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Mark Your Calendars and Dress Ship for U.S. National Maritime Day May 22, 2024!

Mark Your Calendars and Dress Ship for U.S. National Maritime Day May 22, 2024!
  • Can’t make it to Baltimore for a tour of the U.S. nuclear ship Savannah?  Get a link to the virtual tour below! 

It’s time to dress ship and look your best for America’s celebration of National Maritime Day on Wednesday, May 22, 2024!   Also mark your calendar to celebrate with the U.S. Maritime Administration (virtual and in-person details below).  

This year’s National Maritime Day theme, “Navigating the Future! Safety First!” has special importance to all of us at Guice Offshore, where our motto is always “GO Safely!”  The theme also coincides with the International Maritime Organization’s theme for World Maritime Day, which will be celebrated on September 26, 2024.

Created by Congress in 1933, the United States’ National Maritime Day commemorates the American steamship Savannah’s voyage from the United States to England in 1819, which marked the first successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean with steam propulsion.

“The United States has always been and will always be a great maritime nation. From our origins as 13 British colonies, through every period of peace and conflict since, the Merchant Marine has been a pillar in this country’s foundation of prosperity and security,” the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) wrote.  “They power the world’s largest economy and strengthen our ties with trading partners around the world, all while supporting our military forces by shipping troops and supplies wherever they need to go.  During World War II, more than 250,000 members of the American Merchant Marine served their country, with more than 6,700 giving their lives, hundreds being detained as prisoners of war and more than 800 U.S. merchant ships being sunk or damaged.”

Maritime Day is a time-honored tradition that recognizes one of our country’s most important industries. Each year, ceremonies and celebrations throughout the country recognize National Maritime Day and the many hard-working people our maritime nation depends on.

Read a history of National Maritime Day HERE.

Join MARAD for National Maritime Day Virtually or In-Person

Join MARAD officials for a National Maritime Day presentation on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (ET) at the U.S. Department of Transportation West Atrium, or join virtually by clicking here:  National Maritime Day 2024 (

National Maritime Day was observed in the Port of Baltimore on Sunday, May 19, with open houses on the historic Liberty Ship John W. Brown and Nuclear Ship Savannah, which is in process of decommissioning.

  • If you couldn’t get to Baltimore for the Savannah tour, check out this virtual tour of the Savannah HERE.

More About the Nuclear Ship Savannah

Savannah was a signature element of President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace program. She was constructed as a joint project of the former Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and the Maritime Administration. She operated from 1962 to 1965 in experimental service, at which time the AEC issued her commercial operating license number NS-1. Savannah continued in demonstration service as a cargo ship until 1970 when she ended her active career. She was defueled in 1971 and her reactor made permanently inoperable in 1975-76. About 95% of the power plant is intact and remains onboard ship. Savannah is still licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC is the successor to the AEC), and will remain so until nuclear decommissioning.

The defueling, active clean up work and natural decay over 30 years has left only small amounts of radioactive material aboard ship. This material is located in only a few, well monitored locations aboard ship.

Savannah was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. She was named a Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1983. She was named a Nuclear Engineering Landmark by the American Nuclear Society in 1991 and finally declared a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. National Park Service on July 17, 1991.

Savannah is presently located in the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, under a long-term lay berth contract with Canton Marine Terminals. The U.S. Maritime Administration Savannah Technical Staff of the Office of Ship Disposal manages the activities onboard the ship, with strong emphasis on licensed facility operations and pre-decommissioning planning. The Maritime Administration intends to maintain Savannah in protective storage for some years into the future; however, under current law and regulation the decommissioning process must be completed and Savannah‘s operating license terminated no later than December 2031. In the normal course of NRC regulation decommissioning would include the complete dismantling of the reactor. The historic ship community would like to see an exception made to allow for cleaning, then preservation of Savannah‘s historic nuclear reactor aboard ship.

Learn more about maritime history from the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association.

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