Considerations When Choosing a Pearl Harbor Tour
Pearl Harbor tours come in all shapes and sizes. Some take under five hours, others can run upwards of 11. There are those that visit every attraction and those that take you beyond Pearl Harbor to other sites around Oahu. When it comes to choosing a Pearl Harbor tour, your options are virtually limitless. There are many factors to consider when choosing a Pearl Harbor tour, so to help narrow your choices down, we've come up with a few questions to ask yourself.
Is Money a Major Factor When Choosing a Pearl Harbor Tour?
Let's face it: a trip to Hawaii isn't cheap, and for many visitors, the cost of a tour is likely an important consideration. More inclusive tours, generally speaking, cost more than shorter ones. It’s important to decide what you’re willing to spend on a Pearl Harbor tour so you can immediately narrow down the choices.
For reference, the Pearl Harbor Excursion costs hundreds of dollars less than the most expensive tour, the Air, Land, & Sea Pearl Harbor Tour. Of course, there's a vast difference between the two, as the least-expensive choice only includes the USS Arizona Memorial program and the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, while the more expensive tour not only includes more historic attractions, it also features a helicopter ride over Waikiki and Pearl Harbor.
How Much Are You Prepared To Walk?
For whatever reason, you might not want to do a lot of walking on your tour. If that's the case, you may want to consider choosing a Pearl Harbor tour that stops at fewer sites and memorials. The shortest tour is the Pearl Harbor Excursion, while an option like the Beyond the Call to Duty Luxury Tour is going to take up most of your day and visit all of the major attractions, many of which involve significant amounts of walking.
Regardless of which tour you choose, it’s important to wear sturdy, comfortable footwear.
How Much Time Do You Have?
This may be one of the more relevant questions to ask yourself. Vacation time is finite. Just how much time do you want to spend on a Pearl Harbor tour? As we mentioned before, there are tours that last around 4.5 hours, and others that take upwards of 11 hours.
It's really a matter of interests and motivations. Are you simply looking to take part in the USS Arizona Memorial program and pay your respects to the 1,177 men who perished when their ship exploded and sank during the December 7, 1941 attack, and maybe see a bit of historic Honolulu on the return to your hotel? Then the Pearl Harbor and Honolulu City Tour is a great option for you.
On the other hand, you might be a hard-core history buff who wants to see simply everything there is to see at the place where the United States was drawn into World War II. For you, we recommend the Complete Pearl Harbor Experience.
Are There Specific Sites You Want to See?
There are many different sites, memorials, exhibits, and museums to see throughout Pearl Harbor. These include the USS Arizona Memorial, the Battleship Missouri, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, the USS Oklahoma Memorial, and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.
Different tours offer different combinations of stops, though it’s worth noting that the USS Arizona Memorial program is included in every official Pearl Harbor tour. For example, if you want to visit just the USS Arizona Memorial and the Battleship Missouri, the Remember Pearl Harbor Tour that does exactly that.
Do You Want to See More of Oahu?
There are so many fascinating things to see on Oahu. The question is, can you carve out the time to drive around to see them all? If not, you may want to consider an option that combines a visit to Pearl Harbor with a tour of some of the other highlights the island has to offer. The Pearl Harbor & Circle Island Tour takes you to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and the USS Arizona Memorial before continuing on a journey around the island. Stops include the Pali Lookout, Chinaman’s Hat, the world-famous North Shore beaches, and the Dole Plantation. It’s a long day, but it saves you from having to rent a car to see some of Oahu’s most stunning sights.