San Diego Maritime Museum

The San Diego Maritime Museum is a popular attraction in the San Diego Bay where guests can explore one of the most pristine and maintained collections of historic ships in the world. The museum is known around the maritime world for restoring and operating historic vessels. It has an impressive fleet including the oldest active ship, the Star of India, an intimidating bark (or three-mast vessel) originally sailed in 1863. It represents what was the most advanced technology of the time and is the centerpiece of one of the best San Diego Maritime Museum exhibits—The Age of Sail.

The Maritime Museum in San Diego is located on the west side of North Harbor Drive. Its proximity to popular attractions including restaurants and accommodations makes it a great destination for a daytime retreat followed by a night on the town in Mission Bay or the Gaslamp Quarter. The collection of historic ships includes the Berkeley, a ferryboat from 1898, the Medea, a steam yacht from 1904 that served in both World Wars and of course, the Star of India in San Diego. Many of the museum’s most popular attractions and exhibits are located right on the decks of the historic vessels. People also hold private events aboard the ships as well, from corporate functions to wedding receptions.

The Star of India in San Diego is the standout ship of the historic collection. The Age of Sail exhibit aboard the Star of India at the San Diego Maritime Museum takes guests through a detailed tour of the ship and displays what it was like to live and work on the sea in the middle of the nineteenth century. There are visual as well as interactive displays that engage the hands and the minds of eager history buffs. You can view the underbelly as well as the upper decks of the ship and see how the intricate, three-mast sailing vessel is powered and steered. The Star of India in San Diego is one of the more impressive examples of sailing technology and is even more alluring as an attraction because it remains the oldest operating ship of its kind in the world.

The Age of Steam permanent exhibit at the Maritime Museum in San Diego hoists visitors aboard the ferryboat Berkeley for an exploration of this early example of advanced steam technology from 1898. You can take part in a comprehensive tour of the ship that details just how important steam power became at the turn of the century in terms of shaping global commerce and trade. Go inside the Berkeley and see how steam power really works.

Charting the Sea, Harvesting the Ocean, and San Diego’s Navy are three more of the exhibits at the San Diego Maritime Museum where you can learn about everything from the Age of Exploration to the days when San Diego was the tuna capital of the world. The Navy exhibit explores the rich more than 100 year history of the United States Navy in San Diego. It is worth noting that you can purchase tickets to the Maritime Museum in San Diego online and save 10 percent on admission. The Star of India in San Diego and the other impressive ships in the museum’s fleet make this destination one of the city’s top attractions along with places like the San Diego Zoo and Natural History Museum. There are also plenty of accommodations and restaurants nearby.

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