You might not have heard, but Southampton has a new nautical museum called ‘SeaCity’.
(Part of SeaCity Museum)
Occupying a former court building, SeaCity is located very near the city centre. (The City Art Gallery is also adjacent).
It does not have it’s own car park, but there are some nearby. It is walkable in 10-15 minutes, from the shopping centre, the train station, National Express bus station and Hotels like the De Vere Grand and Premier Inn. (The City Art Gallery is also adjacent).
The Museum is much more extensive than the little one that was in the wool house, run by volunteers, that it has replaced. The Museum is open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm, with last admission at 4.00pm. However you really need 2.5-3 hours to see it all properly, in my opinion. Admission currently costs £8.50p, which I feel is a little over-priced.
I visited the Museum in April 2013. The official description of the museum is: “SeaCity Museum tells the story of the people of the city, their fascinating lives and historic connections with Titanic and the sea”.
I must admit that I was surprised that the museum was almost exclusively about the RMS Titanic. Unfortunately Southampton’s wider maritime heritage, including Cunard and P&O, forms a minor part of the museum. There is also little about modern cruising. (I particularly enjoyed the National Maritime Museum’s ‘Passengers’ exhibition which was the history from ocean liners to cruise ships, although it has now been removed.)
Never the less, the exhibition is very well done and suitable for both adults and children alike. There are some real artefacts from the Titanic and Olympic on display. One section about the enquiry into the Titanic’s sinking, is located in one of the old courtrooms and creates an interesting audio-visual experience.
SeaCity has space for ‘guest’ exhibitions which will change from time to time, a nice café and book shop.
So in conclusion, SeaCity is a welcome addition to Southampton and is particularly good for Titanic fans. It makes a nice pre or post cruise treat.
SeaCity web site: www.seacitymuseum.co.uk