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How to Travel from Oahu to Maui or Get from Maui to Oahu


So you are taking a vacation to Hawaii and need to know how to get from Oahu to Maui or from Maui to Oahu. (short answer: you must fly)

Here’s the first fact: there is NO FERRY from Oahu to Maui or back. There was, in 2009, the Hawaii Superferry but because of environmental concerns the courts told the superferry they could no longer operate and it left Hawaii. Maybe someday it will be back.

Discount Flights Between Oahu and Maui – Is there such a thing?

So, the only way to get from Oahu to Maui or Maui to Oahu is to fly there. On Oahu, the aiport is the Honolulu International Airport (HNL) and on Maui, most people will fly into Kahului (OGG). However, there is another tiny airport – Kapalua (JHM).

So, you will fly on either Go! or Hawaiian airlines or a smaller outfit. (I recommend Hawaiian)

You can get site links and absolute updates, plus my opinions from my interisland flight page about flying between the islands. Basically, pic whichever airlines is most convenient to your desired travel times and prices – although normally they are very similar.

As I am writing this, generally the best non-sale prices are $61 one way and these are found at least a week early and booked online on either website.

p.s. the reason there is no ferry between Oahu and Maui is that the channel is very wide and very windy and dangerous. Only the biggest of boats could manage this voyage safely. And the reason the superferry was kicked out was it really was big and amazing and the potential impact on the islands was huge … so the courts wanted an environmental impact study done, but so far it’s not done.

Discount Flights Between Oahu and Maui

Are you looking for cheap airline tickets to fly between Oahu and Maui? Well, unfortunately, that’s not always easy to find. Let’s talk about your best chance to get good inter-island flight prices.

There are only two major airlines and a handful of commuter planes that fly between Maui and Oahu.

You must book early and online for the best prices in most cases.

Checking Mokulele, which is supposed to be a discount airliner, I get $69, which is no better than Hawaiian or Go!

Checking Pacific Airlines, I get $81, which is worse.

Checking Island Air I get $62 for their super-saver special.

Ok, $61 is the norm for Hawaiian and Go! anyway, so these are not discount options, although when Hawaiian and Go are sold out, or close to sold and and they are selling seats for no less than $120 one way, then these prices might start to look attractive.

Years and years ago there were interisland flight coupons, but they don’t exist in the same way anymore. These days, your best bet is to book early and book online, and maybe hope for a sale.

Oahu to Maui, Fly, Boat, or Ferry?

You are trying to get from Oahu to Maui and you need to know if you can take a flight, take a boat, or if there is a ferry.

The short answer is, you can only fly!

Here’s the long answer ….

So, traveling from Honolulu, Oahu to Maui is quite simple, and can sometimes be relatively inexpensive or sometimes expensive, depending on time or year, time of day, whether tickets are all sold out, etc.

You have to fly on either Hawaiian Airlines or Go! Airlines – I personally recommend you fly on Hawaiian Airlines.

Tickets can cost as little as $65 if you book early and online. Sometimes prices go down a bit for a sale or a fare-war. If one airline lowers their prices for some reason you can bet the other one will too.

If the plane is almost sold out, your $65 coach fare could cost as much as $141 one way (or more? gulp).

There are several flights all day long every day. You can go from Honolulu to Kapalua or Honolulu to Kahalui. Most people go to Kahalui and flights to Kapalua are actually quite limited – maybe a few days a week.

If you are coming in from the mainland, you can sometimes avoid all of this by taking a direct flight to maui.

Is there a boat or ferry, Oahu to Maui Daytrip or Cruise

Is there a boat or a ferry to Maui?

No! There is not! The channels between the islands are too rough, windy, and big, for any but the biggest boat to take a bunch of people from Oahu to Maui.

There used to be a hawaii superferry, that made the trip a few times, but it was thrown out of Hawaii by the legal system. They said no environmental impact statement had been done and tied the whole thing up with red tape and the boat left the islands for good. I don’t think we’ll see another attempt at a inter-island ferry for at least a decade.

Other Options to Get from Oahu to Maui – Daytrips and Cruises

 

You can take a cruise, but you have to get on the cruise where it starts and stay on it for the entire duration. You can’t just get on for the part from Oahu to Maui. I asked. :)

You can also take a day trip (or an overnighter) from Oahu to Maui. This is generally where you would leave all your stuff in your hotel room on Oahu, get on a plane, fly to Maui, visit a few sites, maybe have a couple meals, then fly back to Oahu.

You can plan this yourself (less expensive), or buy a pre-planned tour where all you do is pay and the company plans everything for you and gets you around. Here’s some Oahu to Maui day tour options :

Adventure in Hawaii Oahu to Maui Day Tours

Hawaii Active Oahu to Maui DayTrip

Polynesian Adventures – the actual company that does many tours

Learn more about Hawaii Inter-Island Travel here and here’s the answer if you are wondering if there are discount flights between Oahu and Maui.

Have a great trip! Lisa

How to Get from Oahu to Kauai

11 Responses to “How to Travel from Oahu to Maui or Get from Maui to Oahu”

  1. 1 Lori 11 April 2012 @ 5:59 pm

    Hi there,
    planning for hawaii in early December. Is it a nice time to go, weather and rain wise?
    Also thinking of going to Maui before or after Oahu. I’ve heard the flights are really rough (windy) from HNL to OGG? is this common knowledge? I don’t like little planes or flying all that much. Would it be a smoother flight to go to Maui from mainland U.S.?

  2. 2 Lisa 24 April 2012 @ 11:33 pm

    Hi Lori, December is a rainier month, but if you stay on the leeward sides of any of the islands you shouldn’t have any issues. Places like Kaanapali and Honolulu don’t get much rain all year.

    The flight in to Hawaii can be a bit bumpy for the last hour or two – no matter where you are flying in to. It’s the tradewinds I guess. Flying out is different. not too bad.

  3. 3 Herman 7 September 2012 @ 7:45 pm

    How can I go from Oahu to Maui with my car for just a weekend? Is there any other alternative way?

  4. 4 Lisa 7 September 2012 @ 8:27 pm

    Can’t take your car, it’s impossible. You’ll have to fly and rent a car.

  5. 5 Pamela 7 October 2012 @ 1:23 pm

    6 of us from work are planning to go to Hawaii in Feb 2014. We are from Wisconsin. We are looking at the 7 day cruise from expedia but we are not sure if this is the best way to see hawaii. Is it worth going that way or is there more to see on one or two islands. We might not ever get to sdo this again so we are looking for the best sights. Can you help me out?

  6. 6 Lisa 7 October 2012 @ 6:41 pm

    Many people LOVE the cruises. It very well could be your best option, especially with 6 of you. Easier for you to hang out in the evenings and pick an activity during the day that everyone will like. I can’t know for sure that it would be best for you but it’s a good option!

  7. 7 Joe 9 October 2012 @ 3:26 pm

    Which island has more things for Kids to do and which is better for snorkeling. The kids are 12 and 14. We will likely never have another shot at this. Our current plan is Oahu (as we bought a Charity Auction 4 night stay at Ihilani resort) and then Maui , but I am kind of thinking of shortening the stay in Oahu and staying in Mauii. Which is more “family” fun. We live in florida and love the water and hiking etc….

  8. 8 Lisa 15 October 2012 @ 4:34 am

    Oahu may have a bit more although Maui is a close second – just go for whichever you feel like you want to do more!

  9. 9 Arnel 6 December 2012 @ 7:14 am

    I disagree. Oahu not even comes second on the best islands to visit in Hawaii. I would spend most of the week in Maui. Easy to navigate, more laid-back, less crowds, more to see. You can drive at 4am to see the sunrise at Haleakala Crater(10,000 ft.) & still have lunch by Makena Beach in Kihei.
    Spend the whole day driving HANA Road. The list goes on. If you miss your home in the city, then Oahu is for you. Going to Hawaii means going away, so skip Oahu unless you want to see Pearl Harbor.

  10. 10 Isha 11 April 2013 @ 4:04 am

    Hi! Can someone please tell me how long the flight from Oahu to Maui is? And also, do they have several flights per day going back and forth or are there just a couple?

  11. 11 Lisa 17 April 2013 @ 10:24 pm

    There are several flights a day, go ahead and check out the schedule at hawaiian airlines http://www.planhawaiivacation.com/go/hawaiian-air.php

    Lisa

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