Nautical Overnights at Battleship Cove
Did you know that Battleship Cove pioneered overnight camping on board naval vessels? It all began in 1972 when a Boy Scout leader asked Paul Vaitses, then Battleship Cove's executive director, 'Is it possible for my scout group to spend a night aboard?' Mr. Vaitses promptly replied, 'Absolutely!'
If your family is seeking a different kind of experience to enjoy together, the Nautical Nights Program is just what you’re looking for!
For some it is an annual adventure steeped in history, patriotism and pride. It is not uncommon to see a father, who as a boy spent a night aboard the battleship, return with his son to repeat the experience. They trudge up the gangway carrying sleeping bags, pillows, backpacks (and an occasional teddy bear). They may be weary from their journey, but they're soon transformed.
What you Get
• Two days’ paid admission with overnight lodging on board a National Historic Landmark
• Full, nutritious dinner, breakfast, and box lunch
served in the battleship’s Officers’ Wardroom
• Feature films shown on board Big Mamie
• A rotating schedule of knot-tying and Morse
Code classes, flag-folding presentations,
story-telling, and historical re-enactments
• A free 16-page souvenir guide with
a pull-out map of Big Mamie
• Free admission to the Marine Museum
The awesome size of the ship dazzles them. They gaze at the masts where the U.S. flag and an array of signal flags flutter proudly. They marvel at the 16' guns, the 40MM mounts, the turrets and the superstructure. You see it in their faces. They've never seen a ship so big and they say to themselves, 'I can't believe we'll be spending the night onboard!'
After stowing their gear, campers wander in wonder at everything Battleship Cove has to offer. The look of amazement turns to glee when they climb on the 40MM mounts and crank the handwheels. With imaginary shells bursting all around they fight off the enemy and save their proud ship. They scamper about, investigating the guns, ducking into the turrets, climbing on the mounts, sprinting up the ladders. . . exploring everywhere.
Fathers, grandfathers and uncles (some of them Navy veterans) proudly explain the workings of the ship. The enthusiasm and pride is contagious for this proud lady of the sea.
A visit to Battleship Cove is special. Spending an overnight on board one of the mightiest defenders of freedom truly is an unforgettable experience.
Approx $50 per camper
Exit 7 off Rte 24, Fall River, MA map
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