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Jo Fitzsimons is a freelance travel writer who has visited over 60 countries. is the place where she shares destination details, travel itineraries, planning and booking tips and trip tales. Her aim: to help you plan your travel adventure on your terms and to your budget.

50 Responses

  1. Maria
    Maria at | | Reply

    Thank you so much for the advice! I’m travelling alone to Oahu in April and I want to visit Pearl Harbor and I’m glad that I stumbled upon this post.

  2. Anna
    Anna at | | Reply

    Just want to thank you for such an informative and entertaining platform you’ve presented this information on. Really well done, detailed (enough), and now I’m inspired to read all your other postings! Thanks for doing the recon and saving me a ton of time!

  3. Karen Aimino
    Karen Aimino at | | Reply

    After reading and rereading and studying I think I am going to purchase the Passport to Pearl Harbor. Is there a 1 stop shop you recommend to make this purchase in advance? I didnt see a link or recommendation.

  4. Sparky
    Sparky at | | Reply

    Hi Jo

    Yes, your way of site seeing is my way. We have learned from past cruises that doing your own thing is usually the best. The forced time tables or visits to the tour guides favorite friend selling souvenirs, the $5.00 tip for the bus driver and so on with those paid excursions, that in our experience leave you feeling you just been fleeced.

    We are visiting Hawaii for the first time January 2020, we will be on Kona and taking a day trip with my adult daughter for the 2 out of 4 of us that want to visit Pearl Harbor. We found you after many attempts to get information on a walking/bus day on our own and read your page. Its wonderful, so yes we are going to prepay the Arizona passes at the government web site , bus it from the airport just for the fun of doing that, could be a hoot.

    Arriving at 9am,take the Arizona tour and then down town on a mission to find the mom and pop restaurant to have some local foods, site seeing then to the airport for the flight back to Kona at 6pm.Thanks for the tips.

    We will write again after our visit the 3rd week of January.

    Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

  5. Josh
    Josh at | | Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this. This will be my wife’s first time visiting Hawaii and she wants to do EVERYTHING! LOL Saving some money here will help accommodate that.

  6. Caroline Edwards
    Caroline Edwards at | | Reply

    Wish we’d read your article & tips before we visited Pearl Harbour on a tour yesterday! My husband paid $454 (pre-booked by our travel agent in Perth, Australia!) or so for 2 of us with downtown pickup and for the 4 sites (no other inclusions!). We were still not able to step foot on the Arizona memorial site (ie early August 2019!) and only a cursory visit to Missouri (My husband would have far preferred to see the engine room and the bridge but all that was included in our outrageous rip-off tour price was a chat by a guide on deck & a stroll through the accommodation area (bunks)!
    In addition, our tour guide gave us verbal info on the bus then left us to our own devices.
    Info such as being allowed to bring into the sites a clear bottle of water (which I had!) was omitted. So for the duration I was pretty parched and near exhaustion by the end.
    But for all that, I still felt deeply moved by the experience and staggered at the sheer scale of the devastation caused and saddened by, but inspired by the incredible stories of heroism which abounded.

  7. Tim Morrison
    Tim Morrison at | | Reply

    Thank you, you are a life saver. I have been struggling with do i book a tour or not. With the way you explained it. I will drive and park for free. get there super early and do the free tour and maybe one of the other sites like the Missouri.



  8. Rob D
    Rob D at | | Reply

    Fantastic write up. I volunteer at The Arizona a couple days a week and I wish everyone would see this before arriving. One major change since your update is the site is no longer named the WWII Valor in The Pacific National Monument. To more accurately reflect the experience it is now (since mid March 2019) named the Pearl Harbor National Memorial.

    And to clarify a point, there are over 900 Sailors and Marines who were never recovered from the sinking of The Arizona. Many were most likely consumed by the fire that raged after the explosion which sunk The Arizona. But early on it was determined that those who perished should be left on board. Additionally 42 survivors of the attack have chosen to have their ashes interred in The Arizona since 1982 (when internment was authorized).

    Additionally though, total tickets for each day may be 4500, but only 1300 are available for walk in visitors, and those tickets go quickly. Many days they are gone within the first couple hours after the memorial opens. I do recommend guests, who may have missed getting tickets, check back at the ticket booth later as often times tour groups turn in extra tickets so some showings may be available. And don’t buy food right before your scheduled time. No food or drink other than clear water is allowed in the theater or on the Navy launch.

    Once again, great job on your information. I look forward to reading your other posts.

  9. Heidi A Brown
    Heidi A Brown at | | Reply

    Just wondering about parking at Pearl Harbor. Is there public parking? Do you know how much? How close is it? As trying to figure out the best way to see Pearl Harbor it is very confusing. Thanks for all your information, it is very helpful.

  10. Mike
    Mike at | | Reply

    Out of date? The memorial is to be closed into 2019 or beyond for repairs we were told…

  11. SandyB
    SandyB at | | Reply

    Thank you. Very useful outline of the sights. Yours is one of the few places which gives an overview of each and what is involved with each. I have scheduled the locations individually as my husband is an airplane and sailing nut so we will do the more involved tours. We will spread over two separate days…all that I will be able to take 🙂 . We will be doing in mid January.
    Again, thanks.

  12. Sarah
    Sarah at | | Reply

    It would help for you to note the YEAR of your original visit date. Some ticket prices are a lot more expensive now (5/21/2018); the passport price, instead of being $55 as noted in your original article, is $72 now, and I doubt if there is any saving over buying the tickets separately.

  13. Lats
    Lats at | | Reply

    Thanks for this article it’s helpful!

  14. Kathleen Mc Farland
    Kathleen Mc Farland at | | Reply

    Great comments on Hawaii. Going there in January 2018. Would like to see all the sights but dont want to be ripped off. We are retired couple. In our 60, s and 70, s.

  15. Lea wites
    Lea wites at | | Reply

    Love the article. We are over 65 and follow have a lot of energy but all,of the hostels you recommend you need to be under 45 years old any idea for those of us older guys . Or is it better to stay on a less ecoenisive island and cruises to Pearl Harbor ?

  16. gatwick airparks
    gatwick airparks at | | Reply

    Thanks for the excellent content. Wish to see even more shortly. Thanks again and keep up the great work!

  17. LaToya Miller
    LaToya Miller at | | Reply

    This is as absolutely awesome and thorough review. The information on this site is exactly what I was seeking for our visit tomorrow!

  18. Justine
    Justine at | | Reply

    Hi there,
    I stubbled across your site and it looks very helpful! In regards to Pearl Harbour, we just want to visit the uss Arizona, we have 9 year twins and thought we could catch a ferry from Waikiki to Pearl Harbour? Can you just confirm if we buy tickets online for the Arizona in order to avoid long waits?
    thanks so much!

  19. roger
    roger at | | Reply

    very helpful thank you!!

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  21. Donna
    Donna at | | Reply

    I have a layover from Maui that arrives at 1030am and my flight out is at 3:10pm. I asked a tour company if I would have time to get to Pearl Harbor and see anything and they said I could book, they would pick me up at 11:00 see Arizona memorial and visitor center and be back by 2:00. Do you think this is possible and if I already have boarding passes to get through security in 1hr?

  22. William Fetty
    William Fetty at | | Reply

    I will be on a cruise Septer 23-Oct 1 When I get off the ship at 7 in the morning my flight does not leave until 2:30. Do I have time to see pearl harbor?

  23. Chrisie
    Chrisie at | | Reply

    Is there anything to see if it is closed? The only day we can go is new years day, when they are not open..

  24. Nicki Lewis
    Nicki Lewis at | | Reply

    We are looking to go to Pearl Harbor last week of August and online says you can’t purchase tickets until 2 months out, so getting ready to buy tickets soon. If we buy the narrated tour and not the passport do you think we will regret that?

  25. Scott
    Scott at | | Reply

    REALLY extremely helpful. Excellent advice all around. Enjoyed the Missouri a great deal but felt the Air Museum was a complete waste of time and money at $25. Should have been $12 like the sub, which was much more interesting.

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