Princess Cruises has announced more than 50 sailings to the Hawaiian Islands in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. These culture-filled cruises depart from both Los Angeles and San Francisco, offering time to relax on the open ocean combined with visits to each of the major four islands in Hawaii.

Included in the program are a number of hands-on ways for passengers to immerse themselves in all things Hawaii, such as: Hawaiian language lessons; Lei making; Playing the ukulele; Hula dance lessons; Hawaii-themed culinary demonstrations; and Kona Coffee tastings.

Special in-port artisans will demonstrate traditional Hawaiian arts, including a special Ni‘ihau shell lei making presentations by artists providing a unique look at the culture of the “forbidden island.”  While in Honolulu, passengers will also enjoy an entertaining hula show by children from one of the most-respected local hula halaus (schools). The onboard naturalist will also help cruisers identify local whales and dolphins with top-deck animal-spotting sessions.

Passengers will also dine on dishes inspired by Hawaii’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.  Princess’ special Hawaiian food and beverage selections include: appetizers: Hawaiian-Style Red Snapper Ceviche and Caramelized Maui Onion Soup; main dishes: Grilled Tiger Shrimp Kebabs with Mango Lime Relish, and Luau Pork with Apricot Drippings; desserts: Coconut Haupia Pudding or Flourless Macadamia Nut Chocolate Cake; and cocktails: Blue Hawaiian Punch and the Ultimate Mai Tai

“Our Hawaii sailings offer a wonderful way to enjoy both the spirit of the islands and opportunity to unwind with a leisurely ocean voyage,” said Jan Swartz, Princess’ executive vice president. “And our onboard programs will give them a true taste of Hawaii even as they sail.”

Hawaiian Islands sailings begin a new season on Sept. 28, sailing roundtrip from Los Angeles through April 25. The Golden Princess and Sapphire Princess offer 14-day cruises, departing on Wednesdays and Saturdays, respectively, to the volcanic wonder of the Big Island (Hilo), the capital city of Honolulu on Oahu, the beautiful beaches of Maui and the lush Garden Isle of Kauai.  Departures continue in the 2012-13 season between September 26 and April 24.

In addition, in 2012 Star Princess and Grand Princess will begin offering 15-day roundtrip voyages from San Francisco, also calling at all four islands.  The ships will offer 10 departures between March 19, 2012 and April 25, 2013.

For those looking for a longer tropical vacation, a new 28-day Hawaii, Tahiti & Samoa itinerary offers the opportunity to sail not only to Hawaii, but also visit the South Pacific islands of Pago Pago, Apia, Bora Bora, Moorea, and Tahiti. These cruises sail roundtrip from Los Angeles aboard Sapphire Princess on October 20, 2012 and on Star Princess on March 26, 2013.