MIAMI -- Norwegian Cruise Line is taking its planned golf program in Hawaii seriously.

So seriously, in fact, that it's designed a security system to keep its passengers' irons and drivers safe while onboard the Pride of Aloha.

For $105 per cruise (that price is halved if the golfer in question buys a couple of golf excursions from NCL), the line will photograph the equipment and number the bag before storing it in a dedicated room. There will be a valet system; transportation of the clubs also will be handled.

"For some people, golf clubs are like a member of the family," said Andy Stuart, NCL's executive vice president of marketing and sales.

The line expects its golf program here to be big. Exactly how big, it's not quite certain yet.

But expectations are high enough for NCL to create a pro shop onboard with clubs and shoes for rent, items for purchase and a system for signing up for tee times at links around the islands.

"We know the golf market is huge; we know Hawaii is one of the top destinations for golf," Stuart said. "The ship is in port [almost] every day, most of the day. So potentially, you could play six rounds of golf."

The Pride of Aloha, which starts seven-day Hawaii cruises July 4, will sell golf outings to more than 30 courses on the four islands, including Ko'olau on Oahu; Poipu Bay and the Prince Course on Kauai; Mauna Lani Resort and Hapuna Golf Course on the Big Island; and Kapalua and Wailea on Maui.

And with the pro shop, golf enthusiasts can show up without irons and rent a couple of Callaway clubs on the ship. (Less expensive clubs also will be available for rent.)

Golfers can book tee times onboard, but they also can pre-book online, via fax or by calling in to NCL's shore excursion center.

"Most golfers want to know they have a tee time, want to know it's organized," Stuart said.

Transportation to and from the ship is included, along with cart rentals or greens fees.

And, if given proper notification (about six months, Stuart said), NCL can create tournament packages and cater to large golfing groups.

To contact reporter Rebecca Tobin, send e-mail to [email protected].

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI