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Merseyside Maritime Museum

The Merseyside Maritime Museum is a museum based in the city of Liverpool, Merseyside, England, UK. It is part of National Museums Liverpool and an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage. Opened in 1980 and expanded in 1986, the museum occupies warehouse block D at the Albert Dock, along with the Piermaster’s House, Canning Half Tide Dock and Canning Graving Docks.

The city’s seafaring heritage is brought to life within the historic Albert Dock. The museum’s collections reflect the international importance of Liverpool as a gateway to the world, including its role in the transatlantic slave trade and emigration, the merchant navy and the RMS Titanic. The UK Border Agency National Museum, ‘Seized! The Border and Customs uncovered’ is located in the basement gallery of the building.

Merseyside Maritime Museum is in the Albert Dock, Liverpool. It contains a variety of objects associated with the social and commercial history of the port of Liverpool. Highlights include ship models, maritime paintings, colourful posters from the golden age of liners and even some full sized vessels. There is also the major current exhibition Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story, which tells the story of Liverpool’s links to the ill-fated liner. The Museum also houses the International Slavery Museum (on the third floor) as well as the Border Force’s national museum: Seized! The Border and Customs uncovered (in the basement).

The Merseyside Maritime Museum is located within the heart of the Albert Dock cultural precinct, and is easily reached on foot from many downtown hotels. A bus route services the area, and paid parking is available in the multilevel parking lot. The museum is open daily and admission is free.

The collection of maritime paintings is one of the key holdings of Merseyside Maritime Museum. It provides a comprehensive record of merchant vessels and shipping activity, particularly related to Liverpool, from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Most paintings in the collection are portraits of merchant vessels, owned in Liverpool, or associated with the port. They were produced for people who knew the vessels – their owners, builders, masters, and crew. There are also views of the port of Liverpool, the Mersey, and general shipping scenes set against local and other British coastal backgrounds. Since the first maritime oil painting was acquired in 1912, the collection has grown to fully represent Liverpool’s development as a centre for shipping and one of the world’s great ports.



  • Car Parking
  • Disabled Access
  • Free Admission
  • Gift Shop
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups
  • Large Parties
  • On-Site café/restaurant
  • Schools Accepted
  • Shop

Payment Methods

  • American Express accepted
  • MasterCard accepted
  • Switch accepted
  • Visa accepted
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Q Cancellation of Service

Sessions can be booked online or by phoning 0151 478 4788. Payment must be received no later than one week after confirmation of the booking. If payment has not been received within one week of the booking confirmation, the scheduled booking will be cancelled and sessions made available for other schools to book. For bookings made within four weeks of the intended visit, payment must be made in full at the time of booking. Please note that following confirmation of your booking, change of dates and cancellations will be subject to a £25 administration fee.

Payment can be made by BACs, credit card or cheque. Bookings will be subject to the Terms and Conditions provided at the time of the booking.

Q Cost of Service

Ordered by the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board, Liverpool, in July 1951. Launched 9 July 1953 and handed over 2 December 1953. Cost of build:

contract price £189,230
extras £4,186
increased costs £16,457
deck stiffening £89 (for the Admiralty)
profit £1,114
additions to the contract price £2,061
additions to profit £3,243

Q Parking

The nearest car parks are located in the Liverpool One complex opposite the entrance to the Albert Dock. Q-Park Strand Street has 2000 underground spaces, Q-Park Gradwell Street has 560 multi-storey spaces and Q-Park John Lewis has 580 multi-storey spaces. The entrance to the Strand Street car park is opposite the Albert Dock and is accessible from the centre of the road in both directions. The Gradwell Street car park is opposite BBC Radio Merseyside and the John Lewis car park is located opposite the Paradise Street bus interchange and the police station.

Charged car and coach parking is also available at the adjacent King's Dock.

Q How can I find out about my father's career in the Merchant Navy?

The Maritime Archives and Library does not hold official records of seafarers, but Information Sheet 43: Tracing Seafaring Ancestors in the Merchant Navy provides details of sources available in the UK and elsewhere for tracing seamen on British registered ships.
The Maritime Archives and Library holds many records of major shipping companies operating from Liverpool. These include Ocean Transport & Trading that incorporated Blue Funnel, Elder Dempster, Bibby Line, T&J Brocklebank and Pacific Steam Navigation Company. We also hold career papers of individual seafarers.

Q My ancestors emigrated to Australia in 1845. Can you supply me with a photograph of this ship?

Photography came into the public use in 1839, so very early photographs are rare. Whilst we do have some early images, the majority do not go back further than the 1860s. However, we have some images illustrating ships built prior to the 1860s, although the photographs are not contemporary with the build date. For ships in service from 1839 to 1860, it is worth contacting us to see what we might have, but images of early emigrant ships are more likely to be represented in an engraving or painting. We may be able to find an illustration of a generic ship type, eg a schooner or barque, rather than an illustration of a specific ship. Please contact our photography department, who may already have a copy of a suitable image of the ship you are interested in, at and who will be able to advise you on the service they offer.

1 Review for Merseyside Maritime Museum


4 Reviews

The touch of History!

5/ 5

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I visited this museum with my friends in school and we were amazed by what we saw. The paintings tell a lot of stories. The collection of photographs were really helpful in understanding history and other items we saw really sparked our interests. History is really important to man and we should always try to preserve them for the future. You never know whose mind it may speak to.

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