Helicopter Tours


COVID-19 UPDATE:Blue Hawaiian Helicopters resumed operations so you can make reservations NOW for any future dates! Sunshine Heliocpters anticipates reopening tours on February 1, 2020. Air Maui has not yet determined when they will resume operations.

Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters has resumed operations and is running tours now!

Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tour Rates Regular Season Peak Season**
45 Min. West Maui/Molokai per seat: $319 $344
60 Min. Complete Island per seat: $399 $424
90 Min. Maui Spectacular oer seat: $459 $484
**Peak Season Rates apply from June 16 to August 21 and from December 15 to January 3.
Our Blue Hawaiian rates INCLUDE Hawaii tax and fuel surcharge.

Blue Hawaiian offers a "front seat upgrade" for $100 per seat on all flights. Guests must purchase both front seats, and combined passenger weight must not exceed 470 pounds. Front seat upgrade is offered when you are entering your name and body weight during the second page of the reservation process started by the form on the right.

Book early in advance to get morning flight times.

Maui … the Valley Isle … there is no place like it on Earth, and most of the island is remote and completely inaccessible. The only way to really see the island is from a helicopter. If you've never seen Maui from the air, you've never really seen the island! BLue Hawaiian currently offers three flight options summarized below. While exact routes and sights that you see will vary from flight to flight, we do recommend morning flight times ... morning is typically the clearest time of the day and clouds are less of a factor. In order to guarantee one of these morning flight times your reservation should be made well in advance of your arrival in Hawaii!

  • 45 minute West Maui / Molokai tour covers the west side of Maui, then crosses the channel to the north shore of Molokai, home to the tallest sea cliffs in the world and the tallest waterfall in the state of Hawaii.
  • 60 minute Complete Island of Maui tour covers Haleakala Crater, the Hana Rainforest, and the West Maui Mountains.
  • 90 Minute Maui Spectacular is a 90 minute version of the Complete Island of Maui tour that also includes a ground stop at a remote landing location.

NOTE: For each guest weighing 260 pounds or more, an adjacent, empty seat purchase is required to safely balance the aircraft. The charge for a comfort seat is reduced to 50% off of the regular tour price.

BHH / R

Cruise Ship Clients

Ship icon

NCL cruise ship passengers are able to fly with Air Maui on either day when they are in port in Kahului. This requires a very short cab ride of 5 minutes or less.

Lahaina cruise ship passengers can also fly, but they will need a rental car as the drive to the Kahului Airport takes an hour. We can arrange car rentals for $39 per day. Be sure to see our Kauai Helicopter Tour page also. For rental cars with cruise ship shuttle pick-up see our rental car page.


Sunshine Helicopter Tours

Sunshine Helicopters hopes to resume tours on February 1, 2020 and we are taking reservations for tours on or after that date.

Sunshine Helicopter Tour Rates Regular Offpeak
Sunshine Helicopters Hana / Haleakala $319 $279
Sunshine Helicopters Maui Circle $429 $389
Sunshine Helicopters Molokai Deluxe $399 $359

*Off-peak Rates are flights at 8am OR flights at 2pm and later.
All prices includes Hawaii tax and fuel surcharge

First Class Seating: Passengers will sit next to pilot in the front, with extra arm and leg room. There is a limit of 2 First Class passengers per flight. Maximum combined weight for two passengers on Whisper STAR First Class is 490 lbs. You may request First Class Seating when completing the passenger manifest after submitting the form on the right. The upgrade cost is ?95 per seat.

Book early in advance to get morning flight times.

Soar above the Valley Isle with Sunshine Helicopter aboard the Whisper STAR. Two million years ago this island was created by the extinct West Maui Mountains, and the dormant volcano, Haleakala, which is 10,023 feet above sea level.

Haleakala (literally "house of the sun") is an immense moonlike crater with pure iron oxide cinder cones towering over 1,100 feet tall. You will see Kaupo and Ko'olau Gaps, where lava flowed from the crater to the sea.

You will glide over Hana's nearly uninhabited backside and see the Seven Pools and Lindberg's grave. The Hana Rain Forest extends for over 180 square miles along Maui's northern coast and is the largest tropical rain forest in our nation.

West Maui is one of the wettest places on earth with it's flowing waterfalls and luscious green valleys. Highlights include (weather permitting): the Wall of Tears with over 17 waterfalls flowing at once, and Maui's tallest waterfall, "Honokohau Falls", with over 1,100 foot drop. View the large resorts of Kaanapali and Kapalua along the West Maui coastline. Also, see Old Lahaina Town which was a quaint historic whaling harbor. Cruise by Launiupoko, Olowalu and Ukumehame valleys. Experience central Maui's sugarcane and pineapple fields.

  • 40-50 minute Hana / Haleakala tour includes Haleakala, Old Hana Town, Haleakala National Park, Kipahulu, the taro field of Ke'anae, breathtaking coastline waterfalls and the world famous Ho'okipa windsurfing beach on the return. Whale watching when in season.
  • 60-70 minute Maui Circle combines the West Maui, Hana and Haleakala views. Tour includes views of Old Hana Town, Haleakala National Park, Kipahulu, the taro field of Ke'anae, coastline waterfalls and the world famous Ho'okipa windsurfing beach on the return. Whale watching when in season. 
  • 55-65 minute Molokai Deluxe includes the highlights of West Maui then whale watch (when in season) as you cross Pailolo channel between Maui's northwestern shore and Molokai's eastern coastline. Along Molokai's remote and isolated north shore, soar above Hawaii's tallest waterfalls, including the 1,750 foot Kahiwa Falls. . Molokai has the tallest sea cliffs in the world. Experience Halawa Valley with two large and beautiful waterfalls. Discover Molokai's Kalaupapa Peninsula, which for years was a settlement for people suffering from Hansen's disease (leprosy) and see Father Damien's monument.

NOTE: For passengers who weigh between 240-290 pounds, we recommend open seating on the Whisper STAR. If you are over 290 pounds you may require an additional comfort seat in the Whisper STAR. This policy is necessary because helicopters have limited internal space and overall passenger weights must be calculated prior to take-off to ensure that the vehicle's limitations are not exceeded. FAA regulations require all passengers and their carry-on items to be weighed at time of check-in.   CALL US with questions.

SH / D20

Cruise Ship Clients

Ship icon

NCL cruise ship passengers are able to fly with Sunshine Helicopters on either day when they are in port in Kahului. This requires a very short cab ride of 5 minutes or less.

Lahaina cruise ship passengers can also fly, but they will need a rental car as the drive to the Kahului Airport takes an hour. We can arrange car rentals for $39 per day. Be sure to see our Kauai Helicopter Tour page also. For rental cars with cruise ship shuttle pick-up see our rental car page.


Hana Heli-van Tour

AM Hana Heli-Van Tour Rate

$407.90 per Passenger, $207.18 per Infants (under 2)
(Hawaii sales tax included)

PM Hana Heli-Van Tour Rate

$407.90 per Passenger, $207.18 per Infants (under 2)
(Hawaii sales tax included)

The ultimate East Maui adventure, this sky trek combines a one-way 37 minute helicopter tour of Haleakala and the Hana rainforest with a 3 1/2 hour luxury limo-van tour of the famous "Road to Hana" on the return. The trip includes a delicious beachside picnic lunch served on white linen and crystalline plates, expert narration, a waterfall swim, tropical gardens tour, and many picture stops along the way. Why drive to Hana when you can fly and ride? … you can concentrate on the beauty instead of worrying about the winding road. 

This tour is offered at twice daily. The morning tour meets at the heliport at 7am; you do the van tour to Hana first, then eat lunch, followed by the helicopter tour which returns you to the airport in Kahului. The afternoon tour meets at the heliport at 11am; you do the helicopter tour to Hana first, then eat lunch, followed by the van tour on the return to the airport.

NEW FOR 2020 all of these tours will be flown on the more expensive Blue Hawaiian Eco-star helicopters!!!

MINIMUM NOTICE FOR CANCELLATION OR CHANGES:This tour operator has one of the more elaborate cancellation policies that is based upon the size of your group. For parties of 1-2 people, minimum notice to cancel or change is 7am 2 days prior to tour date. Parties of 3-6 is 7am 3 days prior to tour date. Parties of 7-8 is 7am 4 days prior to the tour date. Parties of 8 or more is 7am 7 days prior to tour date. In addition, HOLIDAY dates have special cancellation … From December 17th – January 3rd, cancellations must be made a full 7 days prior to the tour date for all parties regardless of size.

Weight Restrictions Apply; individuals over 240 pounds or couples with a combined weight over 420 pounds may need to purchase an additional seat. Call for details.

TOUR RESTRICTIONS: All passengers must be fully ambulatory. No wheelchairs, strollers, electric scooters, or oxygen canisters permitted. All participants must wear closed toed shoes.

TT / V

Cruise Ship Clients

Ship icon

NCL cruise ship passengers are able to do the Hana Heli-Van Tour on the afternoon of the first day or the morning of the second day while in port in Kahului. This requires a very short cab ride of 5 minutes or less.

Lahaina cruise ship passengers can only do this tour on the morning of their second dayin port (assuming the ship is there two days). They will need a rental car as the drive to the Kahului Airport takes an hour. We can arrange car rentals for $39 per day. Be sure to see our Kauai Helicopter Tour page also. For rental cars with cruise ship shuttle pick-up see our rental car page.

ACTIVITY TIPS

Kevin at Falls

It never ceases to amaze me that people spend thousands of dollars to come to Hawaii, but think it is too expensive to spend another $200-$250 to REALLY see the islands from a helicopter. There is so much beauty that you cannot see any other way. Do yourself a favor and SPLURGE! You will thank me.

Flying in a helicopter is like riding a magic carpet. They are much more stable than twin engine planes ... motion sickness is seldom an issue for anyone. They cut through the wind like a knife. Thrill seekers may wish for a more roller coaster-like experience, but the pilots fly a very gentle pattern. Don't expect plunging drops and steeply banked turns. 

The best time for helicopter tours (as a rule) is in the morning hours, as cloud cover tends to get thicker throughout the afternoon. Don't feel badly if it looks cloudy just before your flight though ... helicopters can fly just under the cloud ceiling, which typically is around 4,000 feet. These clouds can add an element of mystery and beauty all their own. Check out some of the waterfall photos for an example.

All helicopter tours leave from the Kahului Airport. Plan on a 45 minute drive from Lahaina / Kaanapali Resorts, 60 minutes from Kapalua, 30 minutes from Kihei and 45 minutes from Wailea. Save yourself some driving ... consider planning the helicopter tour for early morning on the day that you drive to Hana. 

Wear dark clothing for your helicopter flight. A light colored shirt will cause a reflection on the windows ... you won't notice it during your flight, but it shows up like crazy in any pictures you take. A polarizing filter on the front of your camera will also help remove window glare (and greatly improve pictures that you take of the ocean too).

A note about weight restrictions. Almost all companies in Hawaii charge extra for heavier passengers. This is not a matter of discrimination toward larger guests ... it is a business reality due to the spatial limitations of the passenger compartment. The cost and profit margins of the helicopter companies is based upon their helicopters flying with every seat occupied. If the helicopter holds 6 passengers and the size of a guest means that they can only comfortably seat 5, they are losing money. The "comfort seat" is exactly that ... it really does make everyone more comfortable. It also ensures that the helicopter's overall weight capacity is not exceeded, which makes this a SAFETY CONCERN as well.

Air Maui flies A-star helicopters, which are the industry standard in touring helicopters in Hawaii. Two passengers sit up front with the pilot and four sit in the second row. People often say to me, "But two people in the back seat don't get a window seat." True, but visibility from these helicopters is excellent ... you really get a 180 degree view no matter where you sit. Yes, it is cool to sit up front. But I like to describe the experience as sitting in a flying theatre. The decision on who sits where is made based solely on the body weight of the passengers and providing the best weight/balance for the aircraft.

Sunshine's WhisperSTAR helicopters have the same seating arrangement and visibility is nearly identical to the original A-star, but the cabin is a little roomier. Sunshine does offer a "First Class" guaranteed front seating upgrade (for a fee) although the front seats have a combined weight limit of 490 pounds. The wider cabin also gives more flexibility in body weights and they only require a comfort seat purchase in cases where a guest weighs over 290 pounds. (Air Maui requires a comfort seat for guests over 240 pounds.)

Air Maui and Sunshine both produce a live DVD video of your flight which is available for purchase after your flight. A multi-camera system allows the pilot to edit a video "on the fly" including shots inside the cabin so your relatives back home can see you during your flight, which makes a great souvenir.

My favorite flight is the West Maui / Molokai flight, which is available in a 45 minute and a 60 minute version with Air Maui or a 55-65 minute flight with Sunshine. Molokai has the tallest seacliffs in the world, and the tallest waterfall in the state of Hawaii. I am less crazy about the 45 minute Hana / Haleakala flight. It takes a lot of time to climb to 10,000 feet and take a peak into the crater, which is restricted air space. You get a similar view as if you drove to the top yourself. Then the rest of the flight seems to rush by.

What about the active volcano? Lots of people ask about a helicopter ride from Maui over Kilauea on the Big Island. It's just too far and not cost-effective to fly there in a helicopter. The best way to see Kilauea is to plan an overnight stay in Hilo. You can fly to Hilo on Hawaiian Airlines, have a rental car, do a helicopter flight, spend the night, then fly back the next day. The advantage of this itinerary is that when you spend the night there, you can drive to the volcano and do a little hiking and view the lava at night when it is far more spectacular! See our Active Volcano page for these packages.