Ship to Shore Overnight Program

A field trip like no other!

Students can climb the rigging of the CONRAD during the Ship to Shore Program.The Mystic Seaport Ship to Shore Overnight Program offers your school group the opportunity to immerse itself in American history. By exploring the Museum’s 19th-century village and sleeping aboard the 1882 full-rigged ship Joseph Conrad, students will experience history in a way that simply can’t be done in the classroom.

The past is made tangible at Mystic Seaport—from feeling the weight of a harpoon to seeing the view from the rigging of a historic ship. These immersive experiences augment and reinforce learning that goes on in the classroom, fostering an unparalleled sense of what the past was like and how it shaped who we are today.

Sea History Alive

We understand that every student learns differently. Some will learn best from speaking with our experienced interpreters and Museum teachers, while others will respond best to the feel of the shipsmith’s hammer in their hand as they help shape a piece of hot iron. Our goal during the Ship to Shore Overnight Program is to help students gain a tactile understanding of the nation’s past. From setting type on a 19th-century printing press to cooking over an open flame in a historical kitchen, students will respond, engage, and most importantly, remember.

Inherently Multidisciplinary

Students can throw a harpoon during the Ship to Shore Program.There’s a lot to discover at Mystic Seaport, whether you’re interested in American history, the whaling industry, or the science and technology of navigating at sea. We work hard to tailor our agenda to fit the needs of your curriculum. From analyzing artifacts and primary sources in Primary Source Workshops to an examination of the role of music at sea with one of our chanteymen, Ship to Shore can work across subject divisions to provide a holistic educational experience.

Here are a few of our most popular themes, but we’re happy to let you mix and match.

Life in a Seaport Town: Learn about living and working in a 19th-century coastal New England town. Hands-on explorations of specific professions (shipsmith, printer, etc.).

All in the Same Boat: An overview of the New England whaling industry in the 19th century. Tour includes a harpoon throw and an option to row whaleboats.

Cargos Around the World: Discover how cargoes and consumer goods moved from one side of the world to the other.

Immigration: Learn how people from around the world entered the United States during the 19th century. Includes a simulated arrival at an immigration station.

NEW — Teambuilding: An exploration of the different kinds of teamwork, cooperation, and respect needed to sail a vessel. Activities include a cask raising and Breeches Buoy, a 19th-century lifesaving drill similar to a modern zipline.

Students on board the JOSEPH CONRAD.

Sample Agenda

The Ship to Shore Overnight Program is offered in either a 2-day, 1-night format or a 3-day, 2-night format. The longer program allows you to select two themes for the trip, such as All in the Same Boat and Life in a Seaport Town. Below is a sample schedule for a 3-day, 2-night program:

Day 1:

Noon: Arrival and Orientation
2:00-4:00: Afternoon Hands-On Workshops (activities depend on theme but may include harpoon throw, making rope, or metalworking with the shipsmith)
4:15: Planetarium Program
5:00: Dogwatch (break time for students)
5:30: Dinner at the Galley Restaurant
7:00: Evening Activity (such as Roleplayer, craft, or chantey show)
9:00: Lights Out

Day 2:

7:00: Reveille
8:15: Breakfast at the Galley Restaurant
9:00: Introduction to today’s theme
10:00: Morning Workshops (activities depend on theme, but may include lanyard-making or knot-tying)
12:00: Lunch at the Galley Restaurant
1:00: Dogwatch (break time for students)
1:45: Intro to Afternoon Workshops and Tours
2:00-4:00: Afternoon Workshops and Tours (including time on historic vessels and inside our village)
3:45: Wrap-Up and Snack
4:00: Dogwatch
5:00: Evening Activity or Show (chantey show or similar)
5:45: Dinner at the Galley Restaurant
6:15: 19th-century games on the Village Green
7:00: Seaport Jeopardy
9:00: Lights out

Day 3:

7:00: Reveille/Pack Gear
7:30: Deck Chores/Clean the Conrad
8:15: Breakfast at the Galley Restaurant
9:00: Rigging Climb aboard the Conrad (weather permitting)
10:00: Free Choice Touring and Shopping with Chaperones
11:00: Boxed lunches at the Galley Restaurant
12:00: Loading and Departure