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If you’ve ever wondered exactly how far those beautiful Hawaiian islands are from the bustling streets of New York City, you’re not alone. With over 5,000 miles between them, Hawaii and New York are about as far apart as you can get while remaining in the United States.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Hawaii is approximately 4,980 miles from New York City.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the distance between Hawaii and New York, including a detailed breakdown of travel times by plane and boat.

Distance Between Hawaii and New York By Air

Nonstop Flight Distance and Duration

The flying distance from Hawaii to New York is about 4,980 miles (8,005 km). This long haul flight takes roughly 10 hours and 30 minutes to complete nonstop. There are a few airlines that offer direct flights without any layovers, such as Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta.

Hawaiian Airlines flies modern, fuel-efficient Airbus A330 widebody jets on their Honolulu to New York nonstop service. The duration is around 10 hours 20 minutes one-way. Pretty impressive given the enormous distance covered!

United Airlines uses Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft to connect Honolulu with New York Newark. Their scheduled flight time is approximately 10 hours 40 minutes. A comfortable ride in a private Polaris business class pod makes the lengthy trip fly by.

Delta flies from Honolulu to New York JFK using Airbus A330s and Boeing 767s. They advertise a block time of 10 hours 15 minutes for this transcontinental service. Bring some headphones and catch up on movies to pass the time.

Connecting Flight Options and Duration

If booking a connecting flight to Hawaii, add at least 2-6 extra hours to your total travel time depending on the routing. This includes making a stop on the West Coast before continuing to the Aloha State.

For example, one can fly from New York to Los Angeles in about 6 hours, followed by a 5.5 hour segment from LAX to Honolulu. So the total would be 11.5 hours in this case.

Alternatively, connecting in San Francisco would add roughly an extra 90 minutes each way. Expect to spend 14 hours or more getting to Hawaii this way with the extended layover and plane changes.

Occasionally, discounted fares with two stops are offered as well. But the journey can drag out to 16-20+ hours, which isn’t ideal. Nonstop is fastest and most convenient clearly.

Distance Between Hawaii and New York By Sea

Cruise Ship Route Options and Duration

Taking a cruise ship from Hawaii to New York offers some scenic route options, though the duration can be quite long. Most cruises will sail to the U.S. west coast first before journeying through the Panama Canal to the Atlantic Ocean and up the east coast to New York.

According to major cruise lines like Norwegian, Princess, and Carnival, expect cruise durations from Hawaii to New York to take approximately 15-20 days. This accounts for stopping at ports along the U.S. west coast before crossing Panama and sailing up the Atlantic seaboard.

Some particularly adventuresome ships may opt for northerly routes too. For example, a ship could sail north to Alaska along gorgeous mountain coastlines. After that, travel through the Northwest Passage above Canada to reach the Atlantic side.

That journey could last 3 weeks or more, but would provide stunning Arctic scenery.

Cargo Ship Route Options and Duration

As with cruise liners, cargo ships follow efficient routing from Hawaii to New York. And while visitors aren’t allowed aboard most freighters, some do offer sparse passenger quarters.

Standard routes involve sailing to ports like Seattle or Los Angeles first. Long Beach, CA and Oakland, CA also serve as common transit points. From there, ships cruise south along Central America and through the Panama Canal to access the Atlantic side.

Expect cargo trips to require 2-3 weeks minimum to fully cross the country by sea.

Northerly routes following the U.S. west coast toward Alaska also occur periodically. Those journeys may head over to Asia and transit the Arctic Ocean above Russia. From there, ships sail across to Europe before turning west for New York. Such exotic trips can last 4+ weeks in duration.

Driving Distance Between Hawaii and New York

Hawaii and New York are approximately 4,980 miles apart by car if you drive along the shortest route. This route would take you through multiple states on the U.S. mainland before reaching the coast to catch a ferry or other boat to the Hawaiian islands.

Some key facts about driving between these two destinations:

  • It would take at least 3-4 days of nonstop driving to cover this distance.
  • You’d need to plan for costs like gas, lodging, food, etc. for such a long journey.
  • Driving nonstop for so many miles would be grueling and inadvisable from a safety perspective.

Other Transportation Comparisons and Fun Facts

Contrasting Climates and Geography

Hawaii and New York City could not be more different when it comes to climate and geography. Hawaii is a tropical paradise located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with warm weather year-round, sandy beaches, volcanic mountains, and lush greenery.

In contrast, New York City has four distinct seasons, cold winters with snow, skyscrapers rather than volcanoes, and bustling city streets instead of tropical forests.

Some key differences include:

  • Hawaii has an average year-round temperature of 78°F, while NYC averages 49°F and can drop below freezing in winter.
  • With Hawaii located far out in the ocean, it experiences much less air pollution than the dense urban area of NYC.
  • Hawaii’s islands were formed by volcanoes and have very mountainous terrain, while NYC sits on flat coastal plains.
  • Due to Hawaii’s remote location, much of its flora and fauna is endemic and found nowhere else on Earth, unlike the more common wildlife of the northeast US.

The distance between Hawaii and New York City not only spans about 5,000 miles, but also bridges dramatically different worlds in terms of climate and landscapes!

Cultural Differences Between Hawaii and NYC

In addition to major geographic differences, Hawaiian and New York cultures have distinctly unique flavors as well. Hawaiian culture is heavily influenced by Native Hawaiian ancestry and heritage, with traditions like hula dancing, Hawaiian music, surfing, and festivals that honor their history.

New York City culture, on the other hand, celebrates the city’s history as a melting pot of immigrants from around the world, blending food, music, art, and ideas from a diverse mix of backgrounds into dynamic urban energy.

A quick cultural comparison:

Hawaii New York City
Laidback, relaxsed (“hang loose”) attitude Fast-paced, busy lifestyle
Strong Asian and Polynesian influences Strong European influences
Outdoor activities like surfing, hiking, snorkeling Indoor acitivities like museums, Broadway shows, clubs
Locavore movement to support local food and agriculture Access to international cuisines from all over the world

As we can see, the cultures of Hawaii vs. NYC contrast as sharply as their climates and geography. The distance between them allows for a wonderful melding of the laidback “aloha spirit” of the islands and the frenetic, cosmopolitan energy that fuels the Big Apple.


As you can see, Hawaii and New York City are separated by thousands of miles of land and sea, making the journey between them quite an epic adventure regardless of your mode of transportation.

Whether you’re planning an upcoming vacation or simply curious about just how vast the United States truly is, we hope this guide gave you a sense of the distances involved in getting between these two iconic destinations.

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