Museums, Programs, Historic Sites
Pioneer at South Street Seaport Museum
The schooner Pioneer was built in 1885 in Marcus Hook, PA, as a sloop, to carry sand mined near the mouth of the Delaware Bay to an iron foundry in Chester, PA. She was the first of only two cargo sloops built of iron in this country, and is the only iron-hulled American merchant sailing vessel still in existence. Her cargo hauling career continued all the way up to 1966, when she was restored and later donated to South Street Seaport Museum where she continues her working career to this day as a passenger vessel. Today Pioneer plies the waters of New York Harbor in her role as a piece of living history, carrying students, families, and adults instead of cargo. Experiential lessons in traditional maritime skills, New York Harbor’s history and environment, marine ecology, and the role of the port of New York in the development of our city and country are taught through onboard educators to participants, visitors and volunteers. Visitors can board Pioneer for 2-hour day and evening cruises as she sails New York Harbor May through October; she is available for private events and charters and offers special sails and programs throughout her season. 90-minute and 3-hour educational sails are available for schools, groups, and camps.
The schooner Pioneer carries visitors on public day sails, special cruises and private charters. Available May through October. Visitors can see the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline from a rare perspective, and experience history and the harbor under sail on this historic vessel. Schools, camps, and groups experience hands-on educational activities sailing in New York Harbor. Students help raise sail, then conduct experiments in science, history, ecology, navigation, and the arts. Some programs even include dragging a trawl net to explore the wildlife of the harbor. All programs are customized to the curricular and developmental needs of the group. Special programming is available for students with visual impairment. Pioneer also offers team building, corporate retreat sails, and custom programming.