"Maui no ka oi" That's Hawaiian for Maui is the best!
This local motto reflects a common sentiment among natives and tourists alike - Maui really is the best part of Hawaii. With its wide beaches, lush rain forests, expansive mountaintop vistas, and humpback whales in the winter, Maui certainly makes an impressive case for itself.
Maui is shaped something like a figure eight turned on its side. The massive volcanic bulk of Haleakala anchors the island in the east, while the West Maui Mountains rise in the west. The two volcanic mountains meet in a narrow saddle-like valley heavily cultivated in sugarcane and pineapples. Because of this, the island also has the nickname "The Valley Isle."
With over three-quarters of its land uninhabited, Maui is like one giant natural park. Humpback whales, who seem to seek out the world’s most beautiful places, make this lovely island their breeding ground. So do spinner dolphins and a multitude of other marine life.
Tour Maui and explore Maui’s interior, from the peak of Mt. Haleakala to the splendid natural beauty of the sacred `Iao Valley, where legend holds that the god Maui and Hina raised their daughter, `Iao. Drive the winding Road to Hana past jungles of ferns, countless waterfalls, underground caves and pristine lagoons. And still there’s more, because the cultural life in Maui is vibrant.
Explore Maui by Private Boat Charter
One of most hassle free and delightful ways to explore Maui is by private boat charters. Your own captain and crew have expert knowledge of not only how to sail the sea, but more importantly how to help you get more out of your Maui adventure.
Your crew wii find the perfect spot to relax and take-in Maui’s scenic coastline. Enjoy your favorite music and feel the spirit of the islands as you cruise along the scenic coast.
Areas of Maui
Maui's Central Valley is home to much of the island's resident population with its two largest towns, and the center of island's agriculture industry, with sugar cane and pineapple fields in the saddle-like valley.
Kahului is the main gateway to Maui, and is the location of both the main airport and the harbor. Kahului is also the undisputed center of commercialism, home to a vast array of shopping centers, strip malls, and big box stores, which make it practically indistinguishable from anywhere on the US mainland.
With few tourist attractions here, most tourists just pass through on their way from the airport to the resorts on the leeward coasts. However, there are some excellent budget accommodations available at motels near the airport, for a good bit cheaper than the prevailing Maui rates.
Wailuku, the county seat and government center, is a quiet former plantation town with an old time Main Street feel. It is the gateway to the Iao Needle, but has few other tourist attractions.
West Maui is the main tourist center of the island, home to most of the island's resort destinations.
Lahaina is an old whaling town on Maui's west coast, with a charming (though touristy) feel these days.
Nestled on the majestic western coast of Maui, where some of the islands’ best beaches can be found, Lahaina is the islands’ ancient capital.
It is from this busy port that island girls once swam out to greet the whaling ships. Today, this quaint laid-back town is still a playground -- winding along the coast with museums, restaurants and shops. In the harbor, boats cluster waiting to take visitors on sunset cruises in waters teeming with dolphins and other marine life.
Nearby, four-mile-long K`anapali Beach glitters with grainy gold and bright blue water. Snorkelers and scuba divers will want to head for Black Rock Beach, while upcountry Maui unfolds along the breathtakingly scenic road to Hana.
Nearby are the master-planned resort areas of Kaanapali and Kapalua.
South Maui is one of the fastest growing areas on Maui, with high tech industries and a tourist center on the southwest coast.
Kihei is a recent upstart on the south coast. Beyond the omnipresent beaches and resorts, Kihei is home to Maui's small but growing high-tech industries, including a supercomputing center.
Wailea and Makena are master-planned resort areas located just south of Kihei.
Sparsely populated East Maui centers around the village of Hana and the winding road that leads to it.
Isolated Hana is located on Maui's eastern tip surrounded by dense rainforests. The Highway to Hana is a tourist attraction in its own right, as it winds for hours through green valleys, past waterfalls, and over one-lane bridges.
Located in the foothills of Haleakala, the area known as Upcountry is a ranching area, and its cooler temperatures also lend itself to specialized agriculture.
Pukalani and Makawao are the two largest communities of Upcountry Maui. Pukalani has a rural residential feel to it, while Makawao is home to larger lots and ranches and a funky town center.
Kula is also home to large ranches, and is home to the only winery on Maui, Tedeschi Vineyards
What to do and see on Maui!
In addition to shore excursions available from your ship you may want to explore:
Whale Watching in Maui
And just a few more things to do....
Haleakala National Park offers alpine wilderness and stunning views of Maui and beyond (from the summit you can see five of the eight main islands, more than are visible from anywhere else in Hawaii).
Wainapanapa State Park has black sand beach, sea arch, sea caves, a small blowhole to see.
Many bars up and down the strip of Kihei that provide for a fun nightlife. Be prepared to head back to the ship or bed early (11 or 12) as not too many places are going much after that!
If you are not staying on a cruise ship - there is a selection of great hotels and resorts to stay at!
Did You Know?.CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) 62 cruise line members represent more than 90 percent of global cruise capacity, with 482,000 berths on CLIA Member ships. With more than 22 million people cruising worldwide each year, the cruise industry will invest $25 billion to launch 55 new ships between 2015 and 2020. In 2015, the industry will introduce six new oceangoing cruise ships and 16 new river cruise ships.
Top 2014 Cruise Trends (CLIA)
Rebound in luxury cruising (luxury category ships, onboard upgrades) based on an improving economy and increased consumer confidence
Multigenerational and celebration travel increase for all passenger source markets with larger sized family as well as social/ affinity groups traveling together
Continued development and availability of technology to facilitate and lower the cost of onboard communications as well as to provide more efficient passenger servicing
Expectation of first-time passenger growth driven by the 95 million Millennial generation based on population size and positive experiences cruising with their parents
Cruise lines offering more all-inclusive options and packaging in accommodations, services and amenities for increased ease in booking and ship enjoyment
Cruises increasingly attracting consumers seeking active vacations with extreme excursions, longer stays in ports for sightseeing and high-energy onboard facilities
Seeing the world in comfort and ease, especially exotic locations, will continue to drive new itinerary creation and cruise ship deployment
Hot destinations for 2014 according to CLIA cruise line members include: Trans Pacific, World Cruises, U.S. Rivers, South America, Antarctic, Middle East, Canada/New England, Africa and Exotic Rivers