Atlantis slates Missouri tour plans

HONOLULU -- Visitors to the Battleship Missouri Memorial have a chance to tour part of the ship -- the combat engagement center -- that is not yet open to the public.

The USS Missouri.The opportunity is offered in a new package created by Atlantis Adventures, which handles sales and marketing for the 45,000-ton battleship. Called the Missouri Signature Tour, the package includes roundtrip transportation from Waikiki hotels, admission and a one-hour guided tour. The price is $29 for adults and $19 for children ages 4 to 12.

The Mighty Mo, which was launched in 1944 and saw action in conflicts from World War II to the Gulf War in 1991, opened as a museum attraction at Pearl Harbor in late January. According to the USS Missouri Memorial Association, which is the ship's operator, those on the tour visit the combat engagement center, which is in the final stage of refurbishment and not yet open to the public. This is the area below the bridge where enemy targets were identified.

Restoration is continuing on several areas of the ship, which will open in phases during the next few years. They include the mess deck, the crew berthing area and the engine room.

Visitors on the Signature Tour are driven directly to the Missouri's pier on Fort Island's Battleship Row. For public admission, visitors purchase Missouri tickets from the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum near the Arizona Memorial Center.

Visitors have the option of a self-guided tour or a one-hour guided tour. Those taking self-guided tours, aided by a map, walk a circuit route around the main deck of the 887-foot-long ship. The focal point is the wardroom, where officers once dined and their staterooms were located and which now features artifact displays.

Visitors also can visit the Surrender Deck, where Gen. Douglas MacArthur received the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945. The bridge and the flying bridge, where the ship would be controlled on good weather days, is also open.

Admission to the ship begins with a five-minute trolley ride from the Bowfin museum to the Missouri's pier. Trolleys operate every five minutes, and the ship is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The self-guided tour is priced at $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 4 to 12, with one-hour guided tours costing an extra $4 for both adults and children.

The Bowfin also offers a combination price of admission to the USS Bowfin, a World War II submarine; the submarine museum, and the Missouri for $14 ($8 for children).

Earlier this year, before the battleship opened, Atlantis introduced two tours -- one combining a Missouri tour with admission to the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and the other a Missouri tour with a catered lunch. The Missouri/lunch tour is now narrated in Japanese for Japanese market as well as in English. Atlantis Adventures, Phone: (877) MIGHTY MO.

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