The Submarine Force Museum is home to the Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear powered vessel. Nautilus was launched on January 21, 1954, with First Lady Mamie Eisenhower breaking the traditional bottle of champagne across its bow as she slid down the ways into the Thames River. It was also the first ship to go to the North Pole and first submarine to journey “20,000 leagues under the sea.” Visitors can explore the spaces where the crew of this historic vessel worked, ate, slept, and entertained themselves on their long voyages far beneath the ocean’s waves.
Operated by the United States Navy, the Submarine Force Museum boasts the finest collection of submarine artifacts in the world. Visitors can peruse thousands of artifacts, documents and photographs spanning the history of submersibles. The museum traces the development of the “Silent Service” from David Bushnell’s Turtle, used in the Revolutionary War, to the Ohio and Virginia class submarines utilized by our military today.
The building was originally established in 1955 as a “Submarine Library” by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation and served as an archival and research center. In April 1964, the entire collection was donated to the Navy and relocated to the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton. The 6,000-volume reference and research library is a world-renowned collection relative to the history of US submarines and is open to anyone looking for information on submarines or submarine history.
Address: 1 Crystal Lake Rd, Groton, CT, 06340
Distance from Groton Water Taxi Landing: 2.6 Miles (by car)
Phone Number: (860) 694-3174
Summer Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 9am – 5pm; Tuesday – Closed
Winter Hours (November 1 – April 30): 9am – 4pm
CLOSED TUESDAYS, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Closed for 10 days in April and November for upkeep.