Exploring Mystic Seaport: A Voyage Through Time and Maritime Heritage

The Crown Jewels of Mystic Seaport: Historic Ships

Mystic Seaport boasts an impressive fleet of historic vessels, with the Charles W. Morgan as its centerpiece. Launched in 1841, this wooden whaling ship embarked on 37 voyages before retiring in 1921. It stands as a testament to the bygone era of whaling and maritime adventure. Visitors can also admire the Joseph Conrad and L.A. Dunton, two other tall ships that call the museum dock their home.

The museum’s collection extends to other beautifully restored ships with rich histories, such as the Sabino and Emma C. Berry. The Emma C. Berry, first launched in 1866, has served various roles from a fishing vessel to a coastal freighter. To fully appreciate these maritime treasures, allocate ample time for tours. For a relaxing break, consider a 30 or 90-minute cruise aboard the Sabino steamboat, which offers scenic views along the Mystic River.
Step Back in Time: The Authentic Seaport Village and Exhibits

A short stroll from the docked ships lies the seaport village, a meticulously recreated slice of New England’s past. The village features buildings relocated from across New England and the Northeast, each contributing to the authentic atmosphere. Visitors can explore nautical shops and witness traditional crafts such as rope making, rigging, cooperage, and sailmaking.


With over 40 exhibits, the village is a treasure trove of maritime history. Highlights include the Mystic River Scale Model and the Shipsmith shop. Don’t miss the galleries, where the Voyages exhibit spans three floors, celebrating America’s ongoing relationship with the sea. Across the street, the Figurehead exhibit showcases a collection of ship carvings, a poignant reminder of a fading art form.
Preserving Maritime Skills: The Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard

The Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard is a bastion of traditional shipbuilding craftsmanship. Here, the skills necessary to maintain wooden ships are not only practiced but also preserved. The shipyard features a rigging loft, paint shop, carpentry and metalworking shops, a lumber shed, and a sawmill reminiscent of bygone days. The documentation shop houses vital records that guide craftsmen in their meticulous work.

Visitors can observe the keel of the whale ship Thames and an informative exhibit detailing the stages of shipbuilding. This shipyard is a crucial element in keeping maritime history alive, ensuring that the art of wooden ship construction continues to be celebrated and understood.