Next date: September 4, 2024 10:00 am
Ever held a grenade launcher? Sat at the enlisted mess table while your ship’s culinary specialist explains that you will be expected to wash your own dishes for the duration of your tour? Have you ever watched someone get pulled out of the ocean via helicopter? Stood on the deck of a giant hovercraft that is in the hold of an even more ginormous ship? Thanks to this event, you can experience all of these things without signing up for a 36 month engagement in the U. S. Navy.
Every other year, Historic Ships in Baltimore hosts Fleet Week. Fleet Week is part of a larger tourism / team-building activity for service personnel from the US Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps to major US cities. As part of this exercise, large ships will be open to the public for free tours.
In Baltimore, Fleet Week is spread across four venues: the Inner Harbor, Fells Point (to the east of the Inner Harbor), Port Covington (to the west of the Inner Harbor), and Martin State Airport.
Some of the best ships are docked at the Inner Harbor, but the crowds there can be overwhelming. We arrived at 11am for a tour of the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul and waited an hour and a half in line. At Port Covington, on the other hand, we were able to board all ships immediately, with no wait.
Parking is ample at all venues except the Inner Harbor, where you can find paid parking ($40 per day) or park several blocks away for free on weekends.