Maritime Museum of San Diego in San Diego, CA

1492 North Harbor DriveSan Diego, CA 92101
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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

Philip Robertson
AU
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Great seafaring museum"
February, 2018
This was a great museum exploring the sailing ship era as well as submarines, patrol boats and other ships
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Tip: Give plenty of time to see it all

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Mary B
Albuquerque, New Mexico
"Amazing."
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 17, 2018 NEW
The Maritime Museum is so amazing. There is so much to see. The Star of India and the Surprise were both awesome as were the Russian and American subs. There were guides on each ship ready to tell you anything you wanted to know about the ship you were on at the time. So much history. It was great.
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Noel E
Yuma, Arizona
"interesting groups of ships to explore"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 16, 2018 NEW
from a sailing ship to a ferry and then to a submarine is the Maritime Museum of San Diego. a good way to cool off on a hot day or to explore on those rare rainy days.
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Debbie R
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
"Wonderful museum"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 13, 2018 NEW
So much to see, I really enjoyed it as much as my hubby! Lot's of boats to see and explore, near to alot of things to enjoy. Highly recommend this!
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Wanderering1
Lake Macquarie, Australia
"One of the Better Displays"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 09, 2018 NEW
Here you can climb aboard an old 3 masted bark which used to do the fish market trade from Alaska or explore the replica ship which Russell Crowe sailed to glory in the movie "Master and Commander. It is a modified ship built in 1970 called HMS Rose but sold to Peter Weir to be reborn as HMS Surprise. Have a look over the 16th century style vessel the San Salvador or just compare the Russian submarine B-39 with the USS Dolphin. A great museum of sailing and powered vessels. All still in the water.
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Carl E
Memphis, Tennessee, United States
"Nice to see multiple boats "
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 02, 2018 NEW
This is a nice museum if you like to see historic boats. 2 subs are always interesting and one is a Russian sub that was the type involved in the Cuba missile crises. The star of India is the big steel sailing vessel out front. The British frigate is interesting as well. You can add on an actual cruise. We didn’t do that. The cost was $18 so not too bad. You can spend 1hr to 3 hrs on the boats depending on how much you stop to read.
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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