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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Spokane, Washington
"Week long vacation in San Diego"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed November 09, 2019 NEW
The Maritime Museum is very interesting and well worth you time to visit. They have a great variety of vessels and decent information. We also took a 75 minute tour of south San Diego Harbor including going under the Coronado Bridge on a Vietnam Era “Swift Boat”
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Robert C
"You can sail on history!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 05, 2019 NEW
The San Diego Maritime Museum is a national treasure right here in America’s Finest City. Literally, the museum has been ranked as the best in the USA and among the top five in the world. One of the major reasons is that so many of the vessels are kept in sailing condition. You can take rides on a replica of a historic Spanish galleon (the San Salvador), California’s official state tall ship (the Californian), a hundred year old luxury yacht (Medea), or a vintage harbor pilot boat (the Pilot). You can tour the oldest actively sailed tall ship (the Star of India), and if you ate lucky, you might be able to sail on her. The Museum has educational exhibits including many ship models that have been made by expert craftsmen on board the historic Ferryboat Berkeley, which serves as the Museum’s headquarters. Become a member and all the ships are open to you and your family.
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New Braunfels, Texas
"A great day"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 01, 2019 NEW
Maritime history in fine display. The Star of India was my favorite. There some young boys with tons of questions and the employee was generous with his time, knowledge and patience in explaining things, I just absorbed it all, while my husband went to lower levels I wasn't comfortable going to, the Berkeley has lots of model ships, including carriers.
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Atlanta, Georgia
"Fun Selection of Many Different Sea Vessels."
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed October 19, 2019 NEW
Great for families, Where else can you tour submarines, sailing ships, Spanish the Star of India. Very educational and a wonderful way to spend a few hours going back in time.
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Gary D
London, United Kingdom
"Good but not essential"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed October 16, 2019 NEW
This museum consists of 7 boats to explore (including 2 submarines). Unfortunately not all are original (one is a replica made for a film for example) which is a shame but unavoidable. I enjoyed all the boats (especially the Russian sub) but I felt the museum could have added more info on each of them so I got a better idea of how they operated. That is a minor criticism though as overall the exhibits are well presented.
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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