: 80 cruise ships will visit Kona in 2019
Clearly Norwegian Cruise Line is the most popular cruise line to visit Kona with over 6X more visits than the next closest cruise line. Which is no wonder they were voted the Best Hawaii Cruise Itinerary. They have two ships that sail to Kona with the overwhelming majority being the Pride of America with the Norwegian Jewel visiting just once.
What Day of the Week do Cruise Ships Arrive at Kona Pier?
One of the other things I started to notice is the day of the week cruise ships seem to arrive. Now, let me be clear I don’t normally see them arrive although sometimes I do catch them if I am up early enough and hanging out on the lanai (more on that in a minute).
Over time, and through conversations with others who have lived here much longer I found out that Wednesdays are the days for cruise ships.
Here are the days of the week that cruise ships arrive in Kona:
- Sunday: 2 times in 2019
- Monday: 4 times in 2019
- Tuesday: 4 times in 2019
- Wednesday: 53 times in 2019
- Thursday: 6 times in 2019
- Friday: 4 times in 2019
- Saturday: 7 times in 2019
Again, there is a clear day of the week when cruises arrive in Kona with 53 Wednesdays. I was wondering if there was a cruise ship there every week so I decided to check and see how many Wednesdays there were in 2019. Just 52…so how were there 53 Wednesdays with a cruise ship in port? Because on February 13 there were two ships in port at the same time! This actually happens 3 times throughout the year.
There are two ships in Kona at the same time on these dates:
- February 13, 2019
- April 22, 2019
- September 19, 2019
Those Excel skills are coming in handy, aren’t they!!
What Time do Cruise Ships Arrive and Leave Kona?
Most of the time when I see a cruise ship headed out it is around sunset. Which, when I thought about it, made sense. Sunsets are normally around the 7:00 hour when people would be sitting down to dinner and would enjoy a nice sunset cruise. Once again, I turned to Excel and found out for sure.
78 out of the 80 cruise ships leave the Kona, Hawaii port between 5:00 and 6:00 PM.
Only 2 times does a cruise ship leave at 8:00. When Celebrity Cruises comes to Kona with their ship the Celebrity Solstice they leave port at 8:00 PM.
Arrival times are also very consistent with all the ships arriving between 7:00 and 9:00 AM (just 6 arrive at 9:00 AM).
Where is the Port for Cruise Ships in Kona?
Cruise ships port in Kailua Bay and tender to shore to the Kailua Pier at the end of Ali’i drive right in the hub of Kona Town.
There are quite a few things to do for cruise-goers right near the pier. There are a whole bunch of restaurants, gift shops, and landmarks to check out.
For those that want a bit of adventure there are plenty of tours that will gladly pick you up right from the pier.
Here are a few of the most popular tours for cruisers to check out while in Kailua-Kona:
- Dolphin Swim
- Mauna Kea Summit
- Volcanoes National Park
- Waipio Valley
- Zip Line
Whether you are a visitor on one of the cruise ships wishing you could stay longer or you love Calling Kona Home the departing cruise ships are a great reminder of how lucky we all are. That we have the opportunity to spend time in one of the most majestic spots on this planet. Kona, Hawaii is a pretty amazing place!