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 importance and interest.
The history behind the site lies in 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 at 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.
Pearl Harbor Tour with Arizona Memorial
Witness the key sites and memorials to the 1941 attack, and experience the island’s wartime history, on this half-day tour. Beginning with a van pick-up in Waikiki, you’ll be transported to Pearl Harbor where you’ll ride the navy launch to the USS Arizona Memorial. Visit the sombre monument above a sunken battleship from the day of the attack, explore the memorials to the many groups who lost their lives, and pause to reflect at the wall of remembrance. Later, you’ll return to your waiting van for a tour of downtown Honolulu before your return journey back to Waikiki. From $50 per person.
Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, Might Mo, and City Tour
For a more extended version of the above trip, this immersive all-day tour may well fit the bill. After collection from Waikiki, you’ll arrive at Pearl Harbor and be transported back in time with an audio guide tour of the USS Arizona Memorial. See footage and memorabilia from the infamous attack as you witness the final resting place of the sunken ship. Next, you’ll visit the Battleship Missouri, also known as Mighty Mo, to walk the decks of the battleship and learn about its key role in ending WWII. From Pearl Harbor, you’ll move on to Honolulu, passing notable landmarks such as the King Kamehameha Statue and the National Memorial Cemetery, before heading back to Waikiki. From $134 per person.
Pearl Harbor Private Tour
If you’d like to experience Pearl Harbor in a more exclusive and intimate way, then this 4-hour private tour is the ideal choice. As part of a select group of family or friends, and with an expert guide for company, you’ll enjoy private transportation in an air-conditioned bus tour from Waikiki. On arrival, you’ll get a narrated tour of the site, including the USS Arizona Memorial, the visitor centre, and the accompanying “Road to War” and “Attack” exhibit galleries that display pictures and recovered items from the notorious WWII attack. On the return journey, you’ll have a chance to pass by the famous attractions of downtown Honolulu (Pass By) like the Iolani Palace, the Kawaiahao Church and the Aloha Tower. From $253 per person.