Overnight Adventures

The United States Naval Shipbuilding Museum lets you experience life on board what was once one of the Navy’s most powerful class of cruisers in the world. The USS Salem CA-139 is now the world’s only preserved heavy cruiser. She is moored at her birthplace, the former Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Our Overnight Adventure offers participants activities that include simulated combat situations such as radar tracking, damage control and simulated fire fighting. Other activities include scavenger hunts, cold water survival, hoisting, and first aid lessons.

It’s the hands-on aspect of our program that make us unique. Our Adventurers get access to areas of the ship off-limits to regular guests. They even sleep in the same bunks used by naval personnel and eat in the same mess decks. So, are you ready for a Shipboard Adventure?

Cold Water Survival:
Your ship is going down rapidly. You have a few minutes to decide what to take into the life raft with you! Overnight Adventure participants are given a list of options and must decide what to take. A crewmember will review your choices and determine whether you will survive or be bait for the sharks!

Combat Information Center:
A member of the USS Salem’s crew will introduce groups to the ship’s C.I.C. This program consists of instruction in the ship’s radar and communications equipment. During a simulated battle you will use this equipment, radar will be activated, targets tracked and plotted on the “Maneuvering Board”. Using sound powered phones information will be passed back and forth while you help stave off an attack. During the battle you will learn to operate all this equipment in the dark!

Engine Room:
This activity lets participants tour Engine Room #3 and see how the Salem generates her immense 120,000 horsepower which is used to power the ship and propel her up to 35 knots.

Fire Fighting:
This evolution is an introduction to naval firefighting equipment and procedures. Older groups will participate in a drill where they suppress a simulated fire, (no smoke) locate and retrieve victims. The groups on the main deck perform hose drills during warmer months. They learn how to rig submersible fire pumps, hook up hoses and flow water. Younger groups will learn about firefighting techniques, try on protective equipment and participate in hose drills.

First Aid:
For older groups, we begin with a review of basic first aid skills. An emergency scenario is simulated in the ship’s engineering spaces. Using teamwork, groups are tasked with locating “victims” properly treating their injuries and evacuating them. Younger groups have basic first aid and safety skills taught with the use of 911 being reinforced.

Participants will learn how to rig the ship’s 8 inch shells for transport and lowering into the ship’s magazine. This evolution involves teamwork and strength.

Included with your Overnight Adventure:

  • Personalized Group Orientation

  • Two days’ admission on board the USS Salem

  • Dinner, breakfast, and snacks served in the crew’s mess deck
  • Up to three feature films shown on board
  • Participation in up to six hands-on activities and programs

USS Salem Overnight Adventure Plan of the Day

Ordered by the US Navy on 14 June, 1943, USS Salem (CA 139) was laid down on 4 July, 1945 at the Bethlehem Steel Company’s Quincy Yard in Quincy, MA and launched on 25 March, 1947. She was commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on 14 May, 1949.

USS Salem served a distinguished 10 year career as flagship of the US Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean and the Second Fleet in the Atlantic. During her career she served as host to such notables as the US Ambassador to Spain, John D. Lodge; the Honorable Thomas S. Gates, Undersecretary of the Navy; Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, USN, Chief of Naval Operations; the Shah of Iran; the President of Lebanon and the King and Queen of Greece.

Thank you for participating in the USS Salem Overnight Adventure!