Historic Ships of Baltimore
Baltimore, United States
Baltimore’s history has always been tied to the sea. Located on the northern stretches of Chesapeake Bay, the city has provided a safe harbor from the unpredictable Atlantic for over 200 years.
Naturally, the city embraces its nautical past with several ships docked at Inner Harbor. The Baltimore Maritime Museum operates tours of four boats (including the USS Constellation, listed under its own heading) and the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse.
The Lightship Chesapeake is docked near the National Aquarium. In the days before GPS, lightships like the Chesapeake served as beacons on the sea, guiding ships safely into the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay without running aground at night. A crew of 12 men would stay aboard the Chesapeake for weeks at a time, maintaining the ship and ensuring the lights were working.
The World War II submarine, the USS Torsk, gives visitors a glimpse of wartime living conditions for sailors patrolling under the surface of the ocean. Called the Ghost of the Pacific, the Torsk sank the last two Japanese warships, just days before the armistice signing and the end of fighting.
Near the ESPN Zone and the Power Plant complex, is the US Coast Guard Cutter Taney. The Taney is the last remaining floating ship that saw action at Pearl Harbor and was one of the ships that searched for the wreckage of Amelia Earhart’s missing airplane. Over her distinguished career, Taney received three battle stars for World War II service and numerous theater ribbons in Korean and Vietnam.
The Museum also operates and maintains the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, perched on the eastern edge of Inner Harbor. Those used to seeing a tall, towering lighthouse, may be surprised to see a small, squat beacon. Positioned inland, the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse did not need to shine far into the horizon. Its purpose was to guide the ships that were already in the harbor.
Parking in the area is extremely limited. The best place for free parking is to head south towards Federal Hill. There is usually a spot along the residential streets, but they may be metered or reserved for residents only.