The tourism agency of Hawaii is looking for a consultant to boost cruise business in the islands.

The HTA (Hawaii Tourism Authority) released a request for proposals for cruise consultation services and expects to sign a contract around October 1.

George D. Szigeti, HTA President and CEO, said in a statement that growing access to the state was key to the success of their tourism economy. He added that cruise ships provided vacationers with "a different means of traveling throughout and experiencing the Hawaiian Islands".

Hawaii is seeking someone with credible level of knowledge related to cruise development and itinerary planning who can represent HTA in meetings with lines that sail to Hawaii or show a potential to do so. A successful applicant will attend annual conferences and meetings sponsored by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) and Seatrade.

Hawaii’s efforts to expand cruise business is constrained by United States passenger shipping laws which prohibit foreign-flagged ships from sailing exclusively between U.S. cruise ports without calling at foreign destination. Few passenger vessels are registered in the U.S. as they have to be built in the country and carry American crew.

This is the reason why most companies that offer Hawaii cruises operate to and from West Coast cruise ports such as San Diego and Vancouver or schedule brief visits at Ensenada, Mexico. Holland America, for example, plans to operate a 7-day September 20 voyage to Honolulu from Vancouver and a 17-day November 26 “Circle Hawaii” cruise, round-trip from San Diego.

NCL Norwegian’s Pride of America is the only major cruise ship to operate weekly sailings solely within Hawaiian Islands as it was partly constructed in the U.S. and so has U.S. registry. The vessel carries mostly American crew.

Another line that also operates weekly Hawaii sailings (November through April) is Un-Cruise Adventures with the 36-passenger U.S.-flagged yacht, Safari Explorer.

Over the years, there have been efforts to overturn U.S. constraints against coastal sailings so ships could operate on itineraries between Seattle and San Diego, for example.