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The Star of India

The San Diego Maritime Museum

1492 North Harbor Drive

Written by Scott Messmore
The San Diego Maritime Museum is home to the sailing ships, steam yachts and schooners of yesteryear that will entertain and educate all visitors. The San Diego Maritime Museum houses historic ships, models, artifacts and exhibits about the history of the sea and the fishing and commercial ships of San

A Century of Silent Service

Presently on exhibit at the San Diego Maritime Museum is "Submarines: A Century of Silent Service" which details the trials and tribulations of the U.S. Navy's submarine service. The Submarine Centennial exhibit includes information about the first U.S. Navy sub built in 1900 by John Holland and how submarines influenced the First World War. The exhibit details sub development to World War II where the Silent Service nearly strangled Japan before the end of the war. After the war came the advent of nuclear subs and submarine-based nuclear missiles. Much of the information about American submarines has been kept quiet, especially during the Cold
Steamship Berkeley and the Medea
War years. But, submarines did launch the first missile strikes against Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War in 1990 and more recently fired dozens of cruise missiles at targets in Kosovo. In addition to the displays, the Maritime Museum is showing movies with submarine themes on board the square-rigged sailing ship "Star of India" or the 100-year old ferryboat "Berkeley". Submarines: A Century of Silent Service is on display on board the steam ferry Berkeley.

Historic Ships

The San Diego Maritime Museum owns some of the rarest vessels that are fully capable of going back to sea.

The Star of India

Perhaps the pride of the Maritime Museum is the "Star of India" the oldest fully active square- rigged sailing ship. The Star of India was built in the United Kingdom
in 1863 to carry cargo. One of the earliest steel-hulled ships, India, then known as the Euterpe, made dozens of trips around the world hauling immigrants, coal, timber, sugar. She suffered through mutinies, the death of a captain at sea and staggered home after a cyclone so terrible the crew had to cut the masts away to avoid capsizing. The Star of India is a huge ship with a gross tonnage of 1,300 tons, two main masts and she's nearly three football fields long.

The Medea

The Medea is a steam-powered yacht built near the beginning of the 20th century. Originally used for hunting parties, Medea served
Model Shipbuilder at the Maritime Museum
alternately with the British Navy, French Navy and with the Norwegian Navy in both the First and Second World Wars.

The Berkeley

The Maritime Museum's main exhibits and ship's store are located on a 100-year old steam ferry called the Berkeley. The Berkeley was built in 1898 to ferry passengers across San Francisco Bay. Berkeley saw service during the terrible 1906 San Francisco Earthquake where she rescued hundreds of people trapped by raging fires. Berkeley is a large ferry that could easily carry nearly 1,700 passengers on trips across the Bay.

Hours of Operation and Location

The San Diego Maritime Museum is located at 1306 North Harbor Drive, along San Diego Bay near the Convention Center. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Admission to the Maritime Museum is $6. Visit the Maritime Museum web site at

For more information about the San Diego Maritime Museum, call 619-234-9153.

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Last Updated: September 23, 2015