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“Well worth the time and money, great festivals”

Independence Seaport Museum
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$16.00*
and up
Independence Seaport Museum Admission
Ranked #52 of 444 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Philadelphia's maritime museum features interactive exhibits, historic ships (Spanish American war-era cruiser Olympia and WWII-era submarine Becuna) and changing exhibition galleries. Seasonal river tours of the Delaware River and kayaks / rowboat rentals available. Extended evening hours Thursday - Saturday Memorial Day - Labor Day.
Willingboro, New Jersey
Level Contributor
101 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Well worth the time and money, great festivals”
Reviewed October 15, 2013

The museum doesn't appear to be much from the outside, but inside offers 3 floors of exhibits, including information, visuals, and hands-on activities that appeal to all ages. We spent hours wandering around inside the museum, then went outside to tour the ship and submarine. All was well worth the money, and kept us interested much longer than we originally anticipated.

If you happen to be in town during October, also check out their "Old City Seaport Festival". They only charge $2.50 more than standard admission, and entry includes the regular museum and ship/submarine, as well as 7-10 tall ship deck tours brought in from all over the East coast, gourmet food trucks, a beer garden, local craft vendors and non-profit booths, performers, tons of activities for the kids, and a pirate battle on the river! And because they've only been doing the festival for 2 years, it's not super crowded.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank 34AnneK34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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211 reviews from our community

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“More interesting than the name implies”
Reviewed October 2, 2013

The Independence Seaport Museum is a fascinating museum that provides more history than one might expect. A good place to visit to find out about life on the water.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank alison m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
87 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“WOW!”
Reviewed September 23, 2013

I was totally surprised at how great this place was. It's exhibits were, for the most part, well-planned. Informative and interesting and will expand one's knowledge of our maritime nation's history.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank calinjaxnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
205 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,591 helpful votes
“TOTAL WASTE OF TIME AND $40.50”
Reviewed August 23, 2013

The sea port museum for the three adults was very expensive costing $40.50 which was more than their website said it was, not kept up to date!! The woman cashier in the kiosk was not very friendly or helpful at all! We paid onto the ships and were not told to that the entrance fee also allowed you entrance to the seaport museum, or that you could only do half of the tour!
Submarine Buccanna was ok but the self-guided tour of the ship Olympia was very basic and we were only allowed to do half of the tour. When we asked why only half the tour was open and that we were not allowed on the upper decks of Olympia, we were told because the upper decks were wet off the rain earlier, but this did not stop us going onto the deck of submarine Buccanna?……Was the deck of the Buccanna not WET too? We should have been told only half of the tour was open if this was the case and the price of admission adjusted accordingly!!
We have been on numinous warships and submarines in the past and this experience at the Seaport museum has got to be the worst we here ever experienced and they do not have a clue how to present a tourist attraction , no wonder we were the only people on board! very basic in and out of the ship in ten minutes, very little interactive things to do on board and not much thought put into the ship to make it interesting just the basics!! Other vessels have people on board telling you story’s and information related to the history of the vessels.
As for the Seaport museum…..empty showcases!!! Lots of them! Even the souvenir penny machine did not have the embossed die imprints of either the ship Olympia or submarine Buccanna! A total waste of time for anybody over ten years old.
A total waste of time and money!!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
20 Thank SUSAN H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sewell, New Jersey
Level Contributor
126 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“A must visit”
Reviewed August 4, 2013

The independence Seaport Museum includes self guided tours of a submarine and a 1900 admirals flagship war ship. After touring the cramped submarine the admirals ship is luxurious. How our brave sailors survived months service submerged in the submarine is hard to imagine. Touring the boat a new respect for these men develops. We were lucky enough to have a Korean War vet give us a tour of the conning tower. We didn't think we could even climb the narrow steep ladder to these space where the boat is controlled and the periscopes are locate. A difficult climb and again. More respect. Admiral Dewey's Olympia is another story with upholsted couches and chairs and silver sets and dinning room tables. Wow. I tours this ship in the early 60's when it first opened and you could tour the decks also but the ship is in bad need of repairs so the exposed deck areas are closed.

Both naval vessels are need of extensive repairs. We need to save these pieces of history to provide our children with a sense of respect for those who protected our country and also to provide them with some fun things to do. We visited with our 35 year old son, who remembers his own childhood tours and our grandchildren ages 8 and 6 who haven't stopped talking about the tours. The museum itself was also interesting.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Tom L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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