Pearl Harbour is one of those places you must visit while on a Hawaiian cruise or vacationing in Honolulu, Hawaii (USA).
I was on a cruise that went to Honolulu and I didn’t make it to Pearl Harbour when I had been there previously. This time I went and it was a great day. I went on a ship’s tour and Pearl Harbour is short coach ride from the cruise ship terminal.
Why Must You Visit Pearl Harbour?
On the 7th December 1941, Pearl Harbour was bombed by the Japanese and World War II hit the USA. Most of us know the history and have seen the film, but to go there is completely different.
Seeing the harbour with your own eyes and being able to pay your respects to the men and women that died there that fateful day. The US Military has made the visitors centre a fascinating place to visit and give lots of history in the museums.
USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona Memorial is a chilling insight that can still be seen today, of what happened in the historic harbour which is the sunken USS Arizona.
The ship was hit by surprise and ship overturned completely. 1102 crewmen were trapped inside the ship and lost their lives. To this day, this is the grave of these brave men that lost their lives during the Japanese attack.
On the tour of the memorial, they show a short film that takes you back to Honolulu in 1941. After the film, you board a boat that takes you to the memorial site.
The memorial is a viewing deck over the top of the USS Arizona and you can see the hull of the ship. Also, there is a lot of oil that they call the black tears of all the men that died there.
It is very sad and unbelievable what happened when you are viewing it for yourself. Inside the memorial is a wall with all the names of the men that died.
USS Missouri Memorial
The second part of our tour was to board the USS Missouri Memorial also called the ‘Mighty Mo’. This was the battleship that ended World War II. It was very interesting to visit this ship and see how the ship worked.
I like to see inside a ship and what it looks like and how the crew lived and worked onboard. I think that is because I have spent most of my life onboard cruise ships. From working onboard to now travelling alongside my husband.
It was interesting walking below deck in the crew mess and bars and then up to the officer mess and bars. Not much has changed in the way a cruise ship is below deck today. Apart from the cabins have improved a lot!
The ship is huge and walking around on deck the seeing the giant battery turrets and all the areas below deck were amazing to see.
You can walk around the ship on your own and follow the arrows or go on a guided tour for more information about the ship.
What to See at Pearl Harbour
I just saw the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri Memorial when I went to Pearl Harbour. If you have more time you can also visit the USS Bowfin Submarine, USS Oklahoma Memorial and the Aviation Museum. The visitor centre is open between 7.00am – 5.00pm.
Limited Items Can Only Be Brought into Pearl Harbour
The U.S. Navy rules that all bags, handbags, backpacks are prohibited from the area. Basically, you cannot have a bag that can conceal a weapon. There is a storage area before you enter to store your belongings for a small charge.
You can bring inside a bag the size of a hand-held radio, which is the size of a glasses case. Wallets, bottled water, cameras (no case), umbrellas and cell phones are allowed inside, but you must either must carry them or be able to put them in your pocket.
You can purchase something in the gift shop and you can carry that around the visitor’s centre though. Also, if you are taking a tour bus, nothing can be left on the bus as the military do not allow that either. So, travel light when going to visit Pearl Harbour.
- Weather: 20*C – 28*C
- Currency: US Dollars
- Language: American English
- Top Tip: Bring an umbrella or lightweight waterproof coat/poncho, as when it rains it pours as I found out! Always check the weather before, I brought my little umbrella and I am so pleased I did. Wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking.
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