South Street Seaport Museum

New York - Council Member Margaret Chin and other local officials will join the South Street Seaport Museum to kick off a new season of programming on the institution's historic vessels. Opening Day at Pier 16 will also include the official announcement of Captain Jonathan Boulware's appointment as Executive Director of the Museum. Opening Day at Pier 16 will include a range of free and family-friendly activities and tours. Details on the program are listed below.

Seaport Museum appoints Executive Director: Captain Jonathan Boulware

Captain Boulware has been with the Seaport Museum since November 2011, previously serving as Waterfront Director and then Interim President. His leadership over the past three years has advanced significant vessel repair projects and reactivations, including the lightship Ambrose and the schooner Lettie G. Howard. Working with the Museum's Board of Trustees, the staff team, more than 400 Museum volunteers, and partner educational and cultural organizations, Captain Boulware leads the strategic planning, program development, fundraising, and operations of the Museum.Prior to joining the Seaport Museum, Boulware served as captain of numerous educational "tall ships," sailing with students on both Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Boulware was the recipient of the 2012 Hero of the Harbor award from the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance in recognition of his leadership in preservation of the Museum's fleet of ships during Hurricane Sandy. His appointment as Executive Director signals his long-term commitment to SSSM as it formulates a sustainable path, and provides stability for the Museum's vision, programming, fundraising, and staffing.

"The Seaport is quite literally the birthplace of this city we love," said Captain Boulware. "The Seaport is first and foremost an educational institution. Our collections, historic buildings, and fleet of ships all support this core mission. Whether out on the harbor on a "floating classroom" program, or touring the historic district, visitors touch, see, and interact with historic New York in ways they can only do here in the Seaport. We have been working hard to rebuild and expand this core programming and will continue this development over the next year. It's not an easy task, especially post-Sandy, but it's an important one, and well worth the efforts of our small but dedicated staff and our active and vibrant corps of volunteers. It's an exciting time for the Museum and, despite the challenges, it's clear that the city, the neighborhood and the people of New York are behind our efforts."

"The board and staff of the Seaport Museum have been working hard to create a stable and creative future," said NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. "I applaud Jonathan Boulware for his commitment to this unique institution and look forward to working with him to expand the Museum's public programming and chart a course for the organization."

Opening Day at Pier 16

City Council Member Margaret Chin will ring in the new season on the lightship Ambrose's bell during a ceremony at 2pm on Pier 16.

Join the Seaport Museum for arts & crafts, a Seaport scavenger hunt, historic ships, tours, and live music! At Pier 16, hands-on educational programs will include learning about sailors' navigation, observing some of the creatures that make New York Harbor a living estuary habitat, and conducting a buoyancy test of your own boat made out of clay. Also, watch the "uprigging" on the schooner Lettie G. Howard in preparation for the spring season. The public will be able to observe and ask questions about the process of rigging a traditionally rigged fishing schooner built in 1893. At the 12 Fulton St. Visitors Center, children of all ages - and adults! ­ are invited to paint a mural of images related to Opening Day at the Seaport on the new Seaport Storywall. Opening Day will also feature live musical performances on our stage at Pier 16 including The Lobbyists, performers in the upcoming concert/play Seawife, presented by Naked Angels in partnership with South Street Seaport Museum (coming to Melville Gallery on Water Street in June 2015).

$1 Memberships

The Seaport Museum is happy to offer a special deal for opening day: Sign up as a new member on Opening Day for $1! Offer is valid for new members only. Memberships will be valid for 6 months and are for the Individual Level only. Stop by the information booth on Pier 16 or see a staff member to sign up.

In case of rain on April 25th, Opening Day will be re-scheduled for Saturday, May 2, 2015.

Opening Day Activities on Pier 16

Seaport Scavenger Hunt

Go through scavenger hunt stations throughout the district and learn about the Seaport. Toss a line, pull a print, and find the hidden clues. Complete all seven stations and receive a unique prize!

Float Your Boat

Our historic vessels are all made out of metal ­­ but they float! How can metal float? Experiment with designing boats made of clay that will float, even when loaded with cargo. Can you meet the buoyancy challenge?

How to Get There from Here: Sailor's Navigation 

Out on the water there are no street signs ­­ so how do you know where to go? Explore navigational tools like charts, compasses, and more and learn how sailors find their way.

It's Alive! 

New York Harbor is Alive! Alive with animals large and small, squishy and squiggly and swimming. Look through microscopes and hand­lenses to observe some of the smaller creatures that make New York Harbor a living estuary habitat.

Mobile Print Shop 

Bowne Printers will demonstrate traditional printing at its Mobile Printshop. A printer will operate a tabletop Kelsey press and print delightful giveaways to visitors and passersby.

Lettie G. Howard 

Watch the "uprigging" of Lettie G. Howard in preparation for the spring season. The public will be able to observe and ask questions about the process of rigging a traditionally-rigged 1893 fishing schooner.

Photo Booth

Take a #seaportselfie with our custom photo frame and maritime props to remember your time at Opening Day! Be sure to share on social media and tag @seaportmuseum and @bowneprinters.

Opening Day Activities at 12 Fulton Street Lobby and John Street Entrance

Seaport Storywall

Seaport Stories: Children of all ages - and adults! - are invited to paint a mural to show what a Seaport means to them on a special wall in the Visitors Center at 12 Fulton Street.


Come get inked up like a real sailor with temporary tattoos.

Line Tossing 

Test your skills throwing lines and try to lasso our bollard on John Street!



Step aboard the historic 1911 barque Peking! Marvel at the size of this enormous cargo ship that was powered by sails and human hands alone! Learn about how ships like this were the last great commercial sailing vessels. Beloved Museum Historian Jack Putnam will be aboard Peking telling "Sailor Stories".


Step aboard the National Historic Landmark lightship Ambrose! Learn about how this beautiful red ship had a profound impact on the history of New York, and see what life was like for the crews that served her. Take a spin on the helm and command your imagination aboard Ambrose!

Schermerhorn Row Tour (1130am or 230pm)

Known as the "Street of Ships," New York's South Street was a flurry of commercial activity by the mid19th-century. The trade represented by the ships that called upon her port and an increase in size and scope of the district as a major commercial hub. Join us for special docent lead tours to learn more about South Street's Waterfront World.

District Walking Tour (1245pm)

At the at the height of the "Age of Sail" piers along South Street were crowded with ships from all over the world discharging their cargoes of coffee, tea, cotton, molasses, and countless other trade goods. The trade represented by these ships as well as the counting houses, hotels, and merchants of the South Street Seaport district, is the very trade that built the growing New York City and, through it, the United States of America. Join us as we walk through the story of a city built on its waterways - the story of the formation of New York.


South Street Seaport Museum is a non-profit cultural institution preserving and promoting the historic district of South Street Seaport in New York City. Founded on May 22, 1967, the South Street Seaport Museum (SSSM) is dedicated to telling the vital story of the foundation of New York and its link to its great natural harbor. The Museum preserves and interprets the history of New York City as a place where goods, labor and cultures are exchanged through work, commerce, and the interaction of diverse communities. Designated by Congress as America's National Maritime Museum in 1998, SSSM is located in a 12 square-block historic district on the East River in Lower Manhattan, the site of the original port of New York City. The Museum's campus is comprised of key historic locations such as Schermerhorn Row, our working trade centers on Water Street, and on the "Street of Ships" at Pier 16. These exhibitions and educational facilities are located in the South Street Seaport in New York City's largest concentration of restored early nineteenth century commercial buildings. The Museum houses exhibition galleries, working nineteenth century print shops, a maritime library, a maritime craft center, and the largest privately-owned fleet of historic ships in the country.