Pearl Harbor 75th & Hawaii
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Date/Time
Date(s) - 03/12/2016 - 09/12/2016
All Day

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PEARL HARBOR 75TH & HAWAII TOUR

DECEMBER 3-9, 2016

Seventy-five years ago this December, the United States was pulled into the largest and most destructive war in human history. In the end, the allies triumphed over the fascism of Germany, Italy and Japan. The latter nation, by attacking the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, ensured a titanic struggle for mastery of the vast ocean and its periphery would be waged to the end. This will be one of the last opportunities to mingle with veterans of the Greatest Generation, especially those who are Pearl Harbor survivors (an 18 year old in December 1941 will be 93 today!). This best Pearl Harbor guided tour will take us to the island of Oahu in Hawaii to examine the beginnings of America’s involvement in the great struggle. We will visit two ships, lying end-to-end, that encapsulate the war – the USS Arizona, under its memorial, where the war began that terrible Sunday morning, and the USS Missouri, on whose decks the allies accepted complete Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945. We will also see numerous other sites of the war, from ships, submarines and aircraft to Army garrisons and mountain observation points. In addition to the Pearl Harbor tour, we will further visit many places associated with Hawaiian history from its founding as a kingdom under Kamehameha through American whaling and missionary arrivals and on to the US agricultural and financial interests that led to the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893 and the annexation of Hawaii as a US territory in 1898. The incredible story of this civilizational intersection will unfold as we visit critical sites. Finally, no visit to this beautiful, sun-splashed island would be complete without visits to its gorgeous beaches and small towns for optional snorkeling, swimming, diving, hiking, golfing and just relaxing. On this Pearl Harbor guided tour, we will also enjoy a catamaran cruise for snorkeling and a sunset dinner. From our spectacular Waikiki beachfront base at the beautiful and historic Moana Surfrider Hotel, we will spend a week in paradise and come away far richer for the experience! Stan Van Hoose is a brave WWII veteran who, as a young 21 year old, had been stationed at Pearl Harbor on the USS Maryland on December 7, 1941, when the bombing began on Battleship Row. Stan stood witness to the “date which will live in infamy” before defending America in other battles throughout the Pacific, including Guadalcanal, Russell Islands, Peleliu, Midway, and Tarawa. Now 95 years old, Stan will be participating in Essential History Expeditions’ Pearl Harbor tour and the official 75th anniversary events to commemorate that day and the US entrance into WWII. Join Mr. Van Hoose and Essential History Expeditions to honor our veterans and for a first-hand seat to witness history as we explore Pearl Harbor, with entrance to the official ceremonies.

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© Tim Storm | www.timstorm.net

ACTIVITIES & HIGHLIGHTS

best pearl harbor tour

Day 1, December 3

EXPEDITION ARRIVAL

  • Welcome! Check-in at our Waikiki Beach hotel – the Moana Surfrider
  • Social Hour on the Verandah of Waikiki’s most historic and famed hotel, the Moana Surfrider, for a glorious island sunset!
  • Dinner at the Moana Surfrider, with an overview of the week’s events on the best Pearl Harbor tour

Day 2, December 4

HAWAIIAN HISTORY FROM THE LOCAL ANGLE

  • Depart hotel for Pali Heights
  • Discussion of 1790s island unification under King Kamehameha I and the battle of Pali Cliffs (also called Nu’uanu) where the king’s Big Island warriors defeated and crushed the Oahu defenders
  • Visit Queen Emma’s Summer Palace – the royal family at ease in Victorian splendor
  • Visit Iolani Palace – America’s only royal palace (had phones and electricity before the White House and Buckingham Palace!)
  • Lunch at downtown Honolulu restaurant, followed by walking tour of Historical Honolulu
  • Arrive back at Waikiki Moana Surfrider hotel
  • Social hour and sunset on Waikiki
  • Dinner on Waikiki

Day 3, December 5

PEARL HARBOR AND WORLD WAR TWO GUIDED TOUR

  • Depart hotel for Pearl Harbor Visitor’s Center at the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument
  • USS Arizona Memorial – a sublime white memorial that hovers directly above the ship and her 1000 fallen men, and a testament to America’s remembrance
  • USS Bowfin submarine — the “Avenger of Pearl Harbor” that sunk an amazing number of Japanese ships and tonnage
  • USS Missouri battleship – the finest class of battleships ever built, she saw much action in the final year of the war and on her decks WWII ended in Tokyo Harbor as the Japanese surrendered to the Allied Powers represented by General Douglas MacArthur — critical to see on any Pearl Harbor tour
  • Pacific Aviation Museum at Ford Island Airfield – an amazing collection of 100 years of aircraft on the very site where Japanese dive bombers struck on December 7th
  • WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument Museums that tell an incredible story through film, exhibits and more Lunch on Ford Island
  • Visit the National Cemetery of the Pacific in the Punchbowl – a spectacularly beautiful and calm resting place for tens of thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines from WWII to present, including so very many from the famed 442d Regiment and Ernie Pyle “the Soldier’s Reporter”
  • Official harbor tour for veterans and Pearl Harbor survivors
  • Arrive back at Waikiki Moana Surfrider hotel
  • Social Hour and sunset on Waikiki
  • Dinner at Duke’s on Waikiki (named for the famed Olympian and Hawaiian personality – Duke Kahanamoku) — a tremendous addition in the best guided Pearl Harbor tour

Day 4, December 6

THE BEAUTY OF OAHU - THE NORTH SHORE

  • Depart hotel en route to Schofield Barracks
  • Driving tour of Schofield Barracks – icon of the US Army from WWII to present (stage of “From Here to Eternity”)
  • Visit Dole Plantation – agricultural influences in Hawaii from the 1800s to present
  • On your own lunch, Matsumoto’s Shave Ice and shopping in the national historic district of quaint Haleiwa
  • Drive the famed North Shore, with beach stops at Sunset Beach, the Banzai Pipeline and Waimea Bay; option to play in the waves at Waimea Bay!
  • Arrive back at Waikiki Moana Surfrider hotel
  • Dinner on your own in Waikiki

Day 5, December 7

PEARL HARBOR AT 75 TOUR

  • Depart hotel for Pearl Harbor Kilo Pier
  • Attend National Remembrance Ceremonies at Kilo Pier with many dignitaries likely including President Obama (in what will be one of his final major speeches) This will also be one of the last opportunities to mingle with veterans from WWII and, especially, survivors of Pearl Harbor (an 18 year old in December 1941 will be 93 today!) Stan Van Hoose was stationed on the USS Maryland and witnessed the events of that fateful day. Join Stan to hear his account first-hand and to attend the official ceremonies!
  • Brunch in a beautiful downtown Honolulu restaurant
  • Attend the National USS Oklahoma Memorial commemoration to mark the sinking of the ship as it was moored to the USS Maryland
  • Attend the Memorial Parade on Waikiki with survivors and WWII veterans as Grand Marshals
  • Dinner in Waikiki at the famed Royal Hawaiian (the “Pink Palace of the Pacific!”)

THE BEAUTY OF OAHU (HANAUMA BAY)

  • Depart hotel for Hanauma Bay
  • Snorkel, dive or relax on the beach in the underwater state park and beach (on own expenses; EHE will make arrangements) Hanauma Bay, the ocean-filled remains of a blown-out volcano, is truly an awe-inspiring location
  • Afternoon to enjoy the beach, golf or go on whale watching cruise (on own time; Essential History Expeditions will make arrangements)
  • Social Hour and Waikiki sunset
  • Catamaran cruise for snorkeling and sunset dinner onboard ship

Day 7, December 9

MAHALO & ALOHA!

  • Optional hike to the summit of Diamond Head Crater – spectacular views and WWII defense positons, wartime tunnels and observation posts
  • Visit Fort DeRussy (on Waikiki) for wrap-up discussion of Hawaii in WWII & the famed 442nd Regiment “Go For Broke” (Japanese-Americans)
  • Expedition Complete
pearl harbor tours
Hawaii history tours - pearl harbor tours

PEARL HARBOR GUIDED TOUR INCLUDES

  • Six nights’ luxury accommodations at the beautiful and historic Moana Surfrider Hotel, located on the beach in downtown Waikiki
  • In-depth guided tours with professional historian
  • Visit to all major WWII Pearl Harbor sites
  • Visit local Hawaiian cultural/historical sites
  • Entrance to the official Pearl Harbor 75th anniversary events
  • Sunset private catamaran cruise and dinner
  • Optional small group activities of diving, snorkeling, swimming, whale watching cruise, hiking or golfing
  • Transportation by van throughout trip
  • Optional opportunity to role-play an important character in World War II or Hawaiian history throughout the Pearl Harbor tour
  • Majority of all meals and drinks included with dinner (1 lunch & 1 dinner on own)
  • Social hour each day with one drink included
  • One bottle of water per day per person
  • All entrance fees for group activities
  • Gratuities for docents and restaurants
  • Personalized tour support

NOT INCLUDED

  • Transportation to Oahu
  • Optional activities of diving, snorkeling, whale watching cruise, golf (Essential History Expeditions will make arrangements)

 

best pearl harbor tour

READY TO DISCOVER HISTORY?

  • This guided Pearl Harbor tour will be limited to 12 guests.
  • Pricing: $3,950 per person double occupancy; $1,020 supplement for single occupancy.
  • Down payment: $1,000 per guest due upon registration; see Terms & Conditions for payment schedule and cancellation policy.
  • Active duty and career retired military, current and career retired educators, and students all receive a 10 percent discount.
  • All repeat Essential History Expeditions guests receive a 10 percent discount on this Hawaiian expedition.
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