Overnight Program FAQ

What is the minimum age to participate in the Overnight Program?

The minimum age to participate is 6 years old. 

How many people do we need to participate in the Overnight Program?

A minimum group size of 10 people, or equivalent payment, is required to participate in the program. The maximum capacity of the submarine is 65 people. If another group is scheduled for the same night that you are, the 10 person minimum no longer applies, as long as the total overnight has at least 10 people between all groups.

Due to the popularity of the program, two or more groups may share the same reservation date. In the event that a group wishes to reserve the entire submarine for an exclusive stay, the group will be expected to pay for the equivalent of 65 participants.

How much does it cost for a group to participate in the Overnight Program?

The cost is $44 per person, per night, for organized groups (minimum group size of 10 people or equivalent payment).

A deposit of $200 per group is required to secure an Overnight reservation. Deposits are payable to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum by check or credit card. A reservation must be confirmed prior to deposit payment. Deposits are due within 14 days of confirming a reservation. The balance payable is due upon arrival and is payable to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum by check.

What does the cost of the Program include?

The cost of the program includes a guided tour of USS Cobia, supervised access to additional areas of the submarine, educational programming, overnight accommodation on board and admission to the Museum the next day. Meals are not provided. It is recommended that groups eat dinner prior to arrival. Groups are encouraged to bring snacks and water.

What time does the Program start?

Group leaders should arrive at 7:25 pm to process waivers and final payment. Once paperwork is complete, the group may enter the museum. 

Enter the Museum through the blue door at the base of the right side of the ramp.  The door is labeled “USS Cobia CREW PASSAGE.”  The program concludes at 8:00 am the following morning. At that time, participants will have the opportunity to visit the Museum galleries and the Museum Store at their leisure. All rules of conduct from the Overnight continue into the galleries the following morning. Groups wishing to go out for breakfast and then return to the Museum are welcome to do so.

How many chaperones are required to participate with a group?

Please adhere to the adult-child ratio set out by your organization. For groups without a required ratio, the Museum recommends an adult-child ratio of 1:2 for groups with children 6–8 years old; 1:4 with children 9-12 years old; and 1:6 for ages 13 years and older.

All chaperones must be adults and need to maintain an environment conducive to learning, safety and good behavior. At least one chaperone must be  present in each compartment where youth participants are to provide supervision. At least one adult chaperone must be awake when any youth participants are awake during the Overnight.

How many Museum staff will be with the group during the Overnight?

A minimum of two Museum staff members will lead an Overnight. The number of Museum staff working each Overnight depends on the number of participants scheduled for a given night. Overnight Staff will remain on the submarine throughout the night. When not with the group, staff can be found in the Ward Room/Officers Quarters, the staff-only area of the submarine. 

Staff is responsible for leading all educational and interpretive programming during the Overnight; chaperones are responsible for providing supervision and discipline. The Wisconsin Maritime Museum reserves the right to eject a group at any time for behavior deemed unacceptable or dangerous by the staff.

Where do people sleep on the submarine?

The submarine is divided into rooms called compartments. Four of the compartments are available for sleeping. These are the Forward Torpedo Room (10 bunks), After Torpedo Room (10 bunks), Crew’s Quarters (36 bunks) and Officers’ Quarters (3, 4 and 5 bunks). Each compartment is outfitted with bunks for sleeping. The Officers Quarters are typically reserved for gender segregation if needed. The Overnight Guides will make the final call on where your group will be sleeping for the night.

Can I bring my CPAP/sleeping device?

There are a few modern outlets on the submarine for a CPAP or other medically necessary sleeping device. Guests should bring their own extension cord. There are not enough outlets for charging phones overnight.

My group has members of both genders, what do we do about sleeping arrangements?

It is up to the group to determine where male and female participants sleep. If your group requires separate arrangements for each gender, please note this on your Reply Form.

Is the Overnight Program available year round?

Yes. The Overnight Program is available Friday and Saturday nights year-round. Weekday bookings may also be available upon request. The Overnight Program is not be available on dates close to major holidays or Museum special events. The submarine is outfitted with an HVAC system, but participants are advised to dress appropriately; layers are suggested, as well as season-appropriate sleeping bags.

What type of group is the program appropriate for?

The Overnight Program is appropriate for school groups, community groups, youth groups, tour groups, active seniors groups, Scouting groups, corporate retreats, YMCA groups, church groups and any other group interested in a unique educational experience. It is suggested for ages 10 and up, but 6 is the age minimum. 

Family Overnights are available in the summer if you are not part of an organized group. 

I’m not part of an organized group but I still want to participate in the Overnight Program. How can I do this?

The Museum hosts a number of Family Overnights each calendar year. These are open to individuals and families, rather than organized groups. The dates for Family Overnights are posted on the Museum’s website. Advance registration is required. The Overnight Program is open to persons of age 6 and up.  Cost is $44 per person.

Is the submarine accessible?

USS Cobia is not wheelchair accessible, but the Museum provides accommodations for visitors so that all can fully participate in the program.

What other local attractions can we visit in your area?

For information on other area attractions please visit www.manitowoc.org.

What is the Museum’s cancellation policy for the Overnight Program?

If for some reason your group finds it necessary to cancel a visit, your $200 deposit will not be refunded. There is one exception: if you notify the Museum at least 60 days prior to your scheduled visit and reschedule your visit within one year of the initial reservation date, the Museum will apply your deposit to the new date.

On very rare occasions, inclement weather may cause conditions hazardous enough for the Museum to close the submarine. In such cases, every effort will be made to provide scheduled groups with advanced notice so that they can reschedule their visit or, if they choose, cancel altogether and receive a full refund of their deposit. Unfortunately, in some situations advanced notice may not be possible.

The safety of participants and staff is our number one priority. This is a major factor in decision-making should an Overnight be cancelled due to severe weather. The Wisconsin Maritime Museum is not responsible for any inconveniences or consequences arising from the cancellation of a group’s visit. It is suggested that groups check the local forecast for Manitowoc and surrounding areas before departing for their Overnight. 

Where are the restrooms located?

Restrooms are located in the Museum. Breaks are taken at regular intervals throughout the program. Once on board Cobia, participants must be escorted into the Museum for restroom breaks by a Museum staff member. 

What if I feel sick or claustrophobic during an Overnight?

Any participant feeling claustrophobic or unwell during an Overnight should alert a group leader or Overnight staff member immediately, so he/she can exit the submarine. Staff will make every effort possible to make participants comfortable. It is the group’s responsibility to bring their own first aid kit and medications for participants.

Participants wishing to leave the program at any time are free to do so. Youth participants cannot leave without being escorted by a chaperone. Participants choosing to leave Museum property will not be re-admitted to the Overnight and will not be refunded their registration fee.

Participants requiring refrigeration of prescription medicines will be accommodated.

Does my group need to make a reservation to participate in the Overnight Program?

Yes, reservations are required. The program normally books approximately 6-12 months in advance, depending on the season.

Is there food provided or a place to eat?

Groups are permitted to eat snacks in the Museum only. Dry snacks, as well as bottled water or juice, are recommended. Cooking is not available aboard the submarine or Museum. Groups are  responsible for any spills and clean up. Groups will need to provide paper plates, cups, flatware, napkins, etc. Participants should eat dinner prior to your arrival. Groups wishing to visit a restaurant for breakfast prior to viewing the Museum exhibits in the morning are welcome to return after their meal to explore the galleries.


Packing Recommendations

What Should I Pack?

Each visitor should bring their own sleeping bag and pillow; the bunks on board the submarine do not have sheets or blankets. The submarine is outfitted with heat and air conditioning. Participants are advised to dress appropriately for the outside weather; layers are suggested. Participants are advised to pack minimally as space on board is limited.

It is also recommended that you bring:

  • Personal toiletries
  • For your safety, we recommend closed toed shoes, no sandals, flip-flops, or slippers.

  • Flashlight

  • First Aid Kit: including motion sickness medication (The  Museum staff will not dispense any medication)

  • Trash bags

What NOT to Bring

None of the following are permitted during your stay:

  • Alcoholic beverages (either on or off premises)

  • Knives and weapons

These items will be considered contraband and will be confiscated and not returned. The Wisconsin Maritime Museum staff will make all decisions regarding the legality of items.  If you have a question as to the legality of an item, do not bring it. This is done for the safety of your group as well as for the submarine.

Can I bring electronic devices?

Phones and other electronic devices are allowed on USS Cobia only so long as they do not distract from the experience, but outlets are not available for charging. Reception in the submarine is often limited. 

The Museum staff has the right to end use of any electronic devices at their discretion.  The Wisconsin Maritime Museum is not responsible for damage, loss, or theft of any personal items and has the right to conduct a gear inspection at the beginning of your stay.

Safety Brief

For the safety of your group, please review the following information with the members of your group prior to your visit.

Safety Conduct

USS Cobia is a museum vessel and an irreplaceable National Historic Landmark. The design and construction of the submarine mandates that special care must be taken while on board for your personal safety.

Violation of ANY safety procedures will be grounds for ejection from the boat.  The Wisconsin Maritime Museum and its staff is not responsible for any expenses of the person or group associated with ejection or voluntary departure from the submarine.


Safety Equipment


Located in Forward Torpedo Room – FOR EMERGENCY ONLY (You must dial “9” to get an outside line.)

First Aid Kit 

Each group is required to bring their own, however the museum does have first aid supplies and an AED unit. 

Life Rings 

Located on the deck forward and aft of the Conning Tower.

Fire Drill

A fire drill will be held to familiarize the group with emergency evacuation procedures. Participation by all members of the Overnight group is mandatory.

Smoke detectors are located in each compartment. If an alarm sounds, follow the procedures listed below.

  • Exit the boat in a quick and orderly manner, moving in the opposite direction of the source of the alarm or smoke if present.
  • Do not close any doors on the submarine.
  • Inform Museum Overnight staff immediately and call 911.
USS COBIA Emergency Evacuation Plan

If it becomes necessary to evacuate Cobia for any reason, move in an orderly fashion toward the nearest exit, as follows:

  • From the Crew’s Mess Forward, the nearest exit is the Forward Torpedo Room.
  • From the Crew’s Quarters Aft, the nearest exit is the After Torpedo Room.
  • If there is a fire aboard the submarine, proceed to the exit that is furthest from the fire. If there is fire between you and both exits, use one of the hatches as directed by the Museum Staff. 
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