Best Epic Ways to Travel from Honolulu to Maui

Best Epic Ways to Travel from Honolulu to Maui
Image by Eric Tessmer via Flickr

The 161 km route between Oahu and Maui can be covered in a few ways. The way you chose to travel between the tropical metropolis and the ethereal island will depend on the time and budget you allow for the trip. After a deep dive having done a deep dive into the subject, here are your options.

Honolulu to Maui by Plane

The easiest way is without surprise booking a commercial flight. The two islands are linked by 3 airlines: Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Mokulele Airlines (part of Southern Airways Express). All 3 have their advantages. If you’re curious about Mokulele Airlines, this blogger’s article includes several pictures of his trip with the airline from Honolulu to Molokai.

HAWAIIANHNL to OGG (Kahului Airport)About 40 USD (2023)
45 min
Jet airliner (150 to 200 passengers)More flights per day
Better on-time record
SOUTHWESTHNL to OGG (Kahului Airport)About 40 USD (2023)
45 min
Jet airliner (150 to 200 passengers)Free checked bags
MOKULELEHNL to JHM (Kapalua Airport)
HNL to OGG (Kahului Airport)*
About 60 USD (2023)
50 min
Propeller aircraft (9 passengers)Low altitude which allows a more sceneic view of the islands
*Those flights however have a layover in Molokai Airport (MKK). The trip takes about 2 hours.

Honolulu to Maui by Helicopter

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters provides those seeking it an inter-island “VIP Transport”. Not only do they connect Maui and Oahu, but they also cater to those wanting helicopter transportation throughout the Hawaiian archipelago. Their rate is 3,600 $ USD per hour. The journey takes about 1 hour.

Their website

Contact them at: 1.800.745.2583

Email at:

Honolulu to Maui in Helicopter
Image by Keira Morgan via Flickr
Honolulu to Maui in Helicopter
Image by Keira Morgan via Flickr

Honolulu to Maui by Ferry

There are no ferries between Oahu and Maui. You may have heard of the Hawaii Superferry (a “fast” ferry that went from Honolulu Harbor to Kahului Harbor) for a short time until it went bankrupt in 2007. Unfortunately for those wishing for a cheap ferry option. The only ferries nowadays are between Maui and Lanai and between Maui and Molokai.

Honolulu to Maui by Charter Boat

Another way to travel from Honolulu to Maui would be to charter a boat. Surely, it’s the most expansive way to travel between the two islands (not taking a private jet into account.) But if you can afford it, what a way to travel it is! The option can be even more exciting for those who like to fish since the crossing could then be at the same time the perfect opportunity for an impromptu fishing trip! The journey at trolling speed takes 10 to 12 hours. If you went through the channel it would take 6 hours.

Departing from Honolulu or West Maui: YACHT CHARTERS HAWAII. Their rates start at 4700 $ USD per day. Their website

Departing from Maui: Sail Maui offers boats in Ma’alaea & Lahaina Harbours. Their rates start at 1000 $ USD per hour. Their website

Is a day trip from Honolulu to Maui possible?

Although it’s doable, if you don’t have much time and want to be able to say you were in Maui, I wouldn’t recommend it. Maui is best seen in at least a week. However, if you’re of the wayward kind, here is how your day would go.

  • Wake up before sunrise, pack up your daypack and get to Honolulu Airport from your accommodation
  •  Fly into Kahului Airport and rent a car for the day
  •  Get to experience only one of the amazing things Maui has to offer
  •  Return the rental car and fly back to Honolulu
  •  Get back to your accommodation

Although the flights are quite short, the whole process seems exhausting.

honolulu to maui
Image by Patrick McNally via Flickr

In Summary

If you have checked bags: Fly Southwest
If you want to have more choices and be sure to arrive on time: Fly Hawaiian
If you want to sightsee on the way: Fly Mokulele
If you want to feel like James Cook: Charter a boat
If you want to have the most scenic experience: Take the helicopter!