The main part of the Maritime Museum is located on San Diego Bay between Little Italy and Downtown San Diego. There is another part of the museum down by Harbor Island. The main part houses several displays relating to the history of exploration of the area by sea and all things maritime. There is a Russian Submarine here; the USS Dolphin which has dived deeper than any other manned submarine; you can book passage on the Californian, the official tall ship for the state; take a cruise of the bay on the 1914 pilot boat; and see the oldest active sailing ship in the world, the Star of India. The other part is the San Salvador Village (named after Cabrillo's flagship) which is a recreation of a mid-16th Century seaport village. Hours are 9 AM to 8 PM (Main Site) and 11 AM to 4 PM (San Salvador Village), Admission is $16 for adults, $13 for senior, military and kids 13 to 17 and $8 for kids 4 to 12 (as of November 2012) and covers both sites.
The Maritime Museum consists of the following ships:
San Salvador, Star of India, HMS Surprise, Californian, Steam Ferry Berkeley, Steam Yacht Medea, B-39 Submarine, USS Dolphin Submarine, SD Harbor Pilot Boat and the America.
On my Parade of Sail Travelogue Also in Local Customs tip titled, Festival of Sail there are more photos of the Tallships that spark the imagination.
These ships are open for tours and the cost of admission is quite reasonable.
Admission:(Includes all ships and exhibits, but not sailing options.)
Adults - $14.00
Senior (62 yrs +) and Active Military(w/ID) - $11.00
Students (17 yrs to 13 yrs) - $11.00
Children (12 yrs to 6 yrs) - $8.00
Children (5 and under) - Free
While taking a walk along the Harbor it is impossible to miss the Star of India and a tour of it alone is worth the price. It is fun for young children to explore and especially to get behind the big wheel and pretend to sail away! (A great photo opt.)
On most weekends, the, "Adventure Sail aboard Californian" is offered for an added fee and it is really quite an exciting thing to participate in sailing this schooner, which is the Official Tall Ship of the State of California.
On special occasions the Star Of India is taken out for a sail on the bay.
Check their website for details on "Battle Days:" A day of sailing which includes a cannon fight between the Lynx and the Californian. I've been on the bay while these battle rage. It is loud and looks exciting and fun.
If you are visting San Diego, you must see the H.M.S. Suprise.
This ship was in the Master and Commander movie.
She is a very beautiful ship, and is a replica of the H.M.S. Rose.
You are able to board the ship and walk around on the deck, quater deck, and down below to the cannons, galley/sleeping quaters, Surgens Quaters, and the Captians Cabin.
They have restored this ship as accurate as possible, with some extras that Fox studios wanted to add. They have on board, clothes and props from the movie that you can view.
When down below deck, you can hear the people walking around on top and it makes you feel like you are on a working ship.
Please check out my H.M.S. Suprise page in my Album to see pictures and descripitions of this ship.
The Museum has 2 other historic tall ships which are the, Star of India and the Californian.
If you like to sail on the Californian, you can for 30.00 dollars each person. The price gets you into all of the museum exhibts and is worth it. But call first or vist there website for days of the half day sails.
The Star of India is a another ship that the museum has.
This ship is the biggest tall ship that they have. She is has been very well preserved and is worth it to board this ship.
It is something to see when the shipsmen go to the top of the masts to drop the sails.
You start to think, that these men, in the past, had to this out on the ocean and at sometimes with ruff seas.
When on the ship, you need to go down to the storgae area just to see how big this ship is. You will also see below deck, sleeping quaters, Captians, and Surgeons, along with all kinds of displays.
Up on the top deck and Quarter deck you can walk around and just take in the history of this ship.
The Californian is a working tall ship. You can for 30.00 dollars go on a half day sail on the bay. The ship leaves at 1pm and returns at 4 pm.
This is a good way to just relax and enjoy the views.
They will ask you if you would like to participate in hoisting the sails. This is fun and so worth it.
Just pay attention to the instructions they give you, because it is very important. If you get tired quickly, don't particpate in this. You are hoisting a sail that wieghs a few thousand pounds, and just because there are 8 or 10 people in your group, it stills gets real heavy. You don't want to slack off, because you could put people in danger.
If you want to, the Captian will aslo let you sail the ship. He will tell what to do and how to it, so don't be afraid to just ask to sail.
On your back to the dock they will fire off the two "guns" not cannons. Don't call them cannons while on the ship.
They are very loud, but exciting. These "guns" I believe, are 6 or 9 pounders so they are not as big as you might think, but they weigh 800 hundred pounds.
So if you want to go sailing on a historic tall ship, visit the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
San Diego has a fine maritime museum, comparable to that in San Francisco. Here is a view from a tour boat in the harbor.
The museum includes the Star of India, a 19th century clipper ship, very much like the Cutty Sark. Built on the Isle of Man in 1863, she stills sets sail annually, making her the world's oldest active ship.
The Surprise, used in the movie Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World, is a new addition to the museum. She is a replica of an 18th century Royal Navy frigate.
Another recent addition is the B-39, a Soviet-built, Cold War-era Foxtrot-class submarine, like the one on display in Long Beach.
The Californian is a replica of the Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence, built in 1847. The Revenue Cutter Service patrolled our coastal waters in the 19th century; it was the predecessor of the US Coast Guard. The Californian, built in 1984, is the official Tall Ship of the state of California. She is available for tours and at-sea excursions (visit the website for details).
See Page 1! The Star of India was built and launched from the Isle of Man in 1863, originally christened the "Euterpe." She is the oldest active ship in the world and still makes a cruise at least once a year. The Berkeley is an 1898 steam ferry that served 60 years on San Francisco Bay. She was continually active in evacuating victims after the Great Earthquake of 1906. The Californian is the state's official tall ship. She is a replica of the 1847 revenue cutter, C.W. Lawrence, that patrolled the coast during the years of the Gold Rush. The Medea is a 1904 steam yacht built for a wealthy Scotsman and military officer. She served on active military duty during both World Wars. The Pilot, built in 1914, was official pilot boat for San Diego Bay for 82 years. HMS Surprise is a replica of a 24-gun Royal Navy frigate from the era of Admiral Lord Nelson. It was the ship used in the Academy Award-winning film, "Master and Commander." The B-39 Soviet Attack sub was commissioned in the early 1970s and served in the Soviet Navy for over 20 years, including during the Cold War.
The Maritime Museum is one of the great attractions of San Diego. There are severral historic ships moored at the museum, including the Star of India, world's oldest active ship, the Surprise, which was the ship used in the filming of "Master and Commander," the Californian, the state's official tall ship, the Berkeley, a historic steam ferry, the Medea, a steam yacht, the Pilot San Diego Harbor's official pilot ship for over 80 years, and (I'm not sure when this one's being added) a Russian submarine.
The museum, offices, and a cool bookshop are all located aboard the Berkeley.
This is a "don't miss" attraction!
This harbour side museum visit was really something for my husband. His prime interest, as a fan of the Jack Aubrey books, was HMS Surprise there is so much more to see and I enjoyed the visit just as much as he did.
The historical ships were of special interest. I was fascinated by The Star of India and found it hard to imagine how so many 19th century emigrants from Europe to the New World survived the conditions below decks for voyages often lasting months.
The small, perfect luxury yacht, Medea, has an interesting history too. Built for rich people's pleasure, not long before the outbreak of WW1 she went on to serve as a vessel of the French Navy and was equipped as a gun boat.
In the inter war years she returned to social cruising but returned to active service with the Royal Navy in World War II, as a barrage balloon vessel at the mouth of the River Thames. Later she went back to Scotland and was used by the Norwegian Navy, accommodating Norwegian commando officers.
Still seaworthy she undertakes promotional/charter cruising.
The large steam ferry boat, Berkeley, operated in San Francisco harbour for over 60 years and in the 1906 earthquake ferried hundreds of people to safety. It now houses important archives and teaching programmes and hosts very large social functions. During our visit preparations were in hand for a dinner dance in the massive dining/dance hall.
For anyone interested in maritime history the San Diego Maritime Museum is well worth a look - and has better pictures than mine.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego has an incredible collection of historic ships. The most famous, pictured here, is the Star of India, the world's oldest ship. The other ships include the Berkeley, a 1898 steam ferry and there's even a B-39 submarine.
Check out the website below for details on each of the ships.
Open every day 9am to 8pm.
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