New York City’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum is a wonderful display set upon the USS Intrepid a Essex class aircraft carrier that was built during World War II. The ship forms part of a spectacular museum that features a wide range of military, civilian and passenger aircraft. The two biggest iconic attractions are the Concorde and the Space Shuttle Enterprise that made its home at the museum in July of 2012.
The Intrepid is located at Pier 86 off 46th Street on the west side of Manhattan within walking distance of many of New York’s major attractions.
Amongst the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan tucked in on the Lower East Side is the South Street Seaport, one of the New York City’s thriving heritage villages. The precinct was once an important trading port between the 1820 and the 1860’s but like most cities around the world modernisation and the need for more space moved the port facilities away from the heart of the city.
In 1967 the South Street Seaport Museum was founded and helped remind people of the important heritage and value of the area. Then in 1998 a 12 square block historic district was designated by Congress forming “America’s National Maritime Museum”. This protects the area for ever and the South Street Sea Port is one of New York City’s great treasures.
The precinct now houses museums; libraries craft centres and dozens of galleries, boutiques and some great dining including bakeries, breweries and marketplaces.The centrepiece of the seaport is Pier 17 which is a huge shopping and entertainment complex with lots of tourist based shopping, river view dining and a large festival food court with great selection of cuisine.
In the area around Pier 17 there is a wonderful collection of historic ships, this collection is the largest privately owned historic fleet in the USA and has as its centrepiece the Peking which is a four masted barque built in 1911. Other notable sea craft include the Wavetree which is a rigged cargo ship dating back to 1885, the Ambrose a 1908 lightship a 1900 Tugboat called Helen McAllister.
Motat is a fascinating museum of transport and technology located in Western Springs a suburb of Auckland. It has an amazing collection of historic vehicles of all types and plenty of heritage and history which will entertain delight and fascinate visitors for hours. The large property is beautifully themed with many heritage style buildings and artefacts to give you a real feeling of what New Zealand was like years ago. There are some incredible vehicles on display from cars, trucks, planes, trains and trams, in-fact the tram is a working exhibit offering trips around the complex and to the nearby annex exhibition which houses many of the aircraft exhibitions. The site was once home to a huge pump which serviced Auckland’s water supply, today this incredible piece of Victorian machinery has been restored and is housed in an beautiful brick building looking more like artwork than a piece of machinery, it is really an incredible sight. Motat also features a historic village with many small cottages all decked out with their heritage fittings and furnishings, they are very interesting and give you a real feel of how people lived years ago.
The beautiful Star of India is the world’s oldest active sailing ship and is the pride and joy of the San Diego Maritime Museum. Built in 1863 at the Ramsey Shipyard on the Isle of Man the ship was one of the first built of iron and was originally called Euterpe. As the Euterpe it suffered a bit of tragedy with a mutiny, collision and a nasty cyclone off the Bay of Bengal. The ship was also used in bringing emigrants to New Zealand, Australia and the Americas from England, Scotland and Ireland. The vessel even had time as a salmon hauler working in Alaska. Today she is the second oldest ship what is still sail worthy and the oldest iron hull merchant ship floating. The ship has been declared a United States Historic Landmark and still sails a couple of times a year.
The Carnival Liberty was launched in 2005 and is a huge 110 thousand ton liner which carries around 3000 passengers on each cruise. We took this photo as she gracefully entered the Italian city of Venice where she looked absolutely magnificence. The ship has all the luxury you would expect from a liner of this size and plenty more. One of the special features of the liner is a 3.7 metre by 6.7 metre outside LED screen where people lazing on the decks can watch movies or special events. There are waterslides, casino, night clubs, spas and plenty of shopping and lets not forget the pampering, while travelling on this amazing ship you are really moving on a floating city.
Longbeach California just to the south of Los Angeles is the resting place of one of what was one of the world’s grandest ocean liners. The RMS Queen Mary sailed the seven seas for just over 40 years until she was retired in 1967. Today the 1019 ft long liner is docked at Longbeach and has taken on a new role as a museum, restaurant and hotel. Many of the original splendor of the Queen Mary is intact including magnificent art deco hallways, ballrooms and function rooms. The ship also boasts some stunning artwork including a huge transatlantic map which stands in the first class dining room which had lit up and showed the position of the ship as it cruised from London to New York. The cabins are not as luxurious as you would expect in a modern liner, but they are charming, a bit small but have good comfortable amenities. The Queen Mary is a unique accommodation experience and a very fun place to stay for anyone planning to spend a few days in Longbeach, San Diego or Los Angeles. Interestingly the Queen Mary was owned by Disney for a period in the late 1980’s there was talk of the ship being the centrepiece of what would have become a ocean themed park. There is a striking resemblance to the Queen Mary in Tokyo’s Disneysea.. Maybe the Tokyo Park might have come out of concepts for what might have been in Longbeach.
Cunard have recently shown off pictures of their new ship the Queen Elizabeth, to be launched in September 2010. The new Queen will join the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria as Cunard’s flagship ships and takes the name of a former Cunard ship the Queen Elizabeth that first sailed with Cunard White Star Line in 1936 and was later retired in 1969 when the QE2 took to the seas. The theme of this new ship is much like her namesake with some wonderful art deco designs that are reminiscent of the 1930’s. hit up the full page for a gallery of the plans. Read the rest of this entry »
There is no shipwreck more popular than the Titanic so its only fitting there are a few museums that are devoted to the ship that would be nearly 100 years old today. Recently Belfast announced a £100 million plan for a Titanic museum on the shipyards where she was built, that is due to open on the sinking’s centenary in 2012. There is also a travelling Titanic exhibition that we have seen in a few places as well as this interesting one in Branson, Missouri. Shaped like the front bit of the Titanic in half scale, the museum claims to be the worlds largest museum attraction The museum looks cool with recreations of the grand staircase as well as other parts of the ship, an iceburg and a bit of memorabilia. We understand the reason for Belfast building their museum but we just wonder who come up with the idea to build a ship shaped attraction in the landlocked state of Missouri. A TV ad for the museum is above that should give you an idea what its grand staircase is like. Read the rest of this entry »
Stretching 1010 metres onto Lake Michigan in Chicago is Navy Pier one of the city’s entertainment precincts. Packed with cafes, restaurants, theatres amusments and the Children’s museum Navy Pier is a popular destination especially on sunny weekends. The pier dates back to 1914 when it was built for freighters but today it is a tourist precinct being home to many of the city’s tourist craft and a huge meeting place. The pier was transformed in the early 1990’s and has undergone some major changes including the addition of a 46 m Ferris wheel and Imax, there are even plans afoot to give the pier a multi million dollar makeover with roller coaster, floating hotel, monorail and an even bigger Ferris wheel built around a huge water park. Read the rest of this entry »
You don’t get much for nothing in this world without a catch- well here’s one and the the catch is one of the best views in the world. The ferry carries some 20 million people a year between Staten Island and lower Manhattan, which is about 60,000 a day. The ride takes about 25 minutes and you get a very good look at the majestic Statue of Liberty and the amazing skyscrapers of New York City and New Jersey. Weekdays there are over 100 trips a day with a few less on weekends, avoid the peak hours for the journey. Bus and Train are easily available from both ferry terminals to explore more of either Manhattan or Staten Island. Read the rest of this entry »