We've sailed to Hawaii
twice (12/09 and 10/11) with our cat and he has not spent a single
hour in quarantine. Hawaii has a program called '5-day-or-less' in which you basically prove that the animal a) does not have rabies and b) cannot transmit rabies.
Animal Quarantine Information — Hawaii Department of Agriculture
(I assume Dennis knows about this, since he said he's familiar with the process, I just include this for the information others)
If you don't want to go through all the hoops for the '5 day or less' program you pet is going to go into quarantine for the duration of your stay.
Animal Quarantine Frequently Asked Questions — Hawaii Department of Agriculture
You could chose to take your animals
to the islands without notifying the authorities, but you'd be breaking the law. We had friends who were sailing from MX to Kiribati call the authorities about stopping in HI on the way. The authorities told them the requirements and told them that they had recorded the name of the boat and owner and that if the boat was found in the islands with an undeclared animal on board they would be charged with all applicable crimes.
I have one piece of advice for you if you chose to go the 'legal' route
, enter HI at Hilo (Radio Bay). The Customs
officers there are super nice, in fact everyone in Hilo is more laid back then Honolulu. Things will go much smoother for you.
I feel for you Denis, I'm having to re-do the requirements for the 5-day-or-less program because we're returning to HI next winter and our current
FAVN test will be out of date. I expect it to cost about $600 total by the time I'm done (including the fees
to HI). Doing this for 4 cats would be a _lot_ of money!