“Pirate Days” at the Maritime Museum of San Diego on May 16-17

Aye, if you hear the word “pirate,” it often strikes terror in the heart of any seaman, yet at the Maritime Museum of San Diego the word tingles with fun and excitement, if not suggesting a bit of a devilish encounter.

There is a saying: “Where there is a sea, there are Pirates,” so the Museum holds to the time-worn tradition of swashbuckling Pirates, brandishing their swords, to engage, delight, guide and educate our visitors.

A two day celebration for kids of all ages, Pirate Days, held on May 16 and 17, will include kids costume contests, carnival games, cannon firings, weapon demonstrations, sword fights, scary stories, andscavenger hunt for the pirate treasure which the mermaid holds at the end of the treasure hunt.

Pirate Program

  • 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM: Carnival games (Berkeley upper deck)
  • 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM or 2:00 PM: Cruise with a pirate (Californian)
  • 11:30 PM: Costume contest (Star of India)
  • On-going: Re-enactors (HMS Surprise)
  • 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM & 3:00 PM: Cannon firing
  • On-going: Bay cruises (Pilot)
  • 11:30 AM & 2:00 PM: Maritime dancers (Sun only)
  • On-going: Photo opportunity with pirates
  • 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM: Treasure/Scavenger hunt
  • 1:00 PM: Sword fight demonstrations (Star of India)
  • Craft activities: Berkeley dance floor
  • Knot tying and rope making (mooring platform)
  • 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM: Parrot interactions

Events & times are subject to change.

On-the-water activities you can participate in during Pirate Days include:

  • Californian cruise with a pirate: Choose from three one-hour Pirate cruises aboard the Tall Ship Californian with cannons fired at the ship. Cost: adults, $35; children 12 and under, $15. Includes museum admission. Check-in times for the cruises are 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., or 1:30 p.m. Advanced tickets are available by phone reservation at 619-234-9154 ext 106.
  • Swift Boat: Choose from two 75-minute bay tours aboard PCF-816 Swift Boat. Check-in times for the tours are 10:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. Cost is $10, plus museum admission.
  • Pilot Bay Cruise with Pirates; Choose from five 45-minute bay cruises aboard Pilot. Check-in times for the tours are 10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. Cost is $5, plus museum admission. Tickets are only sold at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Please note there are no restrooms aboard the Pilot or Swift Boat.

The mission of the Maritime Museum of San Diego is to serve as the community memory of our seafaring experience by collecting, preserving, and presenting our rich maritime heritage and historic connections with the Pacific world. The history of human achievement is defined in large measure by our historical relationship with the sea. Not only has the sea determined the progress and shape of civilization, our understanding of that relationship and our responsibilities for stewardship of the oceans will determine our future. This relationship cannot be understood or defined in purely scientific terms; culture exerts a dominating influence. The role of any maritime museum is translation between human experience of the oceans and our understanding of their nature. The purpose of the Maritime Museum of San Diego is to preserve the traditional knowledge, skills, and folk culture of the enterprise of the sea; to provide a safe repository for material culture; to illustrate how the maritime enterprise has touched and continues to influence our daily lives through innovative and engaging educational programs, exhibits, publications, and cultural events.

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