HONOLULU -- While on a Hawaii vacation several years ago, Pat Magie
was surprised to find that Honolulu had no seaplane tour service.
Magie had experience operating a seaplane service in Alaska,
shuttling visitors to wilderness lodges.
Sensing the opportunity, he made the idea of bringing seaplanes
to Hawaii his dream. After eight years of planning and maneuvering
through bureaucratic red tape, the seaplane operation took off.
Last April, Magie and his wife Debbie formed Island Seaplane
The firm's offices, built on a pontoon in Keehi Lagoon, are
located on Lagoon Drive at the east end of Honolulu Airport. Based
there are the company's two planes, a six-passenger DeHavilland
Beaver and a four-passenger Cessna 206 Stationair. They take off
and land at a seaplane runway in the lagoon that had not been used
for almost 50 years.
The company's literature promotes "a totally new concept in
island sightseeing." But, as Magie notes, seaplanes were Hawaii's
initial form of air transportation, first with Interisland Airways'
Sikorskys, and then with the long-haul Pan Am Clippers.
His planes cruise at 120 mph, usually at 1,500-foot elevation
but sometimes as low as 1,000 feet.
Two tour routes are offered every day:A 30-minute trip, costing $79 per person, views Honolulu
Harbor, Waikiki and Diamond and Oahu's eastern coast as far as
Kaneohe Bay, returning via the Pali and Nuuanu Valley and Pearl
Harbor.A 60-minute ride, priced at $129, follows the same routes but
continues to the north shore as far as the Polynesian Cultural
Center and returns via the central plain.
The prices include roundtrip transportation from Waikiki hotels,
but Magie said that almost half his business so far has been from
residents eager to try a new activity.
Marketing is done mainly through Waikiki tour and activity desks
and advertising in tourist publications.
He has begun to get group business, with the largest so far a
group of doctors and their families, a total of 35 people.They were
taken up in batches, starting at 5 p.m. The group bought their own
drinks. Magie served fish on the pontoon, and after watching the
sunset, they left.
Island Seaplane Service
Phone: (808) 836-6273
Fax: (808) 395-5031