group visits


At Independence Seaport Museum, water is the unifying thread, connecting our historic ships, exhibits, and programs so you can discover the history, science, and cultural communities of the waterways around Philadelphia. 

Our group tour options present a unique way to explore the Museum and the history of the city from the water’s perspective.  Whether you are interested in the oldest floating steel warship in the world or the importance of the environment and its impact on local waterways, a visit to Independence Seaport Museum has something for everyone!


Self-Guided Visit: $13 per person
  • Discounted general admission rate for groups of 10 or more.
  • Provided access to the Museum’s building and Historic ship Cruiser Olympia
  • Reservations are required to receive the discounted rate and must be made at least 48 hours prior to visit.
Optional Add-On

Guided Tour of Submarine Becuna: Price Based Upon Availability.

  • Due to capacity limitations, access to Historic ship Submarine Becuna will only be offered in a guided tour capacity.
Looking to bring your student group?
The rates above still apply, however for every 10 paying students you will receive 1 free adult.

If you have questions about a group visit or would like to book a trip, please contact us.

Current Programs Available

Life of a Sailor: Ahoy, mates!  Experience the life of a sailor for a day while enjoying an interactive lesson about sea trade, ship cargo, and the sometimes dangerous adventures of a sailor’s shipboard life.

Classy Plankton: Explore what’s happening in the busy microscopic world of plankton collected from the Delaware River.  Create an artistic representation of your discoveries as you classify these tiny essential organisms by plant versus animal.

A Pirate’s Life for Me?: Looking for buried treasure?  For a pirate, this was often not a chest of gold but sugar, tobacco, or other ship cargo.  Learn about early maritime economics from the point of view of 17th and 18th century pirates and privateers.  Discover the role of pirates in Philadelphia too!

Early Explorers: Life aboard an early explorer’s ship was not easy.  Find out how these hardy adventurers survived long voyages and a rough diet.  Explore the concept of trade using explorers and their connection to Native Americans.

Immigration Experience: Travel back in time to the late 1890s and learn about the immigration experience of real life Philadelphians.

Simple Machines Challenge: How did early sailors move heavy objects like coal and supplies about the vessel?  Simple machines helped the crew carry out such tasks daily!  Students will learn the basics of pulley systems and the importance of mechanical advantage.

Tides of Freedom: An Exhibit Storybook: This lesson teaches the history of the African presence on the Delaware by discussing how a museum develops thought-provoking exhibits for the public.

Aquatic Acidification: Draw carbon dioxide from the air we breathe and oxygen from the water we drink to experience the triggers of global climate change and ocean acidification.  Learn how changing pH affects life in the Delaware River and what you can do to keep our waterways healthy.

Tides of Freedom: The Lear Green Story: Students will learn the story of Lear Green, a woman who escaped slavery in a trunk and develop a mini exhibit about her life while answering some of the questions museums must also answer when creating a new exhibit.

WWI: Choosing Sides & America’s View: How did alliances bring about a world war?  What started WWI and why did each country choose to enter this war?  Discover the meaning & purposes of alliances and simulate how these alliances led to WWI.

Dissecting the Delaware: Poke around and get an in-depth look at the anatomy and body structure of several animal species found in and around the Delaware River, from headways to bay, from invertebrates like mussels and sea stars to frogs, various fish like catfish, skate, and shark. 

Cruiser Olympia: Join one of ISM’s shipkeepers as they take you on a tour of the oldest floating steel warship in the world!  Learn about what life was like aboard for the crew and the historical significance of the ship.

Submarine Becuna: Climb aboard this World War II-era submarine with a ISM staff member and learn all about her history and service.

visit the seaport museum

Immerse yourself in award-winning and interactive exhibits and climb aboard the oldest floating steel warship in the world on Cruiser Olympia and submerge yourself aboard the World War II-era Submarine Becuna.