South Street Seaport Museum announces the extension of Open Days through October 31, 2021 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with timed entry at Pier 16 (Fulton and South Streets). Open Days include free tours of the historic tall ship Wavertree and the 1908 lightship Ambrose, free demonstrations by Bowne & Co. letterpress printers, an outdoor exhibition on Pier 16, and cruises aboard the 1930 tugboat W.O. Decker. To learn more and reserve tickets, visit seaportmuseum.org/visitwavertree.
President and CEO, Capt. Jonathan Boulware said, “The Seaport Museum is thrilled to welcome visitors to our historic ships on select days from May through October. Last year we saw a tremendous response from New Yorkers to our free and accessible programs out in the fresh air. On the heels of that success, we anticipate sharing our flagship with upwards of 25,000 visitors in 2021. With protocols in place to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff, we look forward to bringing visitors of all ages on board.”
Wavertree Tours The 1885 tall ship Wavertree is now open through October 31, 2021 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with timed entry, from 11am-5pm. Entry is FREE and includes access to the ship’s outdoor areas, including the main deck and raised rear deck, and the cargo hold. To learn more and reserve tickets, visit seaportmuseum.org/visitwavertree.
Wavertree is designated on the National Register of Historic Places and represents the thousands of ships that docked along New York’s waterfront over the centuries. Guests will visit the traditional sailing ship docked at Pier 16. Gaze up at the towering masts and miles of rigging. Learn how people worked and lived aboard a 19th century cargo sailing vessel, from the captain to the ship’s officers, cooks, and crew. Then visit the cargo hold and stand atop our new viewing platform where you can take in the massive main cargo area. Climb up onto the quarterdeck and pose for a photo at the ship’s wheel, and enjoy the view as you look out across New York Harbor and see the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Heights. Or look landward and see the skyline of the Financial District, which flourished because of ships like Wavertree which brought in the goods that helped businesses thrive. One of this year’s attendees said “The view was awesome and the historic ship was amazing; the kids enjoyed the beautiful day.”
Visits will be self-guided along a set route. Wavertree is permanently moored at Pier 16 and does not sail the harbor. Access to Wavertree requires climbing a small set of ladder-type stairs and an angled gangway. Wavertree Open Days are subject to cancellation in the event of severe weather. More information on the history of the Wavertree can be found at seaportmuseum.org/wavertree.
Ambrose Tours The 1908 lightship Ambrose will be open for FREE tours every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from through October 31, 2021. The ship will run four tours each day, departing at 11:30am, 2:30pm, 3:30pm and 4:00pm from Pier 16. To book a free tour and for more information, visit seaportmuseum.org/ambrose.
Ambrose is the first vessel to join the Seaport Museum’s fleet and the very first lightship to guard the only shipping channel in and out of the ports of New York and New Jersey—the Ambrose Channel. As part of the Seaport Museum’s general admission, visitors can tour the multiple decks of this National Historic Landmark and see the living and working spaces once inhabited by sailors stationed on Ambrose. The launch of the tours coincides with the anniversary of Ambrose’s August 5, 1968 arrival at the Museum. One of this year’s attendees said “We really enjoyed the tour on the Ambrose and learned a lot about the ship and particularly the piece about how Ambrose (the person) worked to deepen the waterways into NY Harbor to accommodate the larger ships that were making its way to our shores.”
Guided tours last approximately 30 minutes. Advance reservations are recommended. Guests must check in 15 minutes before the tour. Access to Ambrose requires walking up an angled gangway. Stairs lead to the lower decks.
W.O. Decker Cruises The 1930 tugboat W.O. Decker will be open for public cruises every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October 31, 2021. The ship will run three tours each Saturday, departing at 1:15pm, 2:45pm, and 4:15pm. Tickets to ride are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors/students, and $15 for kids and are available for purchase at seaportmuseum.org/decker.
Take an exciting 75-minute ride on the last surviving New York-built wooden tugboat W.O. Decker, recently named “Tugboat of the Year” by the Steamship Historical Society of America. Cruises will explore the New York Harbor, and views may include the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Battery, and Governors Island, as you set out on an adventure unlike any you’ve had before! One of this year’s attendees said this is the “best way to explore NY harbor, loved the historic tugboat and the captain’s explanation of the industrial part of the harbor.”
Advance reservations are recommended, and guests must check in 15 minutes before the scheduled tour.
Bowne & Co. Demonstrations Bowne & Co. is hosting FREE outdoor letterpress printing demonstrations through October 30, 2021 on Fridays and Saturdays. The printers will set up a selection of historic presses outdoors on the steps of 209-211 Water Street. Demonstrations will take place every hour on the hour between 11am-5pm and each will run from five to seven minutes long, illustrating the 19th century printing process with a variety of presses and equipment from the Museum’s Printing History Collection. Items printed throughout the day will be given away as tangible reminders of the experience. Bowne & Co. public programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. One of this year’s attendees said “Kids thought it was magic.”
Alongside demonstrations, new products are now available for purchase from Bowne & Co., Stationers in the online shop at bowne.co, including new lines of letterpress-made postcards, broadsides, and boxed notecard sets. Grab a broadside to support your favorite New York City borough or to celebrate the woodtype characters the Bowne & Co. team used previously as part of the #36DaysofType project. Items purchased online can be shipped anywhere in the country or scheduled for in-person pick up at 209-211 Water Street on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Visit bowne.co to browse and purchase.
The Seaport Museum is also offering a FREE outdoor exhibition on Pier 16, which will provide the opportunity to discover this chapter of New York City’s history. This series of panels and window graphics will celebrate the people of all backgrounds who lived and worked in the South Street Seaport Historic District, and the many businesses that created the foundations for New York to thrive and become the business and culture mecca it is today. Using historic photographs, prints, lithographs, and paintings, the exhibition highlights some of the Seaport Museum’s collection of more than 28,000 artifacts and works of art, and over 55,000 historic records.