Take an outdoor tour at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, which includes a boat tour of San Diego Bay.
The museum’s new outdoor adventure includes a walking tour of several of the museum’s ships.
It reopened last Saturday. The museum was closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and briefly reopened for six days in early July before statewide health restrictions forced it to close again, officials said.
“We wanted to offer a special treat for visitors and residents of San Diego during the stress of the global pandemic,” said Raymond Ashley, museum president and CEO. “So, a stroll aboard the decks of these historic ships and refreshing, educational boat ride in San Diego Bay could be the perfect break.”
The Harbor History Bay tours are normally an additional charge when purchasing museum admission. For this new outdoor experience, the tours are included with admission. There are four 45-minute bay tours offered daily, departing hourly between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.
The boat tours will be on one of two vintage vessels. One is the oldest active operating harbor pilot boat, the 1914 Pilot. The other is the restored Vietnam-era U.S. Navy PCF 816 Swift boat, museum staff said. Space is limited due to lower capacity requirements in accordance with state guidelines.
The walking tour has been designed to be easy to follow and one-way. There are six-foot markers on the upper decks, to allow visitors to experience a selection of the museum’s vessels. It begins at the Berkeley steam ferryboat and ends with the Star of India.
The tour also includes the recently-restored decks of the HMS Surprise, which was featured in the Academy Award-winning film “Master and Commander,” and the film “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”
The USS Dolphin and Soviet Naval submarines remain temporarily closed for public safety, museum staff said. The gift shop also remains closed due to high-touch potential.
The tours are self-guided. Docent-led and group tours have been temporarily discontinued, but docents, staff and volunteers will be stationed throughout the tour to assist guests.
Museum staff closely monitored state, local and health authority guidelines, and have prepared the museum to abide by public health safety and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, staff said.
One way the museum is maintaining safe social distances is by limiting visitor capacity to 25 percent, staff said. Capacity is monitored every 15 minutes. Visitors may be asked to wait before entering.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 seniors, active military with ID and students ages 13 to 17. Children age 12 and under are $10. Cash is not accepted at this time.
Tour reservations can by made at the museum when purchasing general admission tickets while supplies last, at 1492 North Harbor Drive. Tickets and tours can also be booked at sdmaritime.org. Once scheduled, guests may check-in for boat tours on the docks behind the Berkeley steam ferryboat 15 minutes before their tour. The walking tour can be done before or after the bay tour.
The museum’s new hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are sold until 4 p.m. for same-day visits. All visitors are required to undergo a temperature check and wellness screening prior to admittance. Facial coverings are required.