Victory in the Pacific: Battle of Guadalcanal

Brisbane • Guadalcanal • Tulagi
August 1 – 9, 2020

Tour Overview

With its position in the South Pacific, Guadalcanal was an ideal location for a Japanese airfield that could threaten vital US sea lanes to Australia. Availing ourselves of the best local guides, with accommodations on Guadalcanal that overlook Ironbottom Sound with Savo Island looming in the distance, we will honor the sacrifices made in these historic and seldom visited settings.

The anticlimax of the landings suggested none of the hell that lay ahead. Subjected to fierce counterattacks and suicidal charges by Japanese soldiers, the Marines on Guadalcanal fought tenaciously. Traversing the terrain of Bloody Ridge, standing on the banks of the Tenaru River, and investigating the jungle terrain, we will gain a renewed appreciation for what our men achieved.

Thumbnail

Book Your Trip With Us!

Now taking preliminary bookings for August 2021, please call 1-877-813-3329 x 257 to reserve your space.

SOLD OUT

Tour Inclusions

  • Travel with James Hornfischer, one of the foremost experts on the Battle of Guadalcanal
  • Full-time logistical Tour Manager
  • Expert local battlefield guides
  • Roundtrip airport transfers (when arriving & departing on scheduled group tour dates)
  • 2-nights in Brisbane at the The Westin Brisbane
  • 5-nights in Honiara at Heritage Park Hotel
  • 1-night at Pullman Brisbane Airport
  • Roundtrip flights between Brisbane and Honiara
  • Private, first-class, air-conditioned motor coach transportation
  • VIP access to sites not offered on other tours
  • Video oral history presentations from the Museum collection
  • Included gratuities to guides, drivers, porters, and servers
  • Personal listening devices on all included touring
  • 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Beer, wine, and soft drinks with included lunches and dinner
  • Informative map book including useful battlefield maps and archival images to be used throughout your journey
  • Personalized luggage tags and customized name badge
  • Keepsake journal and pen to document your journey
Thumbnail

Download The Brochure

Download the official Battle of Guadalcanal brochure for a full listing of inclusions, accommodations, and other useful information.

Download Brochure
Battle of Guadalcanal

Tour Itinerary & Map

Destination Map

 

FULL TOUR ITINERARY 

August 1, 2020 - Day 1

ARRIVALS & MACARTHUR MUSEUM


Arrive at Brisbane International Airport (BNE), Australia, and transfer to The Westin Hotel located in the heart of city. This afternoon, experience Brisbane as it was from 1942 – 1945 when one million American servicemen rotated through the city. The MacArthur Museum, located inside the wartime headquarters of General Douglas MacArthur, tells the story of MacArthur’s time in Brisbane and the war in the South Pacific. MacArthur’s personal office is preserved inside the museum. Just a few blocks away, visit the site of the infamous Battle of Brisbane, a brawl that erupted when tensions ran high between American and Australian servicemen. This evening, get to know fellow tour mates at a Welcome Dinner.

The Westin Brisbane (D)

August 2, 2020 - Day 2

EAGLE FARM AIRFIELD


After breakfast, visit the remains of Eagle Farm Airfield, the wartime home of the 81st Air Depot Group. At Eagle Farm, Allied engineers assembled, repaired, and maintained Allied aircraft. At Hangar No. 7, a secret project aimed to give Allied aviators an advantage over the Japanese Zero fighters. The Allied Technical Air Intelligence Unit, made up of personnel from the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, worked to rebuild and test recovered Japanese aircraft to identify their weaknesses. Over the skies of Brisbane, residents could occasionally see Japanese aircraft, sometimes with an Allied escort or painted in friendly colors to reduce a chance of friendly fire. To ensure the secrecy of the project, Hangar No. 7 stood away from the other hangars and operated under a tight security protocol. A group lunch is included during touring today, and the evening is free to enjoy Brisbane on your own.

The Westin Brisbane (B, L)

August 3, 2020 - Day 3

HENDERSON FIELD


A morning flight from Brisbane to Guadalcanal (lunch served in-flight) arrives in the afternoon, landing at Honiara International Airport which is built on the remains of Henderson Field. Upon arrival at the airfield, explore the surrounding terrain to appreciate the presence of Bloody Ridge, the location of the fighter strips, and the American section of the island where hospitals, barracks, and officer’s quarters once stood. A memorial tree garden now stands near the airport. Individuals from Australia and the United States have purchased the memorial trees in honor of loved ones who fought or trained in Guadalcanal. This evening, check in to the .Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara and enjoy an included group dinner.

Heritage Park Hotel Honiara (B, L, D)

August 4, 2020 - Day 4

D-DAY & THE JAPANESE COUNTERATTACKS


Touring begins at the invasion beaches where US Marines landed 78 years ago. On August 7, 1942, 11,000 Marines took Red Beach with no Japanese opposition. No American casualties occurred during the landings. By the next day, the Marines arrived at Henderson Field, capturing the lightly defended and recently completed airfield. Continue to Alligator Creek, the site of the first Japanese counterattack attempt at recapturing the airfield. In a nighttime assault, waves of between 100 and 200 Japanese soldiers attacked in the darkness. Each wave was defeated, and the Japanese lost more than 770 of their attacking force of 917 men. The next major Japanese attempt to recapture the airfield took place at Bloody Ridge, the last stop of the touring day. At Bloody Ridge, the Japanese learned from their previous attacks and assembled a much larger force that pushed the Marines to their last defensive position.

Heritage Park Hotel Honiara (B, L)

August 5, 2020 - Day 5

TULAGI


Take a short boat ride to the island of Tulagi, located to the north of Guadalcanal. Tulagi was the seat of the British colonial government of the Solomon Islands. The Japanese took the island in May 1942, and the Americans invaded on August 7, 1942, the same day as the invasion of Guadalcanal. On August 8, the island was declared secure. Tulagi became a headquarters for the subsequent efforts in the Solomon Islands. Following the war, the locals began using the remaining American infrastructure. Visit the battle sites on the island before returning to Guadalcanal for the evening.

Heritage Park Hotel Honiara (B, L, D)

August 6, 2020 - Day 6

VILU WAR MUSEUM


The Vilu War Museum, nestled just inside the jungle contains the remains of numerous Allied and Japanese aircraft. The aircraft exist in disparate conditions, but highlights include an F4U-1 Corsair, a P38F Lightning, an SBD Dauntless, and several examples of Japanese 150mm guns. During the drive along Cape Esperance, hear the stories of the naval battles that took place off the coast of Guadalcanal.

Heritage Park Hotel Honiara (B, L)

August 7, 2020 - Day 7

78TH ANNIVERSARY OF GUADALCANAL


The 78th Anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal will take place at various locations throughout the island. The touring day is flexible to allow for the group to experience as many commemoration events as possible. Attend a ceremony near the Solomon Scouts & Coastwatchers Memorial. Bringing together military representatives from Australia and the United States with local officials, the ceremony will highlight the contributions of the Allies and the locals who served as scouts during the battle. Participate in a special “Farewell to Guadalcanal” dinner this evening and reminisce about the journey with fellow tour mates.

Heritage Park Hotel Honiara (B, L, D)

August 8, 2020 - Day 8

OPTIONAL EXPLORATION OF COFFIN CORNER


Before the heat of the day rises, participate in an optional excursion to Coffin Corner, near the site of John Basilone’s heroic actions of October 1942. The tour guide will identify the remains of foxholes and trenches along the jungle floor as you explore the terrain to get a sense of the close-quarter fighting seen in the jungle. Review after-action reports and logbooks of previous researchers, and attempt to identify the positions held by Basilone. Return to Honiara by mid-morning to prepare for the return flight to Brisbane (lunch served in-flight). The evening is free for relaxation prior to your international journey home the next day.

Pullman Brisbane Airport (B, L)

August 9, 2020 - Day 9

DEPARTURES


After breakfast make your way to Brisbane International Airport (BNE) for your journey home.

(B)

Battle of Guadalcanal

Tour Historian

Featured Historian & Author

James Hornfischer

James D. Hornfischer is the author of four books on the US Navy during World War II, all of them New York Times bestsellers and selections of the Chief of Naval Operations Professional Reading Program. Reviewers rate him as one of the most commanding naval historians writing today. The board of directors of the USS Constitution Museum recently presented Hornfischer with the Samuel Eliot Morison Award, which “reflects the best of Admiral Morison: artful scholarship, patriotic pride, and eclectic interest in the sea and things maritime and a desire to preserve the best of our past for future generations.”

Hornfischer’s most recent book is The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944 – 1945 (2016). His other books are Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal (2011), Ship of Ghosts (2006), and The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors (2004). The latter, a combat narrative about the Battle of Samar, won the Samuel Eliot Morison Award and was chosen by Naval History magazine as one of “a dozen Navy classics.” Hornfischer has also collaborated with “lone survivor” Marcus Luttrell on his book, Service: A Navy SEAL at War (2012). He is a regular contributor for The Wall Street Journal and has written for Smithsonian, Naval History, Naval Institute Proceedings, and other periodicals. Venues he has lectured at include the United States Naval Academy, Marine Corps University at Marine Corps Base Quantico, The National WWII Museum, the National Museum of the Pacific War, and more. He also serves on the board of the Naval Historical Foundation.

A native of Massachusetts, and a graduate of Colgate University and the University of Texas School of Law, he lives in Austin, Texas, with his family.

Battle of Guadalcanal

Accommodations

Brisbane, Australia

The Westin Brisbane

The Westin Brisbane is a 5-star urban retreat located in the city center near popular attractions, including Queen Street Mall, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Suncorp Stadium, and the Treasury Casino. The luxury hotel rooms feature Heavenly® Beds, flat-screen TVs with Chromecast, mini-refrigerators, and complimentary Wi-Fi, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows. On-site dining options include the first swim-up pool bar in Brisbane, as well as a Jazz bar and Eden’s Table Restaurant.

Honiara, Solomon Islands

Heritage Park Hotel

Heritage Park Hotel, Honiara’s only luxury 4-star hotel, is modern and comfortable, with friendly staff eagerly awaiting to serve. The airy accommodations feature a queen bed or twin beds, furnished balconies, tea and coffee facilities, and free Wi-Fi access. The relaxed rooms come with ocean or garden views. Three on-site restaurants boast the most delicious fare in all of Honiara.

Battle of Guadalcanal

Tour Pricing

PROGRAM PRICING

Price per person based on double occupancy

$7,395 $6,895

SOLD OUT

Price per person based on single occupancy

$10,395 $9,895

SOLD OUT

*Taxes and fees are an additional $239 per person and will be included on your final invoice.


Now taking preliminary bookings for August 2021, please call 1-877-813-3329 x 257 to reserve your space.

Battle of Guadalcanal

Request More Information