If you haven’t explored the option of a golf cruise lately, you might be stuck with outdated notions of massive ocean liners equipped with AstroTurf mats and hitting nets. Although some cruise lines still offer voyages on leviathan vessels, other tour operators run excursions on intimate yachts and river barges. This year’s water-borne offerings in the British Isles are a bit thin, but there’s plenty going on in other parts of the world. Of course, the basic appeal of a golf cruise remains unchanged: When you go to sleep at night, you do so with the anticipation of seeing both a new port of call and a new world-class golf course the next day.
Golf Hawaii, Pride of Aloha, Pride of America, NCL America
Weekly cruises beginning April 27, 2008
If you’ve ever wondered how to play Hawaii’s finest courses without going through the trouble of island-hopping by air, here’s your answer. The Pride of Aloha and the Pride of America are massive vessels, holding up to two thousand passengers apiece, but golfers will feel right at home thanks to well-stocked pro shops complete with Callaway equipment rentals and practice putting greens.
Where You’ll Play
Choose from eighteen courses scattered across four islands. Oahu’s must-play is Ko’olau Golf Course, a jungle layout considered one of the toughest courses in the U.S. On Maui, don’t miss the Emerald and Gold courses at Wailea, both lush gems designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. Kauai offers Jones’s Prince course at Princeville Resort, a supreme test that opens with a question mark–shaped par four carved out of a mango and guava forest, and Jack Nicklaus’s Kiele course at Kauai Lagoons, with its famed ocean holes. Along the Kona Coast of the Big Island lies Mauna Lani South, known for its over-the-ocean par three.
Cost and Contacts
Each voyage begins and ends in Honolulu. Seven-day cruises cost from $649 per person, based on double occupancy; greens fees not included. ncl.com, 866-234-0292.