Sail through history and culture of Savannah at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum

If you enjoy history and the saga of the sea as well as touring an elegant historic home in the heart of Savannah, then the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum will be well worth a visit.

For centuries, Savannah has served as one of the nation’s most important port cities. From the earliest days of settlement to the modern age, ships have plied the seas to call on Savannah as a destination for commerce.

The city has grown up around the influence of being a gateway to the world, as well as the first city of a growing colony and state.

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Swabbing the deck: during a special public event, a historical recreationist at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum in Savannah enlists the help of a young guest to provide hands-on learning and fun for all ages. Matt Richardson

This sense of global influence since the age of sailing ships, and the opulence of Southern style that marks the city’s distinctive architecture, finds no better place for you to experience it than the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum.

Located in the heart of old Savannah near historic Bay Street, it is but a short drive from the South Carolina Lowcountry and promises hours of enjoyment, whether for a casual museum visit and home tour or one of the many special programs and events held by or hosted at the museum year-round.

The Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum originally had its home in a small space down on River Street, where it served to provide a taste of history and adventure to visitors making their way to the shops and restaurants along the cobblestones.

In the late 1990’s, the historic William Scarbrough House, noted for its architectural style as well as its unique connection to Savannah’s maritime history, was renovated and became an ideal location for the expanding museum. Together, the elegant house and grounds combine with displays of historic artifacts and art that make for an exciting and rewarding experience for thousands of visitors a year.

When you visit the museum you will immediately note the centerpieces that make it such a fascinating destination.

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A scale model of the RMS Titanic is one of the showpieces of the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum in Savannah, where the tragedy of “a night to remember” is captured in stunning detail. Matt Richardson

Dozens of intricately-built scale ship models grace the old rooms and corridors of the mansion — each built in 3/8”=1’ scale. The extraordinary details captured in the models help bring shipboard life to reality for exhibits from the golden age of sail to modern steam and even nuclear power.

One of the highlights of these models is the depiction of many ships through the years that have borne the name of the city of Savannah — from sailing vessels to warships and even the historic SS Savannah, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic.

One of the owners of the SS Savannah was William Scarbrough, whose home now provides the museum with its beautiful and useful location. Built in 1819, it reflects one of the earliest examples of Southern Greek Revival style. A tour of the museum means a tour of one of Savannah’s finest old residences and a true taste of the seafaring South.

The Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum house and grounds provide a venue for many social and historical events throughout the year. Historic and cultural programs can be experienced, and it also is a venue for private events.

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Historic artifacts, multi-media displays and model ships make a visit to the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum in Savannah a memorable and educational experience. Matt Richardson

The beautiful gardens and outdoor areas are accommodating and the old home with its museum provides the company of centuries influence of Savannah’s society. Whether you are fascinated by history, appreciate the old home or simply wish to escape into another age, the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum located in Savannah’s historic Scarbrough House will be well worth a visit.

Getting there

The Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum is located at 41 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Savannah.

From South Carolina, take U.S. 17 across the Talmadge Memorial Bridge. Take the first exit to Ogelethorpe Avenue and turn left at the light onto MLK Boulevard. The museum is located just two blocks toward the river. Turn left on Orange Street and enter the parking lot.

The museum and grounds are open year-round from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The museum is closed on most major holidays.

Admission is $9 for adults and $7 for students. Seniors are $7 and children under 5 are free. There are group rates and other discounts available.

For more information about visiting, costs or the many special events hosted throughout the year, call 912-232-1511 or visit www.shipsofthesea.org.