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Membership and Donations

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Star of India is a California and National Historic Landmark, recognized by the World Ship Trust as a treasure of humanity.
This year Star of India has passed the one hundred and fifty-five year mark.
In early 2019 Star of India will enter drydock for maintenance, repair, and inspection, a process required every ten years. The focus of these efforts will be a permanent repair to the steel belt which reinforces the hull plating just above and below the waterline where the greatest corrosion during her active life took place. This repair is deemed essential to her sustenance and to our ability to keep her operational. So important, in fact, that our Museum was awarded one of the last grants of $200,000 from the National Maritime Heritage Program to underwrite half of the expense of the dry-dock process, with the proviso that the Museum, through the generosity of its membership, provide the remaining half of the funds as a match.

Contribute Today, Click Here

At the time of her launch in 1863 there were almost 10,000 large sailing ships in British registry. She is the sole survivor.

She is the last operational ship in existence that once flew the flag of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Arguably the most formative phase of human history began at the dawn of the modern era when the oceanic sailing ship connected the disparate peoples of the earth for the first time and began the great oceanic migrations of humanity. Of all the sailing ships that once participated in these great migrations over half a millennia, Star of India is the last one that remains pure in form, original in material, and seaworthy.

At the time of her launch, her life expectancy was calculated by maritime actuaries as twelve years, roughly what her three sister ships experienced. This dim forecast stemmed from maritime risk experts’ belief in the likelihood that fire, collision, dismasting in some distant location, navigational error, tropical cyclones or southern ocean storms, entrapment in ice, obsolescence, or the simple attrition of age, neglect, and decay would put an end to her life. Any one of those calamities usually proved sufficient to destroy ships such as herself and her contemporaries.

And all of those things happened to her. Yet we have just taken her sailing.

What factor may we identify as the cause for this unprecedented triumph over impossible odds? There is only one explanation…

You! —our community, who has loved and sustained this ship for almost five generations!

Star of India

Photo by Mark Albertazzi

Star of India

Photo by Ted Walton

The project has been financed (in part) with Federal funds from the National Maritime Heritage Program administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior. However, the contents and opinions contained herein do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Interior. This program received Federal financial assistance for preservation of historic maritime resources and for increasing public awareness and appreciation for the maritime heritage of the United States. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age of Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age in its federally funded assisted programs. If you believe you have been discriminated against, or if you desire further information, please write to: Office of Equal Opportunity National Park Service 1849 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20240

To learn more about the many opportunities to contribute to the Maritime Museum. Contact Development at 619-234-9153 x 126
or click here to send email.

To Join, Renew, and Gift Memberships, CLICK HERE

Museum Membership

As a member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, you support our preservation and education efforts, and in return receive many benefits! Bring the adventure and discovery to life as often as you would like – choose the membership plan that is right for you.

Membership packages include these benefits:

  • FREE admission
  • FREE guest passes
  • Maritime journal Mains’l Haul
  • FREE newsletters
  • 10% discount at Museum gift shop
  • FREE or reduced admission to Museum events
  • Plus so much more

Museum Membership Grid

Join, renew, and gift Memberships.

For more information contact our Membership Coordinator at 619-234-9153 x128
or click here to send email.

Through your membership, you support the Maritime Museum of San Diego, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and presenting our rich Pacific maritime heritage.

Maritime Museum of San Diego is supported by Amazon using Amazon Smile

amazon smile supporting the maritime museum of san diego
Click the Amazon Smile logo and it will direct you to, choose Maritime Museum Association of San Diego as the place you want to support, shop as usual, and the Museum gets a percentage of the sale. It’s that easy.

Planned Giving

Welcome! We are pleased that you are interested in learning about the many benefits of gift plans. If you have any questions about the best way for you to benefit through a planned gift, please call. A member of our Planned Giving Team will be glad to help you. Contact Development at 619-234-9153 x 126

To learn about:

  • Donor Stories
  • Gift Options
  • Personal Planner
  • Washington News
Click Here

Vehicle Donation Program

A San Diego treasure, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is more than a collection of world-class exhibits and ships. It is a family of volunteers, members, and supporters like you, who are joined together by their passion for the sea, maritime history, and creating an inspiring and enlightening experience for children and adults alike. Thank you for your support.

Donating Is Easy!

Donating a car is easy! And so is donating other vehicles. We accept all types of vehicles nationwide — cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, ATVs, and even boats.

To get started: Click Here
or call 844-790-GIVE (4483) to speak to a representative.

All that you will need to provide is the Certificate of Title upon pickup of your donated vehicle.

Ticket Donations

Thank you for considering the Maritime Museum of San Diego as an item for your fundraising event. We take pride in our support of local nonprofit organizations for such events benefiting our San Diego community. As a nonprofit organization we reviewed the large number of tickets we donate and found the need to re-evaluate the criteria we use for ticket donation selection.

These guidelines are recently updated and your organization’s request will be considered based on the following criteria:

  • You must be located within San Diego County.
  • Your organization must be a nonprofit and will be using Maritime Museum of San Diego tickets as a fundraising item.
  • Preference will be given to organizations that:
    • align with the Maritime Museum’s Mission (see below statement)
    • are an affiliate organization
    • a partner organization
    • or an organization that has participated in our education programs, or had an event on one of our ships.
  • Four general admission tickets are provided per conforming organization and/or event, and are limited to (1) one request per year. Please avoid submitting multiple requests, including mailed submissions, to avoid duplications.
  • Donated admission tickets are limited to the value of General Admission only and are not valid to use for special events, exhibit surcharges, or any event deemed exempt by the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
  • Value of ticket donations are subject to change at the sole discretion of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
  • No cash value is applicable for donated tickets although they are fully transferable.
  • The Maritime Museum of San Diego requests that any organization that receives donated tickets place an acknowledgment within any marketing materials or programs that support the event.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Maritime Museum of San Diego is to serve as the community memory of our seafaring experience by collecting, preserving, and presenting our rich maritime heritage and historic connections with the Pacific world.

CLICK HERE for online application requesting a donation.
Regular mail, send your request for donations to:

Maritime Museum of San Diego

Attn: Request for Donations

1492 North Harbor Drive

San Diego, CA 92101-3309

All donation requests will be reviewed within two weeks.

Looking for a venue to host your future fundraising event? Please call or email our Special Events Department to discuss your needs. Click here to send email or 619-234-9153 ext 102 or 106.

For a look at our venues, visit Event Venues San Diego.

In 2017 the Maritime Museum of San Diego:

  • Replaced the decks aboard the 154 year old Star of India, restoring her to her original splendor enabling her to sail again in 2018
  • Shared the San Salvador and her West Coast origin story with 140,000 people
  • Hosted 20,000 students for living history programs giving them a first-hand experience with immigration, the American revolution and the gold rush
  • Took 15,000 guest on tours of the bay aboard the original San Diego Pilot boat, highlighting the economy and ecology of the port
  • Welcomed home the Vietnam Swift boat sailors with an exhibit that shared their stories with this generation and the next

All thanks to people like you!

Make a 100% tax-deductible investment the Maritime Museum’s mission of preserving our history and you are investing in your communities future.


To Donate Today, Click Here

Join in the adventure! The Maritime Museum of San Diego is home to the maritime story of the West Coast and beyond with one of the most extensive collections of historic ships in the world. Donations & membership helps to tell the maritime story and to preserve these ships.

Every single gift matters. Taken in the aggregate, all gifts, large and small, are essential to the overall goal. So join us at whatever level you can.

Federal ID # 95-2130325