Arrive Honolulu, Oahu
Tour begins: The Royal Hawaiian. A transfer is included from Honolulu Int'l Airport to The Royal Hawaiian, a regal landmark located oceanfront on Waikiki Beach. Enjoy an à la carte dinner with stunning views of the beach and sea at the hotel's acclaimed Azure Restaurant, a culinary treat on your first night on Oahu.
Pearl Harbor remembered & a night at a palace
Visit the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, a tribute to the military personnel who lost their lives in the December 7, 1941 attack, called the "Day of Infamy." Further Honolulu sightseeing includes a drive through Punchbowl Memorial Cemetery and historic Honolulu, where you'll have views of Washington Place, the sumptuous state capitol building and other sites. Tonight, your Tauck Hawaii tour begins with an exclusive evening - a private after-hours tour, welcome reception and dinner with entertainment at Iolani Palace, the opulent official residence of Hawaii's former monarchy. Built in 1882, this National Historic Landmark reigns as the only official state residence of royalty in the United States.
Meet an Oahu "beach boy" & ride an outrigger
It's off to the windward side of Oahu this morning for a scenic tour of its beaches, bays and birds. Sights include the famous Halona Blow Hole, formed by molten lava tubes that shoot powerful water sprays up to 30-ft.-high in the air, and the Halona Beach Cove, immortalized in a romantic scene in the movie From Here to Eternity. At Waikiki Beach, you'll meet an authentic "beach boy," who will share the story of the islands' ancient surfing culture - revitalized by a small band of skilled devotees at the turn of the century. Then hop aboard a traditional outrigger canoe to catch the waves for an exhilarating ride.
Fly to the Big Island and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Fly to the youngest of the islands, the Big Island of Hawaii, home to Mauna Loa and Kilauea, two of the world's most active and accessible volcanoes; the gentleness of their eruptions allows visits to the edges of their active vents. In 1866, when Mark Twain saw the sizzling lava of Kilauea, he wrote, "Here was room for the imagination to work!" At Volcanoes National Park, you'll drive across the Kilauea Caldera (crater), where views vary from desert to lush tropical rainforest to alpine tundra. UNESCO named the park an International Biosphere Reserve because of its outstanding scenic and scientific values. The park protects a wide diversity of ecosystems and habitat for native Hawaiian plants and animals; it is also rich in cultural and historic sites. Your day ends at your resort on the Kohala Coast in the area once known as Kalahuipua'a, the birthplace of King Kamehameha I, who unified the Hawaiian Islands in the early 19th century. The area is crisscrossed by early Hawaiian footpaths, royal fishponds and lava formations.
Big Island relaxation... or adventure
Spend the day doing whatever interests you most on the Big Island of Hawaii. You can set off on an optional two-hour helicopter excursion for a thrilling view of Kilauea's fiery lava vents and the Big Island's coastal rainforests, available at an additional cost per person (see Pricing & Availability for details). Or you can indulge in other optional activities offered by your resort (some at additional cost). Toward evening, join us for a catamaran sail along the Kohala Coast as the sun sets on another perfect day in Tauck's Hawaii.
Hawaiian coffee & more on the Kona coast
To get the day started just right, head to a Kona coffee plantation and living history farm. Kona coffee is prized the world over; see how a typical coffee farming family of the early 20th century lived and worked, and learn the secrets of cultivating the bean, from the coffee tree to the freshly brewed coffee cup (tasting included!). Later, visit the Painted Church overlooking Kealakekua Bay; built in 1899, this historic Roman Catholic church features extensive hand-painted scenes throughout its interior. Back at your Fairmont resort, have dinner tonight at your choice of restaurants.
Fly to lush Kauai and a beachfront resort
Fly to the Garden Isle of Kauai, where the landscape is lush with orchids, hibiscus and plumeria. Have lunch as you enjoy the scenic views of Hanalei Bay in Princeville before setting off to take in a multitude of natural wonders around the island. Pass through the Tunnel of Trees - formed by walls of eucalyptus trees towering above the road - and see Spouting Horn, a fascinating volcanic blowhole, en route to your beachfront resort.
Leisure time on lovely Kauai
If you wish, you may start your day on an optional 45-55-minute helicopter flightseeing adventure* over the rainforests and mountains of the lush "Garden Isle" (available for an additional charge; see Pricing & Availability for details). Then, the day is yours to enjoy as you wish - you may want to swim, snorkel, sunbathe, spot the island's abundant marine life from monk seals to green sea turtles, or simply enjoy all your resort has to offer. Early this evening, your Hawaii tour continues with an informative interpretive lecture on the ecology of the Hawaiian Archipelago; dine at your leisure at the resort tonight.
Fly to Maui and explore the "Valley Isle"
Fly to Maui, named for an ancient god. Travel through the mist-shrouded Iao Valley to see the famed Iao Needle, then past sugar cane fields to the historic port of Lahaina, an old whaling center and former island capital. Following some time on your own to explore Lahaina as you please, it's off to the The Fairmont Kea Lanai, your beachfront resort home for the next three nights, set on the Wailea Coast. The remainder of the day is free; dine at your resort at your leisure tonight.
Gourmet cooking on Maui
Feel free to spend the early morning hours indulging at the resort before discovering the secrets of island cuisine. Maui chefs take delight in the abundance of locally raised beef, tropical fruits and vegetables grown in fertile volcanic soil, and fresh fish - often preparing them with a fusion of Asian, Californian and Hawaiian flavors. You're invited for a look behind the kitchens attracting Maui foodies during a hands-on gourmet cooking experience with chefs during lunch at a well-known local restaurant. The remainder of the day is yours to explore or relax as you please on this island known for wildlife-rich waters and perfumed gardens.
Mount Haleakala, Maui leisure & a luau
Today, Tauck's Hawaii tour takes you to the 10,023-foot-high rim of Mount Haleakala (meaning "house of the sun"), the world's largest dormant volcano (it's been two centuries since its last eruption) and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The crater is more than seven miles across, and hosts two endangered species, the nene (Hawaiian wild goose), and the silversword, a specially adapted plant. After enjoying extraordinary views from the mountaintop, learn about island agriculture as you descend through Maui's upcountry farmland and return to your oceanfront resort for an afternoon spent as you wish. This evening, join us for a farewell feast of authentic Hawaiian culture at a private luau.
Tour ends: Maui. Fly home anytime; a transfer is included from The Fairmont Kea Lani to Maui's Kahului Airport. Allow a minimum of two hours for departure flight check-in at the airport.