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“Must see in Duluth”

S.S. William A. Irvin Ore Boat Museum
Ranked #9 of 94 things to do in Duluth
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located at Canal Park, this museum was once an ore boat.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Must see in Duluth”
Reviewed July 17, 2013 via mobile

When you are in Duluth, you should take the tour of the ore boat. People don't think of flyover country as having an imprtant shipping port, but Duluth is very active in the shipping industry.

As a landlubber, it was very interesting to see the inside of an ore boat. Unless I travel to the coasts or join the Merchant Marine, I will probably not get another opportunity to tour another vessel like this.

If you are very tall or are in poor physical condition, you should consider skipping the tour. The boat is not handicap accessible, you will go up and down many steps, and any very tall person will spen a lot of time ducking under things.

Some suggestions for the tour operators:
* Supplysome sound amplification for the tour guide. There are some points along the tour that are in large rooms, and the guide is difficult to hear.
* Limit the size of tour groups to 10 to 15 people as of the rooms are small.

Visited July 2013
Thank oakdale6884
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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364 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Apple Valley, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Awesome Tour - Best Gift Shop Prices in Town”
Reviewed July 13, 2013

The ship tour was informative, fun and interactive. No question went unanswered and all of the ships spaces were explored. Bill, our tour guide, was patient (we were a putzy group) and funny. He even participated in howling with us as we passed through the Halloween decorated parts of the ship.

After the tour we were surprised to find excellent quality sweatshirts and t-shirts at about half the price of any canal park vendor.

I would definitely take this tour again as I'm sure I would learn something new the second time around.

Visited July 2013
Thank GeekyGirlTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Bill our guide was great...neat to see the boat”
Reviewed July 9, 2013

It is one thing to see these big huge boats go by on canal park, it is quite another to stand on one and get a guided tour by someone very knowledgeable about the history of the boat and how shipping works.

Reasonably priced, we climbed the (I think Bill said) 17 floors to tour from the engine room, to the bridge, to the cargo holds.

Bill was funny, he was able to answer every question the group threw at him, and he gave a good tour, we walked away feeling like we had fun.

Our 6 year old oddly did not get bored as each corner we turned he had 1000 new things to look at.

Visited July 2013
Thank MinnesotaWT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandusky, Ohio
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“ore ship museum tour”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

We stopped on our way thru Duluth to take the one hour tour. The ship is easily accessible and parking was convenient- at least on June 27th, The cost was in line with other tourist attractions. I would have given it an excellent rating but our young, uninformed guide detracted from the overall experience. He told us no more than what was on the web site and went very fast bypassing some major features. There were young children in the tour and some of his comments about getting passengers drunk were very inappropriate. He also set up one of the children for a joke when he allowed the little boy to pull the "horn" which turned out to be disconnected. The guide laughed but none of the others thought it was funny. ugggg.
The ship itself is well worth seeing, especially the bridge and engine room. Educate yourself before going; however, as the guide we had knew next to nothing.

Visited June 2013
Thank Yakyung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hutchinson, Kansas
Level 5 Contributor
92 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Ore Boat for One”
Reviewed June 27, 2013

This was a great tour. I was the only one, so the guide showed me more and went into more detail than he would have done with a large group. We covered the boat from end to end, top to bottom, and I left with a much greater understanding of living and working on an oar boat.

Visited June 2013
Thank Tom M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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