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Maritime Museum of San Diego in San Diego, CA

1492 North Harbor DriveSan Diego, CA 92101
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$16.00
per person
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Overview

One of the finest collections of historic ships across the globe, Maritime Museum of San Diego offers exceptional exhibits, daily public tours, cultural events, educational programs and more for the whole family to enjoy. The museum is located on the North Embarcadero in downtown San Diego and is also home to the world’s oldest active ship—Star of India.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our San Diego Travel Experts
  • Parking fees apply.
  • Self-guided tour.
  • Tour duration: approx. 2 hours.
  • Home to the world’s oldest active ship, the Star of India.

Description

from Maritime Museum of San Diego
The Maritime Museum of San Diego enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining and operating historic vessels. The museum has one of the world’s finest collections of historic ships, including the world’s oldest active ship the Star of India.

The Museum displays permanent and temporary exhibits on maritime history, commerce and exploration and stages popular public events such as “The Chocolate Festival”, “Pirate Buccaneer Birthday Bash”, “Festival of Sail each Labor Day weekend”, and family sleepovers on the Star of India.

The MacMullen Library and Research Archives is a resource for members as well as scholars and researchers from around the world. Along with our peer-reviewed quarterly, Mains'l Haul: A Journal of Pacific Maritime History, they encourage and enhance the study of maritime history.

Founded in 1948, the museum grew out of the earlier efforts of a group of local historians and maritime enthusiasts who acquired the sailing ship Star of India in 1927. Now fully restored, the Star of India is maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers and skilled craftsmen and sailed at least once a year.

The museum’s collection also includes the 1898 steam ferry Berkeley, the 1904 steam yacht Medea, the 1914 Pilot, the state’s official tall ship Californian -a replica of a mid 19th century revenue cutter, and the H.M.S Surprise, a magnificent replica of an 18th century Royal Navy frigate featured in the award-winning film “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.”

Reserve San Diego Customer Reviews

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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LadyGaladriel54
Independence, Oregon
"Loved it!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 27, 2017 NEW
We got going later in the day and were thrilled to discover that this was open until 9 pm! We got to spend all the time we wanted. 4 sailing ships and a soviet submarine! Wow! We spent 4 hours and did not get to see everything. Want to come back and get a ride on one of the boats!
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Sarah E
"Extremely Interesting, fun, adventurous and historical!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 26, 2017 NEW
We took our daughter and mother on this tour and they both loved it! There were seven ships and a submarine you could walk down into and all over on and read and learn about their purpose on the seas. For an extra $7 per person, we got a 45 minute tour out into the bay on a boat that was so enjoyable and gave us an awesome opportunity for some great photos! We will do this again, thoroughly enjoyed all of it!
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Gizmosart
Westminster, Maryland
"Great museums."
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 21, 2017 NEW
I love the submarines as my husband was an American submarine captain. You get to see a Russian submarine and their sub par boat! And you get to see other boats and a great American submarine.
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Troy G
Geneva, Illinois, United States
"Really cool"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 21, 2017 NEW
Very very informative. Audio interactive. Easy to get to. Doesn't take long to visit and yet get a great experience. Overall well worth it!!!
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jboed
San Diego, California
"Not so good"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed June 19, 2017 NEW
Visited with family, two children, 8 and 9 total $52 The hms surprise was nice on the outside, once onboard, pretty sad. Parts of the ship were cordoned off, tools laying about, yellow tape. The inside worse, stuff piled about like seat cushions and assorted items, seemed used for storage! B-39 soviet sub looked rusty on outside, once inside looked better, tv intro to historical role, torpedo room interesting. Rest of sub ok, many conduits cut off, but certainly a missed opportunity to label items and help visitors understand what they see. How a submarine works. Once outside on tail side, realized how long it is and rudder section seems to be rusting off. Collection of small boats nice, again a missing opportunity to teach visitors about sailing basics and names and function of parts. San Salvador galleon was awesome, nice replica, sailable. Missed opportunity to teach about sailing and life in a galleon, again. The Medea quite nice, lovely yatch early 1900s. Missed opportunity to teach about improving engine technology and steam engines USS Dolphin, nice more modern submarine. No access to bottom part. Lost opportunity to teach how submarines work, ballast, periscope, etc Swift boat was off limits. Looks nice, Vietnam era combat boat. Fake 50 cal onboard, no other visible armament , no info. There was a nice exhibit with photos inside the Berkeley about swift boats Berkeley looks impressive, large ship, steam powered. Is full of exhibits, scale models, small boats and various historical pieces.
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Maritime Museum of San Diego is located at 1492 North Harbor DriveSan Diego, CA 92101
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Frequently Asked Questions about Maritime Museum of San Diego

What are the hours of operation?
Summer hours for the museum are 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. After Labor Day, hours of operation are from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Hours of operation are subject to change and may vary with special events.

Is museum parking available onsite? 
No. However, there are multiple parking spaces and lots located around the museum:

Metered Port Parking Spaces:
The lot directly in front of the Maritime Museum has Port of San Diego metered spaces. They are enforced 10:00 am – 8:00 pm from Monday – Sunday and are good for up to 3 hours. Port does routinely check if a car has been parked for longer than 3 hours and will ticket. The 3-hour time limit applies to Sundays on Port parking. These spaces are not available during some special events and during Festival of Sail.

Day Lots:
There are also several day lots (pay to park) within a few blocks of the museum including:
County garage across the street holds about 257 cars, pricing varies $10~$20 per car.
The Midway lot is open to the public.
Take the trolley. Trolley stations have lots at El Cajon, Amaya, Grossmont, Qualcom, Mission Valley, Fashion Valley and Old Town.

Is the museum appropriate for all ages?
Yes.

What exhibits are at the museum?
While the museum does include traveling and rotating exhibits, exhibits include:

  • Swift Boats At War In Vietnam
  • Steering Small
  • Charting The Sea
  • Age of Sail
  • Age Of Steam
  • Harvesting The Ocean
  • San Diego's Navy
  • To The Brink Of War
  • And more