Memorial Day Weekend: Fleet Week + Saturday Mary Whalen TankerTours

Thurs 5/26 - Mon 5/30 "Fleet Week" ship tours in Red Hook, Brooklyn

Sat 5/28 TankerTours of MARY A. WHALEN (info at bottom)

This year, Fleet Week “Celebrating The Sea Services” has three ships open to the public in the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook. This is the first time that Fleet Week has been at that cruise terminal.  There will be two Navy Destroyers and one Coast Guard cutter (see photos below):

  • Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99)
  • Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96)
  • Coast Guard USCGC Forward (WMEC 911)

Fleet Week ships visiting hours  Thurs 5/26/16 - Mon 5/30/16 from 8am to 5pm each day. Entry may be closed at 3pm each day to allow visitors aboard to cycle out.

Directions to Brooklyn Cruise Terminal  (for cars, public transit, walking, biking, ferry)

Fleet Week rules on what you can't bring & need to bring, etc. See their FAQs for what you need to have (IDs of people over 18) and can't bring aboard: strollers (leave them on the pier), bottles, cans, knives and more, and should avoid (high heels, sandals, open toed shoes and more).

Visit historic Red Hook, home to great restaurants, bars, cultural institutions and parks! Info


Sat 5/28/16 from 10am-5pm
Sign up for tours on-site. Groups of 20 will be admitted every 20 minutes. No tours at 1:00 & 1:20 as we break for lunch.
Can't make it? For other ways to experience the MARY, see Visitor Info

PortSide NewYork will open our ship, the tanker MARY A. WHALEN in honor of her 78th birthday! She is the only oil tanker cultural center in the world.  She is the last of her kind in the USA and is listed on the National Register of historic places.  She is significant for her role in the 1975 Supreme Court legal decision U.S. vs Reliable Transfer, a major case in US maritime law. The MARY is a symbol of  resiliency because the PortSide crew rode out superstorm Sandy on the ship, and then we brought our office equipment ashore to set up and run a hurricane Sandy pop-up aid station.

The MARY A. WHALEN's story is woven into Red Hook WaterStories because she was built for the Red Hook company Ira S. Bushey & Sons and was based in Red Hook for decades as tanker and then as a floating dock and office for Hughes Marine after she went out of service in 1994. She became PortSide's flagship in 2007.

The MARY was launched May 21, 1938 at Mathis in Camden, NJ and built for Bushey's, an innovative and unusually diverse maritime company which closed in the 1980s. Bushey's was based at the foot of Court Street and ran a ship yard, fuel terminal and fuel delivery fleet of tugs, tankers and barges. Bushey's built over 200 ships for the Navy and commercial service and had ships built at other yards.  Today, the Bushey property remains an active maritime site with the fuel tanks operated by Buckeye and their fuel moved by our friends at Vane Brothers. Vane runs a fleet of tugs and fuel barges and has often towed our MARY A. WHALEN for free.  Vane also introduced us to their paint supplier International Paint who has donated all the paint to recoat the decks and house.

Please donate now to support our restoration of the MARY A. WHALEN, public programs aboard which include TankerTours, TankerTime,
and our summer preservation internships with the WHSAD high school
and programs off the ship such as
our Sandy recovery and resiliency work and  
Red Hook WaterStories which tells Red Hook maritime history over 400+ years.

Help us match a grant and raise another $20,000 for Red Hook WaterStories by the end of June and donate here!

Red Hook WaterStories is supported in part by Councilman Carlos Menchaca.