The next time you’re in southern California, bring your sea legs and visit the Maritime Museum of San Diego on the city’s historic North Embarcadero Promenade. You won’t be disappointed by the vast collection of seafaring vessels and memorabilia, and you’ll probably be surprised that this museum is actually housed within several floating ships. Fun for adults and kids, this museum-on-water is your chance to step aboard historic ships and discover their colorful history. Whether you’re interested in sails or submarines, you’ll find both, including these highlights:
Star of India (1863) is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest active sailing ship. She is set sail by a volunteer crew each November and is also a national historic landmark. This ship, originally named Euterp, has sailed around the world 21 times, surviving some disastrous voyages, the death of her captain, and even a mutiny along the way.
H.M.S. Surprise (1970) is a replica of an 18th century Royal Navy frigate featured in the award winning film “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.” As you’ll see when you come aboard, the filmmakers made a painstaking effort to recreate a 24-gun frigate. The replica is unmatched in its authenticity and attention to detail.
B-39 (1967) Soviet attack submarine was designed to track US and NATO warships during the Cold War. She is one of a fleet of diesel electric submarines the Soviet Navy called “Project 641,” and served on active duty for more than 20 years. The 300-foot long B-39 is essentially a larger and more powerful version of German World War II era U-boats. As you tour this sub, try to imagine what it would have been like to dive to a depth of 985 feet with 77 other crew members and 24 torpedoes!
Founded in 1948, the Maritime Museum of San Diego has earned a worldwide reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining and operating historic vessels. Even landlubbers will see how true this is from their very first visit. There are eight ships in all to tour, so allow a good chunk of time to enjoy them all.
1492 North Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
Open every day of the year – 9:00am – 8:00pm
In addition to writing about her travels, Denise Seith is also a treasure hunter and loves a good latté. She and her husband own an online gold prospecting and metal detecting equipment store found at GoldRushTradingPost.com