Navy Shuttle Boat To The USS Arizona Memorial

Your USS Arizona Memorial tour includes a 23-minute documentary movie and a US Navy boat ride to and from the USS Arizona Memorial. Even though the shuttle is only around 5 minutes, it is one of the highlights of most visitors. There are three strict rules to follow when taking the shuttle
1. No eating or drinking on board
2. No standing and taking pictures when the boat is moving
3. Once at the Memorial, no taking of photos on the dock until you enter the USS Arizona Memorial.

Before boarding the shuttle boat to the Arizona Memorial monument, you first watch a 23-minute video to provide context. The video contains film footage taken during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

After the film is completed, passengers head to the US Navy shuttle bound for the USS Arizona Memorial monument.

To ensure that the shuttle is reliable throughout the year, the US Navy has five shuttlecrafts on Ford Island. Two boats are used daily, one is usually under maintenance, and the other two are for backup in case of a breakdown. The crew consists of a captain and three experienced sailors; for their breaks and lunch, the National Park Service has provided them with their own lounge office on the backside of the theaters. It is estimated that the US Navy spends over 1 million dollars on gasoline to operate and maintain these boats annually.

Each boat can accommodate 150 passengers, to position yourself to be the first on board the shuttle, sit near the back doors of the theaters facing Diamond Head. As soon as the documentary is over, these doors will open, and visitors can proceed to board the boat. Once on board, be sure to secure the seats adjacent to the two exits facing the theaters; this will ensure that you and your family will be the first to explore the Arizona Memorial.

The US Navy shuttle can accommodate 150 passengers for the trip to the Arizona Memorial monument.

A US Navy shuttle underway. The shuttles run in 15-minute intervals taking people to the Arizona Memorial monument and back to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.

Every day, the Navy supplies the boats and sailors that shuttle the visitors to and from the USS Arizona Memorial. Their crews are immaculately dressed in their whites and safely transport young and old to the Memorial. It is estimated that the Navy spends at least a million dollars yearly on gasoline and maintenance of its Arizona shuttles.

The US Navy, solely at its discretion, can cancel the shuttle to the USS Arizona Memorial due to bad weather conditions, either for a short period or the day’s duration. High winds and thunderstorms usually cause these cancellations, and these dangerous weather conditions can affect the safety of their passengers.

Tropical Storm Flossie approaching Hawaii on July 28, 2013, NOAA,, PD-USGov

A US Navy shuttle sitting at dockside at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center awaiting passengers to board in order to head to the Arizona Memorial monument.

Another reason for shuttle cancellations to the USS Arizona Memorial is problems with the docks. In the past few years, the dock at the Memorial was broken for 18 months, and this year the Visitor Center dock was out of service for a month. The responsibility for these extended closures falls directly on the National Park Service, a typical government agency with no urgency in completing construction projects. In the case of the Visitor Center dock, it was a lack of a proper maintenance program because the pier had been broken for years. Meanwhile, the public and veterans are screaming due to the situation in which they are unable to pay their respects to the fallen heroes at the USS Arizona Memorial,

In 2014, the sailors decided to cancel the afternoon trips to the Arizona Memorial Monument due to bad weather conditions so that they could watch the Super Bowl. The only problem was that it was a beautiful day with winds of only 5 miles an hour. Hundreds of visitors complained to the National Park Service Rangers. The next day their Superintendent complained to the Navy Admiral in charge of Pearl Harbor; needless to say, it never happened again.

Once the Navy shuttle boat arrives at the Arizona Memorial dock, they will disembark and head into the USS Arizona Memorial monument

A view of the USS Missouri Battleship. On the way to the USS Arizona Memorial Monument, you will get a good look at the USS Missouri battleship.

During the Christmas holiday, the Navy offers free tours of Pearl Harbor for military and civilian families with these same Shuttle boats. This is an incredible, narrated tour of Pearl Harbor, a chance of a lifetime. The passengers have the opportunity to cruise Pearl Harbor, see the Navy’s mothball fleet, check out the harbor’s entrance, learn where their destroyer and submarine are docked, circle Fort Island and get up close to the USS Arizona, Battleship Row and hear all the stories of the Dec 7th