Have you considered checking out another island while on Hawaii? Maybe you are wondering how best to travel between islands. You clearly can’t drive between the islands, there are no bridges. Is there a ferry? Well….. there is one. The ferry provides passenger (walk-on only) service between Maui and Lanai. There used to be a ferry between Maui and Molokai and there used to also be a Superferry that ran briefly from 2007-2009 before being shut down. You will need to fly unless you have a pal with a boat.
Why would you travel between islands?
Some people come for several weeks and want to experience multiple islands. Others want to do a day-trip to see Pearl Harbor, or check out Kilauea, Big Island’s active volcano. Traveling between islands can eat up a lot of time what with arriving at airports early etc. Consider tagging the second island onto the beginning or end of your Maui trip to reduce time spent waiting around in airports (for example Home – Honolulu – Maui – Home).
There are two airlines that provide inter-island service in Hawaii ~ Hawaiian Airlines and since 2019 Southwest Airlines. Hawaiian advertises itself as the airline with Aloha, Southwest is the budget carrier that keeps Hawaiian’s prices competitive. Both airlines offer multiple flights per day between the islands. The flights are quick – it’s about 45 minutes from Kahului OGG to Honolulu HNL, just long enough for them to give you a water or pog and then collect it again.
Why so many flights? You have to remember, the population of the Neighbor islands is quite small compared to Oahu. Many residents have to travel between islands for specialist appointments and surgeries, and many also travel for work and to visit family.
There is also a third option for your travel between islands, turbo-prop carrier Mokulele Airlines. Mokulele Airlines offers flights between Maui County, Hawaii Island and Oahu airports. They do not fly to Kauai. They fly mainly Cessna 208B Grand Caravans. Yep, those are really small planes.
Did you know that Maui has three airports? Kahului (OGG) is the one you fly into when arriving from the mainland. Mokulele services both Kapalua and Hana airports on Maui, Molokai, Lanai plus various Big Island and Oahu airports. If you are considering flying to these smaller airports, do check and see if there are rental cars to be had. Hana for example does not have a rental car counter, I’m not sure about Turo. You should check the taxi/Uber situation also.
Note at Kahului Airport (OGG) Mokulele flies out of the Commuter terminal. To get there, drive past departures and arrivals, past the taxi stands and then turn right to see the small Commuter terminal (separate building on left). By flying out of the Commuter terminal you save time as you don’t go through TSA etc. Check with Mokulele as to when you should arrive for your flight – the waiting area is small and outdoors. The Commuter terminal has its own paid parking area but you can also walk from the main parking lot.
As mentioned before, there is one ferry left in the Hawaiian Islands. It runs several times a day between Lahaina Harbor and Lanai. It is a passenger-only ferry, no cars. According to Google there is limited room for bikes on board so plan ahead and ask. You will also need to prebook your ferry ticket. Lanai does not have public transportation, so you will want to coordinate a rental car or taxi.
The rental car tram
Have you taken the little rental car train at Kahului Airport? The rental car facility is across from Departures and maybe a five minute walk from Arrivals. You can totally walk it should there be too many people or you feel like stretching your legs after your flight. The train is cute.