The oil tanker MARY A. WHALEN is our ambassador to the BLUEspace.  She is on the National Register of Historic Places.  She is the only oil tanker cultural center in the world.  As of the scrapping of a Sandy-damaged tanker in September 2014, she is the last of her kind in the USA.  See her history page.

We use her in diverse ways:

  • as the site of our offices
  • as a historic ship where we give tours
  • as a stage for cultural activities
  • as a landing - other boats can tie up alongside


Since the MARY A. WHALEN worked so long (1938 to 1993) and over such a wide region (the whole northeast) she is a great vehicle for "place based education," a way to use local places to teach various subject areas.  We customize our tours, and make vivid, experiential educational experiences:

  • for children, college students, professors, the general public and bilingual audiences. 
  • teaching history, economics, marine science, maritime training and skills applicable to several trades. 
  • telling a human story. We are in contact with over 40 former crew members.
  • learn about fuel distribution, consumption and sustainability issues from the 1930's until now.  She was built before Americans used so much electricity, so she makes great use of natural light and ventilation -- another aspect of sustainability we explain during TankerTours.
  • The MARY worked everywhere making her a great vehicle to explain the whole NY-NJ port
  • the NY-NJ port is the largest petroleum through-port in the USA. It fuels the northeast. We tell that story.

Where to see her

The MARY A. WHALEN is currently only accessible by appointment. You can see her on the south side of Pier 9b in the Red Hook Container Terminal from the IKEA ferry, Governor's Island, the ends of Degraw & Sackett Streets.


Built 1938
LOA 172', beam 31.5'
Draft 1.5' bow, 8' stern
Guide to the words for ship parts

Ship cat Chiclet

Our ship cat Chiclet has her own webpage.