HONOLULU -- The cruise industry's megaships are now allowed to dock
at Kauai's Nawiliwili harbor following months of uncertainty in
which Hawaii's harbor pilots practiced steering the ships in Alaska
Earlier in the year, when megaships in the 965-foot range
started showing up in Hawaii on repositioning cruises, harbor
pilots said the ships were too large and the technology too new for
them to be brought into Kauai's narrow "S"-shaped port.
Pilots twice balked at bringing Celebrity Cruises' 965-foot,
91,000-ton Infinity into Kauai's harbor last spring. But after
spending the summer practicing on the ships, the pilots said they
now have the know-how to steer them into Nawiliwili, but only under
"ideal weather conditions."
"The Hawaii Pilots Association will continue to evaluate the
appropriateness and safety of bringing these ships into Nawiliwili
in the future," the pilots said in a letter to state officials. The
pilots' decision regarding Infinity also is good news for Norwegian
Cruise Lines, which will base its 965-foot, 91,000-ton Norwegian
Star in Hawaii, with weekly calls on Kauai starting Dec. 16. The
ship will offer weeklong Hawaiian island cruises from Honolulu.
Other megaships scheduled to come here in the next year include
Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas and Carnival Cruise Line's
Carnival Spirit. Kauai Visitors Bureau president Sue Kanoho said
after seeing the Carnival Spirit in port recently, she realized the
pilots have legitimate concerns.
"After seeing the size of it, it left me speechless," said
Kanoho. "I fully appreciate the concern the pilots have. The good
news is that they didn't say, 'No, we're not going to pilot them in
here,' but at the same time you really need to respect the safety