Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin

11/23/2014  | 

Located on the downtown Norfolk waterfront, Nauticus is a maritime science museum that explores the economic, naval, and natural power of the sea. Nauticus features hands-on exhibits, marine life, 3D movies, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, and the awe-inspiring Battleship Wisconsin. Nauticus is also home to Sail Nauticus community sailing center, the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center, and Victory Rover Naval Base Cruises.

Berthed at Nauticus, the Battleship Wisconsin (BB64) is one of four Iowa-class battleships — the largest and one of the last battleships ever built by the U.S. Navy. Walk the decks of history, and go back in time to experience this majestic ship that earned five battle stars during World War II, as well as seeing active duty during the Korean War and the first Persian Gulf War. Visitors can explore her decks on their own, or opt for a guided tour below decks for an in-depth look at how sailors lived and worked.

Inside Nauticus, exhibit highlights include “Our Mighty Seaport,” an exhibit exploring maritime commerce; “Guns, Sweat, and Gears: Anatomy of a Battleship,” with its enormous gun devices, tools, and personal mementos from the Battleship Wisconsin; and “Stewards of the Sea: Defending Freedom, Protecting the Environment: a 1,000 square foot, highly interactive exhibit which highlights how the Navy protects marine life while fulfilling its mission. The Hampton Roads Naval Museum and U.S. Fleet Forces Command developed “Stewards of the Sea.”

The Nauticus Theater shows 3D films daily. Outside the theater, you can step inside the Clelia, an underwater exploration submersible, and control an actual nine-foot-long robotic arm to collect samples and artifacts from the sea bed. Educators are always on hand to help you create an ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle), and test it out in a giant tank of water.

Don’t miss Science on a Sphere, a six-foot globe displaying weather phenomena around the world, or Shark Lab, where visitors can learn about shark conservation. Meet our crab community at Horseshoe Crab Cove, and also check out a variety of tropical fish, seahorses, and two green Moray eels.

The Hampton Roads Naval Museum on the second floor, examines more than two centuries of local naval history. And don’t leave until you visit the Banana Pier Gift Shop, where great souvenirs are available for purchase to help you remember your day at Nauticus.

Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin are located at one Waterside Drive on the downtown Norfolk waterfront. Memorial Day through Labor Day both are open daily from 10 a.m.–5p.m.; Labor Day through Memorial Day, hours are Tuesday–Saturday,10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, noon–5 p.m. and closed Monday. Admission to Nauticus includes the Battleship Wisconsin. Many areas are open to the public but guided tours of the Wisconsin’s interior spaces are available for an additional fee. Children age three and under are free. Discounts are available for active duty military, seniors and AAA members. There is no charge to visit the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. For more information, call 757-664-1000 or visit
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