Nauticus now offering tours of Battleship Wisconsin engine room

Posted at 1:32 PM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-11 10:52:09-04

NORFOLK, Va. - After years of preparation, Nauticus has started offering "Life in the Engine Room" tours aboard the Battleship Wisconsin.

Since the Wisconsin arrived in Norfolk, the engineering spaces, which have never been open to the public, are among the most requested areas to visit.

The 60-minute guided experience, offered at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily, provides a wealth of information about the ship’s most dynamic operating system.

“Guests are taken seven decks down into the ship,” said Stephen E. Kirkland, Nauticus executive director.  “It’s an amazing experience to see the original engines on a battleship built during World War II.”

"Life in the engine room would have been very hot for the Sailors that worked in that space. Many of the spaces it changes the temperature depending on which level you're on, but 130 degrees is not uncommon for a 4 hour watch," Battleship Operations Manager Clayton Allen told News 3.

The USS Wisconsin (BB-64) (Photo: Susan Breaseale Woods)

The USS Wisconsin (BB-64) (Photo: Susan Breaseale Woods)

Guests can view the vessel’s massive steam-powered boiler system and other machinery necessary to support the floating city at sea.

Connie and Marc Jacobson provided sponsorship for the project to open the engineering spaces to the public.

“We’re proud to help open these spaces,” said Connie Jacobson.  “The Battleship Wisconsin is not only a symbol of Norfolk and the entire region but also of the United States Navy and the remarkable history of our country.”

“Life in the Engine Room” tours cost $20 per person in addition to regular Nauticus admission. Tour takers must be able to climb steep ladders and tolerate close spaces.