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Giants of the Sea: Norfolk’s Naval Heritage

In-Person Program

All-Day Tour

Thursday, June 15, 2023 - 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1CD019
Departs Mayflower Hotel, DeSales St side
1127 Connecticut Ave NW
Fringe: I-95 and Rt. 123 Commuter Lot
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Deck of the USS Wisconsin

For over a century, the Hampton Roads area has hosted Norfolk Naval Station, the largest navy base in the world and home to the U.S. Navy’s gigantic Atlantic Fleet. Spend a day exploring some of the world’s greatest ships with transportation expert Scott Hercik.

Begin at Nauticus, one of the country’s premier maritime museums and home to the USS Wisconsin, one of the largest and last battleships ever built by the U.S. Navy. Learn of the dynamic growth in global commerce moving through the Port of Virginia and the critical importance that the Navy plays in protecting America’s interests around the world. Climb on board the Wisconsin, launched in 1943, for a behind-the-scenes look. 

After lunch, set sail aboard the Victory Rover and enjoy a close-up view of huge marine terminals, served by some of the largest container ships in the world, and marvel at the ships of the Atlantic Fleet, including huge Nimitz-class and the newest Ford- class nuclear aircraft carriers. 

Know Before You Go

  • The tour departs by motorcoach from downtown Washington, DC with a designated secondary pick-up outside the city. Content delivered by the study leader on the way to the destination, after the secondary pick-up, is an integral part of the study tour experience. Meeting the group once the tour is en route is discouraged.
  • Tour participants meet at and leave by bus from the Mayflower Hotel, Connecticut Ave. and DeSales St. N.W., with a pickup stop at I-95 and Route 123 carpool lot at about 7:40 a.m.

General Information

  • Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 14, 2023.
  • Smithsonian is a mask-friendly environment. Masks are strongly recommended to be worn on buses at all times and may also be required at various indoor sites.
  • For additional tour information: