Accessibility

Due to the nature of their construction, portions of the Historic Ships may not be accessible to visitors with limited mobility. If this will be a problem for you, please feel free to call ahead and let us know that you are coming; we will do our best to ensure that your visit is rewarding and without difficulty.

If you cannot visit the ships in person, visit our virtual tours page to experience them online instead.

Accessibility Concerns:
USS Constellation

Due to museum building construction on Pier 1, USS Constellation is at a temporary dock through 2020. During this time, the ship is accessed via two flights of exterior stairs to a gangway.

When the museum building is completed in late 2020, the top deck (spar deck) of USS Constellation will be accessed from the second floor of the museum building, which may be reached via a flight of stairs or a 1-person external wheelchair lift. The second deck down (gun deck) can also be accessed via a wheelchair lift. Please note that the wheelchair lifts on USS Constellation are designed to carry one passenger and a traditional style wheelchair. Larger scooter-style mobility devices may exceed the manufacturer's weight limit for these lifts. Please follow us on Facebook for details on the completion of the museum building and future wheelchair accessibility.

  • Staircase to USS Constellation

  • Gangway to USS Constellation

  • Ship's ladder within USS Constellation

  • Gangway to USS Torsk

  • Ship's ladder within USS Torsk

  • Typical entry through USS Torsk

  • Staircase to Lightship Chesapeake

  • Gangway to Lightship Chesapeake

  • Ship's ladder within Lightship Chesapeake

  • Gangway to USCGC Taney

  • Ship's ladder within USCGC Taney

  • Staircase to 7 Ft. Knoll Lighthouse

Accessibility Concerns:
Other Exhibits

The topmost decks of USS Torsk, USCGC Taney, and Lightship Chesapeake are accessed via gangways, the pitch of which varies depending upon the tides. The Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse is elevated above the pier, and is accessed via two flights of exterior stairs.

The lower decks of all ships are accessed via ship's ladders, which are halfway between stairs and ladders. All ladders are open treads. Most hatches (doors) on the steel ships are narrow and require visitors to step over a 6-8 inch sill.

FAQs

Are the ships kid-friendly?

Absolutely! USS Constellation has hands-on activities hourly that engage all ages. To enter the vessels, you may move down open tread stairs. Adults should go down first to help kidsw down after them.

Where can I keep my stroller?

Strollers can be parked on the stair platform at USS Constellation and Lightship Chesapeake. Strollers may be parked on deck or on the pier at USS Torsk and USCGC Taney.

What should I wear on board?

Flat, closed toed shoes are best. Heels are not recommended. USS Constellation is a 19th century sailing ship, so conditions are like outside. Lightship Chesapeake, USS Torsk, and USCGC Taney all have heat and air conditioning. However, our historic systems are not as powerful or comfortable as a house. Water bottles can be carried throughout the fleet.

Do the ships ever sail?

Our fleet was decommissioned from the Navy and Coast Guard, and are museum ships. None of the vessels move under their own power. Fortunately, this means that our fleet has a permanent home in Baltimore and are open year-round.

Rarely, a ship will move for restoration or preservation requirements. In these cases, the ship is moved by tugboat. Follow us on Facebook for details and live streams when a ship is moved.