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Hawaii and her Islands

Written By:
Albert Garcia
September 23, 2015

Jack Lord may not be on many people’s most memorable actors lists. When you mention the iconic phrase: "Book him Danno", your first impressions will be the opening music; the typical canoe, Malia; and the famous surfing waves that opened the popular 1970’s TV police series.

These magnificent Islands were first documented by the Europeans in late 1770 by Captain James Cook, who also had an untimely death on his third expedition. Following many changes throughout the following two centuries, it eventually became a US state in 1959. The most memorable date in the island’s history is December 7th 1941, when the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour resulted in the USA being drawn into the World War 2.

Situated in the Pacific Ocean, between US West Coast and the Far East, the six main islands are unique and continue to grow. The most northern island in this archipelago, Kaua’I, is also the oldest. It is home to several waterfalls, endless parks and towering mountains.

Many Hollywood blockbusters have used this island for its breath-taking back-drops, with The Jurassic Park films, Pirates of the Caribbean and Raiders of the lost Ark to name a few. Due to the island’s mountain range and wind direction, it actually has two different weather climates. It has a decent vantage point for whale watching, with January to February being the best time to witness these spectacular mammals.

As we head south, the island of O’ahu, greets us. Being the most populated, it has been marked in world history. Just west of the capital, Honolulu, lays Pearl Harbour. In 2016, it will have been 75 years since the island was attacked by the Japanese Imperial Navy. With many War veterans too frail to attend this anniversary, it will no doubt be a poignant memorial year. Visiting the USS Arizona war memorial and the giant USS Missouri battleship are a must. The latter ship served the US Navy majestically during World War 2 and it is also where General MacArthur signed the surrender of the Japanese Army, which ended the war.

Three smaller islands await our journey: Moloka’i, Lana’i and Maui. All are different, yet offer incredible opportunities such as snorkelling, trekking and horse riding. The most southern island is Hawaii, which has evolved from a volcanic eruption to become the largest of the six islands and is still growing year upon year.

The island is served by two airports, whilst the centre is a cradle of mountains and volcanoes – of which, the highest standing is Maunakea at 13,796 feet. Five national parks also help shape this beautiful island and, with its Astronomy project, you may even get to visit some of the observatories looking into the stars on a clear night. Kilauea, one of the planet’s most active volcanoes, is also situated on the island. If you prefer the beach, Hapuna and Kauna’oa (voted the best beaches in the world) are nearby.

One of the most famous sights is the warm welcome that visitors receive by the people of Hawaii. A wreath of garlands is laid on all visitors, whilst the residents sway to the hula. This is followed by the unmistakable and world-known greeting "Aloha" (hello/greeting/goodbye). With only 13 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet, you will be sure to speak like a “Kama’aina” Hawaiian native by the time you leave!

Let’s not forget how you can enjoy these beautiful Islands. Many award winning hotels serve all budgets and offer prestige service. Cruises are available, but if you want to visit most of the islands and opt for an extra stay of say 5-7 days, the best all-round ship is NCL’s Pride of America - which serves voyages of 7 nights.

She is the only US registered cruise ship, which enables her to be stationed on the islands. She has the advantage of more overnight stays at the islands than the traditional 14 night itineraries from either Los Angeles or San Diego - bear in mind that 9 or 10 of those days will be at sea! Flying into Hawaii could not be easier! Comfortability, security and four movies later, you will have arrived in the jewels of the Pacific!

It is often argued which of the European nations first saw the islands, as the Spanish passed them on route to the Philippines from Mexico around the 16th century, but the king of the island is Kamehameha. There is a great story about the official statue, but this will be best received when you visit Honolulu.

As this is a US Territory, you will require a ESTA visa.

Mahalo and see you there.

Albert Garcia

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