Maritime Museum of San Diego in San Diego, CA

1492 North Harbor DriveSan Diego, CA 92101
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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.


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.”

Tripster Customer Reviews

Philip Robertson
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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London, United Kingdom
"When is a rose not a rose?"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 13, 2019 NEW
This Maritime museum is a short walk from the USS Midway (aircraft carrier). It's literally a floating museum as it's made up of a number of ships both modern (relatively), older sailing vessels and submarines. I'm a crazy Patrick O'Brian fan (of the Aubrey / Maturin novel series) so I was really excited to see that they had the ship the Surprise in their collection. The Surprise was the sailing ship in the film Master and Commander with Russel Crowe. I know this ship like the back of my hand (from reading the novels multiple times) and so It was the first I visited. I was a little disappointed to discover that it wasn't actually the reproduction of the Surprise but rather a similar ship the Rose which was converted for the movie. Nevertheless it was fun and interesting to walk around. The center piece of the collection, the Star of India, is a beautiful all metal hulled sailing ship with an amazing life story and the Submarine B39 - a Russian submarine which was involved in a fascinating but hair raising moment in recent history. There's a lot more to see so reserve 2-3 hours of your holiday and definitely pay a visit.
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Las Vegas, New Mexico
"interesting old boats."
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 03, 2019 NEW
Not a bad price for seeing so many old ships, boats and submarines. Kids or people with an interest in history will love it.
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Emeryville, CA
"Fabulous maritime museum"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 03, 2019 NEW
This is one of the west coast's best maritime museums with a marvelous selection of vessels to traverse.
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Phoenix, Arizona
"Fun for all and great price"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 01, 2019 NEW
Took kids - 5 and 7. Nearly two hours very well spent. Star of India and the Soviet sub were the highlights. Kids loved it and we learned a lot. Good price compared to other SD attractions - particularly for the whole family! Parking looked horrible - we took the train!
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
"3 hrs, Could have been more"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 28, 2019 NEW
We came here on our last day in San Diego to kill a few hours before our flight left. We spent 3 hours and could have spent a lot more. You can actually go onto all of the ships, boats, and submarines here. The museum on the old ferry was fantastic with all of the San Diego history and model ships. This is a "must see" for all ages. The Star of India rocked a little with the tide going out so my wife didn't want to go below. I did, however, and it is well worth the time.
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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?

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

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