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Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum in Savannah, Georgia

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Step into a world where maritime history comes alive at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum in Savannah, GA. As you wander through this enchanting space, you’ll uncover secrets of the sea and stories of ships that shaped our world.

From the legendary Steamship Savannah to intricate ship models, each exhibit whispers tales of adventure, innovation, and the spirit of the sea. Are you ready to embark on a journey through time at one of Savannah’s most captivating treasures?

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum is a fascinating destination located in the heart of Savannah’s historic district, Georgia. The museum, founded in 1966, is an extraordinary destination that passionately preserves and displays the area’s extensive maritime heritage, focusing principally on the great era of Atlantic trade in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Ships Of The Sea Maritime Museum Architecture
Sandy Barger

Housed in the beautifully restored William Scarbrough House, a historic building dating back to 1819, the museum provides an immersive experience that combines architectural elegance with captivating exhibits, including maritime paintings and ship models.

Scarbrough House and Gardens

The Scarbrough House, home to the museum, is an architectural gem situated in the heart of Savannah, Georgia. Originally built in 1819 for William Scarbrough, a prominent local merchant and one of the principal owners of the SS Savannah steamship, the house stands as a prime example of Greek Revival architecture.

Designed by English architect William Jay, the Scarbrough House boasts beautiful details such as ornate moldings, decorative plaster ceilings, and impressive woodwork.

A standout feature of the Scarbrough House is the majestic double staircase that greets visitors in the entrance hall. This impressive architectural detail is a testament to the sophistication and elegance of high society during the early 1800s.

Ships Of The Sea Maritime Museum Gardens
Erik Burgan

In the 1970s, the Scarbrough House was carefully restored to preserve its historic charm and architectural integrity. Today, visitors to the museum can not only explore the fascinating maritime exhibits but also appreciate the beauty and history of the building itself.

Encircling the Scarbrough House, you’ll discover the delightful North Garden, which contribute an extra touch of enchantment to your visit. These gardens, inspired by 19th-century urban green spaces, boast lovely brick pathways, verdant foliage, and an array of native trees and flowers.

Ships Of The Sea Maritime Museum Ship Models

Adding to the garden’s allure are several distinctive elements, including an elegant cast-iron fountain and ornate wrought-iron gates, which together create a truly inviting and picturesque outdoor setting.

Throughout the year, the gardens display a vibrant array of colors as seasonal plants and flowers come into bloom. This ever-changing natural tapestry adds to the overall appeal of the museum, making it a lovely destination for both first-time and returning visitors.

The Scarbrough House gardens are also utilized for special events and functions, such as weddings, receptions, and corporate gatherings. The idyllic setting, combined with the historic backdrop of the Scarbrough House, makes for a truly memorable and enchanting event venue.

Exhibits and Collections

From meticulously crafted ship models to maritime artifacts and engaging educational programs, the museum is an essential stop for history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike. Highlights include the Steamship Savannah, a pioneering vessel in maritime history, and the Historic Savannah Foundation’s efforts in preservation.

  • Titanic Exhibit: This exhibit showcases a meticulously crafted model of the RMS Titanic, along with various artifacts and personal stories connected to the tragic event. The exhibit offers an in-depth look at the ship’s history, construction, and eventual sinking.

Ships Of The Sea Maritime Museum Titanic
Qiyi Yang

  • Savannah Ships: A collection of ship models representing vessels that have a strong connection to the city of Savannah. These ships played significant roles in the city’s maritime history, such as the SS Savannah, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and the CSS Georgia, an ironclad warship from the American Civil War.
  • Evolution of Shipbuilding: This exhibit traces the evolution of shipbuilding techniques and materials over time. From ancient wooden vessels to modern steel-hulled ships, visitors can learn about the technological advancements and innovations that have shaped the maritime industry. This section also features online exhibits for those who cannot visit in person.

Unique Collections and Artifacts

  • Nautical Instruments: A fascinating collection of navigational tools and instruments, including sextants, compasses, and chronometers, that were essential for sailors to find their way across the seas.

Ships Of The Sea Maritime Museum Nautical Instruments
Charles Seyle
Ships Of The Sea Maritime Museum Models

  • Maritime Art: The museum is home to a diverse collection of maritime art, featuring paintings, sculptures, and decorative items that showcase the beauty, power, and allure of the sea and its vessels. This section is particularly breathtaking, highlighting the talented artists who capture the essence of maritime life.
  • Ship Figureheads: A captivating collection of wooden figureheads that once adorned the bows of various sailing ships. These intricately carved works of art not only served as decorative elements but also held symbolic meaning and were believed to protect the ship and its crew.

Hours of Operation and Admission Fees

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The museum is closed on Mondays and certain holidays.

General admission to the museum is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (65+), active military, and AAA members, and $6 for children ages 6-17. Children 5 and under can visit for free.

For the most up-to-date information on exhibits, events, and other visitor details, it is recommended to visit the museum’s official website. The website offers a wealth of information about the museum, including a virtual tour, educational resources, and an online gift shop.

How to Get to Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum?

To get to the museum, located at 41 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Savannah, GA 31401, you have several options depending on your starting point and preferred mode of transportation:

  • By Car: To get there, simply input the museum’s address into your preferred GPS device or navigation app, and follow the provided directions. Savannah’s grid-like layout and well-marked streets make it relatively easy to navigate by car.
  • By Foot or Bike: If you’re staying in the historic downtown Savannah area, the museum is within walking or biking distance from many popular attractions and hotels. Savannah is a pedestrian-friendly city with numerous squares and parks, making it enjoyable to explore on foot or by bicycle.
  • By Trolley or Tour: Several trolley and tour companies operate in Savannah, offering hop-on-hop-off services that include stops near here. This can be a convenient and enjoyable way to visit multiple attractions throughout the city.

Parking: Once you arrive, you’ll find limited on-site parking available at the museum. However, if the on-site parking is full, there are additional parking options nearby. Street parking can often be found in the surrounding area, and there are also public parking garages within walking distance of the museum.

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Conclusion

As our exploration of the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum concludes, we leave with a deeper appreciation of maritime heritage and the timeless stories of the sea. This hidden gem in Savannah, GA, is not just a collection of artifacts; it’s a gateway to understanding the profound impact of maritime history on our world.