USS Constitution

Visitor Information


Public Visitation & Holiday Hours | Dry Dock/Restoration Information | Directions and Parking | Safety, Security & Accessibility Info


USS Constitution in dry dock

USS CONSTITUTION, the WORLD'S OLDEST COMMISSIONED WARSHIP AFLOAT and AMERICA'S SHIP OF STATE, promotes the United States Navy and America's naval heritage through educational outreach, public access and historic demonstrations both in port and underway in Boston Harbor.

Located inside Boston National Historical Park as part of the Charlestown Navy Yard in Charlestown, Massachusetts and part of Boston's Freedom Trail, USS CONSTITUTION is open for public visitation, FREE OF CHARGE, throughout the year.

NOTE: ALL PERSONS AGE 18 AND OLDER MUST PRESENT A VALID FEDERAL OR STATE-ISSUED PHOTO I.D. OR PASSPORT TO BOARD THE SHIP.

Visitors to 'Old Ironsides' are able to ask questions and speak with active duty U.S. Navy Sailors assigned as members of USS CONSTITUTION's crew, who are stationed at the ship as interpretative historians to help bring CONSTITUTION's storied past to life! For the complete CONSTITUTION experience, visitors are also highly encouraged to explore the USS CONSTITUTION Museum, also located in Charlestown Navy Yard - just steps away from 'Old Ironsides' herself! Other nearby Charlestown attractions include the USS Cassin Young and the Bunker Hill Monument and Museum!


Public Visitation Hours

USS CONSTITUTION is OPEN for public visitation:

(Summer hours are in effect from April 1, 2016 to October 1, 2016)

OPEN TUESDAY - FRIDAY, 2:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.
OPEN SATURDAY - SUNDAY, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
CLOSED MONDAY

The USS CONSTITUTION MUSEUM, located next to USS CONSTITUTION,
is OPEN MONDAY - SUNDAY from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.!

Holiday Schedule

USS CONSTITUTION is OPEN to the public on the following holidays:
Washington's Birthday (Presidents Day) | Patriots' Day | Memorial Day | Independence Day | Labor Day | Columbus Day | Veterans Day

USS CONSTITUTION is CLOSED to the public on the following holidays:
Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday | Thanksgiving Day | Christmas Day | New Year's Day

*IMPORTANT TOUR INFORMATION*

- Visitors wishing to tour USS CONSTITUTION will need to pass through a security screening facility and enter the
NPS Visitor Center located near Dry Dock 1 in Boston National Historical Park, Charlestown Navy Yard. CONSTITUTION tour guides will gather people at the front of the dry dock.
-
Visitors will be allowed to tour the decks openly, pending current restoration projects do not interfere with public safety.

- USS CONSTITUTION crew members will be stationed on each deck, giving tours and answering questions about the ship.
- Visitors will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations can not be made in advance for public tours.

- USS CONSTITUTION tours are free of charge, however all guests who are age 18 and older MUST show a valid state or federal-issued photo I.D. or passport to board the ship. Guests under the age of 18 do not require an I.D. to board.

- Public visitation dates and hours are subject to change.


Dry Docking & Restoration Information

USS CONSTITUTION has relocated from her berth at Pier 1 in Charlestown Navy Yard to Dry Dock 1, also located in Charlestown Navy Yard (next to the USS CONSTITUTION Museum), for a 2+ year planned restoration period. 'Old Ironsides' enters dry dock roughly every 15-20 years, providing visitors a most rare experience of viewing CONSTITUTION's exposed hull out of the water!

While the ship is in dry dock for restoration, visitors will get the opportunity to board 'Old Ironsides' and explore her top (spar) deck and take photos by the ship's wheel and bell. As always, visitors will have the opportunity to interact with CONSTITUTION's crew of active duty U.S. Navy Sailors who will be available on board the ship, as well as dockside and inside the nearby USS CONSTITUTION Museum. These Sailors will explain and answer questions about the ship's history, talk about the ongoing restoration work, and share how CONSTITUTION has been restored in the past!

Please read below for an outline of USS CONSTITUTION's restoration schedule:

MAY 19, 2015 - USS CONSTITUTION ENTERS DRY DOCK 1, CHARLESTOWN NAVY YARD (CHARLESTOWN, MASS.)

- Remove upper mast sections, yards and bowsprit
- Remove all guns, ballast and rudder
- Install staging, then remove copper from ship's hull below the waterline

2015 - 2017 - ONGOING INSPECTION AND REPAIRS

- Inspect entire hull and replace hull planks as needed
- Inspect rigging and replace as needed
- Inspect and preserve fighting tops for all three masts

2016 - 2017 - ONGOING PRESERVATION PROJECTS

- Preserve all masts and yards
- Preserve ship's wheel and headboards
- Preserve gun carriages
- Preserve ship's boats

2016 - FOCUS ON BOW (front of ship)

- Replace planking in bow
- Inspect and repair trail-boards at bow

EARLY 2017 - FOCUS ON STERN (back of ship)

- Remove, inspect, replace and repair ship's stern ornamentation
- Repairs to Captain's Cabin

LATE 2017 - CONSTITUTION RETURNS TO THE WATER

- Replace planking on gun deck and berth deck (lower decks)
- Install rudder
- Re-copper ship's hull beneath the waterline
- Reef out and re-caulk spar deck (top deck)
- Re-float ship
- Re-rig ship once afloat and return guns and furniture

2018 - USS CONSTITUTION RETURNS TO PIER 1, CHARLESTOWN NAVY YARD

NOTE: The above dates are estimates - all USS CONSTITUTION restoration dates and plans are subject to change.


Directions & Parking Information


Walking & Public Transportation Directions | Driving Directions | Parking Information


USS Constitution Overhead Photo

USS CONSTITUTION is located inside Boston National Historical Park, part of Charlestown Navy Yard in Charlestown, Massachusetts.
*NOTE: Due to restricted vehicle access and limited parking availability inside Boston National Historical Park, visitors are NOT allowed to park directly next to USS CONSTITUTION. Scroll down for further parking information.


Walking & Public Transportation Directions

The GPS address for USS CONSTITUTION is:
1 Constitution Road
Charlestown, MA 02129

From the MBTA Green Line: The closest Green Line stop to us is North Station. Once out on Causeway St, walk perpendicular to and across the Zakim Bridge toward the North End. At the five way intersection, cross to the far side and proceed over the Charlestown Bridge, picking up the painted red stripe of the Freedom Trail. At the take far end of the bridge continue to follow the Freedome Trail as it returns to red brick with a right turn onto Chelsea St. At the next intersection take a right onto Warren St. then take a left on Constitution Rd. Proceed up the street all the way to the end and you will see the USS CONSTITUTION up on your right. The entrance to the National Park will be ahead of you. Walk into the park and go the end of the building to your right, turn right and you will have arrived.

From the MBTA Orange Line: Take the Orange Line to Bunker Hill Community College. Come out of the stop and proceed down the rest of the bridge toward Charlestown. Go past Foodmaster Center on left and go to intersection. Turn right onto Warren St. Go all the way to Henley St, turn left onto that. Go to stop sign and proceed right/straight up to intersection of Chelsea and Warrens Streets. Go across street to Constitution Rd. Follow that around and to the end, where you will see the entrance to the Navy Yard with the Ship on your right.


Driving Directions

The GPS address for USS CONSTITUTION is:
1 Constitution Road
Charlestown, MA 02129

From Points North: Follow I-93S to exit 28 (Sullivan Square). Follow signs to Charlestown/Sullivan Square. At light at end of ramp, enter traffic circle and take first right onto Rutherford Ave. Move into left lane on Rutherford Ave. At the City Square intersection, just before the bridge, turn left onto Chelsea St. Once on Chelsea, take a right at the 3rd light (5th st.). You will see the security gate for the National Park/ Navy Yard on your right. Vehicle access is only for authorized personnel, please refer to the parking information listed below.

From Points South: Follow I-93N to exit 23 (Government Center/North End). Follow the signs for Route 1/ Charlestown, proceeding along Joe Tecce Way until you get to the five way intersection of Causeway St, North Washington St, and Joe Tecce Way. Proceed over the Charlestown Bridge and merge right onto Chelsea St. Once on Chelsea, take a right at the 3rd light (5th st.). You will see the security gate for the National Park/ Navy Yard on your right. Vehicle access is only for authorized personnel, please refer to parking information listed below.

From the New England Aquarium: Follow Atlantic Ave. to North Washington St. and turn right onto the Charlestown Bridge. Go over the bridge to the next light. At that light, turn right onto Chelsea St. Once on Chelsea, take a right at the 3rd light (5th st.). You will see the security gate for the National Park/ Navy yard on your right. Vehicle access is only for authorized personnel, please refer to parking information listed below.


Parking Information

NOTE: Due to USS CONSTITUTION's location inside Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston National Historical Park, vehicle access to Pier One is restricted. Parking is available at the following locations:

Nautica Parking Garage - Phone: (617) 723-1488
Location: Constitution Road, opposite the Navy Yard Visitor Center. (Validated parking is available at the USS CONSTITUTION Museum.)

One Constitution Center (a.k.a. Constitution Marina) - Phone: (617) 242-1965
Location: Constitution Road, next to Residence Inn Boston Harbor on Tudor Wharf.

Flagship Wharf - Phone: (617) 241-7640
Location: In front of Ship Yard Park in the Charlestown Navy Yard.


Safety, Security & Accessibility Information


Banned & Restricted Items | Ship Accessibility | Service Animals


USS Constitution at night

To ensure the safety of all visitors to USS CONSTITUTION, additional measures have been implemented to the ship's security procedures.

NOTE: VISITORS AGE 18 AND OLDER WISHING TO BOARD USS CONSTITUTION MUST SHOW A VALID FEDERAL OR STATE-ISSUED PHOTO I.D. OR PASSPORT AT THE SHIP'S SECURITY ENTRANCE. Examples include: driver's license, passport, etc. Additionally, all bags will be screened at the security entrance. Visitors under the age of 18 wishing to embark do not require an approved ID; however, all visitors, except infants, will receive a hand stamp from the security guards, so Sailors can verify they have been cleared to embark the ship.

Due to the status of USS CONSTITUTION as a commissioned ship in the United States Navy, it is required that all visitors pass through a security screening (similar to that of an airport) prior to boarding the ship. Visitors will be asked to remove any bulky articles of clothing such as jackets, all jewelry, watches, belts, electronic devices including personal music players, PDA's, smartphones and cell phones, camera equipment, and all bags, luggage, or backpacks so that the items may be examined.


Banned & Restricted Items

Please note any contraband will be confiscated and National Park Service Rangers will be notified. Weapons are NOT ALLOWED within both Boston National Historical Park and Pier One. Blades of less than two inches may be declared to security and will be returned if deemed safe.

Once visitors have completed a security screening, they may bring personal shopping bags, backpacks, suitcases, etc. aboard the ship, however they MUST keep all personal belongings with them AT ALL TIMES while touring the ship. STROLLERS are NOT allowed aboard USS CONSTITUTION, and must be left on the pier while touring the ship.

No chewing gum or open food or beverage containers are allowed aboard USS CONSTITUTION unless they can be sealed (i.e. water bottles with caps). Smoking is NOT ALLOWED anywhere aboard USS CONSTITUTION or inside the ship's Navy Yard perimeter. Violators of these rules will be asked to depart Charlestown Navy Yard.


Ship Accessibility

Because USS CONSTITUTION is a National Historic Site that is maintained in its 1812-era configuration, the ship is NOT in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While in dry dock, access to the ship will be limited to visitors who can safely walk aboard the ship unassisted (wheelchairs, walkers, strollers, etc. will NOT be allowed on board).


Service Animals

Visitors with service animals are authorized access to the navy yard and the top (spar) deck of the ship. Though not required by law, proof of the service animal's status as a verified service animal makes the security screening procedure more efficient. Please be aware that due to the nature of the screening process and for the safety of all visitors, if at any time a service animal does not appear to be under a visitor's full control, that visitor will be asked to depart the navy yard. Non-service animals and pets are NOT allowed on board the ship.