Under a new president and director, Mystic Seaport entered its ninth decade with a focus on the iconic Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest existing commercial vessel and the only surviving wooden whaleship from the heroic Age of Sail. While continuing its efforts to engage a broad audience through exhibits and programs, the Museum planned to highlight the Morgan’s restoration with a commemorative 38th Voyage to her historic homeport of New Bedford, and to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary to pay tribute to the whales in 2014.
- January — Building America’s Canals exhibit opens in Mallory Building.
- Former Seamen’s Inne restaurant reopens as Latitude 41°.
- May — Tugs! exhibit opens in R. J. Schaefer Building, with tugboat Kingston II set up on land at Museum’s south entrance.
- Skin & Bones: Tattoos in the Life of the American Sailor exhibit opens in Mallory Building.
- Beginning of the Online Learning Community Project at Mystic Seaport for teachers, parents, students, and homeschoolers.
- Brilliant Equipment Fund, which helps with upkeep of schooner Brilliant, renamed in honor of Captain George H. Moffett, Jr., Brilliant’s skipper from 1984 to 2006.
- Restoring a Past, Charting a Future: An Artistic Discovery of America’s Whaling Legacy by Dalvero Academy, a ground-breaking, artistic interpretation of the restoration of the Charles W. Morgan opens in Stillman Building, to run through the summer of 2013.
- Mystic Seaport participates in collaborative exhibit and companion book, The Rockets’ Red Glare: Connecticut and the War of 1812.
- June — 21st Annual WoodenBoat Show held at Mystic Seaport.
- November — Adventurous Use of the Sea: The Cruising Club of America exhibit opens in G. W. Blunt White Building.
- New whaleboats for Charles W. Morgan constructed by Alexandria Seaport Foundation (VA), the Apprenticeshop (ME), Gannon & Benjamin Boatyard (MA), Great Lakes Boat Building School (MI), Independence Seaport Museum (PA), Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (VT), Lowell’s Boat Shop (MA), New Bedford Whaling Museum/Beetle Boat Shop (MA), Rocking the Boat (NY), and Wooden Boat Factory (PA).
- The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces The Rockets’ Red Glare: Connecticut and the War of 1812 the recipient of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards.
- 28-30 June — 22nd Annual WoodenBoat Show held at Mystic Seaport.
- 21 July — After a nearly five-year restoration, the Charles W. Morgan is launched on the 172 anniversary of her initial launch.