historic ships faqs

Historic Ships FAQs

Below is important information to know before your next visit. Scroll down to learn about what visitors are and aren’t allowed to do aboard National Historic ships Cruiser Olympia and Submarine Becuna.

Historic ships Cruiser Olympia and Submarine Becuna are located a short, two to three minute walk behind the Museum.  To access them (from the Museum’s building), you would exit the front doors, make a right, another right at the end of the building, and walk behind the building and the boat basin until you reach the Hilton at Penn’s Landing.  Once the hotel is in front of you, make a left and then continue straight until you see the ships’ booth.

Admission to Cruiser Olympia can be purchased in advance, at the front desk in the main building, or directly at the ships’ ticket booth.  The ticket for the optional add-on for a Submarine Becuna tour can only be purchased on-site, either at the front desk in the main building or directly at the ships’ ticket booth.

  • Cruiser Olympia is part of our combo ticket and is included with general admission.  Access to Submarine Becuna is an optional-add on ticket and is through guided tours only.  The cost to add on the tour is $12 per person.

Please note tickets are only valid for the day they are purchased.

We recommend normally planning to spend one hour on Cruiser Olympia.  Visitors do stay longer (or sometimes shorter) based on their interest level.  Guided tours of Submarine Becuna are roughly 30-45 minutes long.

Unfortunately no, our two ships are not ADA compliant. 

Effective Friday, April 22, per the City of Philadelphia’s updated guidance, all visitors entering the building and/or boarding the ships are not required to wear a mask.

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.

The Museum has dedicated pages for both Cruiser Olympia and Submarine Becuna.  Additionally, the Museum has an online catalog which holds more information on both vessels.  Please click the links below to be redirected:

Cruiser Olympia

Submarine Becuna

Online Catalog

Spaces below deck (such as the engine/boiler room, brig, dynamo room, etc.) are not open to the general public during normal operating.  Please visit our Calendar as we are planning to offer behind-the-scenes tours again soon!

There are no public restrooms or changing stations aboard.  A public restroom is located across from the ships’ ticket booth.  All visitors are encouraged to stop there before starting their visit. 

Absolutely no food or drink is permitted aboard under any circumstance.  If, during the warmer months, you happen to purchase food at Spruce Street Harbor Park (or any other neighboring vendors), you must finish it prior to embarking. 

Strollers cannot be accommodated inside the ships, however strollers can be left on top of the submarine.*

*Independence Seaport Museum is not responsible for the loss, damage, or theft of strollers left unattended.  Visitors are leaving strollers unattended at their own risk.

Any child under the age of 12 must be accompanied by someone older than 18 at all times.  No exceptions.

Visitors will be able to explore the three decks that make up Cruiser Olympia.  The Spar deck (or top deck) of Olympia is subject to close due to inclement weather (freezing or rainy conditions, or any other situation that may arise where safety of visitors and staff are at risk). 

Yes!  We are always looking for volunteers aboard the vessels to help with projects and interact with the public.  If interested, please contact us and our volunteer coordinator will respond as soon as possible. 

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.

Access to Cruiser Olympia is self-guided.  Along with interpretive signage placed throughout both vessels, shipskeepers are also aboard and more than happy to answer any questions you might have!

Visitors are welcome aboard at the discretion of the Independence Seaport 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.