Table of Contents
Welcome to San Francisco Maritime NHP
Field Trip Reservations
What to Expect on the Day of Your Field Trip
Overview of Park Resources
Before Your Visit
Self-Guided Activities To Do At The Park
After Your Visit
Additional Resources for Teachers and Students
Welcome to San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Thank you for choosing San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park for your field trip! By touring the ships at Hyde Street Pier, your class will have an opportunity to experience first-hand what life was like during the Age of Sail and the Age of Steam, and to connect with our rich Pacific maritime heritage.
Field Trip Reservations
Park ranger-led tours are scheduled seven days a week in the mornings at 9:45am and 11:00am. Self-guided (teacher-led) tours are scheduled in the afternoons, beginning at 12:30pm. Please email or call to make a reservation at least two weeks before you would like to visit. We begin taking reservations for the school year the day after Labor Day. Calling or emailing earlier in the school year makes it more likely that you will get your first-choice date. You will be sent a confirmation letter after you make a reservation for a tour.
To make a reservation for your group’s trip to Hyde Street Pier, call 415-561-6662 extension 33, or send an email. We look forward to your visit!
On the day of your visit to Hyde Street Pier:
1. Arrive 10-15 minutes early to utilize restroom facilities on Hyde Street Pier and to check in at the Ticket Booth.
2. A park ranger will be waiting for your group at the Ticket Booth for your ranger-led tour, or a brief orientation talk before your self-guided tour. If you think you will be late, please call the Ticket Booth, 415-561-7151, or the Visitor Center, 415-447-5000.
3. Please present your confirmation letter at the ticket booth on Hyde Street Pier to confirm your reservation.
Teacher Role and Responsibilities:
During your visit we will be counting on the teacher and chaperones to help us provide a safe and rewarding experience for all concerned. While on the pier, ships, in the Visitor Center and Maritime Store, Groups should display museum behavior. It is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure that his/her class understands and follows park rules.
In order to provide a safe experience for the children, we require at least one adult chaperone for every ten children.Chaperones must be actively involved, along with the teacher, in monitoring the children. Before the visit, please provide chaperones with a copy of park rules.
1. An adult must supervise children at all times.
2. Absolutely no running on Hyde Street Pier or in the Visitor Center.
3. No climbing on ship rigging and rails along the pier.
4. Food and drink are not allowed in the Maritime Store, Visitor Center, or on the ships.
5. No more than ten students at a time, accompanied by an adult, may enter the Maritime Store.
The park is located in a busy, urban setting. On the pier and ships there are many uneven surfaces, narrow passageways, open pier railings, and low overhangs. Please be alert to these hazards.
Lunch and Restroom Facilities:
Groups are encouraged to use the Aquatic Park Historic Landmark District for lunch. Restrooms are available on the pier and in the Visitor Center across from the pier. There are no restrooms at Aquatic Park. Teachers are responsible for all lunches and other possessions. There are no storage facilities at the park.
Appropriate Dress and Footwear:
Weather at Hyde Street Pier is variable (and often cold). Tours will be conducted rain or shine. Dress in layers and include a warm jacket or rain gear, if appropriate. Comfortable walking shoes (sneakers) are appropriate for the ships.
A Universal Access Guide to the park is available upon request.
The Maritime Museum, located in the Aquatic Park Bathhouse building, is open from 10am to 4pm every day.
Periodically ships are closed or leave Hyde Street Pier for repair. For the latest information, please call the Visitor Center Information Desk, 415-447-5000.
Historic Ships at Hyde Street Pier
You may visit these sailing ships:
- Balclutha, an 1886 full-rigged ship, carried cargo throughout the world until 1930.
- C. A. Thayer, built in 1895, delivered lumber and fish along the Pacific coast until 1950. (Only the main deck is open for visiting).
You may visit these steam ships:
- The Eureka ferryboat transported passengers and automobiles across the bay from 1890 to 1957.
- The Hercules ocean-going tugboat plied the Pacific waters from Central America to northern Canada towing logs and big ships from 1908 to 1962.
At the Small Craft Department on Hyde Street Pier you can see employees and volunteers restoring historic boats and view a collection of craft alongside the pier.
The Visitor Center is located across the street from Hyde Street Pier where stories are told of early California immigrants and the hazards they encountered on the Pacific Coast. A first-order Fresnel lighthouse lens and a wrecked fishing boat are highlights.
The 1939 Works Progress Administration’s Aquatic Park Bathhouse became a maritime museum in 1951. It is open from 10am to 4pm everyday.
The Aquatic Park Historic Landmark District provides a pleasant area of lawns and beach for eating lunch and playing.
At Lower Fort Mason, located in Building E, is the Maritime Library which has extensive research materials and a collection of over 250,000 images. Call 415-561-7030 Tuesday through Friday for an appointment.
Fee-based educational programs:
Fee-based overnight and extended daytime field trips are available through the Age of Sail Program at www.maritime.org, or by calling 415-561-6662, ext. 30, or 415-292-6664.