Don’t miss the Maritime Museum of San Diego when visiting San Diego.
With ten ships to visit, allow for a few hours in total for your entire experience. We underestimated how much time is needed to explore, and you’ll find yourself wanting to stay for longer.
The ships include the B-39 Submarine, Californian, HMS Surprise, PCF 816 Swift Boat, San Diego Harbor Pilot Boat, San Salvador, Star of India, Steam Ferry Berkeley, Steam Yacht Medea, and the USS Dolphin.
Each ship is in varying condition and stages of repair, with active construction maintained.
No time to waste at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
We started with a tour of the crown jewel of the Maritime Museum of San Diego — the Star of India. Not only do you get to tour the top level, but you also get to tour multiple levels below deck. It was very interesting seeing how people used the boat travel from country to country, sometimes in terrible, sometimes wonderful, conditions. Another favorite room is the rigging/servicing room where ropes, chains, and more are stored.
If you’re wondering, when nature strikes, inside some of the boats, are bathrooms.
This was also my first time touring a submarine — another highlight. I like tight spaces and small, cozy rooms, so I fancy myself as someone to live on a submarine. It’s tremendous to imagine how many people lived on the submarine in such tight quarters, side-by-side, all with a single-minded task at hand.
Although we don’t have children, children are welcome to board the ships and explore. Many children were touring with families and seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Another great feature of the experience is that if you need to leave at any time during the day, you can use your handstamp to return to tour the boats. The Maritime Museum of San Diego is open 9 am – 9 pm every day, so it’s a fun experience to visit when the sun is setting.
Next time I visit I hope to see the ships again. They’re a true favorite!