Historic Ships of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

There are four historic ships in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor; the US Frigate, Constellation; the US Coast Guard Cutter, Taney; a submarine, the USS Torsk; and a lightship, the LV116 Chesapeake. The Taney is the only one not in the main area of Inner Harbor. It’s docked at Pier 5 behind the Hard Rock Cafe and the Barnes&Noble bookstore. The Torsk and Chesapeake are docked in front of the National Aquarium at Pier 3 and the Constellation can be found just on the other side of the Baltimore World Trade Center building at Pier 1.

Historic ship, Constellation, docked at Inner Harbor
All four historic ships can be toured for $18. If you’re only interested in seeing one the admission is $11.  I’ve toured the ships before, but yesterday I didn’t because of the huge crowds of school kids. I guess it’s the time of year for field trips. I only live seventy miles away, so I can come back.

Coast Guard Cutter TANEY -WHEC – 37

The Coast Guard Cutter Taney at Pier 5 at Inner Harbor

The Coast Guard Cutter Taney at Pier 5 at Inner Harbor

sign at Pier 5 with information about the Taney

Sign at Pier 5 with information about the Taney

As the sign says (you can click it to view it larger), the Taney is the last ship afloat that saw action during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The Philly built (1935) cutter was designed for peacetime missions, but earned four Battle Stars for it’s actions during WWII.

US Submarine Torsk

The USS Torsk docked in front of the National Aquarium in Baltimore

The USS Torsk docked in front of the National Aquarium in Baltimore

This was my favorite Inner Harbor attraction as a kid. I remember touring it and thinking even then that the quarters were cramped. It had a crew of eighty and was equipped with about half that number of bunks. Not a job post for the claustrophobic!

Torsk was launched in December of 1944. The submarine has one of the highest dive totals of any US sub. The Torsk was credited with sinking two Japanese defense frigates, the last enemy ships sank in World War Two. It also torpedoed an enemy freighter the day before.

Lightship 116 Chesapeake

the LV116 Chesapeake docked at Pier 1 in Baltimore

The LV116 Chesapeake docked at Pier 1 in Baltimore

A lightship is basically a mobile lighthouse. This ship, built in 1930, was in service at Fenwick Island Shoal (DE), Cape Henry (VA), and around the Chesapeake Bay. During WWII it was painted grey and armed for service as a patrol vessel near Cape Cod Canal.

USS Constellation

USS Constellation at Pier 1 in Baltimore's Inner Harbor

USS Constellation at Pier 1 in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

The Constellation is the most popular ship tour of the four historic ships at Inner Harbor. The sloop-of-war was constructed in 1854 and is the last Civil War ship still afloat. The Constellation mostly saw action disrupting slave trade to the Confederate states by interdiction of slave ships. It also saw duty carrying famine relief to Ireland in the late 1800’s.

-Alot of the information in this post is from signs around the Inner Harbor. Some of it is from the  historic ships website, check it out for in-depth information.

2 thoughts on “Historic Ships of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

  1. Baltimore is a city I want to see. Have been told its historic quarter is one of the best preserved in the US. Joint history with Canada too. I believe it had an important role in the War of 1812.

  2. Boomergirl, it did have an important role in the War of 1812. The British tried to take Baltimore, but failed because they couldn’t get past Fort McHenry, which I also visited yesterday. The lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner were written during that battle. Lots to explore in B-more.

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