Pearl Harbor 80th & Hawaii
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Date(s) - 02/12/2021 - 08/12/2021
All Day

Pearl Harbor

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DECEMBER 2-8, 2021

Eighty years ago in December 1941, 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 the last major opportunity to mingle with veterans of the Greatest Generation, especially those who are Pearl Harbor survivors (an 18 year old in December 1941 will be 98 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. We will attend several significant WWII remembrance events throughout the week, and incorporate them into the itinerary as the schedule is announced.

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 possible catamaran cruise for snorkeling and a sunset dinner. From our spectacular Waikiki beachfront base at the beautiful and historic Moana Surfrider Hotel (or comparable), we will spend a week in paradise and come away far richer for the experience!

pearl harbor tours
Pearl Harbor 80 Tour


best pearl harbor tour

Day 1, December 2, 2021


  • Welcome! Check-in at our Waikiki Beach hotel – the Moana Surfrider (or comparable)
  • 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 3, 2021


  • 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 hotel
  • Social hour and sunset on Waikiki
  • Dinner on your own in Waikiki

Day 3, December 4, 2021


  • 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”
  • Arrive back at Waikiki 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 5, 2021


  • 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 6, 2021


  • 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 on your own to enjoy the beach, golf or go on whale watching cruise
  • Social Hour and Waikiki sunset
  • Catamaran cruise for snorkeling and sunset dinner onboard ship

Day 6, December 7, 2021


  • We will attend National Remembrance Ceremonies at Kilo Pier with many dignitaries. This will 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 98 today!).
  • Brunch in a beautiful downtown Honolulu restaurant
  • Attend other commemorative events as available.
  • Dinner in Waikiki at the famed Royal Hawaiian (the “Pink Palace of the Pacific!”)

Day 7, December 8, 2021


  • 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


  • Six nights’ luxury accommodations at the beautiful and historic Moana Surfrider Hotel (or comparable), 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 80th 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 as indicated on itinerary
  • All entrance fees for group activities
  • Gratuities for docents and restaurants
  • Personalized tour support


  • Transportation to Oahu
  • Optional activities of diving, snorkeling, whale watching cruise, golf
  • Alcoholic drinks
best pearl harbor tour


  • This guided Pearl Harbor tour must have a minimum of 10 guests to run.
  • Pricing: $4,950 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, and current and career retired educators receive a 5 percent discount.
  • All repeat Essential History Expeditions guests receive a 10 percent discount on this Hawaiian expedition.
Pearl Harbor 80th & Hawaii 02/12/2021 - 08/12/2021 All Day Pearl Harbor 80th & Hawaii Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor 80th & Hawaii Eighty years ago in December 2021, 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.he latter nation, by attacking the American Pacific Fleet Mission Critical Systems 02-12-2021T00:00 02-12-2021T23:59 Active Active 02-12-2021 Active $0.00 02-12-2021
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