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Mauna Loa Helicopter soaring over Oahu's Kaaawa Valley

Best helicopter tours in Oahu

I can only guarantee the best Oahu helicopter tours if you opt for an upgrade or two at cost; but can be cheaper if you go without, but for sure will have a negative effect.

Eight helicopter tours in Oahu make my best of list with Magnum experiences making the cut, so does the doors off upgrade and a landing add-on if you can afford it. Helicopter type in use matters to me so the Hughes 500 dominates the tours, but know that without a doors off tour I cannot guarantee the enjoyment.

Rather than simply listing the best helicopter tours, Oahu in fact offers guests an option to upgrade where applicable that is designed to enhance the experience.

Its really hard not to include an add-on where available so expect me to add it on at cost.

What it involves is a doors off helicopter tour but if you're careful, you can opt for a Oahu helicopter tour company who offer this service without cost.

Namely Mauna Loa, Magnum Helicopters or Novictor; whereas Paradise Helicopters offer an upgrade fee for doors off or a landing.

I adore a landing as it involves feet on the ground on an hilltop overlooking the Oahu landscape, which is not accessible on foot.

Costs are on the higher end but that is due to the generous flight duration on all tours.

But where I have listed a tour that lasts 20 or 40 minutes; it can still be costly as Oahu tends to serve up expensive tourist activities.

Price list table

Operator: Tour Name: Depart: Dur: Price:
Magnum Helicopters Doors Off Adventure Tour Honolulu 50min $289
Paradise Helicopters Magnum Experience Turtle Bay 60min $509
Paradise Helicopters Oahu Circle Island Experience Kalaeloa 75min $569
Mauna Loa Helicopters The Oahu Magnum P.I. Experience Honolulu 50min $279
Novictor Helicopters Royal Crown of Oahu Honolulu 60min $315
Paradise Helicopters Valleys & Waterfall Explorer Turtle Bay 40min $349
Novictor Helicopters City by the Sea Honolulu 20min $180
Mauna Loa Helicopters The Oahu Experience Honolulu 60min $320
Up to four Oahu helicopter tour companies occupy my Operator Name column; second column lists Tour Name; Depart represents lift off location; Dur. is Duration + price.

So its only eight of the best helicopter tours in Oahu I can think of that I consider to be my favourites on the island.

More Oahu helicopter tour options can be added to the list but I feel I should refine the tours to eight only, to avoid confusion or you being overwhelmed by too many options.

Its eight tours I've listed but they're operated by only the four Oahu helicopter tour companies.

Magnum Helicopters are listed once as the operator only offer the one tour option over Oahu - that is their Doors Off Adventure Tour.

Themed Oahu Magnum P.I. helicopter tours are a favourite of mine so it only makes sense to alo see Paradise Helicopters own version on my list - that is their Magnum Experience tour.

I've narrowed the Paradise Helicopter tour options down so its only the three listed.

Once again a Magnum P.I. helicopter tour experience is made available via Mauna Loa Helicopters in their open doors The Oahu Magnum P.I. Experience.

Last but not least Novictor Helicopter make the list with two options in their Robinson.

My best Oahu helicopter tours

  • Doors Off Adventure Tour + Preferred Seat
  • Visit Site | Operator: Magnum Helicopters | Dur: 50 Min. | Price: $289
  • Thrilling doors off tour partakes in a replica 'doors off' Magnum P.I. chopper that brings you over Oahu with every nook and cranny seen from the air.
  • Magnum Experience with Doors Off + Landing
  • Visit Site | Operator: Paradise Helicopters | Dur: 50 Min. | Price: $509
  • Visit beaches, rainforests, coastlines to cascading waterfalls in this Magnum tour that requires a doors off upgrade plus a landing tour, all at an extra cost.
  • Oahu Circle Island Experience with Window Seat + Landing
  • Visit Site | Operator: Paradise Helicopters | Dur: 75 Min. | Price: $569
  • Go one step more on this full Oahu island circle tour by making sure no landmark is unseen by upgrading to a window seat with a landing option not to be missed.
  • The Oahu Magnum P.I. Experience with Doors Off upgrade
  • Visit Site | Operator: Mauna Loa Helicopters | Dur: 50 Min. | Price: $279
  • Once again its Magnum P.I. helicopter tour but this time in a smaller, open door upgrade option Robinson R44 chopper in use, at no extra cost per passenger.
  • Royal Crown of Oahu + Doors Off
  • Visit Site | Operator: Novictor Helicopters | Dur: 60 Min. | Price: $315
  • Major destinations come within reach on this Royal Crown tour; only you need to make it a doors off upgrade to seen all that is promised.
  • Valleys & Waterfall Explorer with Doors Off upgrade
  • Visit Site | Operator: Paradise Helicopters | Dur: 40 Min. | Price: $349 | Doors: Off
  • Premise of this tour focuses on valleys, waterfalls and more; it partakes in a Hughes 500 chopper with a recommended doors off upgrade to be considered.
  • City by the Sea + Doors Off
  • Visit Site | Operator: Novictor Helicopters | Dur: 20 Min. | Price: $180 | Doors: Off
  • Honolulu plus her surrounding scenery is seen plus beaches and Oahu landscape, but only if you avoid disappointment by making it a doors off only tour.
  • The Oahu Experience with Doors Off upgrade
  • Visit Site | Operator: Mauna Loa Helicopters | Dur: 60 Min. | Price: $320
  • One not to be missed if its a group of three guests. Its a private tour that visits all major sights on the island, but again, make it a doors off upgrade.

Explore most of Oahu

Where the best Oahu helicopter tours mentioned above are based on a theme; its not to say most other attractions on the island won't be unseen.

In fact, a duration of the flight will see you soar over the islands landscape, but a stop to the promised locations is expected.

It can come at a low moving pass by, an hover or a circle so all guests get to see it.

Make no mistake well all helicopter tours depart Honolulu, none of the surrounding area will be missed, and if it is you'll be sure to make up for it as you come back to land.

Busy with tourist beaches are expected to be seen, including Waikiki’s shoreline, Diamond Head, Koko Head, and the Makapuu Point Lighthouse.

Heading north expect to see Kaaawa - also known as Jurassic Park Valley - and Sacred Falls, along with more time spent on Oahu’s famous North Shore.

While helicopter tours in Oahu tend to follow a clockwise direction; its expected no tour will be the same, as the experience changes from one to the next.

So don't be discouraged by the theme of the tour, such as Magnum P.I. helicopter tours, as seeing all landmarks on Oahu is a promise by all tour companies.

Oahu helicopter tour companies

Up to five Hawaii helicopter tour companies occupy the island of Oahu, of whom only the one operator is missing from my best of list.

But let it be known Blue Hawaiian Helicopters are still a firm favourite; its just that I prefer doors off helicopter tours which are prominent on my list.

Blue Hawaiian don't offer this add-on so for the time being they're not included.

However, my best helicopter tours in Oahu are still made up of four very important, well very organised helicopter operators.

Paradise and Magnum Helicopters both operate a replica Magnum P.I. chopper, referred to as a Hughes 500 or officially called a MD500.

Therefore it allows the companies to partake in a Magnum theme tour with doors off.

Mauna Loa and their near rivals of Novictor Helicopters offer Oahu helicopter tours in a small, yet reliable Robinson R44.

Make it a Mauna Loa Helicopters tour to avoid a doors off upgrade cost, or make it doors on with Novictor.

Epic upgrade or add-on options

Costs associated with my best Oahu helicopter rides thus far do not include the base price or starting from prices.

To be the best helicopter tour on the island it will come at a cost, so expect to pay a little more for an upgrade, or add-on.

So what is an upgrade or add-on and how might this effect your overall experience?

Well its vital you take my advice on board well paying extra for anything from Oahu doors off helicopter tour, a window seat to a landing excursion.

Sure Oahu helicopter tours can be much cheaper without the extra $50.00 or $100.00 expense, but believe me there will be no restrictions to what will be an enjoyable tour.

For example, doors off makes for unbelievable views with no window or door in your way; much like a window seat will avoid you being sat in a middle seat.

I admit a Oahu helicopter landing tour upgrade can be avoided without spoiling the overall experience, but its an option that will be worth it.

Its a marvelous way to extend the tour duration well seeing Oahu in the air with a landing on a remote spot, made only accessible by helicopter.

Best come at a high cost

Best helicopter tours in Oahu do come at a mid range price; though I have to say the starting price will increase if you take my recommendation on board.

That is if you decide to upgrade to a window seat or making it a doors off or landing adventure.

Otherwise, the pricing is respectable but know its still quite expensive in terms of other options made available - outside of my recommendations.

If its a doors off experience say via Magnum Helicopter or Paradise Helicopters; it might not be necessary to upgrade to a preferred seat as views are still impressive.

Whereas it might be worth paying a little extra with an operator who offers a doors off tour by default, rather than being forced to pay extra for this basic service.

However, where big savings can be had is with Paradise Helicopters landing upgrade.

It will cost up to $100.00 per person but its not an add-on that is going to make heck of a difference. Its a personal favourite activity of mine but it does come at a high price, and an extra cost you can avoid if you want.

Know that all quoted tour prices cost more than a bare-bones tour, so it will cost less if you would be happy to avoid upgrade options.

Up to one hour flight duration

Other than the upgrade or add-on costs increasing the prices drastically, its also the tour duration that can effect the overall price to pay.

Oahu, Hawaii helicopter tours are not all expensive but they're on the higher end of the market, across all Hawaiian islands.

So its still hard to get a cheap Oahu helicopter tour on the best of times.

Evidence of that is with the prices I have listed on my table or their corresponding tour information below that.

Sure prices are higher due to upgrade costs, but if you remove them you can still expect to pay around $300 to $400.

No thanks of course to the duration of the helicopter tour that averages around fifty minutes - but up to an hour is a normal occurrence across all options.

You'll notice the shortest flight times - with exception - cost a little less; whereas a longer flight time will increase the cost.

You will need to pick a location that is easily accessible to you, but don't book a tour until you recognise a tour that has a good flight duration, but is cheaper than tour options with a shorter flight duration.

Conclusion

I'm sure I can think of three to four more of the best helicopter tours in Oahu which should probably feature on my list, but for now I think the eight will do it.

That is because I've been a little biased well only opting for helicopter tours that offer a doors off experience by default or as an upgrade at cost.

That is where two Oahu helicopter landing tours have made my list because I love the adventure.

Best helicopter tours on the island are not so much based on what you see on the ground from up in the air, as it can be difficult to distinguish one operators tour from the next in that respect.

So for me its all about the helicopter type in use - thus seeing the Magnum P.I. tour name cropping up quite often.

That is because it partakes in a replica Magnum P.I. helicopter as used on the TV show.

Its a Magnum in name but the tour flight route is expected to be similar to others. If you make it a doors off add-on with a landing - it then changes everything.

It costs more for sure but it means more time is added on well a tour under the guidance of your pilot is certain, once on the ground.

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