Pearl Harbor Tours vs. Tickets
75 years since the attack
On December 7, 1941, the world was forever changed when the Japanese launched an attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It was one of the most defining moments of US history, bringing the US into World War II, changing the balance of power of the world, and cementing the Unites States’ status as a global superpower.
The attack on Pearl Harbor began just before 8 AM, as fighter pilot Mitsuo Fuchida shouted “Tora, Tora, Tora!” The word means “tiger,” but it was also a radio code acronym meaning “lightning attack,” signalling the attack was a total surprise to everyone at the naval base. Fighter planes, bombers, and torpedoes were used, with the attack intended to prevent the US Pacific Fleet from interfering with Japanese plans in Southeast Asia. Within hours after the Pearl Harbor attack, the Japanese had also hit the Philippines, Guam, Wake Island, Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
Japan had set out to prove a point and it was a point horribly felt by those at Pearl Harbor, with all eight of the battleships in port damaged, four of them sunk, over 180 aircraft destroyed, and thousands of lives lost. The following day, the United States declared war on Japan.
As President Roosevelt said in his speech to Congress, December 7, 1941 was “a date which will live in infamy.”
2016 marked the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and saw many of the remaining survivors from the attack return to the site to commemorate that fateful day and to remember their fallen comrades.
It’s important to know the history of this event when visiting Pearl Harbor, as it marks the spot where the United States was drawn into the Second World War. Click here to learn more about Pearl Harbor History.
Find out more about Pearl Harbor tours below.
Plan Ahead to Visit Pearl Harbor
More than 75 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the site remains the most visited on the island of Oahu and there are many memorials, exhibits, and other historic sites to explore.
When organizing your Pearl Harbor tours, make sure you plan early. Tours sell out fast, so book with plenty of advance notice and avoid hassle and disappointment.
You’ll find an abundance of options with authorized Pearl Harbor Tours that include a knowledgeable guide who provides historical narration, transportation, tickets, and admissions to all of your chosen sites. All authorized Pearl Harbor Tours include the full Arizona Memorial program.
If you decide to explore on your own, you can get to Pearl Harbor by city bus, taxi. or car. Parking is free, but very limited. See Plan Your Visit for more information about self-tour options.
Things to See at Pearl Harbor
USS Arizona Memorial
Pay tribute to those who gave their lives at the iconic USS Arizona Memorial. The site is dedicated to the 1,177 sailors and marines who were killed on board the great battleship during the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941. The memorial sits above the sunken ship and is only reachable by boat.
When you join a Pearl Harbor tour, you first watch a video about the attack before boarding the US Navy shuttle to the memorial, where you can pay your respects with a moment of quiet reflection.
Book your tickets early to avoid missing out on this popular tour.
Be sure to visit the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, dedicated to the USS Bowfin submarine, which was launched exactly one year after the attack. Known as the “Pearl Harbor Avenger,” the Bowfin completed nine patrols before retiring to the spot where she is now part of a museum and park. Explore the museum and the submarine itself to get a glimpse of what life was like in this historic submarine during the Second World War.
Please note that children under the age of 4 are not allowed on the submarine, but they do receive free entry into the museum.
Battleship Missouri Memorial
Here you’ll have the opportunity to experience the last American battleship last built by the United States.
The Battleship Missouri was nicknamed the “Mighty Mo,” and tours allow you to board the ship where you can explore this 900-foot-long mammoth in detail. If you have a lot of questions, we recommend the 35-minute tour with a guide so you can ask as many questions as you like.
Once you finish exploring the Mighty Mo, take a short walk to the USS Oklahoma Memorial to pay respects to the 429 sailors and marines who lost their lives when torpedoes destroyed the ship. When booking your Pearl Harbor tickets, be sure to include a visit to the Battleship Missouri and the USS Oklahoma Memorial.
The Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island is the newest museum at Pearl Harbor and is located in the original hangars that survived the attack over 75 years ago. This self-guided tour takes you to both of those hangars, 37 and 79, along with the Flight Control Tower. There are more than 50 exhibits including a number of vintage aircraft. Experience MiG Alley, historical videos, the museum store, Laniakea Café, and the award-winning Pearl Harbor documentary East Wind, Rain.
The included audio tour is available in six languages: including English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, and Mandarin.
For an adrenaline rush like no other, you also have the option to fly in Hawaii’s best combat flight simulators (additional fee applies).
Pearl Harbor Visitor Center Hours
Pearl Harbor is open every day of the year except New Year’s Day (January 1), Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day (December 25). The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is open from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Plan Ahead to Visit Pearl Harbor
Commemorating 75 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor, the site remains the most visited on the island of Oahu and there are many memorials, exhibits, attractions and sites to explore.
When organizing your Pearl Harbor tours, make sure you plan early. Tours sell out fast, so book with plenty of advance notice to ensure you don’t miss a spot for your chosen activity to avoid any hassle and disappointment.
You will find an abundance of options with authorized Pearl Harbor Tours which provide a local and knowledgeable guide or driver and historical narration, transportation, tickets and fully approved admissions to all of the chosen sites. All authorized Pearl Harbor Tours also include the full Arizona Memorial program.
If you wish to explore the region on your own, you can do so by city bus, taxi or car with parking available at most sites. Sites located on Ford Island are not accessible unless you are part of an authorized tour group. See Plan Your Visit for more information about all self-tour options.
Things to Know Before You Visit Pearl Harbor
Tickets for Pearl Harbor tours can sell out months in advance, depending on when you’re planning to travel. Do some research into the peak seasons, and if you are visiting Pearl Harbor during a busy period, we advise booking ahead. To avoid tickets selling out, you can book through Authorized Pearl Harbor Tours, who have National Park Service permission to provide transportation and tours of the site.
Admission/tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial are free, however if you want to book tickets in advance, you need to pay. If you purchase a tour, your advance tickets are guaranteed.
If you plan to visit Pearl Harbor on your own, you can purchase advance tickets online before they sell out or you can try to get walk-in tickets at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. These tickets are available on a first come, first served basis and all members of your party must be present to receive a walk-in ticket. Please note that walk-in tickets are often secured by visitors who arrive before 7:00am and the wait for walk-in tickets if you do not arrive early enough can be up to 7 hours.
Tickets for the Battleship Missouri, Pacific Aviation Museum, and the Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park are available on Pearl Harbor Tours.
The Arizona Memorial program lasts 75 minutes (1 hour 15 minutes). The movie is approximately 25 minutes and the remaining 50 minutes is the round trip boat ride and time on the Arizona Memorial.
Tours provide additional free time to visit the museums and exhibits. See your chosen tour for full details.
Food and Beverages
Snacks and drinks are available at concession stands at the Visitor Center and at the nearby Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park.
If you are on the Arizona Memorial program (movie, boat, memorial), only bottled water is permitted. Food and drinks are permitted in the visitor center, but please remember to adhere to the no-bags rule of the Pearl Harbor Security Policies.
What to Wear
Dress comfortably. Hawaii is warm, sunny and has high humidity so we recommend wearing sunscreen and a hat when visiting Pearl Harbor. Pack a light rain jacket on the off-chance of rain and ensure you wear comfortable shoes – you will be walking a lot during your visit. Sandals are permitted.
When visiting the USS Arizona Memorial, we encourage you to dress respectfully. This is a place of honor and the men still lie within their ship at the memorial site. We advise against wearing bathing suits, revealing clothing or profane t-shirts. Rangers have the authority to prohibit entry to anyone wearing inappropriate clothing.
Pearl Harbor is wheelchair-accessible with ramps or lifts at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, as well as the Navy shuttle boats and the Arizona Memorial.
For hearing impaired, the 25-minute movie is fully captioned and there is an induction loop for use with hearing aids. There is signage in braille and many of the exhibits have tactile models. Click here for a braille-ready file (BRF) of the park brochure.
Please see our Pearl Harbor Security Policies for current information. No bags are allowed, so you need to pack light.
Foreign language: brochures are available in over 30 languages and audio tours are also available (for a fee). Ask at the information desk.
You will find a bookstore near the front entrance of the park and a gift shop at the nearby Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park.
If you have any further questions when planning to visit Pearl Harbor, view our FAQs.
For Reserved Tours of the
USS Arizona Memorial visit
Guided Bus Tours of Pearl Harbor
Could Pearl Harbor Happen Again?
On December 7th, 1941, no known soldier stationed at Battleship Row or anywhere in Pearl Harbor had the slightest inkling that their morning would end in bloodshed and tragedy. For many, it was a calm Sunday morning, the breakfast they enjoyed just another in a long string of monotonous feasts. It wasn’t ignorance on their part, but a certain level of comfort that made American seem invulnerable. >> more
Catching Up on History: Five Pearl Harbor Books Worth Reading
Getting to know American history can be as easy as hopping online and performing a Google Search, but through countless blogs and reposts of somebody else’s words, the true impact of the events tend to get lost. When it comes to the history of Pearl Harbor and the Japanese attack in 1941, the impact the event had on the country is something that shouldn’t be lost, and through the word written in these books, you’ll find yourself easily connected to the devastating events of that day and the emotional impact on the country. >> more
How and Why Japan Didn’t Succeed at Pearl Harbor
Looking back at the attack on Pearl Harbor that marked what would have been an otherwise uneventful 7th day in December, it’s difficult not to see it as a Japanese victory. Enemy fighters took those moored at the harbor completely by surprise and decimated the U.S. Navy’s forces, killing over 2,400 and laying waste to battleships and aerial craft; but was that enough to consider Japan’s risky maneuver a complete success? >> more
Passport to Pearl HarborFrom: $65.00
Pearl Harbor Memorial Tour$159.99
Remember Pearl Harbor – Arizona Memorial & Missouri Battleship$92.00
Beyond the Call to Duty Pearl Harbor Luxury Tour$199.99
Arizona Memorial & Battleship Missouri Luxury Tour$139.00
Pearl Harbor & Circle Island Tour – Luxury Edition$189.99
Pearl Harbor & Oahu Island Tour$112.99
Pearl Harbor & Honolulu City Tour$49.99
Air, Land, & Sea Pearl Harbor Tour$398.00
Pearl Harbor Tour from Disney Aulani & Ko Olina$49.99
Arizona Memorial & Battleship Missouri Tour From Ko Olina$102.00
WWII Plane Flight over Pearl Harbor – Ensign’s Sortie$795.00