At the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, there is something for everyone! Explore the streets of old Manitowoc and learn about Wisconsin’s rich shipbuilding history. We have exquisite ship models, ship engines, interactives, children’s play areas and a real WWII submarine!

USS Cobia

WWII submarine USS Cobia is open year-round for tours! Visit our Plan Your Visit page to learn more about the different types of tours offered and accessibility notes.

Maritime History Gallery

Explore the streets of old Manitowoc where shipbuilders, sailors and traders walked more than 150 years ago! Learn how Wisconsin shipyards contributed to our nation’s growth during the 19th and 20th centuries as well as how those technologies and designs changed over time.

Model Ship Gallery

Scale models, half-hull models, and quarterboards tell of Great Lakes sailing ships and freighters, past and present, in the Model Ship Gallery. This exhibit features a shipwreck diorama featuring Edmund Fitzgerald as it looks lying deep in the waters of Lake Superior.

Chief Wawatam Steam Engine

Step into the engine room of a Great Lakes ship in the early 1900s and see a 65-ton steam engine come to life! Built in 1911, this powerful triple-expansion steam engine was used by the ice-breaking car ferry Chief Wawatam to transport passengers, vehicles, and rail cars across the Straits of Mackinac.

Wisconsin-Built Boat Gallery

Renowned throughout the Great Lakes and the world, Wisconsin boat builders have a tradition of craftsmanship that goes back 150 years. Walk through the Wisconsin-Built Boat Gallery, presented by the Manitowoc Company, for a close-up view of actual boats that helped build that tradition.

Wisconsin’s Shipwreck Coasts

NEW in 2024!

This exhibit features artifacts, stories, and interactives from several shipwrecks that were lost beneath the vast natural highways along Wisconsin’s coastlines. Hear from pioneer shipwreck explorers who first found these shipwrecks and how underwater archaeologists today are using state-of-the-art technology to document and preserve this submerged history for future generations.

A black and white photo of a long ship called ADRIATIC. The ship has two masts and an old self unloading bucket arm.

Adriatic and the Birth of Self-Unloaders

NEW in 2024!

Located on the Museum’s lower level, this new exhibit is a permanent installation of self-unloading bucket technology that was salvaged from the shipwreck Adriatic in Sturgeon Bay. It also features an interactive element demonstrating how the technology worked using gears and a bucket conveyor system.

USS Cobia Below the Surface

Learn what life was like aboard Cobia during WWII, from the everyday mundane tasks to the times of sheer terror. Experience what it felt like to be in a submarine during a depth charging, the most feared anti-submarine weapon, as we recreate an actual battle from Cobia’s War Patrol log.

Turning the Tide – The Role of Manitowoc’s LCTs in WWII

NEW in 2024

The Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company built more than just submarines for WWII. They were also the lead shipyard for building Landing Craft Tanks (LCT)-5s and designed the first LCT-6. This exhibit explores Manitowoc’s leadership in the production of 1,465 LCTs, as well as the role they played in Turning the Tide on D-Day and other amphibious assaults during WWII.

Waterways Room

The Waterways Room, presented by Burger Boat Company, allows guests of all ages to launch boats and navigate through Wisconsin’s maritime landscape! Learn how locks and dams work, build a tower of water pipes, or use a blower sail your boats down the rivers.

Attack of the Sea Lampreys!

Sea lampreys are native to the Atlantic Ocean, but these eel-like fish slithered into the Great Lakes through shipping canals. Check out these spooky invasive species and learn about their impact on our Wisconsin waterways. A tank of live sea lamprey is featured in this exhibit seasonally!

Little Lakefarers Room

Presented by Aurora Healthcare, this hands-on environment is a special place for young children and their parents to relax, explore, look through a periscope, play maritime games, and read about life on and near the water.

Riverside Gallery & Other Temporary Exhibits

Our lower Riverside Gallery hosts special exhibits throughout the year. Click here to view the current exhibit and other temporary displays.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This