Updated: Dec 2, 2022
The Gypsea Traveller is a Hawaii Travel Agency. The Owner, Libbi is a travel agent that lives in Hawaii. she has visited all of the Hawaiian Islands and lives on Oahu. This blog has a ton of recommendations based on first hand experience living on Oahu.
There are always so many questions about visiting Pearl Harbor, such as "What tour should I book for Pearl Harbor?", "How do I get tickets for Pearl Harbor?", "What's the best way to see Pearl Harbor?" and more!
Below, I'll answer all these questions.
Before visiting Pearl Harbor, you'll want to decide what you want to see! Most visitors want to see the free museum and go out to the USS Arizona Memorial. If you want to experience more ships and love history, you can also visit the USS Missouri which is the battleship and the USS Bowfin which is the submarine.
There are two ways you can visit Pearl Harbor.
1. Book it yourself/DIY
To do this, I recommend arriving at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center at 6:50am, as they open at 7:00am. You can drive your vehicle there and park for free, take a pre-arranged Taxi with Charley's Taxi or book an Uber/Lyft. When they open at 7:00am, once you go through the gate, you'll take a left and immediately get in the USS Arizona standby line. This line is for anyone who didn't RSVP tickets. They take about 20+ people per boat from the standby line so if you're one of the first in line at 7:00am, you'll most likely get on the first boat at 8:00am or the second at 8:30am.
While you're waiting in line, only one person needs to save the spot, until they actually count everyone in line to get on the next boat. During this time the rest of your party can visit the two free museums across from the line.
Once you get out of the standby line, you'll get a spot on the boat that will take you over to the USS Arizona Memorial, that sits on top of the sunken USS Arizona. Once you're back from the USS Arizona, you can continue looking at the museums. If you would like to see additional ships, you can go right to the stands and purchase your tickets for the USS Missouri (on Ford Island) and/or USS Bowfin. Each have additional costs and locations.
You can also book tickets to the USS Arizona if you want to go at a specific time. Tickets can be difficult to book as you need to get them 8 weeks in advance or the day before at 3:00pm HST. We find it easier to do the standby line. You can reserve tickets here.
2. Book a Tour
There are many tours that offer pickup in Waikiki. This can be a great option if you don't want to drive or find a Taxi/Uber and don't want to do Pearl Harbor yourself.
Important note: sometimes the tour companies have difficulty getting tickets to the USS Arizona and may have to do the standby line as well. This happened to my clients and I recommended they cancel the tour and go themself. It saved them money and they were on the 8:30am boat without any issues.
If you'd like to see some of the tour options for Pearl Harbor, click here.
1. Bags and purses are NOT allowed in unless they're the size of a small wallet/clutch or in a clear bag. If you need to bring more items with you, you can check a bag for around $6 each once you arrive. We just carry in our phones, wallet and keys.
2. It's important to remember that many soldiers lost their lives in this exact same place. Please be quiet and respectful. You shouldn't be joking around, kids should not be screaming or running around and selfies shouldn't be taken with you smiling.
3. Sometimes the dock or boats need to be repaired and the boats to the USS Arizona will not run during this time.
4. I recommend once you're done, heading over to Restaurant 604 for lunch. The menu is great, the drinks are strong and you'll get views of Pearl Harbor.
For more information about Pearl Harbor, you can visit their website.
If you've been dreaming of a Hawaiian vacation, but don't know where to start to plan your vacation, book your free 30 minute consultation with The Gypsea Traveller to learn more. Libbi can help you book a vacation package that includes your flight, the perfect resort for you, car rental or airport transfers and insurance. She can also custom design an itinerary for you based on excursion and restaurant recommendations.
Libbi lives in Hawaii and has visited all of the Hawaiian Islands. She loves helping clients book their dream vacation to the Hawaiian Islands. You can visit www.thegypseatraveller.com and click on "Schedule Consult" to choose a date/time to zoom with Libbi, The Gypsea Traveller