Åland’s Maritime Museum in Mariehamn has something to offer every visitor. The focal point is seafarers’ own accounts, richly illustrated with exciting objects, beautiful interiors and interactive stations. Together they make for a vivid overview of Åland’s maritime cultural heritage.
The top two floors of the Maritime Museum are devoted to trade by sailing ships. Here you can climb up a proper mast, test your abilities as a helmsman in the ship’s bridge simulator and step into the captain’s cabin from the sailing ship Herzogin Cecilie, which sank off England in 1936.
The curiosity cabinet contains souvenirs that Ålander seamen brought home from their travels, including a genuine pirate’s flag with a skull and crossbones from the 18th century and wooden figures from the Pitcairn Islands where the mutineers from HMS Bounty settled.
There is plenty for children to enjoy at the Maritime Museum. They can go on a treasure hunt and search for the Maritime Museum’s mascot, Ruby the ship’s rat, or they can busy themselves and have fun in Ruby’s room. Ruby’s room also contains a baby-changing table, breastfeeding seat and microwave oven.
At basement level there are marine engineering, shipbuilding and marine safety sections. There is a proper life raft to climb into, a tricky loading puzzle to solve and a large steam engine that is run regularly by the museum’s volunteer engineer officers during the summer season. There are always special exhibitions at the museum.
THE SAILING SHIP POMMERN
Next to the Maritime Museum lies the Pommern, the only four-masted steel barque left in its original state in the world. It has been a museum with open hours in summertime since 1957. The same ticket that gets you into Åland’s Maritime Museum gives you entry to it.
The Pommern was built in Glasgow in Scotland for a German shipping company and was launched in 1903. In 1923 she was bought by the Ålander shipowner Gustaf Erikson, who at the time owned the world’s largest sailing fleet. The ship was donated to the town of Mariehamn by his children.
The Pommern was in operation until the Second World War broke out in 1939, and she only put into Mariehamn five times. The Pommern sailed on what was known as the grain route between Australia and England.
SAIL TO AUSTRALIA
Onboard the Pommern you will experience a voyage around the globe. You’ll learn how life was onboard, about the hard work and storms. The ship is given life again and you are taken back to the 1930s on a fictitious journey from Mariehamn to Port Victoria in south Australia. When you walk around on the weather deck you simultaneously follow a soundtrack that allows you to listen in on the crew.
Read more about the exciting interactive exhibition Pommern – 100 days under sail
Site updated 29.1.2021