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Sandra Coman January 12th, 2003 04:43 AM

Hilo-Volcanoes National Park of Helicopter ride?
Need help deciding whether to hire a car and drive to Volcanoes National Park or take a helicopter ride over Kilauea Volcano when our ship docks at Hilo in March.(no time for both) I believe the ship will sail by the lava flowing into the sea as we leave in the evening. Any ideas appreciated

BUDDY February 12th, 2003 10:55 AM

Re: Hilo-Volcanoes National Park of Helicopter ride?
My husband and I have done both and we've done the helicopter ride two or three times and it was the best tour I've even taken out of the almost 30 cruises we've been on. It just depends on what you like to do. We're going to Hawaii in a month on Sun Princess and they didn't offer the helicopter rides as an option in their tour choices so I was wondering if they were even doing them anymore. Someone told me that they thought they were too dangerous, although we didn't think so and we're in our mid-50's; but they are kind of expensive. It was the most exciting tour I've ever taken. I really loved the helicopter tours. The only thing I didn't like was the fact that I had to get weighed and I had been eating a lot on the ship and then the pilot insulted me (not intentionally) by putting me in the middle of the helicopter (by weight) saying I was the anchor and now that's what my husband refers to me as "the anchor". It's a wonder I've stayed married 37 years, but he keeps taking me on cruises, so I have nothing to complain about.
Have a great time. HAPPY CRUISING.

VickiC March 1st, 2003 04:56 PM

Re: Re: Hilo-Volcanoes National Park of Helicopter ride?
We did the hilo trip and was the best thing we have ever done. You won't regret the cost at all. It is worth every penny you have to pay.

CruiserGirl March 26th, 2003 11:27 AM

Re: Re: Re: Hilo-Volcanoes National Park of Helicopter ride?
We just returned from Hawaii 03/14/03 and took the helicopter tour, pricey but worth every penny!! Don't count on seeing the lava flow at night, the captain sent around a notice stating we would pass the lava flow at 1:30 am, so we set our clock went and stand out there and saw...........not much. Was not exciting at all. As a matter of fact most of the lava is flowing directly into the ocean underground, even from the air we only saw a small lava hole with red lava, but still worth it. Our helicopter ride lasted about 2 hours, the first hour dedicated to the volcano and all it's sights. We left from Kona, re-fueled in Hilo and continued on down the coast. He took us into Jurassic park like valleys, saw a few water falls (or trickles,no rain) and even pointed out a mother whale with her calf. At the end you could buy a video of your helicopter ride. It was very interesting and very worth it, go for the helicopter.

bobnpat April 17th, 2003 10:59 AM

Re: Hilo-Volcanoes National Park of Helicopter ride?
First of all, don't count on seeing any lava from the ship. The Infinity went around the north end of the island, you would have to go around the south end to see the lava. Also, not much of a lava flow when we were there.
Having said all of this, I would very much encourage a helicopter tour. We took Blue Hawaiian helicopters from Hilo airport, about a 50-minute flight which will cost about $140 each if you book over the internet, and you are not over 250 lbs (they check). It was a great experience. Our ship left Hilo at 3pm, so not time to do much else.
We also took a helicopter tour on Kauai with Island helicopters. Must more impressive and senic than the Hilo tour. If you can offord it, do them both

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