Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tour in Kauai

My friend Shane Eubanks of Insider Travel Group recently experienced Kauai from the air with Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours. Shane agreed to tell us about his tour and share some tips. Mahalo, Shane, for your review of this tour.

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There are plenty of ways to see various sites in Kauai, but the one that will guarantee you see just about the entire island and get breathtaking views is a helicopter tour around the island. Blue Hawaiian offers helicopter tours around the various Hawaiian islands and the Kauai tour is simply amazing!

Na Pali Coast from a Helicopter

Na Pali Coast View From Helicopter

You’re required to check-in about 45 minutes before your scheduled takeoff to take watch a mandatory safety video and get assigned pilots and seats. Once this is complete, you’re taken via a shuttle over to the airport to board your helicopter. You’re only allowed to bring what you can hold or fit in your pocket – no backpacks, camera bags, purses, etc are allowed. They will store them for you until you return from your flight though. Just keep this in mind especially if you have a camera with more than one lens and plan on taking photos.

Another tip if you plan on shooting photos is to wear dark clothing. This way you do not get as much glare or reflection from your clothing when shooting through the window.

The tour takes a clockwise route around the island and the right side of the helicopter offers most of the best views, but the pilot will maneuver so that people on the left get great views as well.

Along the tour, the pilot will point out various sights and give a brief explanation or history behind what you are viewing. You’ll see sites such as the various towns, taro fields, waterfalls (including the famous waterfall shown in the movie Jurassic Park), the Waimea Canyon (also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), the Napali Coast, and if the weather permits you’ll fly into the heart what use to be the volcano that created the entire island which is now a lush cascade of trees and waterfalls and is incredibly breathtaking!

Upon returning to the check-in you’ll be given the opportunity to purchase the DVD from your flight for an additional fee, which is great if you weren’t able to take photos.

As a final tip, Kauai can often be cloudier in the mornings with a lot of the fog & low level clouds burning off throughout the morning hours. You might have better luck with the weather booking a flight in the afternoon as a result. If you have a weather delay, they will try to reschedule you.

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

3501 Rice St # 114
Lihue, HI 96766-1760
(808) 245-5800

http://www.bluehawaiian.com/

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A note from Sheila: Kauai is arguably the best island for taking a helicopter tour. You can only see gorgeous Na Pali coast from either an air tour or boat. Seeing Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Parks from the bird’s eye perspective, is also a sight you won’t soon forget. To get a taste of what you might expect, see this link for video clips of Kauai from Blue Hawaiian.

Mahalo to Shane for offering his helicopter tour advice.  Note that you can also find a couple more tips in my post on choosing a helicopter tour in Hawaii.


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6 comments

  1. The helicopter ride over Kauai was one of the most incredible experiences in Kauai. We also went with Blue Hawaiian both on Kauai and out of Kona.

    They were incredibly professional and made the cost of the trip completely worth it.

    Our helicopter pilot was able to take us right into the Napail coast – we got to see the waterfalls up close and personal – it was breathtaking….It was the best way to really grasp just how large the mountains are!!

    Love Blue Hawaiian!

  2. I am thinking about doing a photo tour with Hawaiian Landmark Images in Kauai. Does anyone recommending doing one of these tours? Any suggestions with other photographers on Kauai to use?

  3. @Charlie – I’ve not tried any photo tours, but you could probably do it yourself. What are you looking for in a photo tour?

  4. I have been to the island several times and have taken several helicopter tours. I believed they were all the same. They fly, they take you up and around and you return. Well those basics may be true but there is very much a difference between companies.
    In the past, my flight has been rescheduled if the weather was uncooperative or the conditions lacked a quality view for a quality trip. After all that is what you are paying for — lots of money to see a once-in-a-lifetime view of the island. And I have always received extraordinary service and narrative by the pilots BUT NOT WITH BLUE HAWAIIAN.
    As can often be the case in Hawaii, the day of my flight it was rainy. I called to see if the flight would be rescheduled and was told no. So we showed up, checked in, weighed in, waited 45 or so minutes and then loaded up.
    The first few minutes in the air were ok but as the chopper climbed all I could see out the window was grey clouds and rain. This continued for most of the flight. When the pilot dropped down out of the cloud cover, we could see SOME view but then it was back to the clouds. Yes, I briefly saw waterfalls. The sides of a few mtns. BUT it was a MAJOR disappointment. The entire NaPali coast was invisable including looking down to breaker beach – it really was a waste of time.
    A few guests on the helicopter seemed to be happy to have flown in a helicopter for the first time but if only they knew what a quality, professional helicopter flight of the island was supposed to be like, they, like me, would have been sorely disappointed.
    I complained when the flight returned, even showing the staff my cloud filled pictures – no response.
    I wrote the company and complained again and they claimed it was a satisfactory flight. Could I see the ground? Sure when we took off and when we landed and for a few minutes, near the canyon. Did I experience very limited visability MOST OF THE FLIGHT? Yes I did. Did I look over shoulders and out the window to view grey matter most of the flight – YES I DID. The flight really sucked and when the conditions are that poor – you should reschedule people or give them an opt out option. It is completely unethical to take peoples money for what you offered me.
    I went through my old records when I got home and realized last time I had flown with Jack Harter so when I return again next year, that is who I will fly with again and that is who I will recommend again and again.
    Dont fly Blue Hawaiian unless you like to get ripped off.

    • Hi Kanderson,

      Thanks for your detailed report.

      I am by no means a company spokesperson, but I have personally had an excellent experience with Blue Hawaiian on Kauai.

      Sometimes, the weather dictates our experience.

      It’s unfortunate that Blue Hawaiian couldn’t have presented an option that you felt you deserved.

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