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Lava Tour Questions

Q: Is it dangerous to go on an extreme lava hike or boat volcano tour?

A. Our Lava Tours are specialized group adventure tours in which you can experience the molten lava flow from the earth which is an extreme act of mother nature.  As a long time lava enthusiasts we make every attempt to ensure your safety, unfortunately we cannot control mother nature, anything can happen however to date we have never had anyone injuries by the lava. Anyone who has spent time around this great Volcano will tell you shes amazingly beautiful with that beauty comes responsibility.  This amazing spectacle doesn’t come without precautions its ever an changing active volcano.

Q Are lava tours dangerous?

Our East Hawaii waters are traditionally bumpy due to open ocean conditions we regularly boat in 1-5 ft swells with 5-25 kt winds at times. While lava hiking if you happen to take a fall expect to learn why A’a lava is named A’a. A’a is very sharp while hiking on lava you must be focused to walk on uneven ground that moves & shifts as you walk.  All adventures in life have a risk associated that’s what makes it adventurous.  Any person considering a Hawaii Lava Tour with prior injuries, obesity, pregnancy’s and any other medical issues should consult their physican before booking.

Q: Who are we?

A.We’re Lava Ocean Tours, INC East Hawaii’s, Big Island ocean adventure tour company specializing in Hilo tours – Hawaii Volcano Tours, Lava Boat Tours, East Hawaii Fishing Charters, Castaway Adventure Snorkeling, Exploration SCUBA Diving, and Private Ocean Adventures.. The Lavaocean crew consists of long time Hawaii residents who have boated here in East Hawaii for 3 decades.

Q: Where do we meet for the Trip?

A.Isaac Hale Beach Park  (Location/Map)

Q: Lava Hikes vs. Lava Boat Tours vs. Helicopter Volcano Tours ?

A. All are great hawaii tours it really depends on what type of volcano tours your interested in. Lava Boat Tours are geared toward the adventure seeker looking to cover vast Hawaii coastal area without having to walk.  Our Lava Hike tour guides aim to get you up close to view most recent lava flows and outbreaks while exercising extreme safety precautions. Lava boating is my favorite way to  see the red glow, hear the sizzle as the lava touches the sea, and  feel the molten heat on a guided tour by a US Coast Guard licensed captain. Helicopter volcano tours can be a good way to view the crater & lava action up the mountain with views from a 1000+ft. If your looking to get up close to lava then volcano boat tours and Lava Hikes in Hawaii offer you the ultimate close up lava viewing expereince with views from a 100 yards. When lava touches the sea a plume cloud begins extending into the sky, blocking ocean lava viewing from the Helicopter & Kalapana lava viewing center. The unobstructed facing view of lava is by far the best way to view lava & a trademark of lava ocean tours.
After years of lava touring when lava’s touching the sea theres no where we’d rather be, then on a lava boat!

Q: Is the boat we are touring with comfortable and safe?

A. Lava Ocean Tours offers 3 of the safests most equipped lava boats. Our boat captains are United States Coast Guard licensed, our vessels are permitted by the State of Hawaii & we carry insurance for all of our passengers. We look forward to making our Hawaii Volcano Tour an integral part of your Big Island Vacation. The Lava Ocean Volcano Experience is a great, safe way to experience lava flowing.

Q: When is the best time to view lava by boat?

A. Usually the Sunrise & Sunset Lava Tours are the best. Due to the golden rays of sunlighting the lava, creating a visual spectacle. Sunset Lava Tours provide vibrant lava afterglows against the nights sky. Then again, we have photographers that love the early Afternoon Adventure Lava Tours due to the available lighting for pictures. Hawaii volcano tours provide great viewing take your pick lava is lava, come get it while its red hot.

Q: How long are your Kilauea Lava Boat Tours?

A: Lava Boat tours generally last 2-2.5 hours depending on ocean conditions. Lava viewing on our daily scheduled Boat Lava Tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. If you’re a lava lover & will need more time at the lava you might consider custom lava tour one of our private 6 passenger vessels.

Q: Will I see active lava?

A. You will truly be amazed with whatever Pele is giving us and since is unique we can guarantee your pictures of lava are one of a kind. The eruption is ever changing on our tours one can see Lava flowing on Kilauea’s rugged mountainside, Lava dripping into the sea, lava exploding into the air, flowing like a river, glowing molten along the bench cracks, and oozing out in little to big blobs. As long as Kilauea continues to erupt lava will be on the move.

Q: Can you see lava during the day?

A. Yes, Lava is red hot all day long. During certain flow conditions the lighting the daylight provides allows for great lit lava photos.

Q: How long has Hawaii Volcano Kilauea been erupting?

A. There has been lava flowing from Kilauea’s vents for over 29+ years in the Kalapana area, however lava entering the sea is a rare occurrence and only happens about 25% or less of the time. In recent years this has almost doubled with 2 out of the 3 years of lava entering the sea. We are all truly blessed to have the world’s most active volcano Kilauea in our back yard.

Q: How rough is the water?

A. Our 3 catamarans are built for open ocean conditions found here in East Hawaii. This trip is not for everyone!!! We can be out in as high as 4-6’ swells. We will not go out if the wind or sea conditions go beyond what a 4 year old can endure or if lightning or other unforeseen events prevent us from having a safe lava trip. Sometimes this decision is made right before boarding and we will give as much notice as we can, if we are going to cancel a boat trip. Again, your safety is our biggest concern.

Q: What should we bring?

A. We want you to be thrilled as well as safe. You can get wet and a rain jacket will or pancho make the difference in having a better chance of keeping dry. Please bring a bag or water resistant sack to protect your important items ie, cameras, cell phones, electronics.

Q: What if I get sea sick?

A. Well it does happen but no so often, we recommend you invest into an over the counter substance like Bonnine to help with motion sickness. You know who you are! If you can, we also suggest eating a light meal an hour before your boat tour.

Q: What about the sulfur dioxide and the huge smoke cloud?

A. For the most part the huge plume that you see is steam created by the lava entering the ocean. There can be sulfur dioxide in the air as well as ash and glass particles and sometimes smoke as the jungle burns. We do not enter the steam cloud, but in some cases we do have to go under the steam plume to get to the lava side of the flow. The Possibility of ash and / or volcanic particles as well as slightly acidic rain (which has about the same acidity as lemon juice) can land on the boat and passengers. There is always a chance of having an adverse reaction if you have allergies, asthma, or other breathing issues. If you have any difficulties with your lungs or skin it is best to bring a dust mask and / or any medication you may need. If we smell sulfur we move to a clean air location. Please let us know of any concerns before booking.

Q: What if I am pregnant or have back/ neck issues?

A. This trip is not for you if you are pregnant or have existing back/neck issues due to rigorous ocean conditions. Ask yourself & your group I they can handle getting bumped, bounced around for 2 hours on a boat? If the answer is no, then this trip is not for you. Certain physical conditions warrant serious consideration of worst case possibilities.

Q: Ok, how close can we get to the lava?

A: Upon arrival our approach is 200 yards away. After assessing the lava ocean entry to make sure its le possible to safely to get a closer look at the lava. Depending on the conditions of the lava flow we can be as close as 20 yards under excellent conditions. You shouldn’t need your telephoto lenses / binoculars on any of our ocean lava tours.

9 Responses to Lava Tour Questions

  1. Kimber Hediger

    Would like to know cost of tour will be there in Jan…

  2. Shane

    Volcano Boat Tours 2- 2.5 hour excursions are on special for $125 Adults and $100 children under 12.
    Lava Boat Tours are currently on hold until lava touches the sea. Check our web specials to see latest deals

  3. Fred

    I will be in Hawaii for a couple weeks and would like to see some Lava. The problem is that i will be on Maui. What is the best and chespest way to get to the big island, see some lave and back to maui?

  4. Shane

    pick an airline the closest airport is in Hilo, a 35 minute drive from our departure point (Isaac Hale beach park)

  5. Siobhan

    Hello we are visiting in Septembber- but I have seen reservations are not available in September. Does the tour not run? Thanks

  6. Shane

    There are still seats available for our sunset lava tours in September

  7. Anika

    Hallo! Is it possible to book a lava boat tour online from germany (so the billing adress is german)?

  8. Shane

    yes if you book online

  9. Shane


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