Haleakala private tour - ambitious but doable

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#1
Great White North, Eh!
4,777 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Our ship doesn't offer the Haleakala Sunrise tour; we don't get to Maui until 7:00 am. We want to do the Haleakala Sunrise tour because we don't know when we'll get back to Hawaii. So, the plan is to leave the ship at Kauai, fly to Maui, get a hotel, do the Haleakala Sunrise tour and then rejoin the ship at Maui.

Can this be done? Oh hell yes. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, anything is doable for the right price.

However, a quick Google search shows that sometimes the Big Island, Kauai, and even Maui, is missed due to weather. If the ship doesn't get into Kauai, we are out the cost. if the ship doesn't go into Maui, we are totally screwed because the next port of call is Ensenada!!

We would appreciate any thoughts or advice.
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#2
WA State, USA
1,109 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by Anubi
Our ship doesn't offer the Haleakala Sunrise tour; we don't get to Maui until 7:00 am. We want to do the Haleakala Sunrise tour because we don't know when we'll get back to Hawaii. So, the plan is to leave the ship at Kauai, fly to Maui, get a hotel, do the Haleakala Sunrise tour and then rejoin the ship at Maui.

Can this be done? Oh hell yes. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, anything is doable for the right price.

However, a quick Google search shows that sometimes the Big Island, Kauai, and even Maui, is missed due to weather. If the ship doesn't get into Kauai, we are out the cost. if the ship doesn't go into Maui, we are totally screwed because the next port of call is Ensenada!!

We would appreciate any thoughts or advice.
Things to consider with your plan:
1. You may have a cloudy rainy day, not so good for optimal viewing of Haleakala. Your plan does not allow for any flexibility due to weather or seas.
2. Kauai is a spectacular island, not to be missed. We're frequent visitors to the islands and Kauai is our favorite. Give yourself time on Kauai.
3. Haleakala offers good viewing at other times of the day than sunrise. We have visited at sunrise, mid-morning, mid-day, and late afternoon. Mid-morning and late afternoon were our favorite times for viewing. There were good colors and shadows if you enjoy photography.
4. The drive up island to Haleakala features wonderful scenery, small towns, local markets, and amazing roadside viewpoints. One could easily spend a full day exploring the up island area of Maui. Research this area and choose what appeals to you. We enjoy the roadside market in Kula, the plantations, ranches, and wineries. The photos in this link give a good preview:
https://www.hawaii.com/maui/attracti...-wine-tasting/
We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the grounds of the winery.

Just thoughts to consider. Enjoy your planning and your time in Hawaii.
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#3
Maui
1,377 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by Anubi
Our ship doesn't offer the Haleakala Sunrise tour; we don't get to Maui until 7:00 am. We want to do the Haleakala Sunrise tour because we don't know when we'll get back to Hawaii. So, the plan is to leave the ship at Kauai, fly to Maui, get a hotel, do the Haleakala Sunrise tour and then rejoin the ship at Maui.
If you have sailed from a U.S. mainland port to Hawaii and leave the ship, it is a violation of the PVSA (Passenger Vessel Services Act). You might want to google that for more specifics.
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#4
Southern Cal/Maui No Ka Oi
18,311 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
While sunrise from Haleakala can be an amazing experience & is as close as we'll get to a sunrise from space, I would not do it during a single day on a cruise. In addition to the previous posted reasons why not to do it, here are some of the reasons why I wouldn't do it.

You'd have to arrive well before sunrise with a recently implemented sunrise permit which as I recall must be purchased in advance. There are a couple of reasons why early arrival is necessary...to park & to experience the first rays of the sunrise. The best part of my experiences were on completely clear moonless nights with a golden glow on the horizon that expands into actual sunrise. While the sunrise was good, it was the first rays of the sun that was best for me.

Several years ago for my most recent sunrise, I left West Maui at about 1:30 AM to ensure a parking space & to arrive before the first rays of sunrise. Being on a Hawaii cruise you're unlikely to have sufficient warm clothing to be comfortable in the cold & windy temperatures at the 10,000 ft summit which on average is 30° cooler than at sea level. And during the wintertime when temperatures regularly reach freezing there could even be snow and ice at the summit…definitely nothing tropical about it.

There's also the luck factor for an awesome viewing...things such as a moonless night & no clouds including wispy cirrus ice crystal clouds which affects the view by creating a slightly opaque & blurred view.

I think there are too many things that could go wrong with your plan that at the very least could result in a less than perfect experience. Missing Kauai for the possibility of everything going perfectly for a Haleakala sunrise wouldn't be good for me.

You can research more about the PVSA information Silver posted & even if it's possible to leave in Kauai & rejoin the ship in Maui, missing the ship with the next port being Ensenada would definitely be a violation (as I recall $350/pp) plus having to pay last minute one-way airfare to LA. I don't know the procedure when missing the ship & what happens to personal belongings.

For all of these reasons, I would never do what you're considering. Being in the Great White North, Eh! my guess is you live in Canada. Maybe you could join the annual winter migration of snowbirds who fly here to Maui to have a more relaxing & enjoyable experience including a great Haleakala sunrise with perfect viewing conditions.
#5
Great White North, Eh!
4,777 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by Silver Sweethearts
If you have sailed from a U.S. mainland port to Hawaii and leave the ship, it is a violation of the PVSA (Passenger Vessel Services Act). You might want to google that for more specifics.
Oh bloody hell, the Jones Act. That answers my question. Thanks for pointing that out.

Thanks to all for answers. We had pretty much decided not to try this but its good to hear your opinions. We'll just have to get back!
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