Norwegian Cruise Line announced that Pride of America, a ship deployed year-round in the Hawaiian Islands, will resume visits to Maui in September.
The line had suspended port calls to the island following the wildfires that decimated west Maui and the port town of Lahaina in early August 2023.
Pride of America, the Norwegian Cruise Line ship that plies the waters of the Hawaiian Islands, is scheduled to resume port calls on September 3, 2023, to Maui, where catastrophic wildfires that erupted on August 8 burned more than 2,000 acres, destroyed the beach town of Lahaina, and caused the tragic deaths of more than 100 people.
The 2,186-guest ship, which entered service in 2002, routinely called at Kahului, Maui, located roughly 25 miles east of Lahaina and outside the burn area.
Even though the ship’s itineraries, which are all 7-night cruises, do not include Lahaina, the cruise line had paused its island visits to avoid stressing any local resources on Maui.
“We have a strong connection with the people and islands of Hawaii and long history of bringing guests from all over the world year-round to this paradise in the Pacific,” said David J. Herrera, president of Norwegian Cruise Line.
“When we heard of the tragic wildfires, we were quick to mobilize our network to support local recovery efforts in Maui. We temporarily adjusted our itineraries to avoid stressing the destination further,” Herrera added.
The September 3 visit to Maui will be the ship’s first port call on a cruise departing on September 2. All cruises are roundtrip from Honolulu, Oahu. Other port calls on the itinerary are Hilo and Kona, Big Island, Hawaii; and Nawiliwili, Kauai.
The cruise line president said the decision to return to Maui was made in collaboration with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and state Governor Josh Green.
Herrera also noted that the line has donated $50,000 to Maui United Way and, along with partners, is contributing more than $150,000 in supplies such as food, clothing, and mattresses to island residents affected by the fires.
Other cruise lines also have donated funds and/or planned fundraising events for the residents of Maui, including Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line.
“We appreciate the continued partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line, and the support it has recently provided to aid the recovery of the residents of Lahaina,” said Gov. Green.
“While travel to west Maui is restricted to returning residents and emergency responders, we are working with our tourism partners, such as Norwegian Cruise Line, and encouraging them to make a steady return to other areas of the island and throughout the rest of the state,” added Green.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority said that Maui is dependent on the return of tourists to keep local people employed and businesses operating.
“We are encouraging travelers and visitor industry companies, such as Norwegian Cruise Line, to make a responsible return to the island, visiting the many areas that were not impacted by the fires and are welcoming travelers back,” said Kalani Ka’anā’anā, chief brand officer of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
Norwegian Cruise Line on August 11 announced it would alter itineraries through the remainder of August and began informing booked guests of the changes. In place of the Maui visit, Pride of America instead called at Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii.
During her altered sailings in August, Pride of America overnighted in Hilo and at Nawiliwili, on Kauai, and added scenic cruising along the Nepali Coast of Kauai. Cruises affected by the altered itineraries were departures on August 12, 19, and 26.
Norwegian Cruise Line is the only line to sail entirely within the Hawaiian Islands, however, other lines call at the islands’ ports on itineraries that begin elsewhere, usually from US West Coast ports.
Among them was Princess Cruises, which altered an Emerald Princess itinerary that was to call at Lahaina on August 14, but instead visited the Big Island. The 3,080-guest ship had departed Los Angeles on a 16-night Hawaiian Islands cruise on August 5.
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