2. Pearl Harbor Tour FAQs
There are occasions that the boats do not visit the Arizona Memorial. This can happen as a result of weather conditions, boat mechanical problems, or safety issues at the memorial. If we know in advance that this is happening, then we will do our best to notify you before your tour.
Boarding the Arizona Memorial is only one part of a visit to Pearl Harbor. The Pearl Harbor visitors center, museums, movie and exhibits are all part of the experience. We feel that it is still worth visiting Pearl Harbor.
Tour companies do not provide refunds if the Navy boats do not take guests to the Arizona Memorial. It is out of the control of tour companies.
Sometimes, during closures that are not related to wind or boat maintenance, the boats will go near the memorial, but not board the memorial. In these cases, guests may still board boats to the memorial and float past it. They will also be able to see the battleship’s remnants. But they won’t be able to disembark the boats and walk on the memorial. Since there is no extra fee for the boat ride, there are no refunds if this happens. Existing cancellation policies apply.
Transportation to and from Pearl Harbor and driver guide’s narration are private. The program at Pearl Harbor is subject to the rules of the National Park and Navy and is not private.
Tours do not offer airport drop offs so please plan accordingly. You can either take a taxi/uber from Pearl Harbor straight to the airport (please let your driver know) or you can get dropped off in Waikiki and arrange transportation to the airport from there.
Many people will look at the cost of the inter-island tours and think that it is cheaper to book their own flights. It may be cheaper, but there are some important advantages to booking an inter-island tour package.
When you book an inter-island tour package, if your flight is delayed, we will adjust your tour to accommodate a new schedule.
You may book your own flights and want to meet the tour, either at the airport or in Waikiki. However, if there is a flight delay and you miss your pick-up, you will forfeit the tour. It would be considered a no-show, which is non-refundable.
Additionally, if your tour is delayed due to traffic or other delays, the tour company is not responsible if you miss your flight. However, if you have booked an inter-island tour package, the tour company will take responsibility to return you to the airport in time for your flight or adjust your flight time.
Inter-island Tour Airport Pick-up
When you book an inter-island tour, your tour will be scheduled for when your flight lands. When you book your flights on your own and choose an airport pick-up you will be picked up after the bus has finished picking up guests in Waikiki. That may work out to a short wait, but depending on your flight arrival time, you could be waiting at the airport for an extended period.
As you can see there are many benefits to booking an inter-island tour package. So why do we offer airport pick-up? There are many guests who arrange a layover in Honolulu after visiting a neighbor island. Those guests cannot book an inter-island tour because they will not be on a round trip flight between islands. We can help make the most of a layover with a tour.
If you made an order and have not yet received an email with your confirmation, please let us know. We would be happy to resend your confirmation
There are a few reasons that you might not have received your tour confirmation.
- (Most Common) It is in your spam folder.
- You entered your email address wrong. This happens often. To check this, see if you received a receipt after ordering. If so, then we should have your correct email address.
- We have not completed your confirmation yet. Some reservations take longer depending on availability and scheduling.
Has it been 24 hours? We would love to have your confirmation back to you immediately, but occasionally it takes some time. If it has been 24 hours, please contact us and we will get back to you right away.
Contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Guests staying in Waikiki are picked up at their hotel or at a nearby hotel. Tour pick-up locations are within a 5 minute walk from your hotel.
After you book your tour, we will email you a confirmation with the specific pick-up location and time. Your confirmation will also have instructions regarding your pick-up including the location, time and vehicle description.
If you have trouble walking and require additional accommodations, please advise us before booking. You may write “wheelchair” in the booking notes field. When doing so please specify if you are able to walk up a few steps or require a wheelchair lift.
For Inter-Island tours, the tour pick-up point will be upon arrival at Honolulu International Airport (HNL). Again, your tour voucher will have specific instructions about the Tour pick-up.
Most Pearl Harbor Tours depart from Waikiki. If you are staying in a private residence or at a hotel outside of Waikiki there are other options.
Sometimes it makes sense to drive or get a ride to Waikiki and start your tour from there. Most guests either park at the Honolulu Zoo or at Ala Moana Shopping Center. If you plan to go shopping or eat at the Shopping Center after your tour, Ala Moana Shopping Center is a good choice. The pick up will be across the street at the Ala Moana Hotel or the nearby Ilikai Hotel.
Tour companies are NOT allowed to meet guests at Pearl Harbor.
Windward & East Oahu
The best option for those staying on the windward side of Oahu (Kailua, Kaneohe) or on the East side (Hawaii Kai) is to take a tour from Waikiki. Simply state in the notes during checkout that you will meet us at the Honolulu Zoo or Ala Moana Hotel.
Ko’olina & Aulani Disney Resort
If you are staying at Koolina, including the Disney Resort Aulani, Waikiki is out of your way. But you are in luck. We now have tours available from Koolina and the Aulani Disney Resort.
You can drive or take a taxi to Waikiki to start the tour. If you would like to be picked up at the Ala Moana Hotel or Honolulu Zoo, please indicate so on the checkout page.
Not all tours pick-up guests at the Kahala Hotel. Some charge a surcharge because it is about 15 minutes from Waikiki. Look at the tour options under the calendar on each tour to see if Kahala Pick-up is available. If not, check with us about the tour you want and we will let you know if we can arrange a pick-up.
Booking a tour when not staying in Waikiki
If you are staying in a vacation rental outside of Waikiki, you can indicate so on the checkout page. You can drive or take a taxi to Waikiki to start the tour. If you would like to be picked up at the Ala Moana Hotel or Honolulu Zoo, please indicate so on the checkout page.
What if I haven’t booked a hotel yet?
You can still book your tour. It is not necessary to wait until you have hotel reservations. In the meantime, you can list any hotel. For example, the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Once your hotel arrangements are finalized, you can contact us to make the change to your reservation.
If you end up changing your plans, you can cancel your reservation. Most of our tours have a simple cancellation policy. Only inter-island tours are non-refundable because they include flights.
We also offer tours from Maui, Big Island (Kona), and Kauai. The Inter-Island tours include round-trip flights, airport pick-ups, and everything that the other tours offer.
In general, it is always wise to book tours and activities in Hawaii ahead of your arrival. Too many visitors wait until they’ve left home to make reservations only to find tours are sold out.
Today research can be done easily in advance. We have all the answers to your questions about Pearl Harbor.
Cancelling is Easy?
We have a very simple cancellation policy. As soon as you have your flights to Hawaii you might as well reserve your Pearl Harbor Tour. If your plans change, you can simply rely on our cancellation policy.
If something comes up, we are here to help. Maybe you want to add additional guests, change dates, or make another change. Contact us and we will work with you to make your trip a great experience.
Keep in mind, tours with flights are non-refundable, but those are also the most important to book in advance. They are most likely to sell out or increase in price if you wait.
Some people wait to book until they arrive thinking that they will get a better price. There are no last minute rates on Pearl Harbor Tours. The price that you pay on pearlharbor.org is the same or lower than the rate that you will pay at your hotel or elsewhere.
If a company claims to offer discount Pearl Harbor Tours, you should be suspicious. It most likely involves a timeshare presentation or an unauthorized, uninsured shuttle company. We offer the best rates on Pearl Harbor Tours.
Another Reason to Book Ahead
There is something that happens when you come to our islands. We call it paradise paralysis. You begin relaxing and don’t get around to all of the things that you had in mind. You just lay at the beach and an entire day goes by and you never get around to booking your Pearl Harbor Tour.
If you have an agenda ahead of time with your tours booked, you will be able to avoid paradise paralysis. You will be sure that you see the sights that you want without any stress on your holiday. Book in advance!
These tours include round trip airfare and pick-up from Honolulu International Airport, which is only 10 minutes from Pearl Harbor. Often referred to as One-day Tours or Inter-Island Tours, a Pearl Harbor Tour from Maui, Kauai, or Hawaii, the Big Island is the best way to see this important site.
Inter-island tours are primarily on jets with a flight time of 25 – 40 minutes. There are no boats or ferries offering tours between the islands.
Lunch is available on most tours. Check the tour description to see if lunch is included on the tour that you are booking. The narrated portion of the tours begin after you are picked up at Honolulu International airport.
There are not one-day Pearl Harbor tours available from Hilo. If you are staying in Hilo or near the Volcano on Hawaii, the Big Island, you will need to drive to Kona for a one-day tour. Tours on the Big Island depart from Kona.
Currently, Pearl Harbor tours are not offered from the islands of Molokai or Lanai. However, visitors to these islands can arrange a private tour on Oahu that includes airport pick-up.
This is a good question and as you might expect which Pearl Harbor Tour depends on what you are interested in seeing.
If you are really into history, choose the tour that includes the most sites.
If Pearl Harbor is a site you feel like you have to visit, but it doesn’t interest you very much, choose a short tour. But be ready to have your mind changed as Pearl Harbor is a moving place with fascinating sites and stories.
One easy way to see the differences in the tours is to look at the Pearl Harbor Tour Comparison Chart.
If you haven’t yet read What’s included in a tour of Pearl Harbor? Then please check that out as well. A tour of Pearl Harbor does NOT include:
- Gratuity – All tours in Hawaii do not include gratuity unless stated otherwise. Tour guides work for tips, so please consider the effort that they put into your safety and entertainment as you depart your tour.
- Food & Beverage – Some tours include lunch, however, most do not. Be sure to check inclusions on the tour pages to see if your tour includes food and beverages.
- Photos – At various locations throughout your tour you will have the opportunity to take a professional photo. You can purchase those photos as a souvenir. They are not included. However, if you would like your guide to take your photo with your camera, just ask and he/she will be happy to do so.
- Baggage storage – You should avoid bringing any bags to Pearl Harbor because they will be in storage for the the entire time and you will have to pay the storage fee. See more about Pearl Harbor Security Policies.
Please review the specific Pearl Harbor Tours to see which sites are included. Admissions to the sites are included in each Pearl Harbor Tour. Things that are included can be found on each tour page’s What’s Included section.
Generally guides do not accompany visitors on the USS Arizona Memorial or the shuttle boat to the memorial. It is a place for solemn remembrance of the men who died for their country.
The National Park discourages guides from accompanying visitors to the memorial to keep the volume down and allow visitors to pay respect without distraction.
Touring Pearl Harbor could mean a lot of things. For our purposes, we are referring to the sightseeing tours of the historical sites and museums at Pearl Harbor. Remember, Pearl Harbor is an active Navy Base.
The most popular thing to see at Pearl Harbor is the Arizona Memorial. A visit to memorial is part of every program as well as a 23 minute film about the attack. This program is 75 minutes long. The shortest tour to Pearl Harbor is the 4.5 hour Pearl Harbor & Honolulu City Tour. All of the other tours include this program, but add other sites such as the USS Missouri, Bowfin Submarine and the Pacific Aviation Museum. Those Pearl Harbor Tours take from 6 to 13 hours.
Pearl Harbor can also be visited as part of an island tour. For those who are only mildly interested in WWII history, but want to see the island, we recommend the Pearl Harbor & Oahu Island Tour. That tour spends approximately 3 hours at Pearl Harbor. Other similar Combo Tours are available.
For more information on How Long Does it Take to Tour Pearl Harbor? look at the individual Pearl Harbor Tours.
It was once possible to take a boat tour to Pearl Harbor and see the Arizona Memorial from the water. Now commercial vessels are not allowed in the harbor. The change in policy was made after September 11, 2001. At that time security of all military bases was heightened.
The rules remain in effect and the only way to see the Arizona Memorial from the water is on the Navy boat shuttle that is part of the Pearl Harbor program. That is included on every Pearl Harbor Tour.
If you have a friend who owns a boat that is harbored in Pearl Harbor, you may sail in the harbor, but those boats are not allowed near the Arizona Memorial.
Even when boat tours were allowed in Pearl Harbor, they did not stop at the Arizona Memorial to let people out. Most visitors made another trip to Pearl Harbor to join the official tour that boarded the memorial.