Specialty Tours

//Specialty Tours

Specialty Tours

These tours are for those guests who want a behind-the-scenes or extended look at our exhibitions and the ship’s restored spaces。 Led by long-time volunteers and Navy veterans, these multi-hour tours take participants throughout the ship to spaces unavailable to the Museum’s daily visitors。

Please Note: Participants must be at least 13 years of age. The tour will require a lot of walking and climbing, so guests should be in good physical health with comfortable, closed-toed shoes. Cameras are welcome but should have a neck or wrist strap.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the restrictions for Specialty Tours?

To see all parts of the ship, you will be required to climb steep ladders. Visitors who cannot negotiate steep ladders or who might have claustrophobia or other intense anxieties with heights or tight spaces are advised against taking a specialty tour.

Do you offer special prices for seniors or active military?

No, but Museum Members receive discounts for both the VIP Tours and Air Operations Tour.

What happens if I arrive late?

If you arrive after 10 o’clock, you can still join a tour which is already in progress. This will mean that you may miss seeing parts of the ship that have already been seen on the tour.

Where do we meet for the tour?

The general admission ramp from the pier is closed on Tuesdays during winter hours.  Visitors must enter at the second ramp, and will check in at the Security Desk. Doors open at 10 a.m.

Are visitors allowed to take photographs?

You are welcome to take pictures, but your camera must have a neck or wrist strap. Both hands must be free when climbing or descending ladders.

How should I dress for the tour?

The ship is not heated. Wear warm clothing and sturdy, comfortable shoes.

Will I be able to explore parts of the ship alone?

Once you have been assigned to a group, you must stay with that group the entire day.

Will I be able to leave the tour early, if necessary?

You are allowed to leave the tour early if you like, but you will not be able to return after leaving.

Is lunch included?

No, unless specifically stated, lunch is not included with the ticket price. There is a food truck on the pier at about 1:00 PM. Guests are also welcome and encouraged to bring their own lunch to the Museum.

Tuesday VIP Tours

Explore USS Hornet and receive an exclusive behind-the-scenes guided 6-hour VIP tour!捕鱼大作战 Visit exhibits and restored spaces such as Combat Information Center (CIC), the Torpedo Workshop, Apollo, and the Island Superstructure. View vintage aircraft and historic spacecraft up close. Discover rarely visited spaces and hear authentic sea stories from your veteran tour guide! This Docent-led VIP tour is customizable and designed to accommodate your particular interests.


10 AM Check-In


$40.00 per person ($35 for Museum Members)
Advance reservations required.

Saturday Morning Admiral’s Tours: Restoration Tour

Explore the ship early in the morning and receive a special 3.5 hour tour of areas onboard the USS Hornet Museum that have not yet been opened to the public or have limited daytime access! This includes areas such as Combat Information Center (CIC), the Brig, and Message Center (Radio Central). Visitors are welcome to bring a flashlight with them, since you’ll get to explore dark hidden spaces even during the daytime! Following the guided tour, which lasts for approximately 3.5 hours, guests are invited to explore the rest of the museum on their own when the tour ends.


9 AM Check-In
Admiral Tours are usually held in the morning on the third Saturday of each month. See our Calendar捕鱼大作战 to confirm dates.


$35.00 per person ($30 for Museum Members)
Advance reservations required.


Perspective Tours

These tours average about 3 hours long and travel all over the ship! Your tour guides are sailors and veterans who worked with the topics of the tours and are experts on the ins and outs of the subject matter!

Aircraft Carrier Air Operations Tour (Pilot’s Perspective)

Join a veteran carrier pilot on a 3 to 3.5 hour tour and explore the ship and her spaces from the perspective of a pilot! This tour incorporates a discussion and tour of specific spaces of the ship that deal with air operations and the interaction the pilot has with each of those areas. It would include the air group, squadrons, detachments of different squadron’s (sharing of ready rooms), and how they interacted with each other.

Spaces Visited May Include

  • Forward Catapult room
  • Bomb locker/Torpedo locker
  • Wardroom
  • Sick Bay
  • Ready Room 4
  • Pilots staterooms
  • Clementine & Flight gear display
  • Cockpit manning
  • Flight Deck tour
  • Flight deck control
  •  Primary flight control
  • Aerology
  • Combat Information Center
  • Arresting gear room


The tour takes place the first Tuesday of every month and starts at 10 AM.


$20.00 per person
Advance reservations required.

Meet Your Tour Guides

Rich Keefer, Naval Aviator

Seven years in the Navy, six of those flying the F-8 D/E Crusader all weather fighter planes off USS Independence and USS Shangi-La. Rich accumulated about 1,000 hours in the aircraft and some 390 carrier landings, day and night. The later part of his career was spent at the Naval Flight Test Center in Lakehurst New Jersey, flying the F-8, testing new ordinance racks and airframe modifications off of ground-based catapults.

Aircraft Carrier Propulsion Engineering Tour (Engineer’s Perspective)

Join a veteran carrier engineer on a 2.5 to 3-hour tour and explore the ship and her spaces from the perspective of personnel who maintained and operated the ship’s engineering spaces! This tour gives our visitors an in-depth feel of a day in the life of enlisted and officer engineering personnel in the course of a normal day at sea or in port. It would be a specific and semi-technical tour and discussion of the main engineering spaces including how main propulsion affects all other areas of the ship from being anchored or import steaming auxiliary, or in port cold iron, to lighting off the plant, getting underway, getting meals and showers to aircraft handling and flight operations.

Spaces Visited May Include

  • Number 2 Fire Room
  • Forward Engine Room
  • Marine Berthing Compartment
  • 3rd Deck Ships Diagrams and Liquid Load Diagram/Log Room
  • Forward Diesel Generator
  • Enlisted Crews Mess/Galley
  • Ward Room/Galley
  • Junior Officer Berthing
  • Forward Auxiliary Space (after restoration is complete)


The tour takes place the second Tuesday of every month and starts at 10 AM.


$20.00 per person
Advance reservations and payment required. No physical tickets will be mailed out. These tours are “Will Call” only.

Meet Your Tour Guides

Ron Cappa, CWO3, USN (Ret)

捕鱼大作战Main Propulsion Operator (both Fire Room and Engine Room), Steam Generating Plant Inspector, Engineering Officer of the Watch, and Chief Engineer

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