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“Thrilling” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lava Ocean Tours, Inc

Lava Ocean Tours, Inc
Isaac Hale Beach Park, Wailoa Small Boat Harbor, Pahoa, Island of Hawaii, HI 96778
+1 808-966-4200
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Lava Ocean Tours is your exclusive way to experience the volcanic activity on our boat & hikes to see the Kilauea Volcano located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. In 2014-15 we upgraded our vessels to with the "Lavaone" 49 passenger 40x14 catamaran & the "LavaKai II" 30 passenger redesign of the popular "LavaKai" to better suite our guests. Our Hawaii Lava Tours & Volcano tours take you to see the current eruption on the Kilauea Volcano. Whether lava is flowing on the land or sea we will get you to the closet viewing point safely possible. Lava Ocean Tours,INC offers exclusive tours to boat or hike to access to East Hawaii's pristine Volcanic Coastline. Tours include Lava Boat Tours, Guided Lava Hikes, Volcano Boat Tours, Waterfall & Wildlife Tours, Charter Fishing, and Private Tours.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Waimea, Hawaii
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

We were hoping for a great adventure and we got one!! This was an awesome experience. We booked the early morning boat and we are happy we did. The boat departs at 5am and Shane, our captain has you meet at 4:30am to go over the boat etiquette, procedures and safety.If you have back problems or joint problems you should think about it before you get on the boat...you will be bouncing around. You are in open ocean so you can expect a rough ride. Going out was a little smoother than the return trip. We were at the front of the boat and knew we might get wet and we did. We wore rain jackets and we were fine. The lava viewing was thrilling, just an amazing site to see. We were able to see the lava flowing in the darkness and then with sunrise. The captain insured that everyone got plenty of viewing and photography time. There was room for 24 people on our boat and it was full. We really enjoyed the choice of music played during our trip. We would highly recommend this experience.

Visited February 2013
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255 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Lava hike”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

The lava hike offered by Lava Ocean Adventures was totally the highlight of our trip to the Big Island! Make sure you're in good shape and wear appropriate/heavy soled hiking shoes/boots as hiking over lava is like no other surface we have ever hiked across before (and we're Canadian so we have seen our share of different types of rock!).

Our tour guide, Chris, took us out early, leaving before the scheduled 3:30pm departure as our 3-person tour group had all arrived early. We got to hear about the different types of lava along the way, along with being able to experience an active lava flow before the other tour groups, which were all larger than ours, arrived (they arrived about an hour after us). I personally found seeing the lava flow up close and being able to interact with it more interesting than seeing it flow into the water from a boat, but this may be because I have pretty severe boat-related motion sickness, so the thought of being on a boat that long was not appealling to me.

Be sure to take enough water, a snack to eat when you get to the lava flow area, and a light for the way back - it's a bit tricky walking across lava in the dark, but having a guide that knows the way makes it much less scarey.

It was totally worth the money we paid and we would do it again if we return to the Big Island!

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, AB
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“A MUST SEE in your Lifetime!! Can't get any Closer!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We weren't planning to do this on our first visit to the Big Island - but boy are we glad we did! It isn't something easy to find online or when you talk to people - as they usually refer you to Volcano National Park where you just see the crater and smoke and glow.

Seeing everyone elses pictures on here from 2009 were amazing! our flow started back in December 2012 apparently - and Hubby and I got the last part of it - we went Feb 8 2013. Although our lava was very minimal - it was still the experience of a lifetime!

After seeing people try to promote hikes (which aren't bad to see the already solidified rocks etc) - or Heli tours which range in the $300-400 range per person... you can't beat the price for the Lava Tour in the mid $100-$200 range! It is worth even the higher costs due to the close proximity of the lava and the boat. At points, I swear we were a good 15' from lava! The water was like a steam bath and the sizzling and crackling of the rocks steaming in the ocean was unreal.

Not only are you getting to see Lava from a live volcano - you are getting the thrill seeking side of it as well. Being a wuss myself - I felt like I was in a Universal Studios ride but it was real!

Which brings me to a point - you might not want to just hop on ANY boat to check this out! Lave Ocean has experienced staff that have done this for ages!! With years of experience over time (not sure who would give them a poor rating...) - they are the ones you would want to trust with your life when you are THAT close to hot babbling lava!

The staff are sooo friendly which makes it even better and they are just as excited to show you this amazing experience! We had Rich and he was so friendly and so informative!


In regards to motion sick people - take that tablet - but the waves were only about 1' at most for us - but as we got closer to the volcano, the boat was very rocky which made it even more exciting and thrilling hah! Not for the faint of heart!

There are many Youtube videos online as well! Book in advance - we were lucky to get squeezed into a spot! They book quickly!

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Hot Lava!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

My one reason for visiting the Big Island was to see lava flowing. Boy did I get it with this trip! Now, you can't control or predict lava, so it was pure luck it was running into the ocean when I was there, but if it is during your visit, this trip is worth the incredibly bumpy, very wet ride out & back. Shane did a good job of making sure everyone on the boat had a chance to see all the flows by going back & forth and exposing both sides of the boat to the flows. Take Bonine if you get sick, wear serious rain gear (not a flimsy $2 poncho) expect seawater in your face, and bring a change of clothes. There is an outside shower at the bath house, so if you wear a bathing suit under your layers, you can rinse off & put on the dry clothes you left in your car.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
“Great Boat Trip Close to the Lava”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

I was visiting Hawaii with my husband and 2 friends and we decided to take the sunset boat trip to the Kilauea lava with Lava Ocean Adventures. It was not cheap at $175 (book online otherwise you get charged another $12.50 tax each) and we were given dire warnings that the lava was little more than a trickle after we booked the trip. We did know, however, that the lava from Kilauea had been very active for some time so we went with fingers crossed.
The boat itself is incredibly sturdy and fast with excellent all round vision. Despite ploughing through some hefty waves it remained very stable and throughout the journey no-one was sick. The speed plus the waves and large splashes were huge fun in both directions and was an experience in itself. As we approached the lava area we could see the lava streams and steam coming down the hillside.
It is true that the lava was not pouring over the cliffs like a waterfall. There were just small individual flows trickling over. At ground level it was a different story. The lava was probably no higher than 10 feet at any point but it was coming through at lots of entry points across a strip at least 400 yards wide. At some points the lava was flowing fast and at others it was curling forward like a moving creature. Capt Shane got us in so close we could not have been further than 20ft from the lava at some points and the heat was amazing. He kept passing across the whole area from entry point to entry point for almost an hour. We all loved it.
The boat holds 24 people and Shane made sure that the boat kept turning so everyone got a great view. It is impossible to keep dry but we took proper wet gear and had a change of clothes back in the car, which was a wise move as we were very wet from the backside down. In terms of safety, there are obviously some risks but at no point did I feel threatened or in danger. Also, surely no-one going on a trip like this expects a smooth time. We are trying to get up close to lava, for heaven’s sake, in a sea with heavy swells. Shane includes a waiver with all email booking confirmations and insists that you also look at the waiver when he picks you up before you sign to say you understand the risks. The waiver spells out the risks in the most plain and simple terms.
I can thoroughly recommend this trip for anyone who doesn't mind a fast bumpy ride and who doesn't get sick although I think that, given the stability of the boat, watching the horizon should be enough to stop sea sickness happening. It would have been a disappointment not to have seen any lava, but if that is flowing I can definitely recommend this trip to anyone who likes a bit of excitement.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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