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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chopstix48
Albany, New York
"Maritime History Experience"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 17, 2018 NEW
Great experience of hands on viewing of vessels from sailing frigates to submarines, It was amazing to see what sailors had to deal w thru the ages
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Robin H
"Ship!"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed July 13, 2018 NEW
I will not go into a review of each and every ship that we boarded, but if you like ships, you will like this tour. It is basically a self guided tour, and the only informative guide we saw was on the Star of India, a ship built in the 1800’s. We were wondering around below, and this delightful man talked to us for 30 minutes or so, and was very informative! There is a Soviet submarine, and a Spanish Galleon, and a British frigate warship among quite a few others!
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Bill P
"If you like History and ships - this is a must!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 12, 2018 NEW
We have had many trips to San Diego but this is the first time to visit this museum. There are two old submarines (one Russian), plus five or six "Tall Sailing Ships". The "Star of India" has been completely restored and actually goes out to see every year. It is fantastic
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532keithr
Newnan, Georgia
"Wonderful place with lots of history"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 09, 2018 NEW
This place is good for about 5 hours. They have several clipper ships and tons of history. You get to board and inspect 2 submarines, one was a soviet as well as other steam ships and clipper ships. The staff is awesome and It's a very interesting place with lots to offer. The admission is very cheap considering what you get as well as what it takes to maintain all these vessels in top condition. I highly recommend this museam.
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lkm1124
Arnold, MO
"Must see in San Diego"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 09, 2018 NEW
This museum was one of the most interesting things to see in San Diego. It really puts in perspective what the men go through living on one of these ships. I would recommend it!
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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