Schools and Groups

Our mission at the NC Maritime Museum at Southport is to tell the story of the Lower Cape Fear region’s people and their relationships to the water... a tale of tides, wind, and ocean.


The Museum is a great place to take your school, scout or recreational groups for a hands-on educational experience! We have curriculum-based program topics such as Pirates, Civil War Blockade Runners, People and the Sea, American Indians, Water and Weather, and other programs upon request. Click here for a group registration form.

Program Request Form

Children's Program Registration Form

Home Schools


Programs are available to meet your needs with cross-discipline activities covering math, science, history, and English all in one visit.

Discussss your curriculum and criteria with our educators to round out your trip and make the most of multiple age groups.

  • Lectures
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Costumed Historical Tours
  • Hands On Activities: The History of Fisheries, Civil War, Pirates and more

Call the museum for more information and to schedule your group. Programs are available for 4 or more children. Fees apply for Hands – On Activities. Admission to the museum and tours are free; Donations are always welcome for all museum programs.


LoriCertain subjects can be taken to your school! Larger class settings can be accommodated with outreach programs.

We service all counties in the Lower Cape Fear region.  Please call Lori at 910-457-0003 for more information.

School Group Guidelines

Group reservations & Size
Due to our current facility restrictions, the museum may need to divide groups of 30 or more into two groups for visitation and activities.  Very large groups may be asked to schedule morning visits, or to have part of the group visit a nearby site, such as the riverfront park, Ft. Johnston, or Keziah park for an activity and visit the museum in smaller groups. The museum staff will work with you to make arrangements for these concurrent activities. 

It is requested that each group have at least one (1) chaperone per every ten (10) participants under the age of 18.  This is especially important for off-site programs and in-museum tours.  Teachers and chaperones are responsible for group behavior and safety during the entire visit.


Museum Etiquette
Remember that the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport is open to everyone.  Please keep participants in their groups at all times and make sure students are respectful of the exhibits as well as other visitors.  Please do not touch the artifacts unless the signage clearly states otherwise.

Museum Hours
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.   We ask that visitors be prepared to leave the museum at closing time. The museum is closed Sundays and Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.   It is not recommended to schedule any groups during the week of July 4th.

Museum Shop
Be sure to visit the museum shop as part of your visit.  We have a number of small souvenir items perfect for younger guests. Allow 10-15 minutes for your group to browse. 

You may bring snacks or lunch to enjoy outdoors at our facility. In addition, there are several outdoor parks within a short walk of the museum.  Most of these have picnic facilities.  These locations are ideal for groups that wish to bring their lunches.

Southport Donation

Make a one-time donation specifically to the Maritime Museum at Southport. The Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donors may deduct contributions as provided in Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. Financial information and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 919-807-2214. The license is not an endorsement by the State.


Volunteers are needed for the great times at the Maritime Museums. Share your love of history, culture and North Carolina's well-loved coast.  Each Museum offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, from working with children to helping with events.