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For a uniquely interactive journey into America’s military history, come aboard the Nation’s largest and most decorated battleship- Battleship New Jersey. Located just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, this ship has served in every war and confrontation from WWII to the Persian Gulf War and now functions as a museum showcasing the ship’s history and the lives of the men and women who served on it. According to Director of Sales and Marketing at Battleship NJ, this 45,000-ton ship is a “marvel of engineering”.

Guests can explore the ship with active tours—going up to the 05 level to see the Tomahawk torpedoes to down a couple of decks to the brig, the on-site jail. Those interested in weapon systems will love climbing inside the 16-inch gun turrets and see the missiles and launch pads. “You can go into the combat engagement center and track a tomahawk missile being launched, it shows a launch from back in the ‘80s,” says Willard.

If you’re not into weapons, don’t worry, because the ship has dozens of other intriguing aspects to explore. “The ship was literally a floating city,” explains Willard, “Part of the tour shows the bunks where the crew lived, the chow line where they got meals, officer wardrooms, and laundry facilities.” Back in the 40’s and 50’s, there were nearly 3,000 sailors on board. “They were on board for weeks at a time and they had to be self-sufficient. The ship had all the basics of a town… like a barber shop and even a post office on board.”

Tours are self-guided with audio, so guests can walk at their own pace. “The average time for tours is about an hour and a half, but people usually stay for several hours,” says Willard.

According to Willard one of the most commonly asked questions received from visitors is “How does a ship of this size float??” The answer lies, of course, in how the ship was constructed as it was made to balance and the air inside keeps it afloat.

People come from all over the world just to see this battleship that is right in Philly’s backyard. “For military and history buffs, this is one of the most iconic ships in history,” Willard says. “If people are fans of history or the military, this is a must-see. For the average person, it is amazing to see the sheer size of the ship, as well as how many cool spaces are onboard and how the crew lived. It is a unique ship with an amazing history.”

 

- By Ettractions Digital Content Editor PAULA MARINO   

 

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WHAT'S NEARBY?

Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh

Other States: Pennsylvania

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