Fun Facts: Hawai’i Big Island is the youngest of all the Hawaiian Islands. Over the past 80 million years or so, the Hawaiian Island chain formed out of molten lava as the Pacific plate drifted three to four inches a year over a “hotspot.”
The Island of Hawaii, the big island, is our second stop on our discovery of Hawaii. Our ship docks at two different locations on the big island. We first dock at the port of Hilo. According to Cruise Critic review the historic downtown area is charming. It contains several interesting museums, one of which details the effects of the two tsunamis Hilo has survived. The downtown area is about an hour walk from port or there is the option of a free shuttle for cruise passengers that drop you off at the centrally located farmers market. Other options are also available such as taxi or rental car. The most popular attraction on the big island, of course, is the continuously erupting volcano, Mt. Kilauea. The ship offers an excursion to Volcano National Park. I prefer to consider local tour companies. I think they give a more personal experience and often are less expensive than the ship. One of these tour companies is Big Island Aina Tours www.ainatours.com . Their tour stops at the following places: Volcano National Park - Thurston Lava Tube, Jagger Museum, Halemau'mau Crater and Kilauea Caldera, Steam Vents, Kilauea Iki Crater, 1974 lava flow, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory, Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, Liliuokalani Garden, Banyan Drive, Rainbow Falls, Hilo black sand beach. It is a 6 to 6.5 hour tour and costs $94 pp. Unfortunately, because they are a small van tour company, they have limited capacity. They only have room for 8 more passengers. Due to cost or interest, this excursion may not be for everyone. If this excursion is something you would want to do and you would like to use this company instead of the ship please let me know ASAP. I have been in contact with the owners, Tina and Gil Nelson. I have asked them for a referral of another good company we could use, if all of us want to go together.
Scott Rowland of The University of Hawaiʻi captured this shot of Puʻu ʻŌʻō from the Puʻu Huluhulu lookout the evening before Puʻu ʻŌʻō collapsed and the west flank eruption began on August 3rd 2011.
Photo courtesy of ainatours.com
Collapse in Halema‘uma‘u on April 24, 2015 at 5:20 a.m. Photo taken from Jaggar Museum viewing area. NPS Photo/S. Geiger