Visiting ships in harbor cities such as Baltimore teaches out-of-town guests history of maritime and naval events.
Tourists, especially those with children, can relive the days of exploring the seven seas. Maritime history will come alive for those interested in nautical, navy and coast guard life.
With a complimentary tour wand, visitors can listen to the stories of each vessel.
USS Constellation (a 19th century frigate)
The USS Constellation allows visitors to climb three decks below and explore the places of the Captain’s quarters, crew areas and operation sites. Built in the 1860s, this vessel display info card, depicting life on a ship. The vessel offers firing of the canon during the afternoon hours.
Torsk (World War II-era submarine)
Visitors will enjoy climbing through tiny doors, peeking the inside the life of submarine, touching many buttons, levers and knobs. Visitors start walking at one end of the submarine and go all the way to the other end. The sub welcomes visitors with a shark face on the front. Known as the last fighting vessel of Pearl Harbor, display boards graced the operation area with historical facts and timelines. Inside, visitors will see a mess hall, some bunks and extremely tight sleeping quarters.
The USCGC Taney (a World War II-era Coast Guard ship)
During 1945, the USCGC Taney was refitted for weather patrol duty in the Charleston, South Caroline Navy Yard. Thereafter, it proceeded to Government Island (now Coast Guard Island) in Alameda, California, its home port for weather patrol. It was docked in Pearl Harbor when it was attacked in 1941.
The Lightship 116 Chesapeake
These types of ships don’t exist so seeing this vessel up close allows visitors to imagine the days when ships relied on wind and wave to sail through the seas. An exhibit on canine companions delight animal lovers to learn how the household pets adapt to sea life.
Instead of spending time in line, purchase your tickets online. If you know you will visit all four vessels, admission for adults will cost $18. Groupon, Living Social and visitor’s bureau offer discounted group tickets for specials throughout the year. Visit the website for an updated list of prices. Buying the multi-pass will definitely save the tourists money and is highly recommended to purchase the package.
It’s a full day of wandering throughout the ships, boats and one submarine. Visitors will feel like stepping back in time either during the colonial days or World War II era. It’s difficult to walk through everything in just two hours. It took most tourists most of the day to walk through all of the vessels. Self-touring, reading signs and taking selfies along the way will require almost a full day for this tight schedule. The self-guided tours take about two hours.
Historic Ships in Baltimore
301 East Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202-3134
Tip #1: Check your AAA membership for additional discount on admission.
Tip #2: Volunteer docents stand near the entrance of each vessel. Ask them questions about the history.
Tip #3: Most guests visit all four vessels. However, the seven foot knoll lighthouse gets lost in the shuffle. Stop by this structure to gain knowledge of local lighthouse and an amazing view of the Inner Harbor.
Tip #4: Watch your head – there are some very steep ladders and low ceilings. The ships are not climate controlled so visit on a nice day and be prepared to duck and climb.
Tip #5: Check schedules on website since some of the vessels might not be available to the public for its timely maintenance repairs.