Your Hawaiian vacation is already booked. Now it’s time to get into the details, such as how you’re going to spend your days. There’s no doubt that a tour of Pearl Harbor is among the many things you want to do, but just how complicated is the process of booking your Pearl Harbor Tour?
Once you’ve decided that an organized Pearl Harbor tour is your preferred method of seeing this place that played such a large role in history, you have a few more decisions before you. Before you add an option to your cart, we want to make sure you are 100% confident in the process of booking a Pearl Harbor tour.
Let’s break down the process of a Pearl Harbor tour, from the moment you choose from the many options available to when the tour has ended and you’re heading back to your hotel room.
Step 1: Choose the Best Tour for You
It’s all about deciding what you want to see during your time at Pearl Harbor. Are you an “all or nothing” kind of person or are there just a few things you absolutely must see? Do you want to spend a full day at Pearl Harbor, or just a couple of hours?
Everyone will answer these questions differently, of course, and there’s sure to be an option that’s just right for you.
For those wanting to see it all, the Complete Pearl Harbor Experience offers a full day exploring the events of December 7, 1941. It also includes a drive through the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and historic sites in historic downtown Honolulu.
If you don’t have a full day to spend at Pearl Harbor but still want to pay your respects to those who lost their lives in the attack, consider the Pearl Harbor Excursion. This tour takes you to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, and includes the USS Arizona Memorial program.
If you’re somewhere in the middle, there’s the Remember Pearl Harbor Tour, which takes in the USS Arizona Memorial and adds a tour of the Battleship Missouri, where the surrender documents that brought World War II to an end were signed. This is a very popular option, giving a glimpse at the beginning and the end of the War in the Pacific.
Step 2: Booking Your Pearl Harbor Tour
Once you have your tour picked out, it’s a simple matter of booking your reservation. The process is easy and only requires you to choose a date, a pick-up time (if that’s an option), and the number of people in your party. You’ll also be prompted for your hotel name, to find the nearest pick-up location. There is also a field where you can tell us about any special needs, such as a vehicle that can accommodate a wheelchair.
Step 3: Receive Confirmation Email
When you provide your address or hotel name, what you’re doing is helping us determine where the closest pickup location is. Please note that guests are not allowed to meet up with guides at Pearl Harbor, and must be picked up at one of the designated locations.
Your pick-up time and location are included in the confirmation email you receive after finalizing your booking. Hold onto this email so you don’t forget where you’re supposed to meet up with your tour guide. Confirmation emails can take approximately 24 hours to arrive. If you don’t see it, be sure to check your spam folder.
Step 4: On the Day of Your Tour
You took our advice and followed steps 1-3, so when the day of your tour comes around, there’s very little you need to worry about. Plan to be at your pickup location about ten minutes before the designated time, just to be on the safe side. Whatever you do, don’t be late! Tours run on a tight schedule, and can’t wait around for late arrivals.
Other than that, all you need to do is enjoy your tour. Pay attention to the tour guide, be respectful of the memorials and exhibits, and you’ll walk away having made the most of your time at Pearl Harbor. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or to ask your tour guide to take a picture of you and your group.
When it’s time for lunch, be sure to take the opportunity to grab a bite to eat. Especially on longer tours, it’s easy to underestimate how tiring a day at Pearl Harbor can be. Keep a bottle of water with you and stay hydrated!
One final thing: at the end of your tour, as you return to your pick-up point, consider giving your guide a nice gratuity to show your appreciation for their efforts to keep you informed, happy, and comfortable throughout the day. Tipping is optional, but greatly appreciated.