How to Travel Between the Islands of Hawaii

How to Travel Between the Islands of Hawaii
Intrepid adventure travelers know that Hawaii offers some of the most spectacular outdoor activities in the world. But since Hawaii is actually an island chain of seven islands, with some of the most pristine locations located on the smaller and remote islands, it can be confusing to try to figure out how to travel between the islands of Hawaii once you are there. Fortunately, there are two major airlines and several smaller charter ones that offer inter island flights as well a couple of ferries that can easily transport you over the sparkling Pacific waters to the Hawaiian island destination of your choice.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Flying Between Hawaiian Islands

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hawaii guidebook Ferry schedule Flight schedule
  • Hawaii guidebook
  • Ferry schedule
  • Flight schedule
Step 1
Fly in style and comfort on a major airline. The two major Hawaiian airlines are Hawaiian Airlines and Go! Airlines. Hawaiian Airlines offers flights between the international airports of Kaua'i, O'ahu, Maui and the big island of Hawaii as well as flying to and from the mainland. Go! Airlines has its hub in Honolulu where it offers flights to Kona, Lihu'e, Hilo and Kahului as well as express flights to smaller destinations such as Ho'olehua and Moloka'i. Hawaiian Airlines allows you to book a multiple destination trip before you travel to save money while Go! Airlines offers very cheap one way fares for inter-island travel giving you greater flexibility once you are there.
Step 2
Book a charter flight. Pacific Wings, Mokulele Airlines and Island Air all allow you to book a charter flight between islands or to remote destinations on islands when you are ready to fly. Pacific Wings offers small plane flights between six of the seven islands. Island Air offers flights to many smaller destinations from its bases in Honolulu and Kahului. Mokulele Airlines has great deals on one-way fares from some of the larger destinations on the major islands.
Step 3
Use a travel agent. If you plan to take many different flights to multiple destinations that require using more than one airline, a travel agent may be able to save you money by brokering a deal with the airlines involved.

Take the Ferry Between Islands

Step 1
Take the Molokai ferry. The Molokai ferry travels twice daily between the Lahaina Harbor in Maui and Kaunakakai Harbor in Molokai. The trip takes about an hour and a half and costs around $50 for adults. There are several tour options available and car rentals are also available at both ends of the ferry service.
Step 2
Take the Maui-Lana'i ferry. The Maui-Lana'i ferry departs five times a day from Lahaina in Maui and takes you to the pristine island of Lana'i. The fare is $30 per adult each way but there are many add-on options including overnight stays on Lana'i, car rentals and recreation packages.
Step 3
Take the Superferry. The Hawaii Superferry plans to travel between all the Hawaiian islands, but its status is in limbo due to legal issues and it may or may not be in operation in the future.

Tips & Warnings

A good guidebook to Hawaii should outline all of these travel options between islands and will save you lots of time and money.

Article Written By Ocean Malandra

Based in San Francisco, Ocean Malandra is a travel writer, author and documentary filmmaker. He runs a major San Francisco travel website, is widely published in both online and print publications and has contributed to several travel guidebooks to South America.

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