The world’s oldest active ship, Star of India, is celebrating her 149th birthday on November 10 & 11, 2012. In honor of this memorable occasion, the HMS Surprise and the Californian will be sailing out of the bay and into the ocean. Tickets to sail on the Californian are available on the Maritime Museum of San Diego website for $100 per person for museum members and $125 for non members.
Also, a special display and demonstrations from the Navy Diving Heritage Symposium will be shown. A special presentation about Navy diving helmets will occur on the ferryboat Berkeley on November 11 from 9:30am-12:30pm and is included with normal museum admission. Guests and families showing membership cards from PADI, NAUI or US Divers have a special admission price of $8 or $5.50 from Nov 10-14.
The Star of India is the world’s oldest active ship. She was built at Ramsey shipyard on the Isle of Man and launched as the Euterpe in 1863. She began her working life as a cargo ship in the India trade and was nearly lost on her first two voyages surviving a mutiny, collision, cyclone and the death of her captain. In 1871 she embarked on a quarter century of hauling emigrants to New Zealand. She circumnavigated the globe 21 times during this service. She was sold to American owners in 1898 and renamed the Star of India in 1906.
By 1923 steam power had replaced sails on merchant ships and the Star of India was laid up in Oakland. A group of San Diegans purchased the ship and had her towed to San Diego in 1927. Depression and war delayed the beginning of her restoration until the late 1950s. In 1976, with her restoration complete, she sailed on San Diego Bay for the first time in 50 years. The Star of India is now the pride of the Maritime museum of San Diego’s fleet of historic ships. She is maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers and skilled craftsman and sailed at least once a year.