Hawaii on a budget - affordable activities on the island of Oahu

December 12, 2008

Ryoal Hawaiian HotelThis is the 2nd article on how to visit Hawaii on a budget. Although we are going to look at the island of Oahu today, the one quality that every island has in abundance is its scenery and the easy accessibility to the scenery via a rental car. Self exploration by automobile is one of the most exciting and least expensive ways to enjoy the islands.

BTW Oahu is the busiest of all the islands in Hawaii. It is also where you will find famous Waikiki Beach as well as Pearl Harbor. I suggest renting a car and driving North, get outta town and funny thing happens, you’ll end up on country roads, traveling thru small towns and laid back communities.

Almost every activity below is either free or costs less than $10.00 per person. Even better, these are only a small sampling of the free or low costs activities available.

Oahu is a favorite of those in the know looking for a combination of the terrific water and beach life Hawaii offers as well as the cosmopolitan landscape of Honolulu. Many flights from the continental United States land in Oahu, so it is often the first island visitors see.

Rent a car and drive Oahu. This island takes a back seat to none of its sister islands. Oahu is absolutely gorgeous and easy to explore on your own. There are many waysides to visit, small villages to drive through and easily walked trails and hikes, not to mention the beaches!

The Royal Hawaiian Band performs at Iolani Palace on Fridays 12:00-1:00 p.m. and at Kapiolani Park on Sundays from 2:00-3:00 p.m. The Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the United States and served as Hawaii’s capitol until 1969. Admission to the grounds is free.

• Visit the USS Arizona Memorial. Sunken by the Japanese during the bombing of Pearls Harbor, over 1,000 navy soldiers perished aboard. Free tours offered daily on a first come basis.

• Walk to the top of Diamond Head crater. A moderate walk, it is well worth the effort. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offers amazing views of Waikiki. The hike up is only slightly more than .7 miles and will take about an hour for slow walkers.

The North Shore - here is some of the most famous surf and the biggest waves in the world. Dotted with quaint villages, a drive along the north shore is great entertainment for little more than the cost of a gallon of gas and lunch!

• Visit the International Marketplace, and take in the crafts and wares of the island’s local merchants.hula dancers

• Visit the Father Damien Museum and learn about the amazing history of Kalaupapa, Molokai where the Catholic priest worked with those suffering from leprosy.

• Visit the Waikiki Aquarium and learn about the amazing marine life inhabiting the waters surrounding Hawaii.

• Near the Polynesian Cultural Centre, wade over to Goat Island to explore the tidal pools in the surrounding area. Wear suitable shoes to protect from the sharp coral. If you have children, don’t miss this opportunity!

• There is a free nightly hula dance and the Halekulani Hotel as well as other hotels along Waikiki Beach.

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Silversea’s New Expedition Ship - The Prince Albert II

November 1, 2008

Prince Albert IISilversea has combined luxury adventure with their new expedition ship the Prince Albert II. Embark on a luxurious expedition to the best far-flung destinations in the world aboard Prince Albert II, a purpose-built expedition ship unlike any other. Designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions, the 6,072-ton vessel boasts a strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger ships.

The Prince Albert II carries 8 Zodiac boats, enabling her 132 privileged guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations. Experience the thrill of a true expedition aboard Prince Albert II. Venture deep into regions where other vessels cannot go whilst enjoying a privileged lifestyle that is simply second-to-none.

Onboard, savour a convivial cosmopolitan ambience and many special amenities usually found only on larger ships, including a spacious Library with an Internet Café, boutique shopping, a full-service spa, beauty salon, fitness centre, sauna and two top-deck whirlpools. Prince Albert II even features live evening entertainment and The Humidor, where connoisseurs can enjoy the finest cigars and cognacs - diversions offered by no other expedition ship. [Read more]

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Star Clipper Tall Sailing Ship is sailing to Tahiti!

June 4, 2008

star clipper shipWhere romance was born, beauty amazes the senses and adventure beckons on every horizon. Tahiti and French Polynesia, the legendary siren of the South Pacific. The Islands of Tahiti are now the new home of Star Flyer - and the consummate mega-yacht sailing experience.

What a happy combination! Sailing has a very long tradition in French Polynesia, beginning with the original Polynesians, who navigated as far as New Zealand and Hawaii, perhaps even to South America, in quest of new lands to colonize. [Read more]

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