The S.S. John Brown will steam its way up the Choptank River and into the Port of Cambridge on Saturday, August 4 at approximately 5:30 p.m., and stay until August 12. It will offer public tours, and host many other special events throughout the week. Children 12 and under are free, and a suggested donation of $10 is asked for adults. The ship is one of only two remaining Merchant Marine Liberty Ships which formed the backbone of a massive sealift of troops, arms, material and ordnance during World War II.
Because the ship needs to disembark passengers at the new wharf next to Governor’s Hall on Saturday, the City of Cambridge is suggesting residents watch the ship’s arrival from Long Wharf and the Cambridge Yacht Basin. This location should offer a unique vantage point for its arrival and docking.
“This is an exciting opportunity to welcome an important piece of American History to the Port of Cambridge, and to make use of our newly completed wharf,” said Brandon Hesson, the Associate Director of Economic Development for the City of Cambridge. “The BROWN’s journey is an incredible one, and we’re excited to bring this story to the Eastern Shore.”
At 441 feet, the S.S. John Brown will measure close to 200 feet longer than the Chesapeake Bay cruise ships that use Long Wharf to disembark its passengers. It will leave Baltimore in the morning, with a few hundred passengers, and tour the Chesapeake Bay before arriving in Cambridge.
“It’ll be an amazing sight,” said Hesson. “We’re talking about something about the size of our hospital, making its way down the Choptank.”
Public tours will not begin until August 5 at 10 a.m., when the crew will showcase the 76-year old, 140-ton triple expansion steam engine that powers the ship. Throughout the week, tours will also feature a museum space, crew quarters, the Bridge, mess rooms, troop berthing and much more.
The tour schedule for the entire week is as follows:
- August 5: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
- August 6: 1-4 p.m.; 6-8:30 p.m.
- August 7: 1-4 p.m.; 6-8 p.m.
- August 8: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
- August 9: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
- August 10: 1-4 p.m.; 6-8:30 p.m.
- August 11: noon-7:30 p.m.