Top 20 San Diego attractions

San Diego Maritime Museum

The San Diego Maritime Museum is a flotilla of eleven ships docked on San Diego’s waterfront. 

Step onboard for a self-guided tour of the 11 ships at the San Diego Maritime Museum. You will need about 2 hours to see everything!

If you have more time, book a fun harbor boat tour onboard the museum's pilot boat or Vietnam-era swift boat.

The San Diego Maritime Museum is located at 1492 North Harbor Drive, on the San Diego waterfront, a short walk from other great attractions like the USS Midway Museum and Embracing Peace Statue.

Check tickets & hours.

10 best attractions at San Diego Maritime Museum

1. The San Diego Maritime Museum has the HMS Surprise from the Oscar winning Master and Commander movie. This replica of a 24-gun British frigate was made for the Russell Crowe movie, Master and Commander (2003).

2. There’s also a replica of the San Salvador that was the first European ship to reach California in 1542. It was captained by famous Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. 

3. The restored Star of India sailing ship (below) circumnavigated the globe an impressive 21 times. It transported immigrants from the UK to New Zealand in the 1800's, and is the oldest active sailing ship in the world.

10 BEST Attractions at San Diego Maritime Museum

4. The Californian is a replica of an 1847 cutter, that patrolled California’s coasts during the booming Gold Rush years.

5. The America is a replica of the first vessel to win the America’s Cup in 1851.

6. There’s also a Soviet B39 submarine (pictured below) that tracked US and NATO warships during the Cold War.  

#1 GUIDE to San Diego Maritime Museum

7. Check out other boats in the flotilla at the San Diego Maritime Museum, like a San Diego Pilot Boat, an 1898 steam ferryboat that operated in San Francisco Bay, a luxurious steam yacht from Scotland, the USS Dolphin deep diving submarine, and a Vietnam-era swift boat. 

8. Book a four hour sailing tour on The Californian, and experience the thrill of sailing in a tall ship.

9. Choose from two boat cruises at the San Diego Maritime Museum, including a 45-minute Historic Bay Cruise on the San Diego Pilot Boat, or a 75 minute tour on the Vietnam-era swift boat.

10. Explore fun attractions near the San Diego Maritime Museum.  Cross the road to visit the fabulous Waterfront Park with a wading pool and playground. The USS Midway Museum (aircraft carrier) a short distance south of the Maritime Museum, and adjacent to the iconic Embracing Peace statueWalk ten minutes south past the USS Midway Museum to Seaport Village, for a great selection of restaurants on the waterfront.

Know before you go

  • Address:  1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego.
  • Admission:  check here
  • Hours: check here.

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