The South Street Seaport Museum has announced its August program, including free tours of the historic tall ship Wavertree and the 1908 Ambrose flagship, free demonstrations by letterpress printers Bowne & Co., an outdoor exhibit on the Pier 16, cruises aboard the 1930 tugboat WO Decker, and the world premiere of On Site Opera’s What Lies Beneath, plus a virtual opera chat. For more information, visit

What can be found below by On Site Opera

On Site Opera brings the opera aboard the deck of the historic tall ship Wavertree with What Lies Beneath, August 28 – September 2, 2021. This immersive musical experience invites small groups to roam the ship’s main deck to hear and view vignettes intended to connect audiences to the complex and tragic stories surrounding American maritime history, both through African slavery and through the tragic heroes of novelist Herman Melville.

What Lies Beneath will offer six live, in-person performances, from August 28 to September 2, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. ET. The duration is 75 minutes. Tickets are available at To make this production as accessible as possible, On Site Opera is asking for a suggested donation of $ 40 per person in lieu of the entrance fee.

What Lies Beneath uses opera and music to explore themes of social justice, racial inequality, and the continuing impact of history on the lens through which the world lives today. Combining song, history, history and movement as the company returns to performing arts, What Lies Beneath is an immersive and site-specific experience aboard Wavertree. Wavertree is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and represents the thousands of ships that have docked along New York’s waterfront over the centuries. Built of riveted wrought iron in 1885, the Wavertree is an archetype of sailboats from the second half of the 19th century which, during the “age of the sail,” lined South Street by the dozen, creating a forest of battery masts at the Brooklyn bridge.

From the incentives used to lure Africans into slavery to Captain Ahab’s final moments of moral judgment aboard the whaler Pequod in Moby Dick, What Lies Beneath is a series of six unique vignettes featuring works of Amistad, by Anthony Davis & Thulani Davis, Achab, a monodrama by Juliana Hall & Caitlin Vincent, 1619, a cycle of choral songs by Damien Geter, Billy Budd, Benjamin Britten, EM Forester, & Eric Crozier, Sea Fever, by John Ireland & John Masefield and Riders to the Sea, by Ralph Vaughn Williams and John Millington Sygne.

Opera In Depth: Explore What’s Below

Join the artists and creative team before the upcoming On Site Opera production of What Lies Beneath specially designed for the 1885 tall ship Wavertree on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. How do composers choose the stories to tell? How does it feel to produce live shows in today’s climate? Book free tickets at

Ambroise Visits

The 1908 Ambrose flagship will be open for FREE tours every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from August 6, 2021 until October 10, 2021. The ship will make four tours per day, departing at 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm and 4:00 pm from Pier 16. To book a free tour and for more information, visit

Ambrose is the first ship to join the Seaport Museum fleet and the very first flagship to guard the only shipping channel in and out of New York and New Jersey ports, the Ambrose Canal. As part of the Seaport Museum’s general admission, visitors can tour the multiple decks of this National Historic Landmark and see the living and working spaces once inhabited by Sailors stationed on Ambrose. The launch of the tours coincides with the anniversary of Ambrose’s arrival on August 5, 1968 at the Museum. Guided tours last approximately 30 minutes. Advance reservations are recommended. Customers must check in 15 minutes before the tour. Access to Ambrose requires climbing an angled walkway. Stairs lead to the lower floors. Wearing a mask is mandatory for visitors aboard Ambrose based on current World Health Organization guidelines.

Wavertree tours

The 1885 tall ship Wavertree is now open until October 10, 2021 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with scheduled admission from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pier 16 (Fulton and South Streets). Admission is FREE and includes access to the ship’s exterior spaces, including the main deck and raised aft deck, as well as the cargo hold. To learn more and to book tickets, visit

Bowne & Co. demonstrations

Bowne & Co. is holding FREE outdoor letterpress printing demonstrations until October 10, 2021 on Fridays and Saturdays. Printers will set up a selection of historic presses outside on the steps of 209-211 Water Street. Demonstrations will take place hourly between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and will each last five to seven minutes, illustrating the 19th century printing process with a variety of presses and equipment from the history collection of the impression of the museum. Articles printed throughout the day will be distributed as tangible reminders of the experience. Bowne & Co.’s public programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Along with the demos, new products are now available for purchase from Bowne & Co., Stationery in the online store, including new lines of letterpress postcards, boards and card games boxed correspondence. Take a sweep to support your favorite New York neighborhood or to celebrate the wooden figures the team at Bowne & Co. previously used as part of the # 36DaysofType project. Items purchased online can be shipped anywhere in the country or be picked up in person at 209-211 Water Street on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Visit to browse and buy.

Outdoor exhibition at Pier 16

The Seaport Museum also offers a FREE outdoor exhibit on Pier 16, which will provide an opportunity to discover this chapter in New York history. This series of window panels and graphics will celebrate people from all walks of life who have lived and worked in the historic South Street Seaport, as well as the many businesses that laid the foundation for New York City to thrive and become the Mecca for business. and the culture it is today. Using photographs, prints, lithographs and historical paintings, the exhibition highlights part of the Seaport Museum’s collection of over 28,000 artifacts and works of art, and over 55,000 documents historical.

WO Decker Cruises

The 1930 tugboat WO Decker will be open for public cruises every Saturday from July 31, 2021 through August 28, 2021. The ship will make three tours each Saturday, departing at 1:15 pm, 2:45 pm and 4:15 pm. Tickets to ride are $ 30 for adults, $ 25 for seniors / students, and $ 15 for children and are available for purchase at

Take an exciting 75-minute ride on the last wooden tugboat built in New York, WO Deck-er, recently named “Tugboat of the Year” by the Steamship Historical Society of America. Cruises will explore New York Harbor and views may include the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Battery, and Governors Island as you embark on an unprecedented adventure!

Advance reservations are recommended and clients must check-in 15 minutes before the scheduled visit. In accordance with current COVID-19 guidelines from the Federal and New York State governments for public transportation, masks are mandatory on board the WO Decker at all times. Access to WO Decker requires climbing on sloping walkways and stepping sideways from a floating bridge. Participants must be 10 years of age or older.

Seaport Museum members enjoy discounted prices on museum activities such as WO Decker rides. Memberships start at $ 50 and help support museum exhibits, preserve ships and collections, expand public programs, and serve over 12,000 students through education initiatives. To join the Museum as a member, visit

The interior spaces of the South Street Seaport Museum are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.