Lanai Island (aka Pineapple Island) is Hawaii's 6th-largest (smallest) inhabited island. The Pineapple name comes from a large (island-wide) plantation manned in the past. The only settlement on the island is Lanai City (population around 3,000). The island is also unique for being privately owned (98%) by the Oracle Corporation's founder Larry Ellison. The remaining 2% of the property is owned by the US government (the Hawaiian state).
- The island has a width of 29 km (18 mi) and a total area of 364 km2 (141 mi2), ranking it USA's 42nd largest. Kalohi Channel separates it from Molokai Island (to the north), while Auau Channel separates it from Maui Island (to the east). Most of the landmarks are only accessible by dirt roads requiring off-road (4-wheel) transportation.
- The island was discovered in 1779 (by HMS Resolution ship) during James Cook's expedition. By the 1870s, Walter Murray Gibson (1822-1888) owned most of the land and used it for ranching. Prior to this, he used it as the Mormon colony. In 1922, James Dole (1877-1958, president of Hawaiian Pineapple Company / now Dole Food Company - pineapple and banana producer) bought the island. A large portion was developed as pineapple plantation - the world's ever largest.
- In 1985, the island became a property of David Howard Murdock as part of his purchase of Castle and Cooke (owner of Dole Food Company).
- In June 2012, Larry Ellison (Oracle Corporation) bought 98% of Castle and Cooke's shares - this way practically owning the whole isle. While the exact sale price was never revealed, Hawaiian news media reported that USD 500-600 million was the possible purchase price
Lanai Island has 2 resort hotels - both managed by "Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts" (Canada-based international luxury hotel company). The hotels are named Four Seasons Resort Lanai (in Manele Bay) and Lodge at Koele. Hotel Lanai (in Lanai City) was built in 1923 as a lodge for housing Hawaiian Pineapple Company's executives overseeing the fruit production.
All public transportation is provided by the island hotels. For the duration of their hotel stay (one-time fee), guests get unlimited bus rides - between the hotel and the ferry port on Manele Bay. Bicycles and 4x4 vehicles are available for rent at the island's only Gas Station, as well as at Dollar Rent a Car. Another tourist attraction is the island's 3 premium golf courses.
- The Challenge at Manele golf course is the place where Bill Gates (Microsoft) was married on January 1, 1994.
- The Experience at Koele golf course is in the mountains.
- The Cavendish golf course is a public (free) 9-hole golf course surrounded by pine trees.
Shipwreck Beach (on the northern coast) has the remains of a wrecked ship that ran aground near the shore.
Lanai Island cruise terminal
Port Lanai Island cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Lanai Island, Hawaii. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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