Visit Historic Vessels
The 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.
Explorers, Crew and Cargo: Tall Ships Activities
90 minutes | Grades K-12
Board the cargo ship Wavertree at Pier 16 and experience the world of transatlantic sailors through hands-on activities.
- Tour the ship from bow to stern
- Haul on ropes to raise sail without leaving the dock, and walk the capstan ’round
- Learn how sailors and officers slept, ate, worked, and played
- Learn about the importance of ships, cargo, and commerce from the time of the European explorers until today
Haul Away: Simple Machines on Tall Ships
90 minutes | Grades 3-12
What makes a ship sail? Wind, muscle, and the mechanical advantage sailors get when they use pulleys, levers, and other simple machines.
- Climb aboard Wavertree 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 and try a tug-o’-war
Millions: NYC Immigration in the 20th Century
90 minutes | Grades 3–12
Ocean liners like Titanic and Aquitania once dominated transatlantic travel, transporting thousands of people on each voyage; the 1st class passengers in the lap of luxury, with the 3rd class confined to the stuffy lower decks. Students study photos, maps, and artifacts to develop an understanding of immigration in early 20th-century New York, comparing the voyage of the 1st and 3rd classes.
*Higher price for some programs applies to groups with more than 26 students
About Our Dockside Vessels
Wavertree was built in 1885 and operated for many years as a cargo ship sailing around the world.
The lightship Ambrose 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 New York City and State Social Studies and Science Learning Standards. Programs can be customized to meet your curricular goals and the needs of your students.
Reservations and advance payment required. Limited scholarships are available.
Contact Us To Learn More
Each program is customized. Please click the button or call us at (212) 748-8753 and we will personally take you through the details, pricing and reservation process.