Steam and Splendor

Steam And Splendor: Treasures From The Ocean Liner And Cruise Ship Ephemera Collection Unveiled At Maritime Museum Of San Diego

Opened Memorial Day Weekend 2023

SAN DIEGO, CA – Maritime Museum of San Diego, serving as the community memory of our seafaring experience by collecting, preserving, and presenting our rich maritime heritage and historic connections with the Pacific world, announces the new exhibit opening of Steam and Splendor: Treasures from the Ocean Liner and Cruise Ship Ephemera Collection Friday, May 26, 2023. Visits to the new exhibit are free and included with general admission ticket purchase.

Steam and Splendor: Treasures from the Ocean Liner and Cruise Ship Ephemera Collection is staged in the Gould Eddy gallery aboard the Museum’s elegant 1898 Victorian-era steam ferryboat Berkeley.

The new exhibit transports visitors to a time when ocean travel was sedate, luxurious, and exclusive. Kevin Sheehan, Lead Curator and Collection Librarian of the Maritime Museum explains, “This exhibit draws upon some of the Museum’s hidden treasures, never shown to the public. Its collection of ocean liner and cruise ship ephemera, numbering thousands of individual items, is one of the largest in California.” Coupled with vintage brochures, passenger lists, menus, cabin plans, and images of dining rooms and recreational areas, the curators of the exhibit have gathered rare ocean liner-related artifacts from both the Maritime Museum of San Diego collection as well as those generously loaned by local private collectors.

According to Raymond Ashley, Ph.D., K.C.I., President/CEO of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, “These displays cover more than 100 years of ocean-going recreational and destination travel, during the great age of steam, and invite visitors to journey back in time to the era of the great ocean liners of the twentieth century – among them the Titanic, SS Normandie, the SS United States, the Empress of Britain and many others.” Through ephemera and artifact, the exhibit vividly portrays changing attitudes towards maritime recreational travel. To entice travelers aboard their floating palaces, shipping companies lured their patrons through lavishly illustrated brochures promising leisurely voyages in opulent surroundings, to exotic and far away destinations.

Visitors to the new exhibit will learn how passengers chose these destinations, purchased tickets, what they packed for their voyage, what they ate, where they slept and dined, and how they passed their time on board. Educative, thought provoking and nostalgic, Steam and Splendor offers a glimpse into a way of travel now largely eclipsed, but that was once aspired to by many.

The general admission visitor experience to the Maritime Museum of San Diego includes stepping aboard a world-renowned fleet of historic vessels such as the oldest active sailing ship Star of India, the famed H.M.S. Surprise frigate featured in the award-winning film, Master and Commander, steam ferry Berkeley, steam yacht Medea, USS Dolphin submarine, tall ship Californian, Spanish galleon replica San Salvador and dozens of fascinating interior below deck exhibits and galleries.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego is open daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online or at the walk-up Ticket Booth found directly in front of the Museum fleet. The Maritime Museum of San Diego is located in downtown San Diego on the north embarcadero between Grape and Ash Street at 1492 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101-3309.

Steam and Splendor Exhibit

About the Maritime Museum of San Diego
The Maritime Museum of San Diego experience includes admission to a world-class collection of historic sailing ships, steam-powered boats, and submarine, each offering entertaining and educational exhibits. The 501c3 non-profit Museum enjoys an international reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining, and operating historic vessels including the world’s oldest active sailing ship, Star of India. Maritime Museum of San Diego is ranked as one of the nation’s top attractions offering self-guided tours, docent guided-group tours, tall ship charters, year round public events, educational programs, and a distinctive venue for corporate/private events. The Museum is open daily along Star of India Wharf at 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101-3309.