Tag Archives: programming for visually impaired

Member Update – San Francisco Maritime

Explore New Ways to Experience San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park’s Vessels
Free (With Regular Admission) Programs Focus on Senses Other Than Sight

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The National Historic Landmark ships at Hyde Street Pier are a feast for the eyes, but there is more to them than what we can see. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is piloting a new program aimed at engaging visitors with visual impairments (but open to all groups) to experience the vessels in a new way – through smell, sound, touch, and feel. The new sensory tours are free with regular park admission, but must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.

On these descriptive narrative tours, rangers guide visitors through a sensory experience on board the 1886 tall sailing ship Balclutha. The public are taken back to a time when sailors risked it all (bringing cargo from San Francisco around the treacherous Cape Horn to Europe) for meager pay. Visitors will feel the large, rough, twisted ropes in their hands as they haul away on the lines, smell greasy meat cooking in the galley, and hear Captain Alfred Durkee speaking (from his journals).

The 60-90 minute tours are geared toward small groups (around 10 people). At the close of each program, visitors will be invited to engage in self-guided tours of the other historic vessels.

To request a sensory tour, please contact Alice Watts at awatts@maritime.org. Although they are free with the park’s regular $10 admission, the tours need to be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.

The park offers assisted listening services on request. Sign Language interpreter services need to be requested at least five days in advance. Please contact the Accessibility Coordinator/Chief of Interpretation by telephone (415-859-6797) or email (safr_accessibility@nps.gov) for more information.

San Francisco Maritime NHP, located at the west end of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, Visitor Center, Maritime Museum, Maritime Research Center, and Aquatic Park Historic District. For more information, please call 415-447-5000 or visit http://www.nps.gov.safr. Follow us on Twitter @SFMaritimeNPS and Instagram sfmaritimenps and join us on FB @SanFranciscoMaritimeNHP.

Submitted by Lynn Cullivan, San Francisco Maritime NHP, August 5, 2016