PLAN YOUR VISIT

Overview

Our Campus has two distinct areas for visitors to enjoy. Our pier is free and open to the public. On it, you will find America's oldest continuously operating Marine Railway, several historic wooden boats, the Dory Shop, and, in the summer, an Oyster Upweller operated by the Mass Oyster Project. There is an admission fee for our gallery and aquarium spaces. In this space, you will find an exhibit focused on the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, the Gorton's Maritime Gallery, our outdoor Seapocket Aquarium, and our new Maritime Science Education Center (opening mid-June, 2022). We also have a museum store, curated with a unique selection of gifts, books, toys, and clothing for kids and adults! Please read on for details on all of our spaces. 

 

Current Exhibits & Experiences Included with Admission

  • Stellwagen Bank Exhibit - Created in partnership with NOAA, this space details the marine sanctuary located in the waters off Cape Ann. Through this exhibit, we explore the animals that live here from the tiny sand lance to the whales that come here to feed every summer, and a discussion about the people who interact with this valuable marine resource.

  • Gorton's Seafoods Gallery - This large gallery space is used to interpret the maritime history of our historic site and the connected maritime history of Gloucester. In this space, you will find a display detailing the evolution of the Gloucester Fishing Schooner, an interactive model of our historic marine railway which can be seen from the gallery window, a history of the Fisherman's sailing race which has evolved into the modern Gloucester Schooner Festival, the history behind the original antifouling paint which was developed across the harbor, The cockpit of fishing trawler Vincie N. as well as dozens of maritime models and artifacts. 

  • Seapocket Aquarium - A favorite space of our youngest visitors this outdoor space has a touch tank where you can get up close and personal with some local marine species. Additional tanks in this space display a variety of marine environments that can be found on Cape Ann. 

  • Maritime Science Education Center - Opening this summer, this brand new space has 5 exploration zones for visitors of all ages to explore. As the summer progresses we will also be featuring pop-up education programs here.

Things To Do When You Visit Our Public Access Waterfront

  • Take a walk on the Harriet Webster Wharf -  Named after our first Executive Director, this wooden pile timber wharf extends 200 feet out into Gloucester Harbor. From here, visitors have a great viewing perch to watch draggers, trawlers, lobster boats, and pleasure boats in the harbor. 

  • Visit our Marine Rail Way - Maritime Gloucester features the oldest continuously operating marine railway in the country. Check out a boat on the rails. At low tide, see the old wooden support structures that lead into the harbor. Ask for one of our staff or site interpreters about the rich history of schooner repairs on this cherished site. The railway was built in 1849-1850 by Crandall Dry Dock

  • Take a sail on the Schooner Ardelle  The Ardelle is a 49-passenger traditionally built, 55' pinky schooner built and operated by Captain Harold Burnham. Captain Burnham was recently named a National Heritage Fellow, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. The Schooner Ardelle is the Flagship of Maritime Gloucester and we proudly use her for our educational programming. The Schooner Ardelle is currently sailing daily and offering charters, please visit maritimeheritagecharters.com for more information. 

  • See the Schooner Adventure -  A National Historic Landmark, and the flagship vessel of Gloucester, this knockabout schooner, built in 1926, is one of the last remaining traditional wooden schooners built in Essex in the early 20th century.  

  • The Dory Shop -  Often active with students, friends, and visitors checking in with heritage dory builder and fisherman Geno Mondello. He builds sailing and rowing dories from scratch in his woodworking shop and his observation deck offers a comfortable spot to relax and check out the working waterfront. Click Here for a chance to win one of his handmade dories.