- How large are the groups on your tours?
We operate four Mercedes Sprinter Vans with a maximum capacity of 14 passengers. So if you’re looking for a private, romantic getaway for two, a small group of just a few, or you have a large corporate event or wedding, we can handle up to 56 passengers at one time! Should you have an even larger group, we can arrange to work with one of our sister companies to handle your needs.
- What do you mean by “group” vs “private or charter” tour?
The Deluxe Volcano Experience group tour operates every day. It is very popular! We want to accommodate as many guests as possible, but we don’t want to travel in a big bus; we prefer comfort and privacy. Our company mission is to make the tour experience as personal as we can; it’s why we limit our tour to 14-passenger vans. Small groups allow for more interaction with the guide and give our guests a chance to meet others from around the world in a comfortable and relaxed vehicle.
On a “private or charter” tour, however, you and your party (up to 14) pay the charter rate and have the tour guide and vehicle all to yourselves.
- How comfy are your vehicles?
Very! Our guides want to work for us because we pamper the guests AND the guides! Having driven low-roof, hard-seated, worn-out vans in the past, we understand the importance of being comfortable on the ride to the volcano.
Maintaining a fleet of Mercedes Benz passenger vans is more expensive than using inferior vehicles, but we never cut corners on safety or customer service – ever.
Our brand new vehicle even has reclining leather seats! Our vans have high roofs to maneuver through the cabin, adjustable air conditioning, seatbelt extensions, cup holders, and large windows for the best views. Our audio/visual package is top-of-the-line with a large flip-down monitor and separate speakers for video and guide headset. This technology allows for the driver/guide to show video while narrating; it’s the ultimate way to cruise the Big Island!
- Where do your tours start?
Kailani Tours Hawaii offers free front door pick-ups at all major West Hawaii hotels and resorts. We also offer the option to meet at a central meeting point to accommodate a busy vacation schedule, if you prefer. For bed and breakfasts or smaller resorts, we’re happy to work with you. Leave the driving to us!
- Can you accommodate wheelchairs? What about special diets?
Our vans are equipped to handle easy storage of a wheelchair or other medical equipment. We do not have a wheelchair lift, however. We have also installed an extra hydraulic side step for extra easy on and off for all riders.
When you book your tour, you have the opportunity to make your lunch and dinner meal selections from among multiple options, including vegan or vegetarian. We’ll also pass on information to the restaurants about any food allergies ahead of time. That’s Aloha!
- How much walking or hiking is involved in your tours?
The Deluxe Volcano Experience, our signature Big Island volcano tour, does not include any walking longer than 20 minutes. Should guests chose to skip any of our short walks, Kailani guides are happy let them rest at Volcano House, the Visitor’s Center, or Jaggar Museum.
For guests wanting to do extensive hiking, we’re glad to customize a private tour to cover as much ground as you like. Our Kailani hiking guides are in excellent shape and will be excited to show off some of the many beautiful hiking trails here on the Big Island.
The tour is not recommended for women who are pregnant or may be pregnant. Passengers traveling with a wheelchair or walker are more than welcome. Please note, our vans are equipped to handle easy storage of a wheelchair or other medical equipment. But we do not have a wheelchair lift.
- What should I wear for my tour?
Although Hawaii is home to the endless summer, there are places and times where the temperature can drop substantially. Temperatures at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park can range from 50 to 75 degrees F. Saddle Road temperatures can get even chillier, to perhaps 40 degrees F. Kailani Tours Hawaii recommends wearing comfortable footwear, a hat and sunglasses, and shorts or long pants. Most guests wear a light jacket or bring long pants for after sunset. You have plenty of opportunities to change as the weather changes frequently. Oh, don’t forget your camera!
- Are snacks, meals, and tips included in the tour prices?
We’ve chosen to work with the best restaurants and caterers on the Big Island to bring our guests an experience of all five senses. We like to eat well and our guests do too!
Tipping is, of course, at the discretion of the tour guest but is customary when great service has been provided. We think our professional tour guides are the very best on the planet and we know they appreciate receiving acknowledgments for their expertise, humor, and ability to make your tour memorable!
- Will my cell phone work during my tour?
Although some cell phone carriers have spotty coverage on the Big Island, we’ll be within cell phone range for most of the tours. Private or charter tours to Waipio Valley will have very limited cell phone coverage. Locals seem to prefer it that way, too. We have a charger on board in case your battery runs low, but some guests bring their own mobile battery charger. Then again, it might actually be nice to set down your phone for a while, too. We also rely on “The Coconut Wireless” or shouting across canyons to communicate.
- Do you operate tours on holidays?
On most holidays, we do operate. However, we do not operate our regular tour on the Ironman World Championships in October, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Our suppliers don’t operate on those days, so we’ve elected to do the same. Our guides have to get to the beach sometimes, right? If you or your group do wish to tour on a holiday, call us and we will be happy to make arrangements with other restaurants that may be operating that day.
- Can we hire Kailani Tours by the hour?
Private tours of the Big Island are offered in half-day (approx. 5 hours) and full-day (10+ hours) blocks and a la carte one-hour blocks with a minimum of three hours for any tour. Private Tours are $140 per hour per Mercedes Van. Private tour guests are responsible for any additional expenses incurred on the tour such as park fees, food, and/or beverages, or we will be glad to provide an all-inclusive price if you prefer.
- I have questions about booking. What’s the best way/time to contact you?
Our online booking system is really easy and straightforward. However, if you would like to call directly, we are available at 808-938-4057. We also have an online program with live chat as well. Kailani Tours Hawaii’s reservation center and office is open every day from 7 a.m. HST to 8 p.m. HST. For online inquiries, please send an email to [email protected] Our reservation team will be happy to customize a tour, provide local information about the island, or just share some Aloha! We love to “Talk Story.”