Hawaii Ferry Inter-Island Ferries in Hawaii

Q: Does Hawaii Have an Inter-island Ferry?

last update December 2012: Bad News! The ferry has been “thrown out” of Hawaii by the courts!

There is no more superferry! Maybe someday it will come back. I never got to utilize it. There is currently NO inter-island ferry that goes between the islands!

You can fly, or between Maui and Lanai or Molokai you may be able to take a boat. and that’s it. Here’s more info: Getting around Hawaii – Hawaii Interisland Flights

All the info below the line is what was true when the ferry was here – it is not true as of December 2010


NO LONGER TRUE .. NO MORE FERRY! For more info on its demise, read the article in the nytimes

A: Kind of! – the Hawaii Superferry is currently offering service to Maui from Honolulu and back only (the website is even down now)

Update – January 2008 Well, the ferry came and made it’s first voyage from Honolulu to Kauai and a bunch of people in Kauai decided they didn’t want it, so they got in the water on their surfboards and blocked the ferry from entering the harbor – so the coast guard had to step in escort the ferry – then a judge on Maui said the ferry couldn’t go there anymore because no Environmnetal Impact statement was ever done – so for months the people and the legislature haraunged each other about this ferry and it just sat. Then, the Governor did something that said by law the ferry could start operating again while the EIS was being done .. but only to Maui. So that’s where we are now. The ferry is going to Maui only. The current fees look to be as low as $49 one-way – compared to $69 one-way lowest availble on interisland airlines.

Currently, to get to other islands EXCEPT HONOLULU TO MAUI, you must take an inter island flight on one of the Hawaii Airlines.

There are two exceptions – normally you can find a charter or tour boat to Lanai and Molokai from the island of Maui – all the other channels between the islands are too far and too rough for ordinary boats.

This is where the superferry comes in. Personally, I plan to never fly again once it is operating. The best things about it will be the fact that cars will be able to go on the ferries (I wonder if car rental will become like snorkel rental – pick up on one island, drop off on another?) and the entertainment for the kids.

The ferries in Hawaii will take at least three times as long as air travel, so if you will only be spending one day on another island it may not be worth it to take the ferry, but otherwise it sounds great. And actually, if the lines and traffic at the airports get any worse, the ferry may be the best option in all circumstances.

I want to pick up a car in Honolulu use it three days and then takie it on the ferry to Maui one way for a 3-4 day stay. Is it being done and if so what car rental company? I would fly from Maui to the Big Island to complete our trip.

You can take it on the ferry, but if you leave it, it will cost you a $400 drop fee. ouch! It appears that is everyone’s policy at this time.

Traveling between Oahu and Maui

Getting from Oahu to Kauai

Everything about Hawaii InterIsland Flights

Summary: In my opinion, the best way to get between the islands is Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaii Inter Island Flights – Flight Times, Prices

One of the most frequently asked questions in my forum is “Are there any boat ferries between islands as an alternative to flying” – and the answer is “No … except for between Maui and Molokai or Lanai”

The Hawaii Superferry came and left – there is no superferry anymore. There is a ferry between Maui and Molokai or Lanai – links below.

With a few exceptions, flying is the only way to get from one island to another.

Flight times generally take under one hour, with the longest one being the Big Island to Kauai; this flight will

take almost an hour and a half.

Flight Prices

The airlines available to fly between islands are two major ones and a few smaller ones. The major airlines are: Hawaiian Airlines and Go Airlines. Aloha used to be in there too but because of Go! they went out of business. In my opinion, there is little difference between the two – book the one that fits your needs most. They have similar costs and schedules and service.

Booking online is the best method of getting a good deal on cheap airline tickets ($61 one way is the best regular price you will usually see, but you have to get these early). Sometimes there are sales though.

Historically, flights used to cost about $180 for visitors for most flights, but Interisland flight coupons were available, and Aloha Airlines had an unlimited 7 day pass for $321. However, neither of these is available anymore.

How Can I Get Cheap InterIsland Flights?

Well, unfortunately, you may find this quite hard. The best prices are found early and online. I like Hawaiian Airlines but if you are flying from Kauai to Maui you may get the best prices with Go! Airlines. You can also check Mokulele and see if there is anything there.

Expect to pay at least $61 one way. If you see anything less than this, it’s a sale, jump on it! If you wait too late (prices go up as seats sell out) or try to fly on Holidays or during busy times, you may pay quite a bit one way.

These days if you can get the $61 price from Oahu or any of the islands to Maui, the Big Island, or Kauai, then you are doing good.

Also check Hawaiian’s partner program. Maybe you could at least get some miles

The major airports in Hawaii are:

  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL) – Oahu
  • Kona International Airport (KOA) – Big Island
  • Hilo International Airport (ITO) – Big Island
  • Lihue Airport (LIH) – Kauai
  • Kahului Airport – (OGG) – Maui

    but you can also fly into:

  • Hana Airport (HNM) – Maui
  • Kalaupapa Airport (LUP) – Molokai
  • Molokai Airport (MKK) – Molokai
  • Lanai Airport (LNY) – Lanai
  • Kapalua Airport (JHM) – Maui
  • Port Allen Airport (PAK) – Kauai(some of these latter airports only support the small propeller planes, so find out beforehand and be prepared)

    More Flight times

  • Honolulu to Kahului (Maui): 35 minutes
  • Honolulu to Lihu’e (Kauai): 35 minutes
  • Honolulu to Ho’olehua (Molokai): 20 minutes
  • Honolulu to Lana’i City (Lanai): 23 minutes
  • Honolulu to Kapalua (Maui): 30 minutes
  • Honolulu to Hilo (Big Island): 45 minutes
  • Honolulu to Kona (Big Island): 40 minutesThe smaller charter airlines mostly service the neighbor islands for commuter flights, but are starting to try to expand to inter-island flights.
  • Pacific Wings
  • Mokulele Airlines(which is actually now part of Go!)
  • Island Air—- The alternatives to flying for inter-island travel —


    You can take a cruise between the islands, but you *cannot* get on for only one leg of the trip. You must take the entire cruise.


  • The Molokai Ferry

    Offering trips from Maui to Molokai

  • Lanai-Lahaina FerryThe above are the only two regular ferries between islands, the channels are just to far and rough for ferries between other islands to be feasible, especially when flights are so quick and relatively inexpensive
  • Hawaii Coupons and Discount Cards – HAWAII’S BEST

    I have lots of recommendations for Hawaii coupons and discount cards. You can look by island for what I think are the best available coupons, and also read this page for a general discussion.

    As you’ll see below (just under the links to the island coupons), I think the Hawaii entertainment book has the number one, very best, most awesome coupons for all of Hawaii. You do have to buy it though.

    I think the Go Oahu Card is pretty good for Oahu, although it’s not technically a coupon

    and I think if you have the patience to look around on the internet you can find lots of possibilities. I link to the best ones here and tell you exactly what I think of them. (sign up for my mailing list if you want more straight talk on hawaii vacations)

    Maui Coupons

    Big Island Coupons

    Kauai Coupons

    Oahu Coupons

    Which is the Best Island for Coupons?

    What’s a Good Deal or Good Coupon in Hawaii?

    Hawaii Flight Coupons

    The current entertainment coupon book is my most popular recommendation for saving money in Hawaii for residents and visitors. See it here!: Huge Hawaii Coupon Book … or See my Review Listing the available hawaii coupons each year here

    It’s really stellar for Oahu (see the available oahu coupons here, decent for Maui (see the available maui coupons here) – but not so fantastic for Kauai and the Big Island, although there are a few things for each island. Several coupons available online for free.

    If you are going to Oahu, be sure to check the Oahu Coupons page to read about the Go Hawaii card (Go Oahu Card) – it’s like one big coupon for the whole island.

    Looking for coupon codes and vouchers? These savings I’m listing here will work better, I promise.

    Travel N Tourism NewsHawaii Coupons
    New activity, lodging, and travel services coupons every month.

    Coupons for fun – I like what’s available on this page. Lots of 20% off unique coupons I haven’t seen anywhere else.

    ecouponshawaii – a decent site. It’s got a lot of coupons on it but not all will be interesting to vacationers. Some examples are 20% off a catamaran dinner cruise on oahu and big island dairy queen cone, buy one get one for 39 cents.

    Hawaii Vacation Coupons
    Lots to choose from on maui, kauai, big island, and oahu.

    There’s a lot more listings in the search engine results, but unfortunately, most of them aren’t worth listing here or will be listed under island specific. One BIG suggestion I have is to make a list of activities you want to go to, and then search for each activity + coupons or + discounts and see what comes up.

    You may find a coupon for that activity, or for a similar one with a better price or better other features.

    Is there a Best Island Choice to Save Money or Find lots of Coupons?

    Yes, I think so, and it’s Oahu! Let’s talk about it a bit.

    So, you probably are looking for Hawaii Coupons in order to save money on your vacation. Like I already said, I really like what’s available in the entertainment book and the Go Oahu card – but what if you are going to Kauai or the Big Island or Molokai or (well, we’ll leave Lanai out of it, because you won’t be going to Lanai unless you have lots of money anyway) ?

    On each and every island there are coupon books at the airports and hotels – coupon books and tourist guides. They are not as good as the entertainment book, but they are better than nothing.

    AND, like I like to tell people – if you are on a strict budget, Oahu should be your first island choice. You can take the bus, there are often free shuttles, there are more people competing for your money (so lower prices) and there are just more options, and there are the best budget hotel options there, imo.

    For example, on the Big Island, the lowest price catamaran sail you will probably find will be $50 or up (probably much more).

    On Oahu, you can catamaran sail right off Waikiki Beach for $25 (price in late 2012) or so.

    Granted, the more expensive boats will have more options and not be quite so streamlined to get people on and then off but if you don’t have the money for the $100 sail, wouldn’t you like to have the option of taking a $25 trip?

    Plus of course, Oahu has the go oahu card and the hawaii entertainment book. (mentioned above).

    So What Exactly Is a Good Deal or a Good Coupon in Hawaii?

    Well, the hawaii entertainment book is my favorite because it has so many buy one get one free offers.

    If there’s 2 of you, that’s 50% off. 50% off is a lot, and the best you are going to find, easy. (If there’s only one of you, I wouldn’t get the entertainment book). You can get 50% off coupons on many upscale restaurants, day restaurants, plus tons of activities.

    Second, the Go Oahu Card says they can get you up to 55% off activities. In my experience, it would be super hard to get that 55% off, but I would think 33% off would be easy. That’s quite a bit.

    Third, I mentioned a coupons for fun site above that has several 20% off coupons for activities. 20% off is also good.

    Now, we get down to 10% off. Let me say that it is easy to get 10% off. That’s like the standard money off. You can frequently get 10% off just by booking your activity online, or finding a coupon in one of the coupon books that are available at the hotels and airports. So it’s not much, but it’s better than paying full rate. I wouldn’t be surprised if you called without a coupon but said you were considering booking with the companies competitor (actually have a competitor name here) and could you get 10% off and if you could get it just by asking most times.

    Some examples of book online and get 10% off:

    Maui Pacific Whale Foundation Whale watching and snorkeling book online in advance, get 10% off

    Online booking of snorkel gear and a snorkel boat trip, $5 off most $50 or more seats – Snorkel Bobs, all Islands

    Discounts on buy two activitiy combos at hawaii activities

    This looks interesting, and if you skip down the page, you’ll see lots of example of 13% off and 20% off, but I always like to check the prices and see if it really is a good deal or not. So the one I am specifically looking at is on the Big Island, the Value Combo Big Island – Body Glove Whale Watch Cruise & Royal Kona Luau for $133 at a stated 13% off.

    (If you don’t see that, the page might have changed since I looked, sorry, but the analysis still will give you something to think about )

    Ok, so if I go to the Royal Kona Luau page I see that I can get the luau by booking direct with them for $78. If I go to the Body Glove Whale watch cruise page I see that is also $78 if I book directly with them. That adds up to $156, and so the $133 is indeed a better deal and 13% (more actually) off of the prices that I found.

    HOWEVER, is that the best I can do? If I search in google for Royal Kona Luau or Royal Kona Luau Discount, I see some different prices. I see $59.88, and $60.00 and $58.00 at other websites.

    Hmm, I wonder if I can get a discount on the Whale watch too. Well, I don’t see anything with a search, but the Hawaii Entertainment book (for year 2011) has body glove cruises buy one get one free, so that would be a 50% off discount on two people, which hopefully would work out to $39 apiece (as long as there were two of us).

    So, let’s say I booked these two activites this way. Say $60.00 for the luau and $39 for the whale watch cruise. That comes out to: $99 and that is a discount of 63% and a savings of $34 off of the promised 13% off coupon we had found.

    Now, here’s another point. If I look at the search results when I was searching for the Royal Kona Luau, I see the Island Breeze luau is only $46.73. Wow, that’s and even bigger discount. But is the Island Breeze luau of the same quality as the Royal Kona Luau?

    Well, I would say that the Royal Kona luau is probably fancier, but the Island Breeze might be a bit more authentic. Or maybe not – maybe that is just my perception because of where the Island Breeze luau is performed – adjacent to an authentic protected heiau right in Kailua town.

    If you go to tripadvisor and search for both, you’ll see the Royal Kona is a solid 4 stars while the island breeze has 3.5 stars. So then you can make your decision based on that – which is more important to me? Lowest price? Closest to my hotel? Highest stars?

    So, I like coupons, and I use coupons, but in order to be certain you are getting the best deal, you should research what actual prices really are, and are there any other options.

    What About Hawaii Flight Coupons?

    Is it possible to find coupons on Hawaii airline flights?

    Well, sometimes, you can find sales and coupons. A good place to start is to search in google for hawaii flight coupons and just go down the list for timely ones. If you don’t see anything good come back here and read below.

    I have a whole strategy that I have outlined for how to find a cheap hawaii flight. Definitely click through and read it to learn what I recommend for being sure you are getting the best price. Also check hawaiian airlines for their current sales.

    Also, the entertainment book, that I have talked about many times above, sometimes has airlines coupons in them, and sometimes places like pleasant holidays offer stuff like companion flys free or companion flys for $50. Yes, I’ve really seen these. I talk about this in my cheap flight strategy page above.

    How about inter-island flight coupons?

    Well, there used to be coupon books available for inter island flights, but that was years ago. These have not been around for a while. For more info see my page on hawaii inter-island flights.

    Update Dec 2011! Hawaiian Airlines is actually doing a coupon program again, but a little differently. They are doing a neighbor island 12 month travel plan, and I don’t think it’s that great for visitors, but head over and check it out if you want to.

    Free Hawaii Vacation Planning Guides and Hawaii Travel Newsletter

    Put your name and email in the boxes below. .

    Sign up HERE for my Hawaii travel Newsletter and get instant free access to my free Hawaii Vacation Planning guides

    I will never sell or rent your email address – Lisa

    Free Guide to Hawaii First time Hawaii VAcations

    The first planning guide is a 4-part Hawaii Vacation Mini Guide that you will get via e-mail: The topics are:

    1. The Top 12 Questions and Answers that I am asked about Hawaii Vacations 2. How I like to Plan and Book my Hawaii Vacations 3. My Favorite Hawaii Guidebooks 4. How to Take a Cheap (Inexpensive) Hawaii Vacation (click on the link to see this one now)

    beyond that I email site updates and articles of interest to people vacationing in Hawaii about once a week.

    The second Hawaii Vacation planning guide I offer you is in the form of 8 Hawaii Ebooks I have written to help you plan your vacation. Sign up for my Hawaii Travel Newsletter below for instant access to all of these: Input your name and email below

    I 100% will never sell or rent your email address – Lisa


    If you really don’t want to sign up for another email list, you can access my Hawaii travel advice page here and it will point you to the free books.