USS Constitution Begins Final Summer Pierside Prior to Dry Docking

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Story Number: NNS140331-23Release Date: 3/31/2014 3:35:00 PM

From USS Constitution Public Affairs

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (NNS) -- USS Constitution and her crew are scheduled to shift to summer hours of operation, April 1.

'Old Ironsides' will be open for tours to the general public, free of charge, Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 1 through Sept. 30.

This will be the final summer visitors can tour Constitution at her berth in Charlestown Navy Yard until 2018, as the ship will enter dry dock (also located in Charlestown Navy Yard) in early 2015 for scheduled restoration work.

Visitors to 'Old Ironsides' will have the opportunity to tour the ship's top three decks (spar, gun, and berth). Each deck will be manned by one of Constitution's active duty U.S. Navy Sailors, who will be on-hand to answer visitors' questions in addition to giving brief guided tours to illustrate Constitution's storied past.

Early birds interested in spending a morning aboard 'Old Ironsides' are welcome to register for 'The Constitution Experience'. Every Tuesday, 'Experience' participants are invited to observe morning colors and the firing of the ship's gun from Constitution's pier at 8 a.m. Afterward, participants will be given an extended guided tour through Constitution's spaces, including areas normally closed to the public during normal tour hours.

Those wishing to participate in 'The Constitution Experience' must arrive at pier one in Charlestown Navy Yard by 7:45 a.m. Public restroom facilities will not be available prior to the opening of the USS Constitution Museum at 9 a.m. 'Experience' groups are limited to 80 visitors each Tuesday morning. To reserve a spot, e-mail constitution.events@navy.mil.

No visit to Constitution is complete without a stop at the USS Constitution Museum, another free attraction also located within Charlestown Navy Yard. The museum provides a fun-filled and educational setting with exhibits of original artifacts from 'Old Ironsides' and numerous interactive galleries, providing experiential learning for all ages.

All persons age 18 and older wishing to visit USS Constitution must present a valid federal or state-issued photo I.D. or passport to board the ship. Deck availabilities, tour times and tour formats are subject to change due to factors including weather conditions, tidal conditions and tour group sizes.

Constitution is also scheduled to conduct several underway demonstrations in Boston Harbor this summer prior to entering her three-year dry docking. The ship's first underway, which will commemorate both the Battle of Midway and the 70th anniversary of D-Day, is scheduled for June 6. The popular Independence Day underway, open to the public via lottery, will occur on July 4. Those interested in entering the lottery for a chance to get underway on 'Old Ironsides' can find details on the ship's official website.

USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat, actively defended sea lanes against global threats from 1797 to 1855. Now a featured destination on Boston's Freedom Trail, Constitution and her crew of U.S. Navy Sailors offer community outreach and education about the ship's history and the importance of naval seapower to more than 500,000 visitors each year.

For more news and information about USS Constitution, visit www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution, www.facebook.com/ussconstitutionofficial and www.navy.mil/local/constitution/.

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