Wisconsin Maritime Museum

75 Maritime Dr., Manitowoc, WI 54220 - United States



Smithsonian Affiliate Museum

Museum Day Hours of Operation: 9:00 am ‐ 5:00 pm

Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum is a fascinating place to learn, play and explore the rich maritime history of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region. The museum offers families and all visitors a unique, engaging and hands-on experience to learn about schooners, sailors, shipbuilders and submariners of the area.

The Wisconsin Maritime Museum is homeport to USS Cobia, the nation’s most completely restored WWII submarine and a National Historic Landmark. Each day, visitors can take a guided tour of the sub, and experience the life of World War II sailors when Cobia patrolled the hostile waters of the Pacific Ocean. Cobia, a GATO-class submarine, represents the 28 subs built in Manitowoc during World War II. In addition to daily guided tours, the submarine hosts overnight stays throughout the year for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, youth groups and families.

Since its founding more than 40 years ago, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum has grown into one of the largest maritime museums in the Midwest.


Wisconsin's Underwater Treasures (newly expanded)
New interactive kiosks and a broader selection of artifacts highlight our expanded exhibit featuring select, significant shipwrecks located within the proposed Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary.

Model Ship Gallery
Scale models, half-hull models and quarterboards tell of Great Lakes sailing ships and freighters, past and present, in the Model Ship Gallery.

Learn about Lake Michigan carferries such as City of Midland 41 and City of Saginaw 31. These unique ships transported passengers and railroad cars between Michigan and Wisconsin ports year ’round, through storms and heavy ice.

View a shipwreck diorama featuring the Edmund Fitzgerald as she looks lying deep in the waters of Lake Superior.

Triple Expansion Steam Engine

Wisconsin-Built Boat Gallery
Renowned throughout the Great Lakes and the world, Wisconsin boat builders have a tradition of craftsmanship that goes back 150 years. Walk through the Wisconsin-Built Boat Gallery, presented by the Manitowoc Company, for a close-up view of actual boats that helped build that tradition. The 44-foot luxury yacht Lady Isabel, built in 1907 by Burger Boat, and 33-foot Palmer-Johnson sailboat Skybird, built in 1947, highlight the collection that also features many examples of Wisconsin-built boats, outboard motors and hunting craft used for pleasure and sport throughout the Great Lakes region.

Children's Waterways Room
It’s a learning experience unlike any other! The Children’s Waterways Room, presented by Burger Boat Company, allows children of all ages to launch boats onto a miniature Lake Superior, sail through the locks at Sault Ste. Marie and continue on to Lake Michigan and Green Bay. Navigate the waterfalls of the Wisconsin River from its headwaters in northern Wisconsin downriver to where it meets the Mississippi – come play and learn in the Children’s Waterways Room!

Shipbuilding History Gallery

USS Cobia Below the Surface Submarine Simulator
Don’t miss our new exhibit, “USS Cobia Below the Surface: A submarine Simulation Experience.” Learn what life was like aboard Cobia during WWII, from the everyday mundane tasks to the times of sheer terror. Experience what it felt like to be in a submarine during a depth charging, the most feared anti-submarine weapon, as we recreate an actual battle from Cobia’s War Patrol log. Then, grab a sailor ID before heading out on the tour and learn what that crewman's duty was on the sub along with other interesting trivia.

This venue will accept your Museum Day Live! ticket on the screen of your smartphone and in person.

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