Maritime Museums Will Open to the Public – September 10

Periauger - Historic Replica
N.C. Maritime Museum Boat Builder Tim White works on repairs to Periauger, a historic replica of a long-lost Colonial boat of the same name. The work is being done at the museum’s Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center in downtown Beaufort.

Beaufort, N.C. – Two sites in the North Carolina Maritime Museum System will open to the public next week.

The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, along with its Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center, and the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport will open Thursday, Sept. 10, with some new procedures in place to help ensure the safety of staff and visitors, including:

  • Limiting visitation at each site.
  • Closing some areas and programs, such as interactive exhibits, group tours and in-person educational programming.
  • Installing hand sanitizer stations and increasing the frequency of cleaning high touch public areas and restrooms.
  • Installing protective barriers at the information desk.
  • Requiring staff and visitors to wear cloth face masks as outlined in Executive Order 163.

“We look forward to welcoming the public back,” Joseph Schwarzer, the director of the N.C. Maritime Museum System, said. “Things may be a little different than in the past, but the changes we’ve put in place are to prioritize the health and safety of our staff and visitors.”

Operating hours will be Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Beaufort and Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Southport. The Museum Store at the Beaufort site is currently open to the public Tuesdays through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras remains closed due to construction at the site. It is expected to open to the public Sept. 14.

Visitors are encouraged to follow the “Three Ws” as outlined by the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services: WEAR a cloth face mask; WAIT in line at least six feet away from others; and WASH hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. If you are experiencing symptoms of illness, we ask that you postpone your visit.

Keep up to date with museum plans by visiting or following the sites on social media.

About the N.C. Maritime Museums

The North Carolina Maritime Museum system is comprised of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras, the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Beaufort and the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport. All three museums are part of the Division of State History Museums in the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The system website is

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational, and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, call 919-807-7300 or visit

By Cyndi Brown, Public Information Officer, N. C. Maritime Museums