APPROXIMATE DRIVING TIMES
Drive from Kona: 3 Hrs
Drive from Waimea: 2 Hrs
Drive from Hilo: 1 Hr
Drive from Volcano: 1 Hr
Drive from Pahoa: 30 Min
Leaving yourself extra travel time for unforseen circumstances is always best. We operate an on-time schedule so please meet for check-in on time. Mahalo!
Frequently Asked Lava Ocean Tour Questions
Q: Where does my party need to drive to meet my tour coordinator for check-in?
A: Please click on our Location/Map Page, for a Map and Driving Directions.
Q: Who can go on a Lava Ocean Tour? Are there restrictions or precautions for passengers to consider?
A: We accept travelers ages 4 years old and up, (6+ twilight) no exceptions. You may experience our vessel navigating over a variety of ocean conditions. Each passenger must be hands free and able to support his/her self. This is an adventurous type tour that may not be for everyone! We do not allow passengers that are pregnant, or have experienced any type of recent or chronic neck/back injuries, osteoporosis, heart conditons or other serious health concerns. Before departure, note boarding is on dry dock and there are approximately 6-8 solid ladder-type steps all guests ascend to board. Please notify our reservation specialist of any particular inability or questions in handling this tour. We apologize, but we currently operate with a max passenger weight of 300 lbs. We are compassionate about any disabilities, weight or special accomodations and trust you will inform us correctly when creating your reservation. We reserve the right to determine any particular passengers in-ability to handle this tour at check-in, with your safety as the deciding factor.
Q: How long will my Lava Ocean Tour take?
A: All Kalapana Lava Boat tours are approximately 2 hours long. Be sure to allow for travel time to our ISAAC HALE BEACH PARK assigned meet location, and meeting time instructions. Please review the directions on our Location/Map Page and allow yourself extra travel time. It is very important that you arrive ON TIME. You may review our Lava Tour Page for our five different Lava Ocean Boat Tours. You can also click on these links, "Sunrise Tour"or "Morning/Day/Twilight Tour" or "Sunset Tour".
Q: What should I wear? What do I need to bring with me on my Kalapana Lava Boat Tour?
A: A light rain/wind breaker jacket and/or "poncho" is recommended, as weather conditions will vary and, of course can change at any moment. If you will be viewing Lava aboard the Sunrise Tour or evening Sunset Tour, it can be cool. We also recommend that you bring a small water-resistant bag of some kind to protect any electronic belongings that can be stowed during your tour. Really, what you are comfortable with is appropriate attire. There are restrooms and beach showers available at our Isaac Hale Beach Park check-in point should you have to regroup before or after your Lava Ocean Tour. Bringing along an extra set of clothes and towel for EACH PASSENGER (kept in your car) is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Q: Will I get seasick? Is there anything you recommend for sea sickness?
A: We recommend Bonnie or Dramamine, which are over-the counter sea-sickness aids. It's also better to have something light in your stomach, as well as hydrating with your morning drink about 1 hour before your tour. We also provide bottled water on board upon request.
Q: Will we see other sights along the way, to and from the Lava entry point?
A: Yes, we will be sightseeing along approximately 12 miles of coastline passing different locations like the once beautiful Fox's Landing...now overtaken by recent lava flows, Hakuma Cave, Kehena Beach and the entire Kalapana and Kaimu coastline. Sea birds and flying fish (malolo) will skim the oceans surface searching for food, and an occasional cast of dolphins might hop alongside and ride the waves from our vessel!
Q: Is there really a volcano in Hawaii with lava flowing into the ocean?
A: One word answer: YES.
Q: How close will we be to the lava flowing into the ocean?
A: Based on ocean & plume conditions, we keep within guidelines for a safe distance from the lava flow and plume. Favorable conditions allow for viewing approx. 30-50 yards from shore.
Q: Is the boat and company we are touring with comfortable and safe?
A: YES. Safety of our passengers and crew is our #1 concern. Our 45 foot and 34 foot double-hull cat lava tour vessels are rated by the USCG to seat 49 and 24 persons respectively. It's length and "double-hulls" make for a much more controlled ride, eliminating much of the uncomfortable movements you'd experience on a typical "V" hull vessel. Our largest is powered by four (4) quad 250 hp Honda four-stroke outboard engines and our 34 foot is powered by twin engines of the same size. As is for our 27 Foot double hull cat vessel rated for 6 persons, all are clean, well maintained and equipped with forward-facing rollercoaster style seating & surround sound stereo for a safe and comfortable viewing experience. Remote controlled spotlights, life preservers, life rafts and safety equipped.
Q: How many persons are allowed in our party to view the lava? What's the "X" factor?
A: We are able to provide your group with seating for up to 6, 24 and 40 passenger+ increments. State tour operator guidelines are followed precisely, assuring your safety as a passenger on our licensed USCG tour operating vessels in the State of Hawaii. We are able to accomodate large families comfortably, wedding party's and many other occasions! The best part of our tour is we treat you as if you were our own family. Why should we go out of our way to bring you out to our special tour, and treat you like krud! We're here to extend help to you with any individual needs whenever possible and do business with the "X" factor. This means trying our best to treat you with professionalism, respect and ALOHA!
Q: What methods of payment do you accept for my tour?
A: Just so all information regarding our tour is clear, tour reservations are created over the phone with our tour specialist. Your Volcano Lava Boat Tour seats are confirmed with a Visa or Mastercard. We apologize but we are currently not accepting American Express. At the time of your reservation, we will go over all details regarding your tour, our cancellation policy and can answer any questions you may have.
Q: What is your CANCELLATION POLICY? Does a trip ever cancel due to weather or unsafe ocean conditions?
A: Yes, safety is always first and it is possible that your Lava Ocean Tour can cancel due to weather and ocean conditions. Our Captain will determine the safety of all tour departures in concordance with the United States Coast Guard and any small craft advisory's from the Hawaii County Civil Defense, for ANY unfavorable ocean conditions. **A call to cancel any tour ON OUR PART due to unsafe ocean conditions or lava re-direction will result in rescheduling your tour or a 100% refund. **Any personal cancellations by our guests outside 48 hours till departure will result in a 90% refund. Any personal cancellations inside 48 hours to check-in, or missed tours due to late arrivals are non-refundable.
Q: So does the lava ever stop flowing? What if we get there and there is no lava?
A: Of course, this is also an act of nature, and the Lava Flow may stop flowing from it's entry point into the ocean. (see daily updates on our home page) Should we unknowingly encounter a stoppage and your tour does not see lava, your captain will brief you with details for a partial refund. Lava flows constantly re-direct inland and occasionally stop flowing into the ocean. Inflation and deflation at the summit causes lava levels to rise and fall affecting lava tube or surface flow activity onto the coastal plain and ocean entry. This amazing act of nature allows us the opportunity to show you how our islands were born and continue to grow. We continue to share the beauty, education and amazing sequences of time....as we have our guests for years.
Q: How can we experience both upper and lower geography and landscapes of Kilauea Volcano and recently affected areas?
A: At the upper level located off HI-11 Volcano, visit Halema'uma'u Crater located inside the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Visibly active, Jagger Museum inside the park gives you an excellent view directly over the crater rim allowing you to have an excellent experience from the top of Kilauea Volcano. There are many other amazing experiences to see and learn about for the entire family at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The Visitors Center, Thurston Lava Tube, Steam Vents and Hiking Trails are all located within the main park area. Shoes and jacket recommended.
Our coastline lava scapes ocean journey will show you 12 miles of hidden beauty...and allow you to experience the volcanoes activity from the warm Pacific Ocean looking onto the shoreline. There is no better way to be up close and personal with the birth, growth and evolution of life and inhabitance of an island. Sadly, you will also see what was lost...and learn about the new extensions of land that have been created over recent times.
Call us locally today. Early seat registration is recommended to hold your available date. ALOHA!
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