Located on Oahu’s south coast, about 12 miles west of Waikiki and downtown Honolulu, the US naval base of Pearl Harbor is a site of huge historical interest, in large part due to its role during WWII when it faced a devastating surprise attack by Japanese forces.
Today the area provides a fascinating and often emotionally draining tribute in a number of museums and memorials dedicated to the traumatic events of December 1941. For those visiting Waikiki who would like to make the short hop to Pearl Harbor, we’ve picked out some of the best tours currently available.
From $110.50 per person
This one-day tour starts with an early morning pick up from your Waikiki hotel. From here you’ll be transported to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center to enjoy free time exploring the WWII memorials and museums commemorating those who fought and died during the famous battle. The highlight is a tour of the USS Arizona Memorial, located on the site of the sunken battleship USS Arizona and reached by boat. Next, your driver will take you on the Circle Island Drive, taking in the natural and historic highlights of Oahu, stopping off for lunch along the way. As you turn back towards Honolulu, you’ll stop to explore the Halona blowhole, a magnificent underground lava tube; spot sea birds swooping over Hanauma Bay; and hop out to see the dramatic volcanic cone of Diamond Head. Your tour ends with a drop-off back at your hotel.
From $210 per person
After meeting your tour escorts – distinguishable by their aqua-blue polo shirts – at Honolulu airport’s baggage claim area, you’ll be transferred to your Waikiki hotel to check in and be shown to your room. The next morning you’ll meet back in reception where your guide will chaperone you by bus to Pearl Harbor. Here you’ll watch an informative movie and board the USS Arizona Memorial, built on the half-sunken battleship. Next, you’ll take a non-stop bus tour of downtown Honolulu, visiting Chinatown, the government buildings, ‘Iolani Palace, the Statue of King Kamehameha I and more, before returning to your hotel for the evening. The next day you’ll get to enjoy some free time before being transferred to the airport to catch your flight home.
From $748 per person
This private tour for up to 7 guests and can be customised depending on your group’s preferences and needs. Starting in the morning, you’ll be picked up from your chosen location (e.g. hotel, airport, harbour) where you’ll board a luxury Mercedes minivan and begin your Oahu tour. Your chosen stop-off points can be agreed in advance, and can include such attractions as Diamond Head look out, Koko Head look out, Haloma Blow Hole, Eternity Beach, Krishna Temple, Kailua, Lanikai, Macademia Nut farm, North Shore shrimp trucks, Waimea beach park, Sunset Beach, Chuns beach, Turtle beach, Waimea Botanical Gardens and of course Pearl Harbor itself, the highlight of which is a look around the USS Arizona memorial. The tour will end with a drop-off at a location of your choosing.