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Two Historic Ships to Visit with Kids

by Barbara Rogers

Jul 13, 2022

© Russell Linton | Dreamstime.com

Listicles

Standing on the deck of a historic ship transports young visitors (and their parents) to another era, when these ships were active and important in defense and commerce. Kids don’t just hear about history, they can feel and experience it in ways no static museum can match. Make these historic ships part of your family’s travel plans.

 

Ships played an important role in American history. The first European explorers came by ship, as did the first settlers. The Navy was vital to the struggle for independence and has been crucial in wars ever since. Until air became a viable option, manufactured goods were shipped by sea to foreign markets, and imported materials were brought here by ship.

 

Begin your historic ships tour with the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy, USS Constitution, better known as “Old Ironsides,” Part of Boston’s Freedom Trail, the ship is docked in Charlestown and can be reached by walking, car or ferry from Atlantic Wharf. Visitors can board the ship, go below decks and hear about its history and life at sea from active U.S. Navy personnel. The free USS Constitution Museum, adjacent to the ship, is filled with interactive exhibits designed for all ages.

 

Only slightly younger than Old Ironsides, Charles W. Morgan is America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat, and the star attraction at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. The last surviving of the American whaling fleet of more than 2,700 vessels, the ship launched in 1841. The mainmast reaches 110 feet above the deck, more than the length of the ship itself. You can go below decks into the cramped living spaces and see the huge vats for rendering whale oil.

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