Kona to Pearl Harbor Memorial Tour
If you are staying on the Big Island, but would like to visit Pearl Harbor, this tour was designed for you. The Kona to Pearl Harbor Tour includes roundtrip airfare to Honolulu, all ground transportation once on Oahu, and guided tours of Pearl Harbor and historic downtown Honolulu. You'll fly on an early morning flight to Honolulu, where you will be greeted by your guide, and we'll take care of everything from there!
The first stop will be the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center where all visitors are asked to watch a 23-minute documentary film that revisits the key moments in WWII history, from the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor to the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945. After the film, you'll have a chance to look around the visitor center museum before being taken to the USS Arizona Memorial.
The USS Arizona Memorial experience begins with a 10-to-15-minute Navy vessel ride to the memorial. The USS Arizona memorial is located directly above the sunken vessel, which is the final resting place of many of the 1,177 officers and crewmen who were lost during the attack. Their names and ranks are etched in marble on the Remembrance Wall in the Shrine Room. If you look into the harbor you'll see oil droplets, “The Black Tears of the Arizona” which continue to rise up from the sunken battleship today.
Next, you’ll climb aboard the USS Battleship Missouri. Here you will receive a guided deck tour of the officers' quarters, armaments, and the location where representatives from the Japanese government and Allied forces assembled to sign the Japanese Instrument of Surrender in Tokyo Bay in 1945, which effectively ended World War II. The “Mighty Mo” also fought in the Korean War and Desert Storm, before being decommissioned and moved to Pearl Harbor in 1998 after five decades of service.
The third vessel on the tour is the USS Bowfin Submarine. Also known as the “Pearl Harbor Avenger”, the fleet attack submarine was launched one year after the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1942. It fought in battles throughout the Pacific during WWII and is responsible for sinking over forty enemy vessels. It is the most well preserved and most visited vessel of its kind. On this audio tour, you'll get to go below deck and experience life aboard a WWII era sub, visit the museum, and honor the lost submariners at the waterfront memorial.
The final stop on the Pearl Harbor portion of the tour is the Pacific Aviation Museum. The museum is located on Ford Island, now a National Historic Monument, and housed in two hangars that still display the bullet holes and other damage left from the attack on Dec. 7, 1941. Guests will have about an hour to tour the facilities, check out the WWII era aircraft and learn more about the air battles fought in the Pacific.
The day concludes with a tour through Historic Downtown Honolulu. Your expert guide will share stories about Hawaii’s royal family while pointing out the areas famous landmarks including:
- Iolani Palace – The royal Hawaiian residence from 1845 to 1893. It is the only royal palace on US soil and is known for its unique architectural design.
- King Kamehameha the Great Statue – The Chief Who United the Hawaiian Islands is seen in pictures around the world as an archetype of Hawaii’s regal past. The statue honors the monarch founded the Kingdom of Hawaii, and one of the “must see” sites included in the tour.
- Aliiolani Hale – The former seat of government for the kingdom of Hawaii that now serves as the home to the Hawaiʻi State Supreme Court. It is the former seat of government of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and the Republic of Hawaiʻi.
- Kawaiahao Church - The oldest church on Oahu, once used by the Hawaiian royal family and often referred to as “Hawaii’s Westminster Abbey”. The Hawaiian language is still used during services.
Know before you go:
- Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses.
- Purses and bags are not allowed inside Pearl Harbor Historic Parks due to security precautions. Bags can be stored at a nominal fee at the entrance, but the lines to do so are often very long.
- Visitors should be able to walk four city blocks.
- Ladders are steep and handholds can be difficult.
- USS Bowfin Submarine is not wheelchair or stroller friendly.
- Sites are subject to close due to stormy weather.