The North Carolina Maritime Museum hosts over 300 groups every year and we look forward to your group's visit. There is no admission fee but there is a charge for some of the Museum programs and field trips (see program descriptions below).
While the majority of the groups that visit the Museum are school age, we do offer programs specifically for the groups that are made up of visitors whose school days may be behind them, but they have never stopped learning!
Below are descriptions of our most popular programs. The Museum staff are very flexible and willing to adapt programs to better meet your group's needs and interests.
Contact the education staff during normal business hours to schedule your group's visit or learn more about the different programs we offer.
The town of Beaufort has changed their bus parking policy, click here for the 2014 tour bus routes, drop-off locations and parking. As always buses are encouraged to drop-off and pick-up their groups in front of the Museum, but will now be asked to park in the Front Street Village parking log.
Museum Scavenger Hunts (20-45 minutes) Maximum of 60 participants Most Popular Program
The Museum offers three levels of a museum scavenger hunt for grades K-12. Each student is supplied with a clipboard, pencil and a copy of the grade approrpiate scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunts will lead the students through all of the Museum exhibits and once they have completed the hunts students will be rewarded with either a Museum sticker or maritime stamp. Teachers are welcome to supply their own rewards. While the students are encouraged to take their scavenger hunts home, they will be required to leave the pencils and clipboards for future groups to use.
One teacher or chaperon who is responsible for discipline while in the museum must be assigned to every 10 students. There are no exceptions. Unsupervised students and unruly groups will be asked to leave with their group leader.
Students are invited to the Museum to explore the world of pirates! Following a story about a boy that joined a pirate crew everyone will get to make their own pirate hats and explore what is inside a pirate treaure chest (it isn't just gold and jewels!). Along with learning about pirates students will be reviewing their senses, body parts (head, nose, fingers, etc.) and their colors.
What sound does a dolphin bark? Can a whale sing? How do they breathe? Students are invited to the Museum for this free hour long program where they will have the chance to hear a story about the legendary Hatteras Jack and smell the oil from a Sperm Whale. Children will also have the chance to touch the heart of the Museum’s own 33.5’ sperm whale named “Echo”.
Pre-Kindergarten-1st grade; $25 per group
"Will it float or will it sink?" Students will learn to judge different items (cannon ball, toy boats, spoons, etc.) and decide if they float or sink before testing their 'hypothesis' with a VERY scientific experiment where they drop their items into a pool of water. Following their experimentation with floating items the students will be treated to a story about a very special toy boat. After having learned about different types of boats and different items that float students will get the chance to make their very own toy blow boats from kits made at the Museum's Watercraft Center. Depending on the weather the students may even be invited to try their new boats out in a small pool on the Museum's front patio.
Pre-kindergarten-adult, $30 fee; 1-1/2 hours; maximum of 30 participants
Investigate a sand flat and adjacent salt marsh to study intertidal organisms and their adaptations, food chains, productivity, and the estuarine nursery area. A seine net is pulled in shallow water to view a sample of marine animals.
Pirate's Life (40-60 minutes) Maximum of 60 people
2nd grade-8th grade
This educator lead program will introduce students to the Golden Age of Piracy using replica and prop items similar to what has been recovered from the wrecksite of Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge. This program will discuss navigation, true pirate treasure and of course pirate weapons!
Meet Me Under the Whale (30-45 minutes) Maximum of 40 people
The Museum’s newest exhibit features the 33.5’ skeleton of a sperm whale that beached itself on Cape Lookout National Seashore. Visitors will hear the story of not just this specific whale, but of whaling in North Carolina as they enjoy a guided tour of the Museum’s newest exhibit about Commercial Fishing in North Carolina. Visitors that participate in this tour will also have the opportunity to touch the preserved heart of a sperm whale, smell the oil that whalers spent lifetimes hunting for and win their very own replica whale tooth!
The Best View in Beaufort! (20-30 minutes) Maximum of 20 people
The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort is proud to host one of the highest observation decks on Front Street, giving us what we think is the BEST view in Beaufort! From the Museum’s observation deck visitors are able to see sites such as the Rachel Carson Reserve, Fort Macon State Park and on clear days as far as the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. The observation deck is only accessible by a winding staircase similar to the staircase of a lighthouse, but significantly shorter. Larger groups are welcome to sign up for this program but are asked to split into multiple, smaller groups.
5th grade-adult, 30 participants maximum, $60 fee plus cost of the ferry; 2-1/2 -3 hours
This island component of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserves provides opportunities to study dune plants, feral horses, and organisms of intertidal mud flats and sounds. Participants cross Beaufort's harbor by boat, wade in shallow water, and walk 1/2 mile across a mud flat to the beach.
6th grade-adult; inquire for current fees; 2-1/2 hours; maximum of 20 participants
After an orientation in the museum participants board a research vessel equipped with sampling-sized commercial fishing gear to collect and observe estuarine and ocean organisms. Discussion focuses on species identification and natural history.
Guided Museum Tour (45-60 minutes) Maximum of 35 people
This educator lead tour will spend 5-10 minutes discussing each of the Museum’s exhibits following a brief introduction to the North Carolina Maritime Museum. Depending on the weather visitors will be invited to visit the Museum’s observation deck to see “the best view in Beaufort” following the end of the tour.
Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge (45-60 minutes) Maximum of 35 people
This program begins with a 15-20 minute introduction to both the Museum and specifically the history of Blackbeard and his ship Queen Anne’s Revenge. The introduction will be followed by a guided tour of the Museum’s exhibit “Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge” that features over 300 artifacts recovered from the site where the infamous ship ran aground just off the coast of Beaufort. The exhibit tour is a walking tour that lasts 20-30 minutes. Depending on availability this program can also be supplemented with either a Q&A session with David Moore, Nautical Archeologist with the project to recover the remains of Queen Anne's Revenge, or archeology activity in the Museum's auditorium.
*tour length can be adapted to fit your schedule
*larger groups may split their group between two different programs