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Pearl Harbor from Maui


 

$250 per person from Maui ($290 per person for holiday travel dates from December 15 to January 4)

 

The most popular day trip to another island is for visitors to fly to Oahu to visit Pearl Harbor to see Naval sites like the Arizona Memorial, the USS Missouri Battleship, the USS Bowfin Submarine, and the Pacific Aviation Museum.

The USS Arizona Memorial is part of the National Park Service, and there is no admission fee for the Arizona Memorial. When you arrive, you will wait in line to get a ticket which admits you to the theater at the next available show time. The documentary film prepares you well for what you are about to experience, because when the film ends and the doors open, everyone boards the Navy shuttle boat in hushed silence. While the wait to get a ticket and the wait for your turn to ride the boat can take hours, the ride to the memorial only takes a few minutes. You will spend aprroximately 45 minutes on the Memorial. Looking down, you'll see the faint outline of the Arizona just below the surface of the water. Looking up through the skylights of the Memorial, you'll see the American flag waving at half-staff in contrast to the stark white of the Memorial and the often deep-blue sky. And looking at one end of the Memorial, you'll see the names of those who died on the Arizona carved in stone. If you look closely, you'll see a sheen of oil at the surface of the water. More than 70 years later trace amounts of oil still leak from the hull of the Arizona.

While most people will obtain their Arizona Memorial tickets upon arrival, if you plan far enough in advance you MIGHT be able to reserve those tickets in advance! Only 20% of available tickets are currently being offered as "reserved seats in advance" for Arizona Memorial tour times and for dates a minimum of three weeks in advance and a maximum of six months in advance. Tickets are still free, but they charge $1.50 per seat "convenience fee" for this service. Your best bet is still book an early flight time so that you can make the most of your day on Oahu, and if you are able to reserve a specific Arizona Memorial tour time in advance, that helps you plan your time on Oahu more effectively.

The USS Missouri Association is a non-profit group that offers tickets for purchase for touring other sites at Pearl Harbor including the Missouri, the USS Bowfin Submarine, and the Pacific Aviation Museum.

TYPICAL SCHEDULE: On most dates the morning departure choices are 6:09am and 7:09am ... all flights depart from the main Maui airport in Kahului. The return choices are typically 5:39pm, 6:20pm, 7:48pm, 8:29pm, and 9:50pm  We highly recommend the 6:09am flight as it enables you to get to Pearl Harbor shortly after they open at 7am. This can save you hours of waiting ... if you arrive later you'll end up stuck in line behind hundreds of tour bus passengers from Waikiki.

It takes some coordination and advanced planning to visit Oahu for the day and get there in time to ensure that you have tickets for the events that you'd like to do. We have step-by-step instructions for making the most of your day. Ready? The exact instructions for visiting Pearl Harbor depend upon how far in advance you are planning your visit. The longer in advance you plan, the better off you are!!! The very best time to plan is YESTERDAY!!! Read that and let it sink in.


If you are coming to Hawaii in less than three weeks or are already here

Step 1: Recognize that 20% of the tickets for the Arizona Memorial have already been distributed for your date, and the remaining 80% of the tickets will be given out on a first-come first-served basis upon arrival at the Memorial. This means that you should take the earliest flight possible so you can arrive at Pearl Harbor as early as possible to secure a ticket.

Step 2: Reserve your airfare and rental car using the form on the right side of this page. Avoid FRIDAY as this is typically the most crowded day of the week. Avoid Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day as Pearl Harbor is closed. Also avoid December 7 as Pearl Harbor Day does not have a normal tour schedule.


If you are coming to Hawaii in more than three weeks but within the next six months

Step 1: Check if tickets for the Arizona Memorial are available to reserve in advance for any date during your stay using this link to the National Park Service website: Arizona Memorial Tickets. When you click on this link it will open a new window; leave our website open in the background.

Step 2: If tickets to the Arizona Memorial are available, secure them using the link provided. Since tickets must be picked up at least one hour prior to your tour time, we recommend you select an afternoon slot since you are coming from another island.

Step 3: Come back to this page and reserve your air and rental car using the form to the right. If you were able to secure Arizona Memorial tickets, you may pick either AM flight time, but keep in mind that you must pick up your ticket a minimum of one hour prior to your tour time.

If you were not able to secure Arizona Memorial tickets in advance, no need worry as 80% of the tickets are still available each morning. BUT YOU MUST take the earliest flight time to ensure you get a ticket upon your arrival at the Arizona Memorial visitor's center. We recommend that you avoid Friday, as this is the busiest day of the week. Avoid Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day as Pearl Harbor is closed. Also avoid December 7th as Pearl Harbor Day ceremonies disrupt the regular tour schedule.


If your arrival in Hawaii is more than six months away

Step 1: Reserve your airfare and rental car now using the form on the right. Avoid Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day as Pearl Harbor is closed. Also avoid December 7th as ceremonies at Pearl Harbor disrupt the regular tour schedule.

Step 2: Exactly six months prior to the date you have selected, go to the National Park Service website at this link to reserve your Arizona Memorial Tickets. We recommend an afternoon tour time since you are coming from another island and tickets must be picked up a minimum of one hour prior to your time slot.


ACTIVITY TIPS

Kevin at Falls

While they are hard to find, occasionally there are more expensive tours that fly you from Maui to Oahu, and provide bus transportation to Pearl Harbor, and take you to Waikiki for a few hours, but you give up a lot of freedom that way. The best way to visit Pearl Harbor from Maui is to do a fly-drive package. You get round-trip airfare from the main airport at Kahului on Maui to Honolulu, and the use of a rental car for the day. Pearl Harbor is very close to the airport, and the rental car attendant will give you a map and directions to get there. 

Pearl Harbor is open seven days a week ... every day of the year except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. And while technically open on December 7th, there are always so many ceremonial events going on that it makes it difficult to have a "normal" experience at Pearl Harbor on that date.

The Arizona Memorial is the most popular visitor destination in Hawaii with over 1 million annual guests. It is truly a moving experience to stand on the memorial and look down at the outline of the sunken hull and realize that this ship is the final resting place for over 1,100 sailors who were killed on December 7, 1941 during the attack on Pearl Harbor. With this many visitors per year, it is not uncommon to have all of the 4500 or so tickets for the day fully allotted by mid-morning. To ensure that you do get tickets, we recommend that you arrive at Pearl Harbor as early as possible. A very small percentage of tickets are available in advance on the National Park website a minimum of three weeks in advance and a maximum of six months in advance.

For years, people have gone to Pearl Harbor and visited the Arizona Memorial, and that was the extent of their visit. Don't forget about the USS Missouri ... tickets to tour this battleship are available for purchase right next door to the Arizona Memorial. Walking around on the decks of the Missouri and standing in the shadows of those giant guns is in many respects a fuller experience of WWII than actually going on the Arizona Memorial, where you can only see the faint outline of the ship below the surface of the water. We also highly recommend a tour of the USS Bowfin submarine; it's amazing to experience the tight living and working conditions aboard WWII era submarines. There is much to see and do at Pearl Harbor.

One photography tip for you while you are visiting the Arizona Memorial ... when you are re-boarding the boat for the return to shore, try to get in the last row. As the boat pulls away from the Arizona, you will get your best photo from there.

One question I often get asked about the fly-drive ... "If there are four of us, shouldn't the price get a little cheaper since there are four of us sharing the cost of the car instead of two?" Good question. The answer is "no" ... unless you want to squeeze four people into an economy car. Parties of four get larger cars ... and larger cars cost more. It evens out ... trust me! 

The driver of the rental car must be 25 or older with a major credit card in his / her name. Drivers 21-24 are possible, but you need to give us a call and let us know. Avis charges an extra $27 or so for younger drivers at the rental car counter.

A major credit card is required at the time you pick up your rental car (damage deposit). Most people don't take out the option insurance coverage because their auto insurance at home covers rental car damage as well (subject to your deductibles ... see your policy for details). My advice on the gasoline ... DON'T pre-purchase a tank of gas from Avis... tell them you will bring it back full. You won't likely use a whole tank of gas unless you drive the car all day long and do three circles around the island of Oahu!

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