The Ships at South Street Seaport Museum

The Ships at South Street Seaport Museum South Street Seaport Museum is home to a fleet of five historic vessels that typify ships that made New York City a global commercial and cultural capital.

Operating as usual

After many thoughtful conversations regarding expanding access to COVID19 vaccines and updated CDC guidelines, we have r...
04/12/2021

After many thoughtful conversations regarding expanding access to COVID19 vaccines and updated CDC guidelines, we have resumed in-person preservation and restoration #volunteer projects on the #waterfront!

We have missed our volunteers and are thrilled to have them back on the fleet. This past weekend our amazing volunteers worked on the 1885 fully-rigged ship WAVERTREE to complete oiling and tarring on the foremast aloft, prepped and oiled the quarterdeck covering board and deckhouse skylights, replaced the regulator on an air compressor, polished brass, scraped and oiled caprails, rust bust on the weatherdeck and more!

Want to learn more about our volunteer program? Visit seaportmuseum.org/volunteer

#SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #SouthStreetSeaport #LowerManhattan #volunteering #HistoricShips

Incidents like the blockage of the Suez Canal illuminate the importance of global shipping. It also shows the tight-knit...
04/01/2021

Incidents like the blockage of the Suez Canal illuminate the importance of global shipping. It also shows the tight-knit cooperation of the maritime community. With the Suez blocked, we couldn't sit idly by. Although WO Decker is a smaller tug, every horsepower makes a difference. After a smooth transit from New York, Decker joined the effort to free the container ship Ever Given.

"Decker was just the resource needed to get the global shipping industry back on track," said Capt. Jonathan Boulware, President and CEO of the Museum. "We could not sit by and watch this struggle when we had just the tug for the job. Global salvage authorities had put out a call for help. As mariners it was our duty to respond," he went on to say.

After what can only be described as a miraculously fast transit to the canal, Decker's 1960's Detroit Diesel 6-110 quickly cleared the way with its impressive 275 horsepower." Between Decker's Herculean power and the high tides of the full moon, the flow of shipping through the Suez Canal has begun again.

It should take about 7 weeks for Decker to reach New York City again. "One of the challenges of this operation is that it is hard to find a crew capable of paddling for that long," the Museum's Fleet Captain, Malcolm Martin noted. "We are very much looking forward to having her back home again."

Spring cleaning means our boarding float—a floating dock that is used to board passengers on and off schooner Pioneer—is...
03/26/2021

Spring cleaning means our boarding float—a floating dock that is used to board passengers on and off schooner Pioneer—is currently away being spruced up.

The “Pioneer Float” as we commonly call it, was hauled out with the help of our friends at Caddell Dry Dock and Repair Co. After a complete hydro-wash, the hull was thoroughly inspected with a non-destructive ultrasonic thickness testing meter. The hull condition was found to be in remarkably good shape, and it was sand-swept and sprayed with two coats of commercial marine anti-corrosive paint. All of the bolted zinc sacrificial anodes were replaced, and the boarding float was readied for re-launch.

Once back in the water, the float's deck will be repaired, and a new fendering system will be installed.
Check out these before and after photos.

#floatingdock #shipyard #maritimeindustry #shipmaintenance #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

Today we join our colleagues and friends at the Stiftung Hamburg Maritim in celebrating the 110th anniversary of Peking'...
02/25/2021

Today we join our colleagues and friends at the Stiftung Hamburg Maritim in celebrating the 110th anniversary of Peking's launching. Peking spent more than forty years here at South Street after being saved from demolition by the Seaport Museum. In 2017 she returned home to her native Hamburg to undergo a full restoration, which like the work done on our own Wavertree, is worthy of wide acclaim.

The care and stewardship of historic vessels, particularly large ones, is an enormous and costly responsibility. We send our congratulations to our friends in Hamburg on this occasion, and we look forward to visiting this marvelously restored barque when travel is possible. In the meantime take a look at this virtual tour of the ship!
artsandculture.google.com/partner/hafenmuseum-hamburg

Image: Barque Peking at South Street, ca. 1980. South Street Seaport Museum Institutional Archive

#barquePEKING #historicship #shippreservation #maritimehistory #maritimemuseums

Today we join our colleagues and friends at the Stiftung Hamburg Maritim in celebrating the 110th anniversary of Peking's launching. Peking spent more than forty years here at South Street after being saved from demolition by the Seaport Museum. In 2017 she returned home to her native Hamburg to undergo a full restoration, which like the work done on our own Wavertree, is worthy of wide acclaim.

The care and stewardship of historic vessels, particularly large ones, is an enormous and costly responsibility. We send our congratulations to our friends in Hamburg on this occasion, and we look forward to visiting this marvelously restored barque when travel is possible. In the meantime take a look at this virtual tour of the ship!
artsandculture.google.com/partner/hafenmuseum-hamburg

Image: Barque Peking at South Street, ca. 1980. South Street Seaport Museum Institutional Archive

#barquePEKING #historicship #shippreservation #maritimehistory #maritimemuseums

02/01/2021
Ambrose in the snow

Brrr…stay safe and warm out there! ❄️ Check out this snowy scene of Ambrose, from Pier 16, taken by our dedicated ship keeper Paul D.

12/24/2020

Happy holidays from the South Street Seaport Museum!

The sailors depicted here decorating a Christmas tree are aboard U.S. Coast Guard cutter Half Moon (WAVP-378), an ocean station vessel stationed at Staten Island and Governors Island in New York City from 1948 to 1969. Half Moon’s primary duty was to serve on ocean stations in the Atlantic Ocean to gather meteorological data.

Image: U.S. Coast Guard, “Christmas aboard the cutter Half Moon.” December 1954. South Street Seaport Museum Archives.

#fromthearchives #MerryChristmas #sailors #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #OurCityOurSeaport

South Street Seaport Museum
12/17/2020

South Street Seaport Museum

Whether you continued working or learning remotely indoors, or got a chance to go outside to feel the snowflakes on your face, we hope you took a moment to enjoy today's beautiful first snow day of the season!

#snowday #firstsnow #historicships #southstreetseaport #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

On today’s #InternationalVolunteerDay, and every day, we celebrate our volunteers and thank them for everything they do.
12/05/2020

On today’s #InternationalVolunteerDay, and every day, we celebrate our volunteers and thank them for everything they do.

Volunteers have been a cornerstone of the South Street Seaport Museum since its founding. Although 2020 has been unexpected in many ways, our incredible volunteers continue to show up and support us through thick and thin. On today’s #InternationalVolunteerDay, and every day, we celebrate our volunteers and thank them for everything they do.

#SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #southstreetseaport #lowermanhattan #volunteering #historicships #OurCityOurSeaport

W.O. Decker returns from shipyard to her berth at the Museum looking good as ever!Check out the Instagram story highligh...
12/04/2020

W.O. Decker returns from shipyard to her berth at the Museum looking good as ever!

Check out the Instagram story highlighted on our Instagram profile where Capt. Martin took over showing you snippets of our trip back to South Street!

Guess who’s back? W.O. Decker returns from shipyard to her berth at the Museum looking good as ever!

W.O. Decker was hauled out of the water at Scarano Boatbuilding in Albany, NY for her scheduled periodic USCG inspection. The hull was found to be in excellent shape and was scraped, primed, and painted with multiple coats of antifouling coatings to prevent marine borers from damaging her 2" thick wooden planking. Maintenance work was performed on her propeller, propeller shaft and rudder as well.

Check out the Instagram story highlighted on our profile! Capt. Martin took over the Museum account’s stories for the last 48 hours, showing you snippets of our trip back to South Street!

#WODECKER #tugboat #historicship #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #OurCityOurSeaport

A huge thanks to all of the volunteers who lent us a hand during last week’s volunteer workday! On our fully-rigged ship...
10/27/2020

A huge thanks to all of the volunteers who lent us a hand during last week’s volunteer workday! On our fully-rigged ship Wavertree, we scuffed and oiled the deckhouse doors and tarred and oiled aloft on the fore and main. On our lightship Ambrose, we continued pressure washing and scraping old paint off the spardeck.

#SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #southstreetseaport #lowermanhattan #volunteering #historicships #OurCityOurSeaport

Another successful volunteer workday on the waterfront! Following CDC guidelines, we have resumed limited volunteering a...
10/19/2020

Another successful volunteer workday on the waterfront! Following CDC guidelines, we have resumed limited volunteering activities on our fleet, and it is great to be back. This past Saturday, we completed projects aloft on Wavertree and pressure washed old paint and debris from lightship Ambrose’s spar deck.

#SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #southstreetseaport #lowermanhattan #volunteering #historicships #OurCityOurSeaport

Ten years before Rosa Parks, young student Sarah Elizabeth Ray fought segregation after being removed from the ship SS C...
10/11/2020

Ten years before Rosa Parks, young student Sarah Elizabeth Ray fought segregation after being removed from the ship SS Columbia in Detroit, MI. Learn more about the tenacious Sarah E. Ray who joined forces with #NAACP and Thurgood Marshall in her fight against injustice with the SS Columbia Project.

The struggle for desegregation in the US has touched every aspect of American life, including waterfront work, shipping, and passenger travel. Even when state and city laws prohibited racial segregation, many businesses would continue to discriminate without worrying that the laws would actually be enforced. It would take individuals willing to fight against these injustices to bring about meaningful change. One such person is Sarah Elizabeth Ray who, ten years before Rosa Parks, fought against segregation after being removed from the passenger steamer SS Columbia in Detroit, MI.

In June 1945, Sarah Elizabeth Ray was a 24-year-old secretarial school student graduate on a trip to the popular amusement park on Boblo Island with her classmates. Ray was the only Black student in her class on board the SS Columbia, and before the vessel departed, the ship’s manager threatened to have her forcibly removed. After being escorted off SS Columbia, Ray decided to contact the NAACP. The NAACP legal team, lead by Thurgood Marshall, sued the Bob-lo Excursion Co. for breaking Michigan’s civil statute barring racial discrimination in public spaces. The case made it to the US Supreme Court which ultimately ruled in Ray’s favor, upholding the laws against segregation.

Desegregation was fought on numerous fronts on an individual, local, and national scale. It is the responsibility of all history institutions in the US to preserve and share these stories. Learn more about Sarah Elizabeth Ray at the SS Columbia Project, which aims to restore the 118-year old vessel and share Ray’s incredible (and long overlooked) act of resistance.

#FromTheArchives #maritimehistory #americanhistory #blackhistory #SSColumbia #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

While things have been made difficult by Covid-19, progress on the restoration of #schoonerPioneer continues to be made!...
10/08/2020

While things have been made difficult by Covid-19, progress on the restoration of #schoonerPioneer continues to be made! Check out a recent #blog post and program that Capt. Martin, Fleet Captain and Master of Pioneer, created for the Museum.

Hi Folks, Capt. Martin, Fleet Captain and Master of Pioneer, here. I think a lot of people have been wondering, “What is going on with our beloved schooner Pioneer these days...?” While things have been made difficult by Covid-19, progress continues to be made!

The Museum is determined to see Pioneer sailing again as soon as possible, and to keep her doing what we know she does so well, for another five decades and beyond. Check out a recent blog post and program I created for the Museum: southstreetseaportmuseum.org/what-is-happening-on-schooner-pioneer/

#schoonerPIONEER #historicship #restoration #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #OurCityOurSeaport

With safety always in the forefront of our minds, we paused shipboard volunteer projects when the Museum closed to the p...
10/03/2020

With safety always in the forefront of our minds, we paused shipboard volunteer projects when the Museum closed to the public in March due to COVID-19. After months of careful planning, we are thrilled to announce that yesterday we welcomed back a handful of volunteers for shipboard projects for the first time since March 7, 2020!

We are implementing CDC guidelines to reduce exposure and transmission of COVID-19 and slowly resuming weekly volunteer work, so if you want to learn more, visit goo.gl/3SE4S5

#SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #southstreetseaport #lowermanhattan #volunteering #OurCityOurSeaport #WhereNewYorkBegins

Today, we launch a campaign – Our City, Our Seaport – to engage our friends and neighbors to save the South Street Seapo...
09/29/2020

Today, we launch a campaign – Our City, Our Seaport – to engage our friends and neighbors to save the South Street Seaport Museum. Read Capt. Boulware’s op-ed in AmNewYork about the future of the Museum at https://bit.ly/3l1MVEp & join the campaign at ourcityourseaport.org.

Seaport Museum President, Capt. Jonathan Boulware, penned this op-ed that just ran AmNewYork: https://bit.ly/3l1MVEp It details where we are financially as a result of COVID (as well as the many other crises that have befallen downtown, from 9/11 to Sandy and the 2008 crash). We’re not going to sugarcoat it, it’s tough stuff.

We’ve survived and thrived through it all, thanks to our dedicated community that sees the importance of the South Street Seaport Museum to connect New Yorkers and visitors to our city’s complex history, to the enterprising people who built our nation.

Our collections and archives are a treasure trove that connects us to where we came from; it’s too important to fall by the wayside now. Today, we’re launching a campaign to save the Museum, and hope you’ll join us. This is our City. Our Seaport. Together we can save the South Street Seaport Museum. Sign up to learn more at ourcityourseaport.org

Photo by James Keivom

#OurCityOurSeaport #WhereNewYorkBegins #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

#OnThisDay in 1909 the Hudson-Fulton Celebration naval parade was in full swing!The festivities commemorate the 300th an...
09/25/2020

#OnThisDay in 1909 the Hudson-Fulton Celebration naval parade was in full swing!

The festivities commemorate the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of the river & the 100th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s invention of the steamboat Clermont.

The Hudson-Fulton Celebration was held from September 25 through October 11, 1909 to commemorate two separate but related events: the three-hundredth anniversary of Henry Hudson (ca.1565–1611)’s exploration of the river that came to bear his name, and the hundredth anniversary of Robert Fulton (1765–1815)’s invention of the steamboat Clermont.

The festivities were organized in New York City and in cities and towns along the Hudson River. They included a wide variety of events including nighttime electrical displays, a series of biplane flights along the river by Wilbur Wright (1867-1912), swimming and boating contests, and special exhibitions at various New York City institutions. The Staten Island Shipbuilding Company built a replica of Fulton’s Clermont, and the United States Postal Service issued 50 million Hudson-Fulton commemorative stamps, which were sold in New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Saint Louis, and Washington.

These four photographs are part of a larger series taken by amateur photographer, silver manufacturing executive, and civic leader Cleveland Arthur Dunn (1873-1956), donated to us by his granddaughter. Mr. Dunn was able to accompany the large fleet of ships that navigated the Hudson from New York City to Troy. The fleet included 80 American and foreign warships, including Italian cruisers and French pre-dreadnought battleships.

#TodayInHistory #nychistory #SSSMcollection #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

One of the #AmericasCup yacht race matches was actually captured as an Edison short film. Visit The Library of Congress ...
09/23/2020

One of the #AmericasCup yacht race matches was actually captured as an Edison short film. Visit The Library of Congress to watch this 121-year old moment in sports history!
📽️: loc.gov/item/00694180

#OnThisDay in 1899 Harper’s Weekly published a series of illustrations depicting the crew of racing yacht Columbia and their intense training regime. From 1870 to 1920, yacht clubs from around the world raced for America's Cup in New York Harbor. For the 10th America’s Cup, Columbia was challenged by Sir Thomas Lipton’s yacht Shamrock in a highly anticipated contest.

Columbia would go on to win and keep America’s Cup for the New York Yacht Club. One of the matches was actually captured as an Edison short film. Visit The Library of Congress to watch this 121-year old moment in sports history! https://www.loc.gov/item/00694180/

Image: Thomas Dart Walker (American, 1868-1914), "Aboard the Cup-Defender Columbia: Drilling the Crew-Taking in the Balloon-Jib" published in Harper's Weekly on September 23, 1899. Gift of Leo Hirschkowitz, South Street Seaport Museum 2006.049.0184

#TodayInHistory #americascup #yachtrace #NewYorkHarbor #SSSMcollection #SouthStreetSeaportMuseum

Address

89 South St
New York, NY
10038

Opening Hours

Wednesday 11:00 - 17:00
Thursday 11:00 - 17:00
Friday 11:00 - 17:00
Saturday 11:00 - 17:00
Sunday 11:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(212) 748-8600

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Museum’s Ships

South Street Seaport Museum is home to a fleet of 5 ships including the 1907 lightship Ambrose, a “floating lighthouse” to guide ships safely from the Atlantic Ocean into the broad mouth of lower New York Bay; the 1885 ship Wavertree, one of the last large sailing ships built of wrought iron; the 1885 schooner Pioneer, an authentic 19th Century Schooner, with public sails daily from May thru October; the 1893 schooner Lettie G. Howard, one of few surviving examples of the fishing schooners once in wide use in the North Atlantic; and the 1930 last surviving, New York built, wooden steam tugboat W.O. Decker.