What You Can Expect from a Pearl Harbor Tour

Uss arizona tours

The Pearl Harbor Attack on Dec. 7, 1941 shocked the United States and brought the country into World War II. 73 years later, the Pearl Harbor Tour remains one of the most attended tours on Oahu, a testament to the indelible mark it left on the American consciousness.

Here’s what you can see when you visit:

USS Arizona Tours

The USS Arizona was a battleship that exploded and sank to the bottom of Pearl Harbor during the attack in 1941, killing 1,177 officers and crewmen, including 37 sets of brothers. Unlike many ships that sank that day, the Arizona couldn’t be fully salvaged, and the massive wreck remains at the bottom of the harbor.

Visitors can explore the 184-foot-long memorial structure that sits above the mid-portion of the sunken ship. The memorial can be reached by tour boat and includes an entry room, an assembly room, and a central area for observation and ceremonies. Visitors can pay their respects in the shrine room, which features a marble wall engraved with the names of those killed on the Arizona.

USS Missouri Tours

Pearl Harbor tours also include the USS Missouri. The USS Missouri was the last of Iowa-class battleship commissioned by the US, and it served in several major wars including World War II (in the Pacific theater), the Korean War, and the Gulf War. In spite of it’s heavy combat involvement, there was never a combat death on the decks of the USS Missouri.

But the ship’s crowning achievement came on Sept. 2, 1945 in Tokyo Bay when representatives of the Allied and Axis Powers met on board to accept the surrender of Japan and bring World War II to an end. Visitors to the ship can walk the same decks the ambassadors did and trace their footsteps through history.

Visitors who sign up to tour Pearl Harbor may also explore the USS Bowfin Submarine and the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island. Many package Oahu tours include the Pearl Harbor tour, but they may not take you to every monument. Make sure your tour allows you to see all the unique history of Oahu’s historic harbor.

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