Port Of Philadelphia – Historic Ships Anchored in Bay

While visiting Philadelphia for a few days I made sure to stop by the Port of Philadelphia. If a city your planning to visit has a seaside, lakeside or river port it is usually worth checking out. They offer great views and more often than not are home to monuments, parks and other day trip worthy attractions.


The Port of Philadelphia offers all these things as well as a restaurant or two, ferry rides and historic ships. I took in the historic ships because I love history, and the machines of war (although guiltily since I am a conscious objector). Peering into the past of the United States is a relatively easy thing in the city of Philly since it was for a brief period of time, the capital of the United States from 1790 to 1800 as well as a major center for education, civic engagement, science and manufacturing.


Part of the history of the city and the United States can be seen in three of the historic ships anchored in the port.


The Moshulu


The Moshulu has had a brilliant and storied past since it was first launched from it's port of creation in Glasgow, Scotland in 1904. Its history is so wild and varied it deserves some attention.




It has been operated around the world in Europe, North America, South America, Australia and Africa. It has hauled lumber from Seattle to Australia, been used by the Nazi's during WWII as a floating warehouse, confiscated by the US govt. during WWI and won an international grain hauling race from Australia to Europe.


The last of her seafaring days has long since past, being ported at Philadelphia since 1975 as a restaurant, with only a brief stay in New Jersey for repair after a fire. The floating restaurant has seen appearances in two famous movies, The Godfather II and Rocky.


Still a popular dining location it continuously wins prestigious awards and mentions.


USS Becuna


Built in Groton, Connecticut and commissioned by the United States Navy in May 1944 this submarine has seen only brief active duty during war time. It was in service from August 1944 to July 1945 in the Pacific theater during WWII and is credited with sinking two Japanese tankers.




She spent most of her time at New London Naval Submarine Base, the first US Navy submarine base, as a training ship although she saw another brief deployment with the 6th Fleet during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.


USS Olympia


Commissioned in 1895 this warship is most famous for being the flagship of Commodore George Dewey in the Battle of Manilla Bay during the Spanish-American War. The only ship in its class, literally, the USS Olympia operated as a protected cruiser.




The ship has seen many a theater during it's illustrious career and has aided in the US international role as a peace keeping force. During the Russian Civil War it sailed to Russia as part of an Allied peace-keeping force. While it was stationed for operations in the Mediterranean it spent time off the Dalmatian Coast during the post Austro-Hungarian Empire collapse, with the ensuing chaos in the Balkan region. During this time it also aided in returning refugees of the Balkan region who had fled during the war.


In a fitting final mission the Olympia carried the body of the The Unknown Soldier from France to Washington, D.C. in October of 1921.


Bonus Other Ship


A ship I do not know, but cool none the less.




About Author

Post by Kurt Trumble
The Low Down:

Kurt grew up on Long Island in New York. He spends his time learning emerging open source technologies and social media. He runs Travel With Drupal, focused on Drupal webdesign and blogging. (http://www.travelwithdrupal.info). Beatnik literature and The Beatles top his list of interests when not backpacking around.