The Star of the Sea

Ali Carte Columns

January 21, 2012

Story By: Dining Out Team |

For 55 years, the Star of Honolulu has wowed guests with timeless sunset dinner cruises. The 232-foot ship, custom built in 1992 and recently renovated, is Hawaii’s only moving restaurant of its kind. Lesser known are the ship’s exciting, seasonal day cruises that will leave kamaaina ready to hop on board.

  • Star of Honolulu wows diners with its delectable cuisine.
  • A humpback whale puts on a show for guests.
  • Star of Honolulu favorites
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The Premier Whale Watch Cruise ($63, adults; $38, children) includes two-and-a-half hours of humpback whale-spotting, along with the Taste of Hawaii Buffet. The vessel makes use of its four walk-around decks and 60-foot-high observation deck to spot the sea’s “friendly giants” as it cruises daily until April 15.

“Thankfully, we see whales every day. I’ve been on this boat and splashed from a whale landing in the water,” says executive chef Adam Gilbert.

Now in his fifth year as executive chef, Gilbert and his team provide meals for hundreds of customers at a time. In doing so, producing consistent, high-quality food is his first priority.

To achieve this, Gilbert turns to local produce. “We buy all our lettuce from Maui. All our tomatoes are local; our tofu’s locally made. Our marinades are from raw ingredients and our miso marinade is completely from scratch.”

Some of the buffet’s must-haves are Citrus Miso Glazed White Fish, Teriyaki Chicken and the Hawaiian Black Sea Salt Roast Beef Carving Station.

Gilbert also ensures everyone can find something to please their palate aboard the ship. Vegan, vegetarian and glucose-free dishes have been added to this year’s menu with Fried Noodles and Tofu Poke topping off vegan favorites.

Kamaaina discounts for entire parties are available for the Premier Whale Watch (prices start at $38.07/$22.68) as well as Early Bird Whale Watch (prices start at $24.26/$14.58) cruises to customers who purchase tickets with a valid Hawaii ID. Also, with every paying adult, one child (ages 3 to 11) can cruise for free.

“Every year I bring my family on the whale-watching trips because it’s a lot more local-friendly,” explains Gilbert. “For people who live in Hawaii and work all the time and don’t get to the ocean much, you get a great lunch and you see whales jumping out of the water 20-feet from you!”

Star of Honolulu

  • Where
    • Docked At Pier 8
    • Aloha Tower Marketplace
    • 1 Aloha Tower Drive
  • Hours
    • Cruises run daily
    • Premier Whale Watch Cruise
    • 11:15 a.m. boarding at Aloha Tower Marketplace, noon departure, 2:30 p.m. disembark
    • Early Bird Whale Watch
    • 8 a.m. boarding at Aloha Tower Marketplace, 8:45 a.m. departure, 10:45 a.m. disembark
  • Call
    • 1-800-334-6191 or (808) 983-STAR (7827)
  • Website

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