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“Check out the Olympia, the oldest steel American warship still afloat!”

Independence Seaport Museum
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Independence Seaport Museum Admission
Ranked #48 of 488 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Philadelphia's maritime museum features interactive exhibits, historic ships (Spanish American war-era cruiser Olympia and WWII-era submarine Becuna) and changing exhibition galleries. Seasonal river tours of the Delaware River and kayaks / rowboat rentals available. Extended evening hours Thursday - Saturday Memorial Day - Labor Day.
Reviewed 20 February 2018 via mobile

It is truly amazing to explore a steel cruiser that was launched over 120 years ago in the 19th century. The Olympia served in the Spanish-American War as well as World War I and the ship has been beautifully preserved by the museum. It is a special treat to be able to see the guns up close and see inside certain rooms and compartments (especially the surgeon’s room, the kitchen and the conning tower - the original term for the battle bridge). The only downside is that I would have loved to explore the engine room and the lower decks.

It was also fascinating to walk inside the submarine Becuna. I have a newfound appreciation for those who serve on submarines after just spending 30 minutes in the cramped quarters.

The indoor museum is also well done but remember to visit the actual vessels which are outside. I would recommend that you budget 2 hours for the trip.

Thank effervescent03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"spanish american war"
in 26 reviews
"delaware river"
in 23 reviews
"wwii submarine"
in 12 reviews
"manila bay"
in 11 reviews
"new jersey"
in 18 reviews
"penn's landing"
in 17 reviews
"engine room"
in 6 reviews
"slave trade"
in 6 reviews
"cold war"
in 5 reviews
"nautical history"
in 4 reviews
"uss becuna"
in 4 reviews
"these ships"
in 4 reviews
"ship tours"
in 3 reviews
"cramped quarters"
in 3 reviews
"admission includes"
in 4 reviews
"interactive exhibits"
in 9 reviews
"self guided tour"
in 9 reviews

25 - 29 of 271 reviews

Reviewed 18 February 2018

We grandparents learned naval history along with our grandson as we toured the submarine from WWII and the cruiser from the Spanish American War. Watching him grasp the history made on these vessels was a treat we couldn't create any other way. The museum exhibits complemented the ship. The site is historic, so we were a bit surprised to find the whole place was private and a fee was charged. But it was well worth the visit.

Thank Nutmeg2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2018

This is a fantastic museum-- great exhibits, charming and amusing. Its also working, with boat restoration and model boat biding going on as you walk the museum. This museum also curates the USS Olympia, which is in danger. Easily the second most historic US ship preserved. It has to be the absolutely best preserved ship of its time, and it's displayed beautifully. Please go and tip some cash in its donation box.

Thank Dave C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2018

If you have an interest in nautical history, the history of Philadelphia, or both, definitely don't miss the Independence Seaport Museum! This museum is stocked with displays and items showcasing the nautical history of Philadelphia and the area, and could easily take a couple of hours to cover everything thoroughly. The museum is probably geared more towards older children through adults; although there is a kid-focused area, it didn't seem like much to hold everyone's attention.

Hands down a good option in the Penns Landing area.

Thank Matt S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 December 2017 via mobile

The original listing indicated <1hr. We took longer than that just on the first floor alone. There are so many interesting things to see and read... and the Becuna and USS Olympia (located along the waterfront of Spruce St harbor park) alone would take more than an hour. Both were really awesome, even though I started to get a bit claustrophobic on the sub. It was not crowded when we visited, and we didn’t allot enough time to view the second floor of the museum based on the TA listing... make sure you do so you can see it all!

Thank MeraKi25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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