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Heilcopter recommendations - week of 24 Oct

Sea Girt, New Jersey
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18 posts
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Heilcopter recommendations - week of 24 Oct

I am staying on Waikaloa Village. My wife is very determined to not miss a helcopter ride of the volcano. It is expensive....but is it worth it (4-500 PP). And with 5 of us (2 adults 3 kids (17/15/8)..... any recommendations on how to get the best price? or who to go with?

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
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1. Re: Heilcopter recommendations - week of 24 Oct

With a family of 5, a flight out of Hilo will cost about $200 PP is a great way to see lava or an airplane ride from the Kona airport would be the way to see more of the island for around $300 PP..Check with your concierge. They will be more than happy to accomodate you and the family. Aloha

from another local concierge

Paradise, California
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2. Re: Heilcopter recommendations - week of 24 Oct

I've only had one experience, with Sunshine Helicopters, but I documented it here: davidskvr.net/Life_in_the_Soft_Lane/Heli_I.h…

Take a look and see if you'd like it. Although they picked me up at Kona Village, their heliport is at Hapuna.


Edited: 26 October 2011, 05:39
Albuquerque, New...
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3. Re: Heilcopter recommendations - week of 24 Oct

A full Island tour, for a family of 5, will cost over $2,500 on Sunshine out of Hapuna, We've taken it once and found the length to be quite a bit in excess of what we (strictly an imo) find enjoyable; there is quite a bit of "are we there yet?" time between major sights. The helicopter used was an EC-130 which is a significant improvement over the more commonplace A-Star in terms of smoothness, seating comfort/visibility and window area.

Sunshine's website ( sunshinehelicopters.com/hawaii/…hawaii.html ) indicates a WhisperStar (EC-130), but I believe they relocated that helicopter to Kauai. In possible confirmation, clicking on the "view helicopter & seating comparison" button, produces a picture & information pertaining to an A-Star. To clear this up, you might want to contact Sunshine direct.

Blue Hawaiian ( http://www.bluehawaiian.com/bigisland/tours/ ) has at least 4 EC-130's/EcoStars and the "Big Island Spectacular" is priced at $2,500 ($2,000 if an A-Star is selected). We have flown with Blue Hawaiian many times, on both the Big Island, Maui/Molokai & Oahu and they run a first class operation.

A third option, among the full Island/west coast departures is Paradise Helicopters ( paradisecopters.com/search.php… ) leaving from the Kona airport. Paradise offers a couple of added ground options that may be of interest. However, items that I consider to be worthy of mention are: The chopper is a Bell 407. Only flown this type once & would hesitate do do so again: Both the A-Star & EC-130 have 2 front passenger seats; the 407 has only 1. The second row has 2 seats; both by windows...but they face backwards. The third row has 3 seats, but would think your group would be assigned to windows. In addition, Paradise does not offer tour flight videos; both Sunshine & Blue Hawaiian have excellent video capability (multiple exterior cameras + one in-cabin...so keep a grinnin)..

As an alternative to the preceding, especially since your interest is primarily seeing the volcano, you might want to drive over to the east side, take a Hilo flight and spend a night in Volcano Village. This would enable you time to take a ground tour of VNP; both day and night. Been 9 months since our last visit, but here is a current thread with great ideas/info: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60583-i630-k48880…

Blue Hawaiian's Hilo "Circle of Fire" tour ( bluehawaiian.com/bigisland/… ) actually spends a little more time over the volcano and an Eco-Star for your family would cost "only" $1,200. Gas and park admission would be less than 100 bucks and lodging (can't help; we rent a house and the minimum stay is 3 nights, but I'm sure a TA thread on this subject would produce several good ideas)would probably be in the area of $300: total cost $1,600; leaving $'s for a bunch of Blue Hawaiian & Volcano T-shirts!.

4. Re: Heilcopter recommendations - week of 24 Oct

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