Aberdeen Maritime Museum
Welcome to Aberdeen Maritime Museum – open for exploration!
Close to the busy harbour, on the historic Shiprow, Aberdeen Maritime Museum tells the story of the city’s long and often dramatic relationship with the sea. From the earliest days of trading, fishing and shipbuilding, to offshore energy and life in the industry, and Aberdeen’s place today as a leader in global energy transition, your voyage of discovery starts here.
Outside the Museum, stop to admire the Aberdeen Fishing Memorial. Made by sculptor David Williams-Ellis and unveiled in 2018, the bronze figures commemorate the major contribution fishing and fishing folk have made to the city.
Aberdeen Fishing Memorial
Inside, the Museum displays are arranged thematically over four floors, in the historic 16th-century Provost Ross’s House and the ‘church’ building with its beautiful painted ceiling. The modern ‘link’ building between the two is dominated by the astonishingly detailed scale model of the Murchison platform. This might be as close as many of us get to life offshore – can you spot the tiny divers?
What can I see?
Rich and varied displays of objects and artworks tell the extraordinary story of Aberdeen’s maritime heritage. Highlights include beautifully detailed ship models from 1689 to the present day, including the Aberdeen-built tea clipper Thermopylae, the celebrated rival of the Cutty Sark. Marvel at a complete lighthouse lens assembly, admire the lost figurehead of the Star of Tasmania, see the impressive propeller from the steam yacht Fox, which set sail from Aberdeen in 1857 to discover the fate of Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition to find a route through the Northwest Passage.
Female figurehead from the Aberdeen sailing ship Star of Tasmania
Around 3,000 ships were built in Aberdeen between 1790 and 1989. The importance of the industry to the city is reflected in the many objects that make up the maritime history collection. The displays include ship plans relating to Aberdeen-built vessels, such as the Jho Sho Maru, one of the first warships in the modern Japanese navy, also models, paintings, tools, documents and photographs. Together they tell us a great deal about the business and the stories of individuals who worked in the industry.
You can find out more about Aberdeen Built Ships on the collections pages of our website.
Jho Sho Maru
From the top floor of the Museum, enjoy fantastic views over the bustling Aberdeen Harbour - the oldest existing business in Britain has a history that has spanned almost 900 years. Discover the harbour’s story through objects that reveal Aberdeen’s global trade links, including rare archaeological finds excavated just a stone’s throw from the Museum.
Harbour Gallery in Aberdeen Maritime Museum
Aberdeen flourished as a major fishing port in the 19th and 20th centuries. The city built the vessels and provided both their crews and the workers who processed the catches that were landed at the fish market – an incredible 97,500 tons of fish was landed in 1950!
Black & White Photograph showing the crew of 'Ben Iver' off Iceland in 1942
With the discovery of North Sea oil and gas in the late 1960s, Aberdeen became the energy capital of Europe. Explore life offshore, discover how oil and gas are found and extracted, and take in the incredible detail of the 9-metre-high model of the Murchison platform, the centrepiece of our energy displays.
Model of Conoco MURCHISON Oil Production Platform
Stories of Aberdeen
We don’t just collect objects, we also collect memories and stories. Find out more here
To discuss your requirements with a member of our team please email email@example.com