Passport to Pearl Harbor
Many visitors to Oahu plan at least a quick stop at Pearl Harbor, but for some, this historic site is the main attraction. Even though there aren’t any luaus or surf spots in sight, Pearl Harbor is one of the most important locations for those who want to learn about Pacific military history. Not only was Hawaii changed forever when the US naval base was attacked in 1941; the entire nation felt the consequences of this major event. If you’re a history enthusiast who doesn’t want to miss a thing during your visit to Hawaii, the Passport to Pearl Harbor is the right ticket for you!
Your Passport to Pearl Harbor includes:
Audio tour of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and Museum
Audio guide to the USS Arizona Memorial
Admission and Acoustiguide tour of the Battleship Missouri
Admission to the Pearl Harbor Virtual Reality Center
Transportation to and from Ford Island from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center
Tickets to the Pacific Aviation Museum including WWII Hangars 37 and 79
Audio tour of the Pacific Aviation Museum
Admission and audio tour of the Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park
The Passport to Pearl Harbor provides you with all the necessary tickets to the sites of Pearl Harbor. The only exception is tickets for the timed program for the USS Arizona Memorial, which you can pick up at no cost at the Visitor Center. Make sure to start your tour early in the day to get these tickets, since they are given out on a first come, first served basis. A complete tour of all museums, parks, and memorials at Pearl Harbor can easily take a whole day; which is all the more reason to rise bright and early and start your exploration in the morning.
The audio tours included in the ticket are available in several different languages; even the documentary movie with actual footage of the attacks can be dubbed through your audio guide. Transportation to Pearl Harbor is not included in your Passport ticket. However, you can easily reach Pearl Harbor via public transportation, shuttle services, or with just a short drive.
Once you arrive at Pearl Harbor
As soon as you arrive in Pearl Harbor you can redeem your reserved Passport tickets at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Tickets to the Arizona Memorial timed program are given out in the same place. The Visitor Center opens at 7:00 am every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
To give yourself enough time to see all the attractions it’s highly recommended to show up early. Please travel light, as you will not be allowed to bring in any bags. Your camera, drinking water, a hat or sunscreen, and your wallet are the essential things to bring. Depending on the weather a light jacket may be advisable, as most of the attractions are outdoors. An absolute necessity is your government-issued photo ID card, which you will have to present when you enter the military area. Foreign visitors should bring their passports.
Depending on the time of your Arizona Memorial program, you’ll probably start your day touring the museums and exhibits of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. The Arizona Memorial program starts with a 23-minute documentary film about the attack. After the film, it’s a short ride on a US Navy shuttle boat to the memorial itself – a floating platform located right above the sunken battleship. The memorial is an opportunity to pay your respects to the men who gave their lives defending their country. From the memorial you can look down on the sunken USS Arizona, which became a grave for most of its crew. The memorial also gives you great views all around the harbor.
Arizona Memorial tickets are not for sale and therefore not included in the Passport to Pearl Harbor. However, 1300 tickets are given out for free every day on a first come, first served basis, beginning at 7:00 a.m. Please make sure you grab yours as soon as you arrive.
The included audio guide provides facts about the USS Arizona Memorial, the two museums included in the Visitor Center, the outdoor displays and shoreline, and a translation of the documentary film if needed.
Transportation to Ford Island
Some of the Pearl Harbor attractions are located on Ford Island. The Passport to Pearl Harbor includes round-trip transportation to the island, where you see the Battleship Missouri, the Pacific Aviation Museum, and the USS Oklahoma Memorial.
Admission and Audio Guide to the Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park
The Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park is a unique exhibit that allows you to enter an actual WWII submarine. With the help of your audio guide you will learn all about what life on board these ships was like, how men lived and worked together in this tight space. Please note that children under four years of age may not enter the submarine for safety reasons. As an alternative, children can explore the museum, park and mini-theater free of charge.
Admission and Tour of the Battleship Missouri
The Battleship Missouri is a massive vessel that made it through the war relatively intact. When you board the ship, you’ll see a large dent in the hull where a kamikaze plane hit but didn’t do much damage. On board the Missouri, you have a choice of three different tours:
A 35-minute Mighty Mo guided tour
A self-paced tour
An Acoustiguide audio tour
The USS Oklahoma Memorial
From the Missouri you can walk to the Oklahoma Memorial to pay respect to the 429 men who lost their lives aboard the mighty battleship.
Admission and Audio Tour of the Pacific Aviation Museum
One of the most popular attractions at Pearl Harbor for both kids and adults, the Pacific Aviation Museum welcomes its visitors with a gigantic exhibit spread out through multiple hangars. Get a close-up look at aircraft of different eras and learn about the development that aviation technology went through during the last century. The museum is the perfect place to have your lunchtime break, with Laniakea Cafe offering snacks and refreshments.
Some practical advice
Pearl Harbor opens every day from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. You can redeem your Passport to Pearl Harbor at any time during opening hours. It’s highly advisable to come early, as tickets to the Arizona Memorial program are given out ona first come, first served basis.
The complete tour can easily take eight or more hours, so plan on spending a whole day for your trip to Pearl Harbor. As some of the attractions are outdoors, bringing sun block, a hat, and perhaps a light jacket is a great idea. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes for walking.
Hotel transportation is not included in your ticket but you can take advantage of free parking near the Visitor Center.