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postheadericon Tropical Island Hopping - Hawaii Style

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Welcome to paradise for that is what the word 'Hawaii' means; and with a warm, sub-tropical climate, friendly outgoing people, some of the world's most wondrous scenery and those famous beautiful beaches, who are we to argue? The islands of Hawaii each have their own unique characteristics and the four main islands offer a world of contrasts. There are black lava desert plains, waterfalls, rainforest, the world's most active volcano, endless beaches and even snow-capped mountains.

The Hawaiian Islands are known for their breathtaking scenery and the hospitality of their people, as well their abundant marine life. Surfing and diving are popular pursuits, but you can kayak or bicycle tour the islands as well. With most high-density tourism activity located around Honolulu, on the island of Oahu (also home to the famed Waikiki beach resort), visitors looking for a more laid-back holiday usually head for one of the other islands.

The long awaited Superferry service has now started operation, so access to the outer islands is better than ever and cheaper. This high-speed, 866-passenger catamaran carries both people and vehicles between Oahu and Maui, and should begin services to Kauai in the near future.

You can drive aboard the Hawaii Superferry in your own car, relax in the lounges, watch TV and enjoy refreshments during the three-hour ocean voyage. Adult, advance purchase, midweek fares start at $44 one way (plus a fuel surcharge), while peak fares (Friday–Monday) start at $54. You can take your car for an extra $59.

The introduction of the Superferry has dramatically altered the fare structures for traveling within the Hawaiian Islands, forcing airlines, which have long dominated inter-island transportation, to slash their fares to meet their new competitors head to head. Of course airfares change regularly, but in recent months Hawaiian and Aloha airlines have been offering inter-island sale fares of $19 one way. These airlines also offer tour packages that allow you to see as many of the major islands in Hawaii that you have the time and resources to visit.

Cruise ships also run services to Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii (often called the big island to avoid confusion with the state of Hawaii), giving you a taste of the best each island has to offer.

A trip from Honolulu to Maui by Superferry takes about three hours, compared to about 40 minutes by plane. To secure cheap air and ferry fares, be sure to make your reservation early – at least two to three weeks in advance, or at least as soon as you know your travel dates. Also, flying on a weekday usually costs less than flying on Saturday or Sunday, and flights departing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday generally offer the lowest fares.

If you visit during the low season (January–May, September–November) you can save up to 20 per cent on fares. So whenever you travel to Hawaii, keep in mind the different options for inter-island travel and check the transportation companies well in advance for new services and special rates. Welcome to paradise!

Rod Ritchie, a travel writer and editor, writes for many publishers including AA Publishing and Fodors. Go America provide discount Hawaii flights as well as great deals on Hawaii hotels and car hire.

Article Source: Tropical Island Hopping - Hawaii Style

 
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