So you arrived at Pearl Harbor ready to experience one of the most important days in our nation’s history only to find out that it is super crowded and there are no tickets to Arizona Memorial left. If it makes you feel any better, you are not the first person to go through this. It is quite common.
The number of tickets to Arizona Memorial are limited. It involves a movie about the attack in a theater with limited seats and a boat ride to the Memorial itself that has only 150 seats. Then the amount of space on the memorial is limited. There is just not enough room for all the people who want to visit.
I’m sorry to start with the I told you so, but by booking a tour in advance, you can ensure that this problem won’t happen to you. So if you aren’t yet on Oahu, be sure to book a tour. Even if you will be there tomorrow.
More likely you are reading this and you have arrived at Pearl Harbor and walked up to the ticket booth. The ranger told you that they have already given out the tickets to Arizona Memorial for the day. Now What?
These are your options in the order that I see fit.
- Ask the ranger if you can join a program if there are no-shows. Sometimes visitors arrive at Pearl Harbor hours before their program and leave early. For example, they show up at 08:00 and pick up their tickets for a program at 10:30. After looking at the exhibits for an hour, they decide that they don’t want to wait and they leave. You might be lucky enough to get their tickets. To do so you need to ask a ranger specifically if there have been any tickets returned. Tell them that you will check back in 20 minutes. Then walk around.
- Ask a tour guide if you can join his tour. Don’t ask if you can buy a ticket. That is against the rules. But they can add you to their tour if they had a no-show. They also might be in contact with other tour guides who have extra tickets. Most guides return their tickets to the ticket booth if they don’t need them, but it is worth a try.
- If the first two don’t work, consider coming back the following day on a Pearl Harbor Tour. If that’s not possible, continue with the options below.
- Visit the exhibits. You don’t need tickets to go inside the museums and to walk the grounds. The exhibits are excellent and satisfy the needs of many non-history-buffs. You can spend over an hour enjoying the exhibits. You are at Pearl Harbor, just not at the Arizona memorial.
- Tour the other sites at Pearl Harbor. I’ve never seen the Bowfin Submarine, Battleship Missouri, or Pacific Aviation Museum sold out. You have an awesome view of the Arizona Memorial from the bow of the Battleship Missouri.
Again, we preach prevention. Book at pearl harbor tour to ensure you don’t run into the problem that there are no tickets to Arizona Memorial. If it’s too late, we wish you luck.
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