group visits faqs

Group Visits FAQs

Below is important information to know before you visit!

All the groups check-in at the Admission desk, just inside the main entrance of the Museum.  The group leader should first check-in with a staff member by notifying them of the group’s name, provide a final group count (for both students and chaperones if applicable), and handle any remaining payment.

The bus drop-off entrance is located at Market Street and Columbus Boulevard. at Penn’s Landing.  The bus driver should instruct the parking attendant at this entrance that they are dropping off for the Museum.  The Museum is located at the southern end of the lot (at Walnut Street).  Buses who wish to stay in this lot with be charged twice the daily car rate.  There is also a Callowhill Bus Center with 43 parking spaces (on a first-come, first-serve basis) and a waiting area as a second option.

Independence Seaport Museum does not own any parking facility.  Parking is available in both the Walnut Street lot and Hilton Parking Garage, on either side of the Museum.  There are also many metered spaces located near the Museum, and in Old City along Front and Chestnut Streets, just a short walk away.  This is often the least expensive option.

If you are running late or need to contact anyone at the Museum the day of your visit, please call the Admission desk at 215-413-8655.  Please be sure to tell the staff the name of the school or group from which you are calling.

Self-guided visits are entirely up to you, though most visitors spend about 45 minutes to an hour each inside our building and on Cruiser Olympia.  If you have booked the optional guided tour of Submarine Becuna, please expect the time of your visit to increase.  The specifics will be based on each reservation.  ISM’s Group Sales Associate will be able to provide more information at the time of booking.

Independence Seaport Museum does not have a cafeteria and most groups eat outside, weather permitting.  There are plenty of outdoor eating areas along Penn’s Landing for your group to eat their lunch.

Please also note that food, especially gum and candy, is prohibited inside the Museum and aboard the Historic Ships.

Photography is encouraged in the Museum and on our historic ships.  Post us to your favorite social media page (and tag us @phillyseaport!).  Professional photographers or those needing images for media or publications can contact our Marketing Department.

If on the day of the trip there is a credit on the account it can be used for a future visit if it is booked within a week of the initial trip.  Refunds will only be issued if the group has a credit of $200.00 or more on their accounted after the visit.

Yes!  It’s the perfect place to stop at the end of your trip.  The store features a selection of unique souvenirs and gifts many of which are produced by local Philadelphian artists and trades people.

The Museum is wheelchair and walker accessible, though the Historic Ships are not.  Please discuss options and information with our Group Sales Associate.

Chaperones play an important part in the success of every field trip.  Independence Seaport Museum requires 1 chaperone (free) for every 10 children in your groups (for those visiting that are grades K-12).  Additional chaperones will be charged the group admission rate.  Please make sure chaperones know their group’s itinerary, students’ names, and remind them to stay with students throughout their visit.  Many of our exhibits are available for students and adults to play and touch and we ask that chaperones encourage students to do so where indicated throughout the Museum and on our Historic Ships.  

Other Helpful Tips for Your Visit

It is advised that visitors wear comfortable shoes that can be worn on steep steps. Shoes with excessively deep heels are strongly discouraged for the safety of our visitors and the preservation of our ships.

Ship tours are self-guided. Along with interpretive signage placed throughout both vessels, shipskeepers are also aboard and more than happy to answer any question you might have!

Visitors are welcome aboard at the discretion of the museum staff. Behavior that is boisterous, annoying to other visitors, destructive, or potentially harmful will not be tolerated. Independence Seaport Museum reserves the right to ask guests to leave without refunding your ticket purchase.

visit the seaport museum

Immerse yourself in award-winning exhibitions and climb aboard the Olympia, a nineteenth-century cruiser, and the Becuna, a World War II-era submarine.