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No trip to Hawaii would be complete without seeing the state’s most popular and historically important attraction … the USS Arizona Memorial. The documentary film that is shown at the Visitor’s Center sets a somber and reflective tone which this sacred place deserves. People walk out to the ferry boat in hushed silence for the short ride out to the Memorial.
Once you arrive you will gaze down into the water where, just below the surface, lies the submerged hulk of the USS Arizona. The sunken ship is the final resting place for many of the 1177 crew members who lost their lives on December 7, 1941. 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 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 the Arizona Memorial is the main attraction at Pearl Harbor, there is lots more to see and do here. Right next door is the USS Missouri, the Iowa-class battleship where the Empire of Japan surrendered to formally end WWII. Together, the Arizona Memorial and the “Mighty Mo” form the bookends of the beginning and end of the war. Other Pearl Harbor sites include the Pacific Aviation Museum, the USS Oklahoma Memorial, and the USS Bowfin Submarine.
Pearl Harbor is on the island of Oahu … known as the “Gathering Place.” This is the same island where Honolulu is found. For our guests who are staying on Big Island during their entire vacation, or who are also visiting Kauai or the Maui but not Oahu, we offer a variety of one-day tour options to Pearl Harbor and you can select the one that best fits your travel needs. The Big Island to Oahu Fly-Drive package is a self-guided option. It is a great choice if you are planning well in advance of your vacation and are able to arrange your own Pearl Harbor tickets, and all you need are reservations for airfare and a rental car. For those who prefer a guided option, the Complete Pearl Harbor Experience takes the worry and hassle out of the day by bundling airfare, a guide for the day on Oahu, and admission to all the battleships, museums, and sites at Pearl Harbor into one historically-oriented epic day. And for those who want to see the Arizona Memorial but also do some sightseeing around the island of Oahu, we offer the Oahu Circle Island with Pearl Harbor Tour.
All three of these package options depart from the main airport at Kona which is centrally located on Big Island. The flights are done on 117 seat Boeing 717′s and take about 30 minutes each way.
There is a LOT of information here. Take your time and read over this page, and then decide which approach is best for you. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you make arrangements to visit Pearl Harbor as soon as possible. The Arizona Memorial fills to capacity almost every single day of the year. Coming from another island adds a layer of complexity since you also need to coordinate airfare. The longer you wait to get this reserved, the harder it will get! Whichever option is best for you … get it RESERVED NOW!