The National Maritime Museum Cornwall has 15 galleries, over five floors beautifully illustrating the past, present and future of our island nation.
Where else in the world can you jump aboard a Viking ship and meet the Vikings, go under the sea without getting wet, learn how to sail, climb a 100ft tower and touch Olympic boats all under one roof?
The Main Hall
Start your journey in the Main Hall. Here you can orientate yourself in the building, admiring the hanging Flotilla display over your head. At the heart of this display is the enormous Thames steam launch, Waterlily, a memory of an age of elegance, idleness and long, sunny, summer days. Dating from 1866, she was one … Continued
The Hold is our largest single exhibition space where we install our major exhibitions. The current exhibitions is Viking Voyagers. Exploring the story of why the Vikings are one of the most iconic cultures of all time, the two year exhibition reveals the secret to the Vikings? success. Inviting visitors to take a journey into … Continued
Flying across the top of the Main Hall is our flotilla of small boats. Boats powered by muscles, engines or by various shapes of sail; and?our Regatta of prize-winning racing sailing boats. The earliest boats were muscle-powered and we have everything from a primitive dugout canoe powered by paddles to an elegant Thames rowing boat … Continued
Falmouth First and Last
Explore the maritime history of Britain’s first and last port of call. From the Packet ships of the late 17th century to the heyday of Falmouth’s port in the 19th century and right up to the present day with the record breaking achievements of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Dame Ellen MacArthur. Stepping into our Falmouth, … Continued
Cornwall and the Sea
Here you can discover how Cornish people have made a living from the sea, how local craft were built and who sailed in them. Exhibits explore Falmouth’s role in global communication and trade, along with the development of Cornwall’s migratory links around the world. Witness the stories of dramatic rescues off the Cornish coast.
Enjoy an exhibition full of interactive and story-telling display. Each display is linked to the current day with photographs that run like a thread through each exhibit. Listen to tales of the lives of Cornish fishermen in their own words. Find out how sails were traditionally made and explore how pilchards were pressed in our … Continued
Nowhere else in the British Isles can you experience life under the sea like this! In the Tidal Zone you can go underwater and look out into the harbour through two large windows – if you stand there long enough you’ll see the tide rise and fall! Take a really close look and you could … Continued
The Lookout Tower
Climb to the top of the tower for breathtaking views over the harbour, docks and estuary. The Look Out is a ‘must see’ for all visitors. Use computer interactives to call up more information about what you can see Find out about historic buildings, local landmarks, coastal features, and special events and vessels in the … Continued
The Quarterdeck acts as a gallery learning space for our schools’ workshops during term time and children’s activities during the school holidays. It is also home to a Temporary Exhibition space and details of all current exhibitions throughout the Museum can be found here.
What do sailors need to know about the weather and navigation? Can you steer a boat through a narrow channel? How are charts made and how do you use them? This gallery is full of interactive exhibits that give you an insight into the art of navigation and meteorology Try your hand at steering a … Continued
Experience even more of the sea on the Pontoon directly in front of the building. From here you can view the boats on the water. Regular visitors to the Pontoon include our fleet of: Bluebottle, the International Dragon owned by HRH the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh which won an Olympic bronze medal … Continued