Hawaiian Volcanoes: A Guide to Cruise Shore Excursions


Hawaii is a tropical paradise known for its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and vibrant culture. But one of the most unique and awe-inspiring attractions in Hawaii are its active volcanoes. These majestic natural wonders draw millions of visitors each year, and one of the best ways to experience them is through a cruise shore excursion.

In this guide, we will explore the various cruise shore excursions available in Hawaii that allow you to witness the power and beauty of Hawaiian volcanoes. From exploring the lava fields to witnessing volcanic eruptions, these excursions offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with these incredible geological formations.

Exploring the Volcanoes National Park

One of the most popular cruise shore excursions in Hawaii is a visit to the Volcanoes National Park. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, this park is home to two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Visitors can explore the park’s vast lava fields, hike through lush rainforests, and even witness volcanic activity firsthand.

One of the highlights of the Volcanoes National Park is the Kilauea Caldera, a massive crater that is constantly emitting steam and sulfur dioxide gas. Visitors can take a guided tour around the caldera and learn about the geological history of the area. If you’re lucky, you may even witness a volcanic eruption, as Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

Helicopter Tours

For those looking for a more thrilling and unique experience, a helicopter tour is the perfect way to see Hawaiian volcanoes from above. These tours offer breathtaking views of the volcanic landscape, allowing you to see the lava flows, craters, and steam vents from a bird’s-eye perspective.

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During a helicopter tour, you’ll fly over the active volcanoes and get a close-up look at the lava flows as they make their way to the ocean. You’ll also have the opportunity to see other natural wonders, such as waterfalls, rainforests, and coastal cliffs. The experienced pilots will provide informative commentary throughout the tour, giving you a deeper understanding of the volcanic activity and the island’s geology.

Boat Tours

Another popular option for cruise shore excursions in Hawaii is a boat tour that takes you along the coast to witness volcanic activity. These tours offer a unique perspective, allowing you to see the lava entering the ocean and creating new land.

During a boat tour, you’ll cruise along the coastline and get a close-up view of the lava flows as they meet the water. This creates a spectacular sight, as the lava sizzles and steams upon contact with the cool ocean. Some boat tours even offer the opportunity to swim or snorkel near the lava entry point, providing a truly unforgettable experience.

Other Volcanic Attractions

In addition to the Volcanoes National Park, there are several other volcanic attractions in Hawaii that are worth exploring during a cruise shore excursion. Here are a few notable ones:

  • Haleakala National Park: Located on the island of Maui, this park is home to the dormant Haleakala volcano. Visitors can hike to the summit and witness breathtaking sunrises above the clouds.
  • Pu’u O’o: This volcanic cone on the Big Island of Hawaii has been continuously erupting since 1983. Visitors can hike to the edge of the lava flow and witness the ongoing volcanic activity.
  • Mauna Kea: Although not an active volcano, Mauna Kea is one of the tallest mountains in the world when measured from its base on the ocean floor. Visitors can take a guided tour to the summit and stargaze at one of the world’s premier astronomical observatories.
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A cruise to Hawaii offers a unique opportunity to witness the power and beauty of Hawaiian volcanoes. Whether you choose to explore the Volcanoes National Park, take a helicopter tour, or embark on a boat tour, you’re sure to be amazed by the incredible sights and experiences that await you. So pack your bags, hop on a cruise ship, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the land of fire and ice.


  1. Are the volcanoes in Hawaii safe to visit?
    Yes, the volcanoes in Hawaii are generally safe to visit. However, it’s important to follow the instructions and guidelines provided by park rangers and tour operators to ensure your safety. Volcanic activity can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to stay informed and be prepared for any changes.
  2. Can I see lava flowing into the ocean?
    Yes, it is possible to see lava flowing into the ocean during a boat tour or a helicopter tour. However, the visibility of the lava flow can vary depending on the current volcanic activity. It’s always best to check with tour operators for the most up-to-date information.
  3. What should I wear and bring for a volcano excursion?
    It’s recommended to wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes for a volcano excursion. The weather near the volcanoes can be unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to bring layers and a rain jacket. Additionally, don’t forget to bring sunscreen, a hat, plenty of water, and a camera to capture the incredible sights.