Ship to Shore

Students get to explore the Museum's village by day and sleep aboard the tall ship JOSEPH CONRAD by night in our Ship to Shore overnight program.

A field trip like no other!

Are your students ready for a maritime adventure? The Ship to Shore overnight program at Mystic Seaport offers your school group the opportunity to immerse itself in history. Through exploration of Mystic Seaport’s 19th-century village by day and nights spent aboard the training vessel Joseph Conrad, and with a series of educational tours, authentic demonstrations, and hands-on activities, the Ship to Shore program is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Students aboard the Joseph ConradStudents learn about life at sea as they:

Each Ship to Shore program is tailored to the needs of the visiting school. Schools can choose from topics such as Life in a Seaport Town, Whaling, Cargoes, and Immigration, among others. Programs can also be designed around a custom topic of your choosing; we welcome any ideas that would help fit your trip into your curriculum!

Ship to Shore is open to all school groups, and is especially recommended for students in grades 4–9. The minimum group size for participation is 20 students and the maximum is 50 students. Schools can choose either a three-day, two-night program or a two-day, one-night program. Spring programs run from mid-February to the end of May and fall programs run from mid-September to mid-November. Overnight programs occur during the week, on any 2-3 day span from Monday to Friday.

State Social Studies Language Arts Science Math
Connecticut 1, 2 1, 3, 4 5.4 3

At Mystic Seaport's overnight programs students get to sleep aboard the training ship Joseph Conrad.Ship to Shore Programs

Two-night programs include two afternoon study tours, three morning workshops, a planetarium presentation, a chantey show, and rigging climb (weather permitting).

One-night programs include one afternoon study tour, rigging climb (weather permitting), and either a planetarium presentation or a chantey show.

Afternoon Study Tour Choices

  • Life in a Seaport Town: Learn about living and working in a 19th-century coastal New England town. Each group has their own hands-on activity geared towards a specific profession of the time.
  • All in the Same Boat: An overview of the New England whaling Industry in the 19th century. Each group learns about a different job/role aboard a whaleship. Tour includes a harpoon throw.
  • Cargos Around the World: How did we transport cargo before diesel and the Panama Canal?
  • Harvesting the Sea: A look at the New England fishing industry, focusing on cod fishing, lobstering, and oystering.
  • *New* Immigration: Learn how people from around the world entered the United States during the 19th century. After going through a simulation of Ellis Island, explore the grounds as you learn about the struggles and triumphs of immigrants and how they have shaped American culture.
  • *New* Ecology: A scientific survey of the Mystic River ecosystem, including the biodiversity of its plant and animal organisms and the symbiotic relationships between them.

Morning Workshop Choices (2-night programs only)

  • Knot Tying: Learn how to tie key nautical knots, such as the bowline, square knot, and figure eight knot.
  • Lanyards: Use half-hitches to make a sailor’s lanyard bracelet or keychain.
  • Sea Chest: Dig into a sailor’s sea chest to see what mariners brought to sea in the 1800s.
  • Navigating by Compass: Use compass bearings to navigate a scavenger hunt on Museum grounds.
  • Open Hearth Cooking: Cook over an open fire and enjoy the fruits of your labor! (Recommended for small groups and younger students.)
  • Role-playing: Portray a character from the 19th century and learn about primary and secondary sources. (Classroom prep required, including basic research, story telling, reading, and writing.)
  • Simple Machines: An overview of basic physics concepts, identifying simple machines around the Museum, and exploring their purposes.