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September 30, 2020

Battleship New Jersey reopening with self-guided weekend tours

Restored funding enables World War II ship to reopen in October

Museums Battleship New Jersey
battleship new jersey reopens Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

The Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial, docked in Camden, N.J., is reopening to the public for self-guided tours every Saturday and Sunday, starting Oct. 3.

The historic U.S.S. New Jersey is reopening to the public earlier than expected thanks to restored funding in the newly-approved state budget. 

The Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial will resume tours Saturday. Visitors will be able to take self-guided "Fire Power" tours every weekend between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The World War II battleship had closed indefinitely Sept. 8 due to major revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Museum officials had hoped it would reopen next spring

Ticket revenue had dropped due to months of closure during the pandemic. Then an annual $1 million grant was eliminated from Gov. Phil Murphy's budget proposal. 

That grant was restored in the spending plan that Murphy signed Tuesday. The funds will provide the museum enough support to reopen the battleship on a partial basis, the museum announced Wednesday

"We are grateful to both the legislature and Gov. Murphy for seeing the importance of the Battleship New Jersey to both our region and state, and including our nation’s most decorated battleship in the budget," said Marshall Spevak, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. "The Battleship is one of New Jersey's biggest tourist attractions, and we can now have students and families back aboard to experience first-hand a national icon located right here on the Camden Waterfront."

"Fire Power" tours will permit visitors to explore seven levels of the battleship and the museum located on the Main Deck. The name hints at the possibility of being one of the lucky guests randomly selected to fire the ship's saluting gun. 

Tour capacity will be limited to 10 people every 15 minutes. Guests will be required to wear face coverings and practice six feet of social distancing. Tickets are $24 for adults and $19.95 for children over age 12, veterans and seniors.

Watch a video of the Battleship New Jersey's saluting gun being fired below. 

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