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.
Read kidpsyc's full Westerdam cruise review
Marylou's Big Island Guided Tours