Honolulu Cruise Port: Terminals and Guide

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Honolulu Cruise Port, also known as the Port of Honolulu, is situated in the heart of Hawaii’s picturesque capital city of Honolulu. Given its central location within the city, it is no wonder it is a port of call and departure for numerous cruise lines. 

We will take an in-depth look at the popular port. In doing so, we will explain everything cruise passengers need to know about the two terminals and the surrounding sights and attractions.

As we will discover, Honolulu and the cruise port that bears its name can act as the gateway to the stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture the Hawaiian Islands offer. 

From detailed explanations of port facilities to transportation options and nearby sights and attractions, it’s time to uncover all the details you need to know about the Honolulu Cruise Port.

Honolulu Cruise Port Location and Accessibility 

As mentioned, the Honolulu Cruise Port is conveniently located in central Honolulu, so there is no shortage of nearby accommodations for those booking cruises that depart from Hawaii. To add to the convenience fact, the city’s primary airport is located approximately 6 miles northwest of the cruise ship terminals. 

With major highways connecting Honolulu International Airport to the city, most cruise passengers can expect an average travel time of about 20 to 30 minutes by car. With that said, traffic can be an issue if you arrive during rush hour (3 PM to 6 PM local time).

Given the popularity of Hawaiian cruises, access to cruise port terminals from the airport is fairly simple and affordable. With taxis charging flat rates, lines for various rideshare services, and a well-marked shuttle providing dedicated transportation to cruise line terminals and local hotels, accessibility is impressive.

Honolulu Cruise Port
Honolulu Cruise Port (Photo Credit: Steve Bower)

Directions are straightforward for traveling to the port from parts of the city other than the airport. Major arteries, like Nimitz Highway and Ala Moana Boulevard, have clear signage that directs travelers to the Honolulu Port.

When traveling from the cruise port to Honolulu’s main hotel zones in Waikiki, Kahala, and Turtle Bay, various transportation shuttle operators make things easy. These same services can also drop passengers off at their cruise pier before departure.

Port of Honolulu Cruise Lines 

Given that Hawaii is such a popular vacation destination and departure point for cruises, the Honolulu Cruise Port is a busy hub for some of the most well-known cruise lines. The following prominent cruise lines, as well as others, make use of the port: 

  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Princess Cruises
  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Holland America Line
  • Celebrity Cruises 

With so many cruise lines using Honolulu Cruise Port, those booking Hawaiian cruise vacations will have plenty of itineraries, ships, and departure dates to choose from

Terminal Locations and Departure Information 

The Port of Honolulu features two dedicated cruise ship terminals. The primary cruise ship terminal where most ships will depart is located at Pier 2 (521 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu), located along the west side of Channel Street, just off Ala Moana Boulevard.

Cruise Ship Docked in Honolulu, Hawaii
Cruise Ship Docked in Honolulu, Hawaii (Photo Credit: SvetlanaSF)

The alternate cruise ship terminal, which tends to be used by some of the smaller cruise lines, is located at Pier 11 (23 Aloha Tower Drive, Honolulu), located on the north extension of Aloha Tower Drive. 

When navigating the port, you should always know where your cruise ship is departing from. You can keep an eye on the Honolulu Port Traffic Schedule, but you should always pay close attention to announcements from your respective cruise line by checking emails and app notifications. 

Terminal Facilities and Services 

Honolulu Cruise Port’s two cruise terminals feature modern and well-equipped facilities. With free public Wi-Fi, it is easy to watch boarding announcements from your cruise line app as you await departure. If you can’t access Wi-Fi at either of the piers, Aloha Marketplace also offers free Wi-Fi, and it is located near Pier 11. 

Cruise Ship at the Honolulu Cruise Terminal
Cruise Ship at the Honolulu Cruise Terminal (Photo Credit: Dennis MacDonald)

There are also ample long-term and short-term parking options and well-marked drop-off and pickup zones for those taking cabs and rideshare vehicles to and from the port. Both cruise terminals are also wheelchair accessible and feature ample bathroom facilities, ensuring a seamless experience for all cruise passengers. If you find yourself waiting, plenty of seating is available at both terminals.

Read Also: When is the Best Time to Cruise the Mexican Riviera?

If you are lucky enough to arrive or depart at the right time, you might even be treated to Hawaiian dancers and an offering of a traditional lei necklace! 

Weather Conditions and Seasonal Considerations

Now that you know a bit more about the cruise port in Honolulu, let’s explore some details about visiting Honolulu as part of a cruise vacation. 

As with any cruise, weather can vary from season to season, so it’s important to consider average temperatures and weather patterns if you plan to enjoy a cruise that will involve departing from or stopping at the Honolulu cruise terminals.

Princess Cruise Ship Docked in Honolulu, Hawaii
Photo Credit: Rattanapon Ninlapoom / Shutterstock

To make things easy, here are some of the main seasonal weather conditions you should be aware of when booking your trip:

Summer Season (June to August)

The summer months in Honolulu tend to be warm and relatively humid. Light to medium showers can be an issue when the humidity builds to a high enough level, but they also tend to be fairly brief.

When packing for Honolulu in the summer and Hawaii more generally, we recommend lightweight, breathable clothing. While you should be prepared for possible rain showers, you can check local weather forecasts to know if you should bring a rain jacket. 

Fall Season (September to November)

Fall in Honolulu brings pleasant weather. Slightly cooler temperatures and lower humidity make fall a comfortable time to explore the city and the surrounding attractions. If you are visiting during these months, plan outdoor adventures and recreational activities if you have the time to do so.

Winter Season (December to February)

As you’d expect, the winter months are cooler in Honolulu but still warm compared to most of continental America. While the air temperature is cooler, there is also less frequent rainfall in the winter, so you can usually get away with a light sweater or jacket.

Spring Season (March to May)

Milder temperatures and minimal rainfall make this an ideal time to explore the island’s natural beauty. It is also when most of Hawaii’s famed flora blooms, making it the perfect time of year to hike, see the sights, and take photographs. 

Nearby Amenities and Attractions

While the pleasant weather and natural beauty offered by Hawaii speak for themselves, one of the main highlights of visiting the Port of Honolulu is its proximity to some truly incredible attractions.

Cruise Port Area in Hawaii
Cruise Port Area in Hawaii (Photo Credit: Theodore Trimmer)

While some are within reasonable walking distance, others are just a short drive or shuttle ride away. From nearby pristine beaches to historic landmarks, here are just some of the highlights: 

Pearl Harbor and WWII Memorials

History buffs won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit one of the most iconic American Second World War II sites. Pearl Harbor is located just 8 miles away from Honolulu’s Pier 2 Cruise Ship Terminal, so it is very easy to visit. 

Beyond being a touching setting, Pearl Harbor is home to poignant memorials, like the USS Arizona Memorial and the Battleship USS Missouri Memorial, which acts as a well-preserved floating museum. 

Waikiki Beach

Just over 3 miles from the port, you can find the picturesque Waikiki Beach. With turquoise waters, gold sand, and a tropical backdrop, it’s the perfect place to take a beach stroll, soak up the sun, or take a swim. The tropical waters teem with marine life, so it’s ideal for snorkeling. You may even spot sea turtles and dolphins!

Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach (Photo Credit: bjlopez)

With plenty of opportunities to try out some surf lessons, as well as enjoy other water sports, there’s plenty to do along Waikiki Beach! 

Iolani Palace

For those looking for an attraction within walking distance, Iolani Palace is roughly 1 mile away in downtown Honolulu. The palace acts as a memorial to Hawaii’s royal family.

It also happens to be the only royal estate on American soil. Visitors can explore the historic interior, manicured gardens, and artifacts of Hawaii’s unique past. 

Polynesian Cultural Center

If you want to learn more about Hawaii’s rich culture and traditions, the Polynesian Cultural Center is on the other side of Oahu. While this means it’s roughly a 1-hour drive away, the immersive tribute to Hawaii’s Polynesian roots is well worth the visit.

Polynesian Cultural Center
Polynesian Cultural Center (Photo Credit: Scalia Media)

With authentic performances and plenty of interactive exhibits, it’s a must-see. If you have more time in Honolulu, the Polynesian Cultural Center even offers shuttle services from Waikiki! 

In addition to Waikiki Beach, the port is situated close to several other tourist-friendly beaches. 

Ala Moana Beach Park

This beach is located within walking distance of the cruise terminals. At a distance of just 1.8 miles from the port, this 100-acre beach park is easy to make time for. 

Kaimana Beach

The golden sands and shallow waters of Kaimana Beach are ideal for those looking to snorkel or try their hand at surfing lessons. It’s also a great place to kick back and relax. At a 3.5-mile distance from the cruise port, it’s possible to walk, but many will take an affordable taxi to save time.

Kaimana Beach
Kaimana Beach (Photo Credit: Eric Broder Van Dyke)

Hanauma Bay Beach

This beachfront also serves as a nature preserve and protected marine conservation area, offering views of a pristine Hawaiian landscape and marine ecosystem. It’s about 13 miles from the cruise ports, but worth a visit if you have the time. 

Nearby Dining and Shopping

No matter how much time you have in Honolulu, you need to sample the traditional Hawaiian dishes near the Honolulu Cruise Port. 


Thanks to its proximity to downtown Honolulu, the cruise port is close to plenty of restaurants and bars serving Hawaiian classics, like fresh seafood, poke bowls, smoothies, laulau, poi, and more! If you’re short on time, we recommend trying a few local sample dishes available from street food vendors.

Chinatown Near the Cruise Port
Chinatown Near the Cruise Port (Photo Credit: Page Light Studios)


There are also many shopping options just outside the cruise port. From upscale stores offering the latest designer goods to open-air markets offering local souvenirs, you’ll find precisely what you are looking for nearby.

Oahu Market, Fort Street Mall, and the Fort Street Open Market are all great options, but the top choice has to be Aloha Tower Marketplace, which is just 1 mile away from the cruise terminals. 

Excursion and Activity Options

Cruise passengers briefly visiting Honolulu Cruise Port may be interested in some of the many excursions and day activities available.

Water Sports

Given the tropical waters surrounding Honolulu, the area caters to those hoping to enjoy water sports. Snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, jet skiing, and more are all available as excursion offers through all major cruise lines.

Surfing in Honolulu
Surfing in Honolulu (Photo Credit: image_vulture)

Helicopter Tours

A helicopter tour is one of the best ways to take in Oahu’s stunning landscapes. View this beautiful island from above by checking if your cruise line is partnered with any local helicopter tour excursion providers.

Hiking and Beach Shuttles

For a tamer way to see Oahu, consider a guided hike through the scenic trails, or simply book a shuttle that will provide transportation to and from one of the area’s many beaches.

Beach Shuttles
Beach Shuttles (Photo Credit: Jeff Whyte)

Cultural Experiences

For those wanting to see what makes Hawaii so unique, consider a cultural excursion experience. Learn the hula dance, take ukulele lessons, or even book a Hawaiian cooking class. Local excursion providers offer all of these experiences and more. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Where do the cruise ships dock in Honolulu? 

Cruise ships typically dock at Honolulu Harbor along one of two piers. The port is located along the coast of downtown Honolulu and sits adjacent to Aloha Tower Marketplace, so it is in a prime location for those hoping to enjoy the city before boarding their cruise ship. 

How far is Waikiki Beach from the cruise terminal?

Waikiki Beach is located roughly 3 miles southeast of the main cruise terminals. This means you can expect an average travel time of about 10 to 15 minutes if you travel by taxi or shuttle. 

Is there a shuttle from Honolulu Airport to the cruise port? 

Yes, there are dedicated shuttle services from the airport to the cruise port, but most are tied to specific cruise lines. Check with your cruise line beforehand to see if transportation is provided. If not, there are plenty of taxis and rideshare services available to those looking to go directly from the airport to the Honolulu Cruise Port.

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