Top Tips for Visiting Pearl Harbor

If you’re taking a Hawaiian cruise, it’s likely that you will be planning an excursion to Pearl Harbor. In this post I share information and my top tips for visiting Pearl Harbor.

On December 7th, 1941 Pearl Harbor came under attack from the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service.  National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is an opportunity to honour the sacrifice and dedication by those involved in this tragedy, which thrust America into World War II.

We visited Honolulu in October and there was only one place that we wanted to go to whilst we were there – Pearl Harbor.

Tickets for Visiting Pearl Harbor

Firstly, before you go, don’t feel that you have to use the official cruise excursions to Pearl Harbor.  This was a really popular excursion that had sold out before the cruise. We were able to book advanced tickets independently at a fraction of the price with US Parks and Recreation.  These tickets can be booked up to two months in advance.

Tickets for the USS ARIZONA Memorial are free with just a $1.50 booking fee, which is well worth it as you can book a time slot.  We booked a morning slot, which was fortunate as the time slots in the afternoon were cancelled due to high winds. The boat that transports passengers over to the Memorial will not operate if weather conditions are not safe.

We opted to get the Passport to Pearl Harbor tickets which included entry to the USS ARIZONA Memorial, USS BOWFIN, BIG MO and the Pacific Aviation Museum for $72 each.  If you choose this package, plan to be there for the whole day.

Getting to Pearl Harbor

On the day we came into port in Honolulu we got off the ship early and caught a taxi outside the cruise terminal with ease (approximately $25) which took around 20 minutes. Pearl Harbor was quiet at this time, before the cruise excursions and tourists arrived. Go straight to the information desk for tickets and tour earphones.

Honolulu cruise port
Honolulu cruise port

USS Arizona Memorial

The USS ARIZONA Memorial is definitely worth the experience, it was very interesting and a poignant tribute to the those who lost their lives.  The Memorial has the names of all those who died and the atmosphere is respectfully quiet.  If you look into the water, you can still see the oil forming on the surface from the USS ARIZONA.

Watch my Top Tips for Visiting Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is a must for anyone visiting Oahu, for those of you who just want to visit the USS ARIZONA Memorial, you can do this in half a day. This leaves the rest of the day to explore Honolulu and visit the iconic Waikiki Beach. We opted to spend the majority of the day visiting all of the sites, still leaving a few hours to hot foot it over to the beach.

Princess Cruises offered daily lectures on sea days on our way to Hawaii. This enabled us to learn more about the Pearl Harbor attack from experts, before visiting.  These lectures were really helped and put things into perspective during our visit.

Tops tips and advice for visiting Pearl Harbor.
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Laura is a UK cruise blogger based in Cornwall, UK. She founded Cruise Lifestyle in 2016 to share useful advice about cruising, destinations and food.
Last port visited: Bridgetown, Barbados
Next port of call: unknown, but she can’t wait for cruising to resume safely!

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