Maritime Museum of San Diego
San Diego, California, USA
- Historic ship collection: Explore some of history's most significant ships, boats, and other craft, from wartime submarines to 19th-century schooners.
- U.S. Navy: An exhibit of rare photos, artifacts and replica models that tell the story of how San Diego became home to the Navy's chief base in the Pacific.
- Water adventures: Take a tour of the bay in a historic pilot craft, ride a Vietnam-era Swift Boat, or sail on the replica tall-ship schooner Californian.
About this San Diego, California tour
Four days before Abraham Lincoln gave a brief yet rousing speech to 15,000 people at Gettysburg, an iron-hulled ship named Euterpe set out from the Isle of Man, off Britain's West Coast.
The Euterpe, which would be renamed the Star of India in 1906, was built mainly to transport cargo back and forth from England to India. But starting with her maiden voyage to Calcutta, the ship was fated to a 150-year history of misfortune. Four days into her first voyage, the Euterpe crashed into an unlit brig off the Welsh coast.
Despite considerable damage, Captain William Storry believed that the vessel could be repaired without returning to port. His crew disagreed. Most of them refused to take part in manning the ship, forcing Storry to return to port.
After repairs to the ship and punishment for the mutinous crew, the Euterpe completed her voyage to India. But a fire broke out in port, likely the actions of a frustrated crewman looking to get back at his commanding officer.
The Euterpe's second voyage wasn't much better. In the Bay of Bengal, a vicious cyclone forced the crew to cut away the ship's topmast to prevent it from tumbling over. Then Captain Storry fell ill and died of a fever. Today the Star of India is oldest sea-going vessel and part of the San Diego Maritime Museum’s collection.
In addition to delivering epic tales of maritime history, the museum lets you take the helm of some of the vessels involved. From wartime vessels used in international waters to replicas of historic passenger boats, centuries of ships are here, under one roof, for you to explore. Prepare to experience all the adventure, exploration, and danger of the high seas.
More than a store
It is now home to the museum's store and administrative offices, but when the 1906 earthquake rocked San Francisco, the steam ferry Berkeley served a much more important role. The crew of the Berkeley worked tirelessly around the clock to rescue victims from the massive fires that had broken out in the city. Their efforts saved the lives of thousands of people who would have otherwise been trapped.
Please make your way to the museum at 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.
This tour is self-guided. Museum hours are 9am to 9pm. Your ticket is good for all day and you can get a hand stamp if you want to have lunch and return. For additional fun, ask our ticketing staff when checking in about the $5 bay cruise add-on, available most days.
A wheelchair user is not able to access every part of the boat but can see a few decks, including one via a lift. This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Tickets, Family Friendly
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages. Children 2 years of age and younger participate free of charge.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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