Situated on the Big Island of Hawaii, Hilo greets guests in its historic downtown area, packed with restaurants and shops. As beaches are high on any visitor’s list, be sure to head to beautiful Hilo Bay Beachfront Park, a black-sand mecca for surfers and canoeing enthusiasts. Other local attractions include Pana'ewa Zoo, the only rainforest zoo in the United States; Nani Mau Gardens, where a tram ride takes you past such highlights as the iron bell tower and lovely orchid pavilion. Spectacular day trips are available, from volcano tours to kayaking adventures to trips to hiking tours in Akaka Falls State Park.
The following Shore Excursions are available for this port on this cruise, and may be reserved beginning 240 days before the cruise begins for guests receiving Concierge amenities, and 180 days before the cruise begins for all other guests. Guests receiving Concierge amenities will receive a 5% discount off of the prices shown below for Regent Choice tours.
Most Active or Strenuous
Minimal Activity Required
Drive to the picturesque summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s highest peak, and tour its cutting-edge observatory and intriguing information center to learn about the discoveries made here.
Depart from the pier and travel by van into the fertile countryside that lies in the shadow of the dormant volcano Mauna Kea. Sheep were raised on this expansive land until the early 1960s, when cattle became more profitable, as you will discover while touring the historical Humu’ula Sheep Station. This well-preserved ranch reflects the heyday of the industry, giving you great insight into one of Hawaii’s earliest commercial endeavors.
Continuing on, you will drive to the summit of Mauna Kea, which at 13,796 feet is the world’s loftiest island mountain. In Hawaiian, Mauna Kea means “White Mountain,” a reference to the snow that often blankets the peak. As you might expect, the panorama is absolutely stunning, as are the views of the sky from Keck Observatory, which clings to the volcano’s summit.
Keck holds two telescopes, each standing eight stories high and weighing 300 tons. Because of their size and advanced technology that eliminates the blurring effect of the atmosphere; these telescopes produce astoundingly clear images. While here, you will learn about the discoveries that astronomers have made while studying the cosmos at the observatory.
Next, descend to the Ellison Onizuka Information Station, which is named for a Hawaiian-born astronaut. Following a deli-style picnic lunch, you will have a short hike to visit the rare and endangered Mauna Kea Silverswords, an endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island. Afterwards, there will be time to visit the exhibits at the visitors’ center and shop for souvenirs before driving back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 3-hours of moderate walking/standing. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests. The tour visits the mountain summit with an altitude of 13,796 feet and includes a short four-wheel drive; therefore, it is not suitable for those who are pregnant, have heart or respiratory conditions, or those in poor health. Children under 16 years of age are not allowed above the 9,000 foot elevation. Participants are provided with hooded parkas and should wear long pants and bring a sweater or jacket. Sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
This brief tour is designed to give participants a nice overview of Hilo from the comfort of an air-conditioned coach and is a good choice for those who are less active.
Joining your coach and experienced guide at the pier, you will first set off for Liliuokalani Gardens. En route, your guide will tell you all about the Big Island of Hawaii and the Hilo area, pointing out points of interest along the way. A short drive through the Park showcases some of its magnificent plant life and your guide will share some information about the gardens and the tropical plant life that grows here.
Continuing on, you will head to Rainbow Falls where you can witness the resounding and sometimes deafening noise created by this beautiful 80-foot waterfall as it rushes into a large pool below that is almost 100 ft. in width. The surrounding gorge with its blanket of lush, dense foliage is equally picturesque and you will want to be sure to bring along your camera to capture some great photos.
Leaving the Falls, you'll head back into Hilo to visit the beautiful Shinmachi Memorial that was erected in honor of the many residents of Hilo who lost their lives to the Tsunami of 1946. And of course, no trip to Hilo would be complete without a stop at the beautiful gold statue of King Kamehameha.
Having seen some of the best of Hilo, you will head back to the pier where your tour comes to its conclusion.
Please note: This tour includes a very limited amount of walking and the sites can be viewed from the coach. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, can make their own way on and off the coach and have a companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Casual clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.
Take your need for speed to new heights on this thrilling zipline adventure. Covering nearly two miles of gorgeous tropical river gorges, this 8-line zip course is fun for the whole family.
The certified staff will guide you over one of the longest lines on the island at more than 2,400 feet. Ride the only all side-by-side dual-track zipline on Hawaii. Elevated platforms connect with exciting features like suspension bridges and suspended staircases.
You’ll zoom 160 feet over multiple waterfalls, gaze at panoramic ocean views, and be serenaded by native birdcalls in the forest until they are drowned out by the roar of rapids from the river below. The last line is the longest at more than 1/2 mile. Glide directly down the middle of the river, for an amazing adrenaline rush. A fully narrated off-road adventure gets you to and from the zipline course.
Note: Participants must be at least 5 years of age and weigh between 35 and 275 lbs., must be able to lift 15 lbs. and walk up stairs and over uneven terrain. Wear closed toe shoes. If you are pregnant or have had past heart, neck or back problems, this tour is not for you. There will be a charge for guests who want to be observers only, and do the walk but not the zip.
The lush greenery of Hilo gives way to stark black rock in Kalapana, a village completely destroyed by advancing lava in 1990. You’ll see how the volcano engulfed everything in its path, completely filling in Kaimu Bay and covering what was the best swimming beach on the island. Fortunately nature has provided a replacement – walk across now hardened rock to the new, beautiful black sand beach. Travel along the scenic Puna coastline to where the jagged 40-foot lava cliffs of MacKenzie State Park meet the Pacific Ocean for an amazing view.
Explore Lava Tree State Park, a rainforest that happened to be in the path of a lava flow. The trees burned from the inside out, leaving hollow stone skeletons. Now covered with moss, they make for an eerie panorama.
Note: Participants must be at least 3 years of age. If you have any back problems, existing heart conditions, or are pregnant, this tour is not for you. You must wear sturdy closed-toe shoes. The order of the itinerary may change, and molten lava will not be seen.
Experience what it’s like to live in the paradise of Hawaii in the intimate setting of three private island residences, where a progressive Hawaiian brunch will be served in three delightful courses.
Depart from the pier and enjoy a picturesque drive through historical Hilo to the first of three authentic kama’aina homes. In the Hawaiian language, “kama’aina” means “child of the land” and refers to residents whose ancestors have lived in the islands for generations. Each of these homes have been carefully selected to offer the optimal experience in giving you an insider look at various island living and local dishes.
Upon arriving at the first residence, you will be served the first course of a three-course meal. While the exact menu will vary according to the season and which ingredients are the freshest, you can expect to sample breakfast breads, assorted fruits and guava juice. There may also be taro malasada, a fried dough pastry made from taro root, the source of Hawaii’s staple poi.
Continuing on to the second residence, you will enjoy the hearty second course. It may include mango gazpacho, an organic salad topped with fried wontons, sesame ginger shrimp, and papaya stuffed with chicken macadamia nut salad. Iced tea flavored with the passion fruit lilikoi is typically the beverage.
An array of tropical desserts follows at the third residence. Ginger coconut macaroons and chocolate espresso mousse topped with a chocolate-covered Kona coffee bean are usually on the menu. Afterwards, you’ll return back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes just over 2 hours of moderate walking/standing and requires the negotiation of some stairs. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those who use a walker. Guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Casual clothing and flat, comfortable shoes that are easy to remove (it is customary for guests to remove their shoes before entering an island home) are recommended. Guest must be at least 18 years of age to participate in this tour.
Experience life on the planet’s most active volcano during this deluxe tour to Kilauea. Meet your guide for the day and board your tour vehicle. The drive to the volcano will take you through Banyan Drive where visiting dignitaries such as Babe Ruth, Cecil B. DeMille, and then Senator Richard Nixon planted the famed Banyan trees. The drive also takes you past the waterfront Japanese Gardens of Queen Liliuokalani. The lush greenery of Hilo gives way to stark black basalt lava flows in Kalapana, a village completely destroyed by the advancing lava flows just a few years ago. Your first stop is the Painted Church. Now decommissioned, it was moved by determined villagers not once but twice to evade the molten lava flows. Next, you'll walk across the recent lava flows to the newest black sand beach on the island. You'll witness how the volcano engulfed everything in it’s path, even completely filling in Kaimu Bay with molten lava. This walk takes you over what once was the best swimming beach on Hawaii Island. Continue along the scenic Puna coastline to view the jagged lava cliffs of MacKenzie State Park. Then your guide will share a volcanically heated lava cove where you can take a refreshing dip or snorkel looking for tropical fish and the occasional giant green sea turtle. Finally, you'll visit Lava Tree State Park to view the incredible lava formations found here. Left behind in a sudden lava flow in 1790, the hot lava cooled around the native Ohia trees in black rock formations that must be seen to be believed. Your return drive will take you through Hilo. A Hawaiian-style barbecue lunch, which includes complimentary beer and French Champagne, is prepared by your guide along the way, and special dietary needs are happily accommodated with advance notice.
Begin your journey on a narrated 60 minute drive via motorcoach to the lovely Akatsuka Gardens.
You will view a variety of orchids on display that include Dendrobiums, Oncidiums, Phalaenopsis, Miltonia, Odontoglossums and more. Beyond the orchids you will see Anthuriums, Bromeliads and Tropical Cut Flowers.
While at the Gardens you will board mini-buses and depart for Volcanoes National Park. At just over 4,000 feet, Kilauea is not the tallest volcano on the Big Island, but as the world's most active one, it leaves a large lava footprint. You will visit Kilauea Visitor Center, Steam Vents & the Kilauea Iki Lookout.
Note: Natural sulfur gases may affect those with respiratory problems in some places around the craters. Volcano area is know for being cool & wet. Bring a light jacket and an umbrella. Wear good walking shoes. Do not expect to see molten lava. This tour is not wheelchair accessible. Several steps are required to view the steam vents at Volcano National Park.
Discover Hawaii’s thriving agricultural pursuits by visiting a nearby farm that grows crops as varied as coffee, macadamia nuts, cacao and poha berries.
Depart from the pier and enjoy a short drive north to OK Farms, which overlooks Hilo. Upon arriving, you will be welcomed with a cup of coffee, freshly brewed with Arabica beans grown on the farm. The beans are prized for producing distinctively flavored coffee with a rich, velvety taste. A tour of the farm’s coffee orchard reveals how the beans are hand picked, dried in the sun and sorted for roasting.
Similarly, you will learn how macadamia nuts are harvested at OK Farms, whose orchard contains approximately 20,000 macadamia trees. Although the tree is native to Australia, it was introduced to Hawaii in 1880 and thrives in the tropical climate. In fact, Hawaii grows 95% of the world’s macadamia nuts, most of them for export throughout the United States.
You will also be treated to a tour of an orchard devoted to cacao, which flourishes due to the island’s ideal temperature, abundant rainfall and fertile volcanic soil. Other crops grown at the farm include heart of palm, lychee nuts, and tropical fruits such as longans and rambutans, many of which you will sample.
Following your tour of the farm’s agricultural interests, you will head to nearby Rainbow Falls Orchard Lookout to take in the spectacular views. Later, you will even have an opportunity to come face-to-face with a Hawaiian boar at the farm’s feral pig exhibit. After having had a chance to view Hawaiian farm life and being given a brief glimpse at what the ancient Hawaiian ancestors had experienced, you will return to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 3-hours of moderate walking/standing that includes some uneven and natural surfaces as well as an inclined grassy area. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The minimum age to participate is 8 years old and all children less than 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian. While the tour operates rain or shine, it may be cancelled in the event of severe weather.
Terms & Conditions:
Free Unlimited Shore Excursions are for full fare guests only, capacity controlled and subject to availability. Requested excursions may not be available at time of booking. Supplement will apply on Regent Choice excursions (indicated by the above) and excludes Private Arrangements and all Adventures Ashore programs. Concierge benefits do not apply to Executive Collection private cars or other private arrangements. In order to ensure quality guides and sufficient transportation, we must provide the tour operator with passenger counts at least 36 hours in advance. Therefore no refunds will be given within 36 hours of tour departure for cancellations or no-shows. Please pay special attention to scheduling and tour lengths when booking your shore excursions. In many cases, it is not possible to participate in more than one tour per day in a given port. Tour Departure times are subject to change so please reference your actual tour ticket for the correct departure time. Tours operate rain or shine. Minor children 17 years and under must be accompanied by a an adult 18 years or older on all shore excursions. Tours require minimum participation levels to operate so please sign up as early as possible. Tours may be cancelled if minimum participation levels are not met. Prices, Itineraries and General Information shore excursion prices are subject to change to meet unexpected cost increases or currency fluctuations. Please consult the Destination Services Desk onboard for information. During local or national holidays, access to certain facilities (such as museums or archaeological sites) may be limited or denied. In such instances, adjustments will be made to minimize inconvenience to guests. Some tours have limited availability. Tours are generally available for reserving 180 days prior to the beginning of a cruise. Please sign up early to avoid disappointment. Regent Seven Seas Cruises reserves the right to require guests to complete a liability waiver for select shore excursions. For more information, please visit the Destination Services Desk onboard.