Norwegian Cruise Line suspends Hawaii Island ports indefinitely

  • Passengers exit the Pride of American tender at Kailua Pier.

  • The Pride of America Cruise Ship is seen from Hulihee Palace. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today File Photos)

KAILUA-KONA — It’s more bad news for Hawaii Island.

Norwegian Cruise Line sent out an email Saturday afternoon informing businesses that Hawaii Island has been removed from the itinerary for its ship Pride Of America “until further notice.”


“Please be informed that due to the uncertainties associated with the ongoing volcano activity on the Big Island, it has been decided to take Hilo and Kailua-Kona … out of the POA itinerary until the situation is back to normal,” read the email communication signed by Luigi Razeto, senior vice president of marine operations for the company.

The message didn’t go on to specify what would qualify as a return to “normal,” adding only that those contacted should disregard any and all previous notifications on the matter. Attempts to reach Norwegian Cruise Line on Saturday were unsuccessful as of press time.

Pride of America, which has a 2,186-passenger capacity, has skipped its weekly calls to Kailua-Kona since May 9 despite volcanic activity being focused on the opposite side of the island. The vessel has skipped port in Hilo since May 1. NCL has cited concerns over adverse conditions and air quality as reasons for skipping the ports.

The news is a blow to tourism across the island, which has already suffered millions in lost bookings in only one month since the current Kilauea volcanic eruption began May 3.

Last week, Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau Executive Director Ross Birch estimated the potential loss to Kona businesses and activity partners from one canceled Wednesday visit to Kailua-Kona is $175,000. Four canceled visits, including this Wednesday’s call, equates to a $700,000 hit to the area’s economy.

  1. gscott June 3, 2018 12:03 pm

    I don’t know what the volcano eruption has to do with Kona and Hilo, except closure of the Volcanoes park. Considering cruise lines go to storm ravaged ports to keep making money, this seems like an excuse to leave the market more than anything. I just checked VRBO, can’t believe the rates people are charging now. Wow! Maybe this will help lower prices? Probably not. But hopefully tourism drops substantially so rates will become more reasonable.

    1. Kawaii June 3, 2018 12:57 pm

      The long term health effects of breathing vog and SO2 are unknown. A visitor could be diagnosed with lung cancer years from now and make a case that Norwegian Cruise Line was negligent for bringing visitors to a known natural disaster area.

      Can you imagine a defendants attorney showing a jury pictures of the lava fountains, vog and emergency personnel wearing respirators. It’s a slam dunk win for the defendant. There’s no way Norwegian Cruise Line can assume that risk.

      1. Du Mhan Yhu June 4, 2018 3:24 pm

        You may be right, slimy shysters behind it all. Why not ask the passengers ahead of time?

  2. onceawarrior June 3, 2018 1:05 pm

    Less tourism economy may be a blessing in disguise.
    There could be better retention of our natural beauty and resources.

    1. KonaRich June 3, 2018 3:22 pm

      As the prices (taxes &fees) go up by the month here in Hawaii county, and no end in sight for increases, you keep looking through those rose colored glasses.

  3. no2oil June 4, 2018 5:58 am

    “Pride of America, which has a 2,186-passenger capacity, has skipped its weekly calls to Kailua-Kona since May 9 despite volcanic activity being focused on the opposite side of the island.” Can you blame them.

    When the sky and ocean are indistinguishable, shrouded in gray haze of polluted volcanic air, and its difficult to to breath then the statement…”volcanic activity being focused on the opposite side of the island” is far off the mark from the current reality of living in or visiting West Hawaii.

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