SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (October 3, 2008) — As Golden Princess begins a new season of sailings to the Hawaiian Islands, Princess Cruises passengers will find themselves immersed in all things Hawai’i, with the culture, traditions, arts and tastes of the island paradise highlighted throughout their cruise.
Whether they’re attending demonstrations by local artisans, learning to play the ukulele, exploring historic attractions, or savoring regional cuisine in the dining room, the ship’s Hawai’i travelers will enjoy the aloha spirit each day.
“Our goal is to captivate our passengers with onboard experiences that capture the heart and soul of Hawai’i,” said Jan Swartz, Princess’ senior vice president. “We want to make sure that our guests go home with a deeper understanding of the islands and the people who live there.”
This year, Princess’ Hawaiian programs are engaging passengers with a variety of cultural presentations and demonstrations, interpretive lectures, folkloric performances, hands-on activities, Hawaiian cuisine, and a number of new Adventures Ashore excursion options throughout the islands. Among these Hawaiian experiences are:
In-Port Guest Artists — A variety of local artisans and performers will come aboard during select island port calls. Passengers will observe the unique expertise needed to create these truly Hawaiian arts, and may learn some craft skills themselves.
Kaua’i: Ni’ihau Shell Artists — The “forbidden” island of Ni’ihau is privately owned and largely closed to the rest of the world. Although outsiders generally cannot visit there, Princess passengers have the unique opportunity to share in the island’s traditional culture when some of Ni’ihau’s skilled artisans come onboard for a special shell lei making demonstration. Following an ancient art form, the native Hawaiian lei makers use tiny and delicate shells found only on the northern coast of Ni’ihau, creating pieces that are highly prized as fine jewelry. In a presentation exclusive to Princess, passengers are invited to meet the artists and watch as they demonstrate the intricate process and share history of the craft. Although these heirloom-quality pieces are not widely available in stores, those who wish to own one of these stunning lei will also have the opportunity to purchase them from the craftswomen while they are onboard in Kaua’i.
Hilo: Selected Artisans — In another presentation unique to Princess, native bone carver Dean Kaahanui comes aboard during some Big Island calls to present a workshop on the history of his craft and demonstrate the art of bone carving. During the workshop, he’ll also explain the inspiration for his work, which is often based on Hawaiian legends. After the demonstration, passengers also have an opportunity to purchase some of Kaahanui’s fine carvings. In Hilo, passengers may also have the opportunity to meet feather lei makers who will teach the ancient art of hulu lei.
Honolulu: Hula Show — Keiki (children) from the award-winning HÃ¢lau Hula Olana, one of the islands’ most respected hula schools, perform onboard during Honolulu calls. These charming young dancers present an entertaining show that highlights the children’s commitment to learning their hÃ¢lau’s (school’s) unique hula tradition that has been passed down from generations of kumu (teachers), Hawaiian language and the stories of Hawai’i.
Naturalists and Lecturers — Passengers can also add to their knowledge and appreciation of the islands through a series of special presentations from guest lecturers and naturalists — many from prestigious organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Park Service. These experts will provide insight on the wonders of the islands, including marine biology, whale migration, volcanoes, the islands’ unusual endemic species, Hawaiian culture and history, and local myths and legends.
Regional Hawaiian Cuisine — Hawai’i’s bountiful fare — including fresh fruits such as pineapples and mangos, unique fish and seafood, luau staples such as roast pig, and treats like coconut and macadamia nuts — star in Princess’ special Hawaiian regional cuisine selections. Princess chefs use the state’s abundance of unique flavors to serve up such dishes as Macadamia and Panko Crusted Mahimahi, Lehua Honey BBQ Pork Spareribs, and Luau Pork with Apricot Drippings. A festive Hawaiian Island Night celebration will also feature a full buffet feast loaded with a rich variety of local taste treats, including pupus, a fresh fruit carving station and tropical-themed desserts.
New Adventures Ashore — Several new shore excursion options debut this season, adding some enticing island activities to Princess’ line-up of nearly 100 Hawai’i tour choices. For those who want to indulge in island flavors, A Gourmet Tour of Volcanoes National Park (Hilo) offers the opportunity to not only enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, but also visit a local coffee mill, winery and artisanal candy company — the latter for tastings of fresh macadamia cookies. In Honolulu, passengers can enjoy the romantic Ali’i Dinner Cruise, a sunset sailing on the world’s largest Polynesian catamaran. In addition, Honolulu visitors can choose a new way to see Pearl Harbor with the Mighty Mo and Pacific Aviation Museum tour — featuring the battleship USS Missouri, where Japan surrendered to end World War II. On Maui, passengers can enjoy one of the state’s best snorkeling sites with the Molokini Crater Snorkel Adventure & SNUBA tour.
On Kaua’i, the new Grove Farm and Kauai Plantation Railway tour lets passengers discover the history of the Garden Isle with visits to Grove Farm, a beautifully preserved homestead and sugar plantation, plus ride the narrow gauge railway at Kilohana Plantation through fields of sugar cane, bananas, pineapples, papaya and coffee. Also on Kaua’i, passengers can explore an area usually inaccessible to the public with the Historic Haraguchi Rice Mill and Hanalei Taro Fields tour — featuring Hawaii’s only remaining rice mill and surrounding taro fields. Kaua’i visitors can also enjoy visits to the historic Kilauea Lighthouse and Limahuli Botanical Garden, a lush 17-acre garden complex set in a scenic 900-acre botanical preserve. Finally, passengers can opt for the Ultimate Island Adventure by Private Vehicle, where they can choose to explore Kaua’i’s north or south shore in the comfort of their own VIP luxury vehicle.
Passenger Activities — For passengers who want to immerse themselves further in Hawaiian culture, onboard instructors teach a number of classes throughout the cruise, including the opportunity to learn such local skills as orchid lei making, hula dancing (both traditional and contemporary), sarong tying, Hawaiian language and ukulele playing. Ukulele aficionados can even show off their new skills at the end of the cruise with a passenger talent show.
The Islands on Film and TV — The ship’s movie and television programs will also put passengers in the island mood with Hawaiian topics and stories. Princess partnered with the National Park Service to produce an exclusive video presentation on Hawai?i Volcanoes National Park that gives passengers a comprehensive preview of this spectacular attraction. Hawaiian-themed films have been added to the ships’ selection of recent Hollywood movies, with classics such as “From Here to Eternity” and documentaries such as “Riding Giants,” profiling the world’s top surfers. In addition, a selection of travel videos and documentaries give passengers a feel for the islands. Among them are a series of National Geographic presentations covering the islands’ unique species, Pearl Harbor and Hawaiian culture, as well as a variety of specials on local-interest topics.
For the 2008-09 season, Golden Princess sails to the Hawaiian Islands on 14 departures. The ship offers 14-day round-trip Hawai’i cruises from Los Angeles that include calls at Hilo, Honolulu, Kaua’i (NÃ¢wiliwili), and Maui. The ship sails between October 1, 2008 and April 1, 2009.
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.