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“The Trip That Never Happened” 1 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: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Hilo, HI
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“The Trip That Never Happened”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2010

We were really excited to visit the Big Island for a chartered fishing experience and decided to book with Lava Ocean Adventures (they offer fishing in addition to the tourist lava attraction). Unfortunately, this never happened.

Essentially, over a period of 3 days I had to call their office 4 times, each time being given an excuse why booking could not be completed at that time. The worst part was that I was told in each conversation that I would be called back, and this did not happen once. This business showed not one once of professionalism with their potential customers, and I caution against booking with them for all future individuals.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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255 reviews from our community

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English first
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“outstanding adventure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2010

Being one who gets seasick and so has difficulty with whale watching from boats, I was now sure how this would go, and it went soooo well.

I was way too excited to get sick. The trip out on the boat is maybe an hour, before you see any lava, and the boat is fast and exhilarating. Wear clothes that can get wet, maybe bring a change of clothes for later.

We took the before dawn trip. It was dark when we were shining our flashlights about in the parking lot, getting on board the boat. There are all good seats by the way.

If you are coming to Hawaii hoping to see volcanic action as long as there is flow into the sea, this is one awesome way to experience it.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“get a bathroom...”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2010

...or supply depends and diapers.
my family and i had the unpleasant experience of going on this tour in january 2010. it was unfortunate that the lava stopped flowing a couple of days before we arrived, but we were in good spirits. we were on a special family vacation, you can imagine taking 5 kids to hawaii. it was the vacation of a lifetime, except for this one adventure.
the lava had stopped, but we thought being out on the ocean near volcano national park, seeing the rainbows of the morning sunrise and all the marine life that was suppose to be so abundant, would be fun anyway. the company promised us a great time. our family, save one other couple, were the only ones that kept the booking. a "special price" was promised for keeping the booking even though the lava was not flowing. a bonus, we did not have to arrive so early. we got to sleep an extra hour (the kids loved that they didn't have to get up at 4 am).
we all arrived sleepy, excited and hungry. we were told not to drink anything as it might upset our stomachs. we all met in the parking lot and used the facilities, empty bladders are better on a bumpy boat ride, they said.
on the way to volcano national park one of the guys talked about the area, the history,
volcanoes and lava. i missed most of it and he was close to me. he really could not talk over the noise of the boat and being out in the open ocean air. advice to the owner, get the guy whose talking a megaphone or something. we missed most of the information given, but again we were in hawaii and on a family adventure.
the park was pretty to see from the ocean. we saw some red filtering through the rock and the lava rock formations in the ocean were beautiful to see. no "rainbows" or wildlife that day, but again we didn't really care. it was fun being out on the water in our own kind of "private tour."
about 10 minutes before turning the boat around to head back, our family adventure took a nose dive. our oldest daughter, 19, needed to use the facilities. well, "no such luck." we were told there was no bathroom on board. we were told it was only another 20 minutes before we docked. our daughter endured for about 1/2 hour. she was miserable. we asked the crew if she could use a bucket, there were many on board, we were told "no." we asked after 45 minutes if she could go over the side, we were told "no." at that point her discomfort began being felt by the rest of the family. seeing our daughter, and sibling writhing as though she would explode was more than any of us could tolerate. she was MISERABLE, close to tears and the rest of the family was now miserable too.
at that point i asked what was behind the door just below the captain. we were told it was a bathroom, but it didn't work. i asked to see inside. one of the crew opened the door and lo and behold a BATHROOM. It was stuffed full of life jackets and not one of the crew members would remove them for our daughter to relieve herself. it was humiliating at best for her. how they could have a bathroom and have it not working and stuffed with life jackets is beyond our comprehension.
we took a shorter trip than usual, just under 2 1/2 hours and this company has no WORKING bathroom. how can a company get away with this? a restaurant is required by law to have a working bathroom if there is any place to sit, but a boat can go out in the ocean for 2-3 hour tours and offer no "relief" for its customers.
for the "special price" they charged us over $900 to watch our daughter/sibling holding her bodily functions for over an hour while captain and crew took us back to the dock. to add insult to misery, no apologies.
the best part of the company is the booking guy, keith. "hats off" keith for doing such a nice job, you're the only asset of lava ocean adventures.

Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Okemos, Michigan
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Awesome trip, great crew! Definitely worth the $$!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2010

My family and I went on a LavaOcean Sunrise lava/fishing charter in October. There was only 6 of us and 2 crew on the boat and it was well worth the extra money to do the private charter. In total we were on the boat for over 4 hours!

The boat ride from Issac Hale Beach Park to the lava entry was great. I have to laugh at some people complaining that it was bumpy. What did you expect? You're on open ocean, on a small boat, so of course you are going to feel the waves! If they went slower you would feel the waves even more and it would take forever to get out to the ocean entry. For us, the ride out was one of our favorite parts. My fiance and I sat in the front of the boat and it was so fun. We go wet and bounced around but it was all part of the experience. Since we did the sunrise tour it was dark when we were riding out. The Hawaiian sky was lit up with stars as usual but we got extra lucky bc there was a meteor shower to dazzle us on our way out to the lava, incredible!

Once we reached the lava, we were blown away by the instensity and beauty of the new earth being formed. You could feel the heat and steam and certainly smell the sulfur! The captain got us really close, but we felt safe the entire time, these guys definitely knew what they were doing. As some people mentioned, at times it is hard to hear them explain to you what is going on but what you didn't learn while watching the lava you could certainly talk to them about on the way back to the shore. Since we were on the smaller boat, we had more time to watch the lava than on the bigger tour. It was so cool to watch the lava pumping into the ocean. At one point the captain asked us if we'd had enough, we def. hadn't so we stayed for a long while after the bigger boat left, just watching the different areas of lava entering the ocean. We witnessed explosions, incredible amounts of lava flowing into the ocean, and water spouts forming in the steam clouds among lots of other really amazing sites along the coast.

Unfortunately, we didn't catch and fish on our trolling trip, but after the show Madam Pele had put on for us that morning, none of us cared. It was great to cruise up and down the coast, talking with the crew and learning about the Big Island of Hawaii.

I would absolutely recommend this trip to anyone visiting the Big Island. The sunrise tour is not to be missed and doing the lava/fishing combo is worth the extra money!!! Thank you Lava Ocean for allowing us to witness this incredible show!!! We will be back!

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maple Valley, WA
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2010

I have to say this was one of the most incredible expirences ever!! The lava was flowing from several places and was just beautiful.They got us so close to lava, you could feel the heat! Seeing the lava will be something that I will remember for the rest of my life and it's a must for everyone.
Now, having said that I also have to say that I would never use this company again. The crew were arrogant and cavalier! The boat ride out and back were both horrible. We flew off of the seats everytime the captain went over a wave and what goes up must come down. Gravity was not our friend on this boat and neither was the captain! The captain didn't seem to care, other than to get his boat back so he could get on with his day as he had no other tours scheduled. When a passanger asked him if he was going out again, he laughed at them and said no, I wouldn't go out in this again (meaning the seas were too rough).
How do I rate the actual lava expirence with tour company? I give the actual time at the lava an A+++ or a 5 and the tour company an F-!

Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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