had taken this tour several years ago with Roberts and again not disappointed. Great driver guide, with 12 other passengers on a mini van. Not only tour the same sights as the ship, but at least three other stops, including the Orchid Plantation where we ate sandwiches purchased at the Macdama nut farm. Delicious and great surrounding for lunch.
This was one of the best tours we have taken--privately booked with Marylou's Big Island Guided Tours. She picked us up at the pier and we essentially had a private tour since the other couple from our ship that had booked with her was ill. We drove around Hilo at the beginning and end of the 6 hours seeing the town, beautiful parks, areas affected by the tsunami, and black sand beach. Then we headed out seeing waterfalls and varied landscapes on our way to Volcano National Park, talking about what living near an active volcano is like. Marylou guided our experience at the park, sharing binoculars, narrating what we were seeing, and answering questions. A number of people on bus tours with the Westerdam who were pretty much on their own wound up joining us for the great information and joy in what she was seeing (actually could see lava shooting up as well as the steam from the crater) that Marylou provided. She also guided us through the museum explaining things we might not have noticed on our own. We have mobility problems and were not intending to get out places like the lava tubes on the initial tour agenda, so (since we were her only customers) we slowed the pace a bit and spent more time with fewer things. The drive thru and stops within the national park were very interesting. On the way back to town she continued to point out sights along the way. We opted to by pass the macadamian nut stop in favor of the candy factory / store. Our lunch stop at a coffee processor included an interesting explanation of coffee processing; the food (not included in the tour) was okay.
rainbow falls was not much to see, was not impressed with that area, the volcano national park was very interesting. more time could have been spent at actual volcano which was giving us quite a show that day. great for those that have never seen lava fields or volcanoes
We boarded our tour bus and proceeded towards Volcano National Park with a stop at the Moana Loa Macadamia Nut Factory enroute. Our guide was very informative. We drove through old lava fields and saw steam vents. When we arrived at the summit of Kiluea we were given 30 minutes to view the small museum on site and the crater. There was a little activity in the crater with sporadic spitting of lava from one of the vents.
The Rainbow Falls part of it was okay but visiting Volcano National Park is a must. The fact that there is active volcanic activity right now made it much more interesting. When we were there, there was active lava flow inside a crater. Our guide was very good.
Fairly interesting. You only get to about 4000 Feet. The lava tube/cave walk is neat. We went to the Macadamia nut factory on the way to the crater. Make sure you get something to eat quickly or you won't get anything, especially if more than one tour is there.
Good tour. Driver knowledgeable. Walking through lava tube was good . View of craters good. Lunch was poor...gave you a bag when departing ship of a crushed roll which we were sure if it had any meat. Including water, Apple, chips ans 2 cookies
Volcano National Park is a must see. Walking through a Lava Tube was quite an experience. If you expect to see flowing lava, you will disappointed. You do not get to see this. What you will see is lava flows from years ago. It is really something to see. If you want to see a lava flow, you can see it from the starboard side of the ship on the evening when leaving Kona. Bring a tripod if you want to take photos!!!
We again booked this Volcanoes National Park & Rainbow Falls excursion through Skymilescruises.com and were picked up by Roberts Hawaii. This time our driver was cousin Jeff. This guy was not only intelligent but talented and hilarious. He even played the ukulele for us! I will never forget him. We were told that the Kilauea volcano had been quiet for some time but the day before we were there it started erupting again so we could see the smoke rising and the active lava on the caldera…that was a site to see! After that they take you to see and walk through a lava tube formed by the volcanoes lava. We also went to the Akatsuka Orchid gardens which was beautiful. You can purchase orchids here and have them shipped to your home or bring them with you. We found out that you are allow to purchase fruit, plants, vegetables on this cruise and bring it on the ship since everything is inspected, just make sure to consume it before getting to the airport with the exception of the orchids. I was able to bring them in my carry-on all the way to Florida since the plants are certified.
You may want to check out https://hawaiibookmarks.com/ for fashion and souvenirs made with real Hawaiian wood. If you become a fan, make sure to visit them while in Hilo. The owner, Jeff Gomes will welcome you into his warehouse which is walking distance from the Mauna Loa macadamia plant. We got off the shuttle bus and did exactly that and since we were on our own after this we got a chance to see something that you would normally miss during an excursion. It’s called the Boiling Pots which is in the Wailuku River State Park surrounded by a few waterfalls. The water from this river travels and forms the Rainbow Falls but the view from the boiling pots is so much beautiful and you can even get in the water if you want to. To top off the experience, that night as you leave Hilo the captain will turn off the lights on the decks so you can appreciate the lava coming out of the volcano and into the water. You really get to appreciate the power of our Creator. This made the entire cruise worthwhile! Words cannot describe what you get to experience that night.
We booked a 5-tour Hawaii package from Roberts Hawaii – much less expensive that the same NCL tours (they us Polynesian Adventure Tours). We took a great tour to Volcanoes National Park and Rainbow Falls. There were extra stops at an Orchid Farm (with a nice Hawaiian gift shop) and the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut factory/store. Both were ok stops. Here, we had an excellent driver/tour guide.
We booked with Roberts again, but had a horrible guide. The Rainbow Falls are very nice. The Volcanoes park took up maybe an hour of the entire six plus hours. A rental car tour would have been preferred.
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