Large ships like the Golden Princess are not usually taken into port solely by the ship's captain, but by a local expert, known as a pilot. This person helps the captain navigate safely. Our ship slows to a crawl as the Pilot comes aboard.
Although we don't use a tug, one is available and gives us a welcome salute.
About an hour later we join about 50 other cruisers aboard a bus for a pre-arranged tour of some sights on the island. There are several tours to choose from.
Our first stop is Big Island Candies were we get to see confections being made and even sample a few.
Next stop: Hawaii Botanical Tropical Gardens where the flowers amaze me.
The garden trail begins on a hillside and as we wind our way down to the bottom, we get some peek views of the ocean and volcanic beach.
Next, it's time for lunch and we enjoy a buffet waiting for us at Naniloa Volcanoes Resort. After lunch, I step out on the lawn and snap a few pics of Hilo Bay and the island for a panorama.
We reboard the bus and travel up to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park where it seems almost a requirement to take a photo of Halema'uma'u Crater and spend a while in the Visitor Center.
Back on the bus for one last stop: Hershey's Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut factory.
Some pretty scenery around the factory ...
Back on the ship, an afternoon snap of the port from the Sky Deck ...
And that completes our port stop in Hilo, Hawaii. Thank you for stopping by John's Island. Comments are welcome. Next post: Honolulu.