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San Diego Maritime Museum

Best Maritime Museums Around the World!

Ahoy matey! Do your kids dream of sailing across the ocean? Then be sure to check out these amazing maritime museums all around the world.

Greenwich, London: National Maritime Museum

Since Roman times, Greenwich has been associated with the sea and navigation. It is fitting that one of the largest maritime museums in the world was built here! Not only is the museum home to stunning archives and memorabilia that capture the history of seafaring Britain, it has plenty of kid-friendly activities that will captivate little explorers. Kids will love the interactive AHOY! Children’s Gallery, where they can stoke a ship’’s boiler and explore polar icecaps. In the All Hands Children’s Gallery they can fire a cannon on a pirate adventure! Don’’t miss the chance to board the legendary sailing ship Cutty Sark–the world’s only surviving tea clipper–for an interactive walk-through experience.


Sydney, Australia: Australian National Maritime Museum

Housed on the waterfront of the stunning Darling Harbor is an exceptional tribute to Australia’’s relationship with the sea. With exhibitions ranging from the discovery of Australia to the naval defense of the nation to surf culture, this maritime museum has plenty of things for you and your family to explore. Upon entering the museum, you will be greeted by the famous “Welcome Wall”, a marble monument inscribed with the names of all those who migrated to Australia. After exploring the historic galleries inside the museum, take a walk on the attractive waterfront. See what naval life was like below the water on the HMAS Onslow or walk through a replica of Captain Cook’s Endeavour. For even more adventure, reserve tickets to sail across the harbor in the 19th century vessel, the James Craig. Your kids will love the real-life ocean voyage!




Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: Vancouver Maritime Museum

Dedicated to preserving the history of the exploration of the Canadian Arctic, the Vancouver Maritime Museum offers a unique collection of maritime history and art. The museum has extensive galleries of model ships and families can even watch craftsmen build ships! For hands-on learning, the museum offers a Children’s Discovery Center, where kids can drive a replica of the Seaspan Queen tugboat, learn about cleaning up oil spills, and play interactive pirate games. After learning about the RCMP St. Roch’s dangerous journey through the Northwest Passage, be sure to take a stroll outside to visit the Heritage Harbor to learn about more historic Canadian vessels.






Kobe, Japan: Kobe Maritime Museum

Located inside a stunning building with a dramatic steel framework in the shape of sails, the Kobe Maritime Museum holds a unique collection of model ships and interesting history about Japan’s oceanic connection to the world. Though many of the displays are only in Japanese, non-Japanese speakers can still easily comprehend the exhibitions and enjoy the displays. Kids will enjoy the interactive parts of the museum–where they can “ride” a jet ski and walk through the Yamato 1, a futuristic oceanic vessel. With a museum ticket, you can also access the iconic Kobe Port Tower and Kawasaki Technology Museum.






San Diego, California, USA: Maritime Museum of San Diego

Home to one of the largest collections of historic ships, the Maritime Museum of San Diego has plenty to offer to both kids and parents alike. Some highlights include an interactive light and sound exhibit aboard the museum’s Russian Foxtrot-class submarine and a journey through the Age of Sail aboard the 1863 Star of India. For even more fun, the museum holds hundreds of family-oriented events each year, such a the chance to spend the night aboard the HMS Surprise!