If this is your first trip to Oahu visiting Pearl Harbor should definitely be on your “must see” list. Whilst you can make a day of this and drive out to Pearl Harbor on your own I recommend doing it with an organised tour. If anything to make it a more relaxing day.
We had a fantastic time on our Call to Duty Tour booked with Hoku Tours. There are security points to enter both the USS Arizona Memorial and the Missouri Battleship so to make it a lot easier do not take a bag as you will need to organise having it placed in a locker at a cost of $4.00, which also causes a delay to everyone on the tour. All you need is a light cover-up, a camera, sunglasses and of course money for gratuity. If you make a purchase at the retail store add a good souvenir bag as you will be allowed to carry this, bags aren’t usually allowed to be left on the bus either.
Ok so here are some tips once you arrive at Pearl Harbor. When you first arrive the tour guide will collected tickets for the tour out to the Arizona, which is by shuttle boat. While waiting for the tour time you will be able to look around the visitors centre. The audio tour through the museum is a must and just take a walk around the park and check out the memorials.
Tour Time. Line up at the theater around 10 minutes before your tour time. This is not a single file line so try to make your way through the crowd to the front. Once in the theater head for a seat at the far left hand side of the theater as near to the double doors down the front as possible. There you will watch a short film highlighting the events leading up to the attack. Once the film has finished and the doors open you will be on a walkway to the shuttle boat. Do your best to get a seat in the middle of the boat, hence why you sat next to the double doors. Once you arrive at the memorial get off the ferry and head down the walkway. Stay of the right hand side of the memorial and head straight down to the end. The Memorial spans the sunken hull of the Arizona where oil can still be seen seeping from the shell of the battleship. Most people will stop here so getting down to the shrine room before it gets crowded is a great idea. Only 289 persons survived the explosions and fires on the Arizona that fateful morning. Over 1100 men are entombed in this nautical grave. Here in the shine room the names are inscribed on a marble wall of the men who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The tour only allows approximately 20 minutes on the memorial so once you have spent time in the shrine room take a look around and the rest of the memorial and pay your respects.
When pick up time is approaching line up at the designated area. If you can get the back seat on the shuttle boat you will be in a good position to take a photo of the Arizona and the Missouri all in one frame.
Dedicated To The Eternal Memory Of Our Gallant Shipmates In The USS Arizona Who Gave Their Lives In Action 7 December 1941