Last updated: 9/9/2021
Newport News, Virginia
Street Address
100 Museum Drive
Newport News, VA 23606
Mailing Address
100 Museum Drive
Newport News, VA 23606
Hours
Daily9 AM - 5 PM
Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Admissions
General Admission: $1
Members: free
Children ages three and under: Free
Services
Gift Shop
Online Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
Staff
Howard H. Hoege, III, President & CEO
phone: 757-591-7700
Luisa A. Vázquez-López, Senior Director of Advancement
phone: 757-591-7705
Description

The Mariners' Museum and Park connects people to the world's waterways through exploration and engaging experiences. The Museum is filled with fascinating stories, captured in priceless artifacts that celebrate the spirit of the open sea. Designated by Congress as America’s National Maritime Museum, The Mariners’ Museum is one of the largest and most comprehensive maritime museums in the world.

The organization is an educational, non-profit institution and preserves and interprets maritime history through an international collection of intricate ship models, rare figureheads, nautical paintings, navigational instruments, and other maritime artifacts. The Mariners' Museum is home to the USS Monitor Center, where the story of the USS Monitor's creation, battle, sinking, and recovery are told in vivid detail. The Museum is surrounded by the 550-acre Mariners' Museum Park, the largest privately-maintained park that is free and open to the public in North America. The Mariners' Museum Library is the largest maritime library in the Western hemisphere.

Mission

The Mariners' Museum and Park connects people to the world's waters, because through the waters — through our shared maritime heritage — we are connected to one another.

History

For over 80 years, the history of the ocean and its relationship with humankind has been told and displayed in one of the largest maritime museums in the world. In June 1930, The Mariners' Museum was brought to life by the shared vision of Archer M. Huntington (son of Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company founder Collis P. Huntington) and Homer L. Ferguson (the head of Newport News Shipbuilding at the time of the founding and the Museum's first President).

The first purchases of artifacts in any quantity were made in the early 1930s in New York and New England. Because the Museum was to be international in scope, the search for maritime material expanded throughout the 1930s to Europe, the West Indies and beyond. The Museum's collection now totals approximately 32,000 objects, equally divided between works of art and three-dimensional objects. Huntington's personal library of maritime books formed the core of the Museum's Library.

Permanent Exhibitions

USS Monitor Center, Defending the Seas, Age of Exploration, Great Hall of Steam, Crabtree Collection of Miniature Ships, and the International Small Craft Center

Artifact Collections

The collection is composed of more than 35,000 maritime items including ship models, scrimshaw, maritime paintings, decorative arts, intricately carved figureheads, navigational instruments, working steam engines, and hundreds of artifacts from the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor, including its steam engine, propeller, and gun turret.

Educational Programs

The Mariners' Museum offers programs for students around the world and activities for families around the corner. Whether it's learning about the Age of Exploration or hearing a lecture, there's something for everyone.

  • Interactive Video Conferencing
  • Teacher Workshops
  • Lecture Series
  • Scouting Opportunities
  • Teachers' Favorite Award
  • Homeschool Programs
  • Online Exhibitions
Facilities

Museum

The Museum itself includes 120,000 square feet of gallery space, including the prestigious International Small Craft Center and the award-winning USS Monitor Center. This state-of-the-art permanent exhibition and conservation lab houses 210 tons of artifacts from the Civil War ironclad Monitor, recovered from NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.

Park

The Museum sits in an urban oasis: The 550-acre Mariners' Museum Park is home to the 167-acre Mariners' Lake and the Noland Trail - a five-mile shoreline trail with 14 bridges. The Park and Lake offer local residents and visitors to the area the opportunity to experience the beauty and peace of an oasis in the city.

Library

The Mariners’ Museum Library holds the largest maritime history collection in the Western Hemisphere. With its rich collections and international scope, the Library is a premier resource for maritime research. The Library houses over 78,000 volumes; 800,000 photographs, films, and negatives; and over one million pieces of archival material, making it the largest maritime library in the Western Hemisphere. The Library is also home to the boatbuilding archives of Chris-Craft Industries.

Most materials are currently in storage, but there are plans to build a space to house the Library and Archives in the future.

Access:

Appointment required: No

ADA

Wheelchair Accessible

Parking

Restrooms

Services

Host one of The Mariners' Museum's traveling exhibitions. Choose from a range of topics to appeal to your institution and visitors. Contact us for contents, space requirements, fees, and scheduling information

Gift Shop

Visit our spacious Gift Shop during your visit to find the perfect present for your family, that great coworker, teacher, or friend. From toys and stylish apparel to contemporary jewelry, books, and souvenirs inspired by the nautical collections of The Mariners’ Museum, we offer an array of collectible treasures to truly make your voyage memorable.

Group Tours

The Mariners' Museum is perfectly suited for groups of all ages! Just 10 visitors qualify for our special group rate, and with a minimum of two hours, your group can enjoy the Museum and its rich and varied maritime stories.

Special Event Rentals

The Mariners' Museum and Park is no stranger to hosting some of the region's most elegant events. We have space for a wide variety of events including wedding ceremonies, receptions, military ceremonies, seminars, lectures, board meetings, conferences, fundraisers, and holiday parties. Whether formal or informal, cocktail party or black-tie dinner, large or small, we can help make your event memorable.

Gift Shop

Online Gift Shop

Special Event Rental

Group Tours

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THANK YOU 2021 SPONSORS!
Richmond, Virginia

Riggs Ward Design (RWD) is an award-winning experience planning and design studio headquartered in historic Richmond, Virginia. Over the past 24 years, we have provided experience design, strategic master planning, interpretive planning, research, content analysis, and storyline development for museums, universities, corporations, and cultural institutions. RWD’s services also include exhibit ephemera, books, and fundraising campaign materials.

MUSEUM CONFERENCES
Wednesday, September 1 - Thursday, September 30, 2021 — Virtual
CANCELLED: Florida Association of Museums 2021 Annual Conference
Monday, September 20 - Sunday, September 26, 2021 — Virtual
American Craft Council (ACC) Atlanta Southeast Craft Week
Wednesday, September 22 - Saturday, September 25, 2021 — Virtual
American Association for State and Local History/AMA 2021 Annual Meeting
Friday, October 1 - Sunday, October 31, 2021 — Virtual
Arriving this October: The Western Museum Association Roadshow!
Wednesday, October 6 - Friday, October 8, 2021 — Virginia City, Nevada
Nevada Museum Association 2021 Annual Conference
Virginia City, Nevada
Monday, November 29 - Wednesday, December 1, 2021 — Washington, District of Columbia
2021 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums
Washington, District of Columbia
Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
St. Louis, Missouri