You arrive at Pearl Harbor ready to experience the site of one of the most important days in United States history, only to find that it is super-crowded and there are no tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial left. If it makes you feel any better, you’re not the first person to go through this. It’s actually a pretty common occurrence.
The number of tickets to the Arizona Memorial is limited. It includes a movie about the attack in a theater with limited seats and a US Navy shuttle to the Memorial that has only 150 seats. The amount of space on the Memorial is limited. There’s just not enough room for all the people who want to visit.
By booking a tour in advance, you can ensure that this won’t happen to you. So if you aren’t yet on Oahu, be sure to book a tour, even if you will be there tomorrow.
If you haven’t booked an official tour, what happens when you arrive at Pearl Harbor and the ranger tells you that they have already given out all of the tickets to the Arizona Memorial for the day?
These are your options:
- Ask the ranger if you can join a program if there are no-shows. Sometimes, visitors arrive at Pearl Harbor hours before their program and end up leaving early. For example, they show up at 08:00 and pick up their tickets for a program at 10:30. After looking at the exhibits for an hour, they decide that they don’t want to wait and they leave. You might be lucky enough to get their tickets. To do so you need to ask a ranger specifically if there have been any tickets returned. Tell them that you will check back in 20 minutes. Then walk around and see some of the other attractions.
- Ask a tour guide if you can join his or her tour. Don’t ask if you can buy a ticket; that’s against the rules. But they can add you to their tour if they had a no-show. They also might be in contact with other tour guides who have extra tickets. Most guides return their tickets to the ticket booth if they don’t need them, but it’s worth a try.
- If neither of the first two work, consider coming back the following day on a Pearl Harbor Tour. If that’s not possible, continue with the options below.
- Visit the exhibits. You don’t need tickets to go inside the museums and to walk the grounds. The exhibits are excellent and satisfy the curiosity of many non-history buffs. You can easily spend over an hour enjoying the exhibits. Remember, you’re at Pearl Harbor, just not at the Arizona Memorial.
- Tour the other sites at Pearl Harbor. The Bowfin Submarine, Battleship Missouri, and Pacific Aviation Museum rarely if ever sell out. You have an awesome view of the USS Arizona Memorial from the bow of the Battleship Missouri.
Again, we preach advance planning. Book a Pearl Harbor tour to ensure you don’t run into the problem of no tickets to the Arizona Memorial. If it’s too late, we wish you luck.
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