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Spring at the South Street Seaport Museum Upcoming Sailing Season and Free Exhibitions at 12 Fulton Street

April 1, 2022 - June 3, 2022

The South Street Seaport Museum announces spring 2022 exhibitions and sailing season at 12 Fulton St. The free exhibitions include the new, introductory gallery South Street and the Rise of New York, as well as a newly reconfigured return of the popular Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900-1914. Each exhibition will be open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 5pm. In addition, tall ship Wavertree, lightship Ambrose, and the outdoor exhibition on Pier 16 are continuing to welcome visitors for free on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11am to 5pm. General Admission includes access to the galleries and Wavertree, and advanced timed tickets can be reserved at seaportmuseum.org/visit, where you can also choose to add on a free guided tour of the Ambrose.

The South Street Seaport Museum also announces the 2022 Sailing Season for 1885 schooner Pioneer and rides aboard the 1930 tugboat W.O. Decker will run from May 25 to October 30, 2022 from Pier 16 (Fulton and South Streets). Advance ticket sales for the Pioneer and Decker will be available to the public starting April 15, 2022 at seaportmuseum.org/sailnyharbor.

Visits on Wavertree are guided along a set route and will include access to the main deck and quarter deck. Learn how people worked and lived aboard a 19th century cargo sailing vessel, from the captain to the ship’s officers, cooks, and crew. Then visit the cargo hold and stand atop the viewing platform where you can take in the massive main cargo area. Guided tours of Wavertree will depart once every hour. Learn more at seaportmuseum.org/wavertree. Visitors on Ambrose can tour the multiple decks of this National Historic Landmark to see the living and working spaces once inhabited by sailors stationed on Ambrose, as well as the special features that allow the ship to fulfill its mission of staying on station, being seen, and being heard. Free guided tours of Ambrose will depart once every hour. Learn more at seaportmuseum.org/ambrose.

South Street and the Rise of New York explores the critical role played by the Seaport and South Street in securing New York’s place as America’s leading city and its rise to become the world’s busiest port by the start of the 20th century. The exhibition draws from the Seaport Museum’s vast collection of works of art and artifacts via large reproduction and selected artifacts on display related to the 19th century history of the Port of New York.

“New York has one of the best natural harbors in the world,” said guest curator Michael R. Harrison. “This amazing harbor allowed New Yorkers to develop world-wide connections that made the city an economic and cultural powerhouse. The port fostered the city’s energy, and that energy attracted the talent and skill of people from around the world, making New York the most ethnically diverse place on the planet.

The exhibition highlights Schermerhorn Row, the block of warehouses and offices that stand on man-made land reclaimed from the East River between about 1797 and 1807; the Museum’s fleet of historic ships, which tell the story of New York as a great port city through their connections to world commerce, coastal deliveries, and the working harbor; and Bowne & Co., a contemporary re-interpretation of one of the many printing offices that flourished in lower Manhattan in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900–1914 is one of the first exhibitions to examine, side-by-side, the dichotomy between First Class and Third Class passengers aboard ocean liners in the early 20th century. This exhibition features both original and reproduction artifacts from the Museum’s permanent collection including ocean liner memorabilia and ephemera, ceramics, and luggage trunks from both immigrants and First Class passengers.

“Ships like Titanic, Olympic, Lusitania, Mauretania, Aquitania, and Imperator dominated transatlantic travel,” noted William Roka, former Historian at the Seaport Museum. “On each voyage, they transported thousands of people: First Class passengers sailed across the Atlantic in the lap of luxury while Third Class passengers made the voyage in the stuffy lower decks. From 1900 to 1914, nearly 13 million immigrants traveling in Third Class arrived in the United States. During this same period, America’s wealthiest citizens, totaling no more than a hundred thousand passengers each year, traveled to Europe in First Class, spending over $11.5 billion (2017) on luxury vacations. Even though First Class and Third Class sailed on the same ships, their journeys were worlds apart.”

The exhibition will familiarize viewers with passenger life aboard ocean liners, the defining differences between travel for wealthy Americans in First Class and future Americans immigrating to the United States in Third Class.

Sail the New York Harbor on 1885 Schooner Pioneer
The only place to sail New York Harbor aboard a historic 1885 schooner! See the sights of New York Harbor, the magnificent Lower Manhattan skyline, and Governors Island from the decks of this National Register of Historic Places-listed vessel. Bring your family for an afternoon sail, a date for a sunset sail, or just yourself to enjoy history at sea. See the city from a new perspective as you grab a halyard to help raise a sail or simply sit back and enjoy the view. Bring a picnic lunch or dinner, afternoon snack, beverages, or a bottle of wine to enjoy on your two-hour sail.

Take a Ride on 1930 Tugboat W.O. Decker
Take an exciting 75-minute ride on the last surviving New York-built wooden tugboat W.O. Decker, recently named “Tugboat of the Year” by the Steamship Historical Society of America. Cruises will explore New York Harbor, and views may include the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Battery, and Governors Island, as you set out on an adventure unlike any you’ve had before!

Both the schooner Pioneer and tugboat W.O. Decker are also available for charters from May to October 2022, and charter booking is now open. Charters sail within New York Harbor, one of the most fascinating harbors in the world, and afford unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the New York and New Jersey skylines, as well as a chance to witness all manner of vessels, from tugboats to cruise ships, as they perform their duties on the waterfront. Departing from Pier 16, these historic vessels are ideal for private sails, group or company outings, and photo or film shoots. Pricing ranges from $1,000 to $3,000, and early bird discounts are available. To reserve your group and book a custom charter experience today, contact charters@seany.org.

Educational programs and field trips are offered aboard both ships and booking for school groups is now open. Head into New York Harbor for an outdoor educational experience that students will never forget. During a two- or three-hour sailing program, each class will enjoy one-of-a-kind activities such as hauling on ropes to raise sail, viewing the Statue of Liberty and other historic landmarks, and trawling for organisms from the bottom of the Harbor. Programs are custom-tailored to fit grade level and curriculum, with pricing starting at $500. Scholarships are available, and Title I school groups are encouraged to apply. To learn more or to reserve your group today, contact education@seany.org.

Seaport Museum Memberships include unlimited admission to museum exhibitions, invitations to special events, and great discounts year-round, including 20% off on W.O. Decker and Pioneer sails. Memberships start at $50 and help support Museum’s exhibitions, preserve the ships and the collections, grow public programs, and serve over 12,000 students annually through education initiatives. To join the Museum as a Member, visit seaportmuseum.org/membership.

Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900–1914 was curated by William Roka, Seaport Museum’s former Historian, and Michelle Kennedy, Collections and Curatorial Assistant, at the Seaport Museum. Exhibition design and art direction by Rob Wilson and Christine Picone of Bowne & Co., the Museum’s historic letterpress shop.

Be sure to review the latest COVID-19 protocols at seaportmuseum.org/covid-19-updates. Please note that people over age 5 will be required to show proof they are fully vaccinated to enter the exhibition spaces. Proof of vaccination can be provided in the form of a physical immunization card, NY Excelsior Pass app, or the NYC COVID Safe app when you check in at the reception desk at 12 Fulton Street. Additionally, masks are required at all times within indoor spaces across the Seaport Museum campus, and in accordance with current Federal and New York State COVID-19 guidance for transportation, masks are required at all times on sailing vessels.

About the South Street Seaport Museum
The South Street Seaport Museum, located in the heart of the South Street Seaport Historic District in New York City, preserves and interprets the history of New York as a great port city. Founded in 1967, the Museum houses an extensive collection of works of art and artifacts, a maritime reference library, exhibition galleries and education spaces, working nineteenth century print shops, and an active fleet of historic vessels that all work to tell the story of “Where New York Begins.” www.southstreetseaportmuseum.org

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April 1, 2022
June 3, 2022


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