*how we rate vendors
Rated #1 Helicopter Tour on Maui
In a nutshell: Blue Hawaiian is top of its game in every aspect of Helicopter tour operations.
Minuses: You can’t bring these guys with you to run everything!
|Location:||1 Kahului Airport Rd. #105 (Kahului Heliport)|
|Price:||$140 – $400+|
Blue Hawaiian is my hands-down favorite vendor for helicopter tours because they hit every point of our mission with the kind of precision that makes my job easy.
I think we can all agree that this is the most critical component when we’re going to be leaving the ground. I look at all the awards Blue Hawaiian can boast about, and I’m most impressed with the one they’ve got hanging on the maintenance department’s wall: the FAA’s Diamond Award for excellence. Even more impressive is the fact that no other helicopter tour operator (not just on Maui, but in the entire state) has ever received this award. Blue Hawaiian has received it every year running for over a decade. Drop the rest of this article, and that fact alone gets me on a Blue Hawaiian helicopter before anyone else.
Pilots and Guides
Blue Hawaiian has first-class, knowledgeable pilots and two way communication between you and the pilot (this is not standard with all operators.)
Blue Hawaiian has aced attention to detail in this area as well, and all their pilots not only have guide training, but a decent understanding of important cultural facts and history (points neglected or misunderstood by many in our tourism industry.) Pilots are also well versed on in their understanding of flora, fauna and geology.
Blue Hawaiian offers both A-Star and Eco-Star helicopters. The Eco-Star is really what you want when touring – it was designed from the ground-up for exactly this purpose (and with direct input from Blue Hawaiian, by the way.) The Eco-Star is also quieter and 23% more spacious than the A-Star, has individual seats (A-Star has benches) and even more glass and better viewing. Blue Hawaiian is one of only two vendors in Maui who fly the Eco-Star.
Awards & Endorsements
Besides the FAA awards mentioned above, Blue Hawaiian also has a host of national awards and endorsements from well-known names – waaaay too many for me to detail in an article that has already run well overtime (but I can still name-drop a few!) National Geographic, the Travel Channel and no less than two dozen top-ratings in Hawaii newspaper reader polls are among them. Blue Hawaiian is also the go-to for aerial filming on an impressive list of blockbuster Hollywood movies and TV shoes. They’ve even been awarded the prestigious International Star Diamond Award – a big deal – and a first for an activity. (If you want more details on the awards, they exercise their bragging rights here.)
Environment, Citizenry & Company
Blue Hawaiian has been here for over 25 years. They now cover all of Hawaii, but they are still based on Maui. This is a family-owned and operated business, and having owners so passionate about what they do right here at the Kahului Heliport makes Maui the shining jewel of their statewide operation.
Blue Hawaiian has also contributed to ecological responsibility both in Maui and in their industry. They were an active part in developing a much quieter helicopter to reduce noise pollution over natural areas, and that work applies not just for Maui, but has been beneficial in sensitive areas around the world. Blue Hawaiian also recently installed an impressive solar array that powers virtually all of their power-hungry Maui operations.
I’m sure that being dedicated to green business operations has got to be a challenging commitment for an aviation company, but like everything they do, Blue Hawaiian doesn’t seem to let convenience dictate the path they take in doing things right.
This video is of Manawainui on the Back Side of Haleakala – unless you’re an extreme back-country hiker, you can see only the smallest fraction of this valley on your own.
Other Reviews: *ordered by accuracy
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