The fascinating floating museum at the Embarcadero consists of six historic ships and two submarines: the Star of India, which is the oldest active sailing ship in the world, the steam ferry Berkeley, the steam yacht Medea, the San Diego Harbor Pilot, also an actual Soviet-era diesel B-39 submarine and the deepest-diving submarine ever, a retired diesel research submarine named the USS Dolphin. You will also find two replica ships one is a detailed re-creation of a 24-gun British frigate named the HMS Surprise, as seen in the movie Master and Commander starring Russell Crowe the other is a 145-foot long ship the Californian, which is a replica of the 1847 Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence, which patrolled the coast of California enforcing federal law during the gold rush. The Californian is the official tall ship of the State of California. You can go aboard and explore these historic ships, see maritime artifacts, charts, exhibits and take docent-led tours.
Tickets & Hours
Open daily 9 a.m.–8 p.m. with extended hours Memorial Day through Labor Day. Admission is ($16) adults; ($13) active military with ID, seniors 62 and over and students 13—17; ($8) children 4–12; children 3 and under free. Purchase Family Package Admission and save $5. For discounts and other perks, become a Maritime Museum member ($45 and up). Be sure to use their discount coupon and get $2 off admission!
Gift Certificates are also available for purchase online. Gift certificates can be used in our store, for a adventure sail on our tall ship Californian, historic bay cruise on our pilot boat, admissions or to purchase a membership!
Be sure to visit the maritime gift shop aboard the steam ferry Berkeley or shop online.
Special Exhibits at the Maritime Museum
|Maritime Impressions – Plein Air Painters Association of San Diego (PAPASAN)Take a tour of San Diego County’s thriving marine scene, and see it through the eyes of an artist! The artists of the Plein Air Painters Association of San Diego (PAPASAN) exhibit 35 impressionistic, contemporary paintings which document the rich beauty of San Diego’s maritime subjects.PAPASAN is a vibrant group of professional fine artists who have been painting together throughout the county for 15 years. The artists paint en plein air, or in the fresh air, directly from nature, recording the unique, varied and changing landscapes of San Diego County. The exhibit runs through the end of the year.
Tattoos & Scrimshaw: The Sailor Art
The modern western tattoo evolved from the early days of global exploration, when ancient mariners sailed to the South Pacific communities and were introduced to the idea of body art. Tattoos became synonymous with maritime service. These iconic symbols and imagery tell stories and traditions that are ages old.
Permanent Exhibits at the Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum of San Diego’s permanent exhibit collection is presented in five galleries representing major themes of maritime history and their relation to San Diego, its harbor and strategic position on the Pacific. Present permanent exhibits include; Age of Sail, Age of Steam, Charting the Sea, Harvesting the Ocean and San Diego’s Navy.
Watch the construction of a full-scale replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s flagship the San Salvador. The Maritime Museum of San Diego is building a full-sized, fully functional, and historically accurate replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s San Salvador capitana or flagship of the Spanish expedition which first explored what is now the West Coast of the United States.
The vessel–which is part of the Museum’s plan to expand its collections and programmatic capacity–will be constructed in full public view at a prominent waterfront site, giving viewers the opportunity to watch from a close perspective as an example of the first modern industrial activity in the Americas comes to life before their eyes.
After construction, San Salvador will remain on exhibit as part of the Museum’s fleet of historic and replica ships and will travel along the California coast as an ambassador for San Diego.
Tours, Sailing & On the Water Adventures
With the purchase of General Admission ticket you can visit all of the museum’s historic ships, exhibits and San Salvador’s build-site at Spanish Landing Village. You can also purchase additional tour packages as shown below.
Historic Harbor Tour
Catalina Kayak & Adventure Sail on Californian
Banquets & Weddings at Maritime Museum of San Diego
1492 North Harbor Dr.
Price: Call for pricing