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“Valiant ship & crew.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham Maritime Museum

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham Maritime Museum
Truman Waterfront, Foot of Southard Street, Key West, FL 33040
(305) 292-5072
Website
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Ranked #5 of 85 attractions in Key West
Type: Military Museums
Useful Information: Stroller parking, Bathroom facilities
Attraction Details
Useful Information: Stroller parking, Bathroom facilities
Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
3 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Valiant ship & crew.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

My daughter and I took this self-guided tour. Even though I'm not much of a plaque reader, but I found the tour very interesting. There was a very helpful retired Coast Guard officer who gave us some introductory information, and his voice was recognizable on many of the audio recordings throughout the tour. One caution - the stairs between decks are very steep. We found descending to be easier when facing the stairs, like one would do while descending a ladder. Very worthwhile.

Visited February 2013
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English first
Phoenix, AZ
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“History Well Preserved”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013 via mobile

We toured the ship and were amazed at the complexity of the systems below decks. Quite an engineering feat to make it all work. The tour leads you through the interior of the ship. You have to descend and then climb a number of ladders so if you have any problem with ladders, this probably is not the attraction for you. It was interesting seeing how the officers and enlisted men lived on the ship and also learning a bit about the ship's history. Gave us a better appreciation of life at sea aboard a fighting vessel. Well worth the $10.00 per person admission fee.

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Rochester, NY
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Intimate glimpse at naval history”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

If you have even the smallest bit of interest of what it must be like to serve aboard a large ship them it is worth the time to explore this museum. The entrance fee is $10 and you will walk out with a much greater appreciation of what it is like to live on a ship like this for an extended period.

I have toured other ship/museums but what makes this one unique is, as others have mentioned, the ship and its effects were left largely intact once it docked for the last time. That gives you an excellent idea of what life was like on an everyday basis. From duty schedules still posted to crockery and tools right where the ought to be, you can imagine yourself right aboard. I got a kick out of the Christmas menu posted in the eating hall. My only disappointment was not being able to get a better look at the steam engines.

The ship itself has quite a history, the ship was heavily decorated having served in several wars. There is a small museum with effects, photos and paintings along with interpretative placards. I spent nearly as much time in the museum as I did touring the ship. Everything is well done and well put together. I walked out of the ship impressed. The self guided tour took us about 1.5 hours to complete as we were very thorough. The experience is not full of frills, the attraction is the boat itself and that was more than enough for me.

Visited January 2013
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Farmington, Connecticut
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Impressive and moving!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

The ship saw action including in WW II and Vietnam. Its great and extensive history well preserved and explained. Entrance fee is very much worth it.

Visited February 2013
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Toronto, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“A wonderful time capsule”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

What a great way to spend a few hours trolling through a ship that is a living time capsule of what it was like to serve on this ship, from the 1930's through to the 80's. Everything was left aboard, right down to the cutlery and crockery when the US Coast Guard turned the ship over as a museum in 1988, after the Ingham had serve the U.S. Coast Guard for a remarkable fifty-two years!
It is a self guided tour, which is great because if you want to linger on the bridge you can do so without holding everybody up. An audio explanation is available in every major ship component, from the wardroom through to the mess without having to cart around portable audio players.
Ship staff (mostly veteran volunteers) are very knowledgeable and they are very patient, willing to answer innumerable questions as to what it was like to serve aboard a vessel like this.
These ships were the workhorses of the fleet and it is remarkable the number of roles they played, from convoy escort duty, to weather station, to amphibious flagship.
The Ingham is both a museum and a monument to those killed serving aboard Coast Guard vessels.

Visited January 2013
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