Best Maritime Museums in the World

Best Maritime Museums in the World

You have to admit, ships are cool vehicles. However, in daily life, we often overlook observing their queenliness yet in maritime museums, it is nearly impossible to turn our eyes away. Besides, with the help of those museums, it is also possible to understand the impact of maritime on history. Here are the ones that are worth your attention.

Greenwich Maritime Museum

Historically, Great Britain owes its successes and wealth to the accomplishments in maritime history. Situated near the River Thames in Greenwich Park, National Maritime Museum or Greenwich National Museum, has been presenting numerous, diverse and extensive reminiscences of the past maritime in Great Britain, since the 1930s. Alongside The National Maritime Museum Cornwall, visiting Greenwich Maritime Museum is one of the most delightful and giddy ways to dive into the rich culture.

We all know Greenwich by our school books because it is where the prime meridian is situated. However, Greenwich is also crucial for maritime because of its associations with the sea and navigation. Besides, even the Romans had originally landed at Greenwich. Consequently, it is not surprising to find a museum which aims to represent the relationship that exists between astronomy, navigation, ships and exploration in Greenwich.

The collection not only includes maritime-related objects such as navigational instruments, ship models and plans but also the paintings of famous sailors throughout history. The most famous one is, naturally, the Portrait of Captain James Cook by Nathaniel Dance

Distinctive Feature: It is the largest maritime museum in the world.


Het Scheepvaartmuseum

Just like Great Britain, the Netherlands has also to no less a degree relationship with maritime. Dates back to the 15th century, the nautical history of the Netherlands left a howling trace on the development of the country. To be more precise, for instance, overseas trade was a momentous cornerstone of the Dutch economy.

By virtue of its attractiveness, Dutch maritime history has been on display at the Het Scheepvaartmuseum. Het Scheepvaartmuseum or The National Maritime Museum is housed in ‘s Lands Zeemagazijn (the Arsenal). This historic building dates from 1656 and was designed by Daniel Stalpaert as a storehouse for the Admiralty of Amsterdam. The building was renovated between 2007 and 2011. 

Distinctive Feature: The replica of the large vessel called Amsterdam is one of the most significant aspects of the museum. It sank in a storm in the English Channel in the winter of 1749 whilst on a voyage to the Dutch East Indies (today Indonesia). Years later, in 1969, the wreck of the ship was discovered. By visiting the museum, you may experience the feelings in the daily life of the passengers on the ships and realize how small the living spaces on it are compared to today.

Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum or ANMM, offers 140,000 maritime objects, ships, and replica ships. Even the design of the building itself looks like billowing boat sails. Architect Philip Cox was the man behind the project. 

Voluminous permanent exhibitions make ANMM crowd-pulling perpetually. For example, in the navigator’s section, three inestimable voyages by Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon, British explorer James Cook, and French explorer Nicolas Baudin are examined. The instruments that they have used, the remains from their voyage and, of course, the impact of the voyages on Australia are the main themes of it. There are also other sections containing the relationship between the maritime and the rural Australians, Aborigines; the passenger life on the archaic ships, the history of the navy and other sections.

But the comeliness is not limited to these. Three vessels are showcased to the public in the museum. The HMS Endeavour is probably the most famous and absorbing among them. The replica model was inspired by the vessel that James Cook commanded on his voyage to Australia and New Zealand. Even though it is not a real vessel, on every step on the deck, maybe you can perceive the curiosity, determination and greed of those brave people who sail to the unknown waters.

Distinctive Feature: Australia-US Relationships section which is funded by the US government is the only gallery in the world to be funded by a different nation.


Maritime Museum of San Diego

Reading is always priceless yet only visiting makes it unforgettable. Do you ever wonder how the ships that you read in the history books would seem? Well, if your answer is yes, The Maritime Museum of San Diego is right up your street.

Established in 1948, The Maritime Museum of San Diego holds a gigantic collection of historic sea vessels that impacted US maritime history. An authentic example of a ship museum.

Distinctive Feature: The oldest ship still sailing as well as the oldest iron-hulled merchant ship still afloat called Star of India is the merchant of the ships shown in the museum. You can visit that historical vessel at her homeport in the Museum Of San Diego.


Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg

The home of Internationales Maritimes Museum is the oldest standing historic warehouse in Hamburg and it is actually was a dream of a young avid boy who has always been a collector of all things nautical. 

Peter Tamm, throughout his 88 years of life, never gave up on collecting anything related to the maritime. His, one-man, unprecedented collection, however, is one of the most visited museums in Germany since its opening in 2008. 

The collection shows more than 36,000 items ranging from a 3,000-year-old dugout, that was discovered in the Elbe river to the design plans of the German warships. 

Distinctive Feature: The whole gallery is the consequence of one man’s endeavour.

İstanbul Deniz Müzesi

Crossing the Bosphorus with a ferry is maybe the most divergent and sophisticated experience that you can be part of in İstanbul. Imagine you take a step on Kadıköy Pier to navigate to Beşiktaş. You always know that calming, soft voices of seagulls guide you to the end whilst the fresh tea that you drink lasts warm till getting off the ship. When you finally arrive, you already will feel the longing for the still waters. Though, with only a couple of footsteps, you can not only soothe your emotions but also learn a lot about Turkish maritime history. 

İstanbul Deniz Müzesi( English: The Istanbul Naval Museum), located at one’s foot of Beşiktaş Pier, is the biggest and most sweeping maritime museum in Turkey. Inside, there are approximately 20.000 pieces mostly Ottoman Navy related including the famous Tarihi Kadırga that was historically used in the reign of Sultan Mehmet IV. It is worth visiting because Tarihi Kadırga is the only surviving original galley in the world as well as the oldest continuously maintained wooden hull.

Distinctive Feature: İstanbul Deniz Müzesi is Turkey’s first military museum and was established in 1897 by the Ottoman Minister of Navy Bozcaadalı Hasan Hüsnü Pasha. After a number of restorations, it was taken to its final vision in 2013.