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Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin, Norfolk, VA

Visit Nauticus, an exciting and interactive science and technology center and home of the Battleship Wisconsin, as part of this group motorcoach vacation package. Located in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, Nauticus was incorporated under the National Maritime Center Authority in February of 1988. It officially opened on the downtown Norfolk waterfront in June of 1994 in order to inspire and educate the public with engaging and interactive experiences that celebrate connections with today’s maritime world.

What to Expect during Your Time at Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin

During your visit to Nauticus, learn about the naval, economic and nautical power of the sea in Nauticus Battleship Wisconsin-related exhibits, hands-on exhibits and national-caliber traveling exhibits. Then, explore the decks of the original USS Wisconsin. Shopping and dining awaits you at the Banana Pier Gift shop and Dockside Café. 

The Nauticus Campus The Nauticus Campus

Nauticus Exhibits

Guns, Sweat, and Gears: Anatomy of a Battleship

Step into the past. Guns, Sweat and Gears: Anatomy of a Battleship features enormous gun devices, tools and personal mementos from Norfolk’s own Battleship Wisconsin. Exhibit highlights include a 2,400 pound military analog computer, a 12-foot long optical range finder, World War II racks, galley equipment, shell sleds and cradles for moving the Battleship Wisconsin’s gun ammunition, a 48-star U.S. flag and archival images.

Our Mighty Seaport

Celebrate maritime commerce in Our Mighty Seaport. Navigate a tugboat down a busy waterway and receive “real-time” information on ships sailing past Nauticus, discover what’s coming in and what’s being shipped from Virginia to far corners of the globe, or step outside and see giant cranes, tugs, sailboats and cargo ships from the Elizabeth River Observation Deck.

An Enduring Legacy: The U.S. Navy & the 1907 Jamestown Exposition

Watch An Enduring Legacy: The U.S. Navy & the 1907 Jamestown Exposition. This 26-minute film explores the importance of the Jamestown Exposition to the region and its influence on the development of the naval station at Sewells Point.

1907: The Jamestown Exposition & Launching of the Steel Navy

Learn about the period from 1880, when the Navy began to recover from a post-civil war decline, to 1907, when President Theodore Roosevelt sent the Great White Fleet around the world as an affirmation of American naval strength in 1907: The Jamestown Exposition & Launching of the Steel Navy.

Secrets of the Deep

Discover the secrets of the sea in Secrets of the Deep. Highlights of this exhibit include information about NOAA’s underwater parks and the highly publicized USS Monitor site, a submersible called The Clelia and artifacts recovered from the wreck of the famous Civil War ironclad.

SOS Station

Nauticus’ SOS Station explores all types of weather-related phenomena. Experience hurricane force winds in the Hurricane Simulator, strike a spark and learn about lightning, or analyze current weather conditions.

Tsunami Ready

Learn all about Tsunamis. Tsunami Ready explores the destructive power of these natural occurrences and educates on how they are formed and how you can be prepared for them.

Stewards of the Sea

Explore the 1,000-square-foot, highly-interactive Stewards of the Sea. How the Navy protects marine life while fulfilling its mission, defending freedom and protecting the environment, is examined in this exhibit.

Horseshoe Crab Cove

Horseshoe Crab Cove is fun for all ages. Admire and touch exotic sea creatures in a simulated tide pool where horseshoe crabs and many other Chesapeake Bay inhabitants live.

Shark Experience

Meet the sharks of Nauticus in the center’s Shark Experience. Brownbanded Bamboo Sharks, Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks, Coral Catsharks and Epaulette Sharks live at this exhibit.

Living Seashore

The Living Seashore exhibit displays information about the plants and animals that inhabit the Chesapeake Bay. You can also learn about the importance of keeping the Bay healthy and how you can help do this.

Battleship Wisconsin Tour

Step aboard the Battleship Wisconsin, accessible from the second floor of Nauticus, and explore the decks of one of the largest and last battleships ever built by the U.S. Navy. Exhibits throughout provide an in-depth look and pay tribute to the Battleship Wisconsin.


Battleship Wisconsin Exhibits

Art in the Guts of the Wisky

Murals painted on the ship by sailors during the last years of the vessel’s 66-year history have been found on the Battleship Wisconsin. These murals are hidden from the public eye and were likely not sanctioned by the Navy. See recreations of the original artwork in Art in the Guts of the Wisky.


Use cutting-edge, mutli-media technology to explore the main weapons systems and control spaces of the USS Wisconsin. This unique experience takes place overlooking the battleship, enabling you to see the ship like it has never been seen before.

A Capital Ship

“Capital Ship” is a term used to emphasize the traditional role of big-gun warships in naval affairs.  Discover the origin of the warship and its role in military warfare throughout history in A Capital Ship.

Wisky Walk: Fifty Years of Service

Explore the life and service of the Battleship Wisconsin. Wisky Walk: Fifty Years of Service chronicles the history of the ship through vivid photographs, video presentations and a variety of artifacts.

USS Wisconsin: The Last Battleship

Don’t miss USS Wisconsin: The Last Battleship, a film that spans the 50-year history of the Battleship Wisconsin.  During the film, archival footage shows the USS Wisconsin in action, from kamikaze attacks in World War II to Tomahawk missile launches in Operation Desert Storm.


Shopping and Dining at Nauticus


Located on the first floor of Nauticus is the Banana Pier Gift Shop. Shop nautical souvenirs, apparel, books, toys, home décor items and a large selection of Battleship Wisconsin merchandise in the 3,000 square-foot shopping space.


Food and drinks are available from the Dockside Café.  Enjoy wraps, flat breads, sandwiches, burgers, and Caribbean bowls for a main. Add a side of coleslaw, French fries, or onion rings. Hot and cold drinks are also available for purchase from the café.

Travel Tips

-          The Nauticus and Battleship Wisconsin are ADA compliant.  Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis.