Cruise Industry Update: Enhancing Access to the Hawaiian Islands by Sea
Hawaii’s cruise industry provides visitors with an alternate way to see and experience the Hawaiian Islands. In 2014, there were 125 total cruise ships carrying 243,390 passengers that came to and toured the islands.
“Cruise ships provide visitors with a unique and comprehensive way to see the Hawaiian Islands, and experience the beauty of our natural environment on land and at sea,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “Coupled with the recent launch of the maritime vessel scheduling system and our new cruise development consultant that we hope to bring on in the coming months, we hope to better understand the benefits and the potential of the market.”
To attract more visitors and provide greater opportunity to visit the islands, the State Department of Transportation (DOT) Harbors Division and State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, created an online maritime vessel scheduling system. The system integrates the two state departments’ ports schedules into a single online system. This will provide greater ease for cruise lines to port in the Hawaiian Islands and provide a boost to Hawaii’s cruise industry.
In addition, the HTA will be selecting a cruise development services contractor in the coming months. The decision to hire a cruise consultant is to ensure that there is managed visitor distribution to all islands and to better understand the viability of the market.