May 29 – Oct 31 | 11am-5pm | Free
As part of the 2021 Season of Seaport Museum Open Days, the permanently-moored 1885 tall ship Wavertree is open to the public for FREE beginning Saturday, May 29, 2021 and running on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October 2021, with timed entry, from 11am-5pm at Pier 16 (Fulton and South Streets).
Activities for the 2021 Season in addition to Seaport Museum Open Days also include free printing demonstrations at Bowne & Co., free tours of the 1908 lightship Ambrose, and a free outdoor exhibition on Pier 16; plus rides on 1930 tugboat W. O. Decker are now available for purchase. Sailing excursions on 1885 schooner Pioneer will be announced later this season.
Free Wavertree Visits
Visits will be self-guided along a set route and will include access to the main deck and quarter deck. Learn how people worked and lived aboard a 19th century cargo sailing vessel, from the captain to the ship’s officers, cooks, and crew. Then visit the cargo hold and stand atop the viewing platform where you can take in the massive main cargo area.
In accordance with current Federal and New York State COVID-19 guidance, masks are required at all times onboard Wavertree. The Museum will allow no more than 150 guests on board the ship at any time to encourage social distancing from different households.
As of August 24, 2021, please note that in accordance with NYC Emergency Executive Order 225, proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose will be required to enter the lower decks and enclosed spaces of Wavertree for all guests age 12 and older, and children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult. Proof of vaccination can be provided in the form of a physical immunization card, NY Excelsior Pass app, or the NYC COVID Safe app when you check in at the red welcome tent on Pier 16.
Free Letterpress Printing Demonstrations
Bowne & Co. will host FREE, outdoor letterpress printing demonstrations from June 11 to October 30, 2021 on Fridays and Saturdays. Every hour on the hour, from 11am to 5pm — just stop by!
The printers will set up a selection of historic presses outdoors on the steps of 209-211 Water Street. Demonstrations will run from five to seven minutes long, illustrating the 19th century printing process with a variety of presses and equipment from the Museum’s Printing History Collection.
As of August 24, 2021, because of the nature of face-to-face proximity of watching the printing demonstrations, masks are required at Bowne & Co.
Free Outdoor Exhibition
The Seaport Museum is also offering a new, free outdoor exhibition on Pier 16, which will provide the opportunity to discover this chapter of New York City’s history. This series of panels and window graphics will celebrate the people of all backgrounds who lived and worked in the South Street Seaport Historic District, and the many businesses that created the foundations for New York to thrive and become the business and culture mecca it is today.
Using historic photographs, prints, lithographs, and paintings, the exhibition highlights some of the Seaport Museum’s collection of more than 28,000 artifacts and works of art, and over 55,000 historic records. This exhibition is open to all around the clock, so come visit any time.
Is there an admission charge?
Seaport Museum Open Days, printing demonstrations at Bowne & Co., and the outdoor exhibition on Pier 16 are all free of charge.
How do I get tickets?
We strongly recommend booking your timed-entry ticket online in advance. Capacity may be limited.
I am a Seaport Museum Member. Do I need a ticket?
Yes. Since capacity may be limited, we strongly recommend that Members book their tickets in advance for a visit. No advanced reservations needed for Member and Volunteer Preview Day on May 28, but please make sure your membership is active by joining or renewing at seaportmuseum.org/membership. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Thank you for your support, and for helping us to create a safe exhibition space.
How long is a typical visit?
A typical visit is around 15 minutes, following a one-way path.
Do you have a deck plan or map that identifies the things aboard the ship?
In addition to exhibition panels throughout the upper decks, you can view or download a digital deck map here
How big can my group be?
Groups are limited to a maximum of 8 people.
What is the latest I can show up?
The last entry to Wavertree is 4:45pm.
Are bags permitted on board Wavertee?
Small bags and backpacks are allowed. Large bags are not permitted.
What are the safety protocols?
As of August 24, 2021, please note that in accordance with NYC Emergency Executive Order 225, proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose will be required to board W.O. Decker, Ambrose, and the lower decks and enclosed spaces of Wavertree for all guests age 12 and older, and children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult. Proof of vaccination can be provided in the form of a physical immunization card, NY Excelsior Pass app, or the NYC COVID Safe app when you check in at the red welcome tent on Pier 16.
Additionally, in accordance with current Federal and New York State COVID-19 guidance, masks are required at all times onboard W.O. Decker, Ambrose, and Wavertree.
Face coverings are required for employees, and increased cleaning protocols are also in place.
What if I’m unable to wear a face mask?
If you are medically unable to wear a face mask please contact us at email@example.com and we’ll make an alternative plan together.
What if I am sick?
If you have a cough, fever, or other possible COVID symptoms or have been exposed to a person who has COVID, please stay home until you are well and visit us another time.
Is the ship and exhibition accessible?
The outdoor exhibition on Pier 16 is ADA accessible from the Pier deck, at the end of Fulton Street and South Street. Boarding tall ship Wavertree involves climbing a short set of stairs and traversing an angled ramp (gangway).
Will restrooms be available?
The nearest public restrooms are available on Pier 15 and Pier 17.
Will the ship and exhibition stay open if it rains?
Yes, the outdoor exhibition is available to the public, rain or shine. Seaport Museum Open Days are subject to cancellation in the event of severe weather. We’ll be sure to keep you posted if you make your reservation for a day that’s looking rainy. For the most up-to-date status on whether an Open Day has been cancelled, please visit our Facebook or Twitter.
- Take the A, C, 2, 3, J, Z, 4, or 5 train to Fulton Street.
- Upon exiting, walk east on Fulton Street until you reach the museum. Depending on where you exit, the walk takes between 8 and 15 minutes.
- Take the M-15 SBS or M-15 to Fulton Street. Note: For the M-15 SBS, you must pay at the bus stop before boarding.
- Walk one block east.
- The East River Ferry, Water Taxi, and New York Waterway provide service to Pier 11 from Brooklyn, Queens, and New Jersey.
- From Pier 11, walk north on South Street for about 5 minutes.
- Once at Fulton Street, turn left. The Visitor Center (12 Fulton Street) is about a half block west.
- From the Staten Island Ferry, the museum is about a mile walk Northeast on Water or South Street.
- Bike racks are located at Front Street and John Street (near Imagination Playground.
- Citi Bike Stations are located at the corner of Cliff Street and Fulton Street and at the corner of Pearl Street and Peck Slip.
- Parking in the area is limited. you can click here for a map of parking lots in the area
Since we are located in an historic district, please contact the museum regarding accessibility needs prior to your visit