Tall Ship Tours

peking halyard

South Street Seaport Museum tells the story of how New York’s great natural harbor gave rise to the metropolis we know today: the story of the ships, the people who sailed them, the cargoes they carried, and the businesses that served them. Students experience all this and more, without ever leaving the dock.

Crew and Cargo: Tall Ships Tour and Activities
Grades K-12
90 minutes
Board the Wavertree at the pier and experience the world of trans-Atlantic sailors through hands-on activities.

  • Tour the ship from quarterdeck to foredeck
  • Haul on ropes to raise sail at the dock
  • Learn how sailors slept, ate, worked, and played
  • Learn about the importance of ships, cargo, and commerce from the time of the Explorers until today

    Lightship Ahoy! Ship Tour and Activities
    Grades K-12
    90 minutes
    Board the Lightship Ambrose at the pier and feel what it was like to work at sea on a navigational vessel.

  • Tour the ship: see how the sailors worked and lived
  • Experiment with anchors to learn how a ship stays in one place, and with pulleys to learn how sailors raise heavy loads
  • Learn how to navigate with charts and compasses, and learn the role of lightships in navigation
  • Lights, horns, radios… learn how sailors communicate at sea. Ring the bell!

    Haul Away: Simple Machines on Tall Ships
    Grades 3-12
    90 minutes
    What makes a ship sail? Wind, muscle – and the mechanical advantage sailors get when they use pulleys, levers, and other simple machines. Climb aboard and learn the physics and math behind a sailor’s tools.

  • Experiment with different pulley rigs to discover mechanical advantage
  • Find out how the rudder, the ship’s wheel, and the capstan all use math and physics to help sailors do big jobs
  • Working together with your classmates, use these simple machines to raise sails and other heavy loads

    About our dockside vessels

  • Wavertree was built in 1885 and operated for many years as a cargo ship crossing the Atlantic and sailing around Cape Horn
  • The Lightship Ambrose, also available for tours, was built in 1907 and served as a “floating lighthouse” in lower New York Bay
  • All programs are designed for groups of up to 34 students (40 people maximum including chaperones).

    All programs are aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, New York State Math, Science, and Technology Learning Standards, and New York State Social Studies Scope and Sequence. Programs can be customized to meet your curricular goals and the needs of your students.

    Reservations and advance payment required. Limited scholarships are available.

    To book a program, or for more information please e-mail education@seany.org or call (212)-748-8753