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Reimagining Exploration

At The Mariners’ Museum and Park, we strive to create gallery spaces where guests can connect with one another and engage with incredible stories of mariners, past and present. Our Exploration Gallery was built more than three decades ago and now needs updating. This project is not just a renovation, it is an opportunity to reimagine how we engage with guests in our physical spaces.

Currently, this gallery is under renovation

Over the course of the year, we will periodically bring out special artifacts to gather feedback about what YOU want to see in the new Gallery! This project will have an even greater impact than just improving our facility; we will create an interactive space for children and adults to become explorers themselves and connect with the diverse cultures that explore our world’s waters.

We invite you to watch the videos below to hear first-hand from members of the Mariners’ team as they share our approach to this innovative project and how the Exploration Gallery will bring our mission to life! Stay tuned as we release updates on our progress!

Material Culture

Our shared maritime heritage is personified through the objects in our Collections and the incredible stories we can share about objects and the people who made and used them. While the Exploration project is about physically renovating a space, we are truly adapting our approach to the in-gallery experience in the process. By engaging up-close with our objects, visitors become a part of the story and connect with mariners of our past and present in intimate and meaningful ways.

Experiencing our shared maritime heritage

Learn more about our material culture approach to the Exploration project from Jennifer Hackney, senior material culture educator.


The overhaul will bring a new look, innovative engagement and technology, beautiful object cases and text panels. More importantly, it will bring the mission to life for our visitors. Our team is dedicated to sharing the full story of maritime exploration because the broader and more inclusive our stories are, the greater the opportunity for our visitors to identify with our shared maritime heritage.

Bringing the mission to life

Hear from President and CEO Howard H. Hoege about how our approach to Exploration helps accomplish our mission. 

Student Engagement

Because Exploration is our most popular student program, this new space is designed with our youngest mariners in mind. Students will become explorers themselves in the gallery, engaging with the Collection and explorers from every corner of the globe in this immersive learning environment. Our mission-based approach is especially important for our youngest mariners as they learn about Exploration in-depth during our Educational Enrichment Programs in the gallery. 

Building connections with our youngest mariners 

Hear from Brandan Adams, senior history educator, about how students will connect with our shared maritime heritage and one another in the Exploration Gallery.

The Core Galleries Plan

Our team has organized the thousands of stories from our Collections into six Core Themes: Exploration, Commerce, Conflict, Technology and Innovation, Recreation, and Inspiration. Over the next several years, the Museum is improving our core galleries to align with these themes. We will  create spaces that are deeply rooted in our Collections and foster meaningful relationships between our visitors and our shared maritime heritage.

Galleries centered around our Collections

Learn more about the Museum’s plans for our future from Vice President of Collections and Chief Curator Lyles Forbes.

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