In January, I spent a day in Fall River, MA. one of the places I visited was Battleship Cove. Battleship cover is home to several US Naval vessels, three of which you can tour at your own pace with a single ticket. The vessels are:
USS Massachusettes (Battleship)
USS Lionfish (Submarine)
USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (Destroyer)
All three ships are outstanding and worth the time to tour, they took me about 2 hours, and that was not with reading every sign. With that said, there are mobility things to keep in mind.
USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.:
The layout is straightforward and the easiest to maneuver out of all the vessels. The pathway is marked, and almost impossible to "get lost." You can tour several of her levels but must be able to walk up and down ship stairs. While there are railings, these stairs can be tricky.
Read about the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
She is a straight shot from the end to the beginning. Impossible to get lost as you have to enter and exit at either end; however, if you are not a fan of tightly enclosed spaces, reconsider going inside the Lionfish and walking outside.
Read about the USS Lionfish.
She is the larger, more complicated vessel to navigate at Battleship Cove. While they have her well-marked on the various tours you can take, it is easy to get yourself turned around. Three tours are colors coded—one for just the deck, one for the deck and second level, and finally, one for all three levels. So again, if you are uncomfortable with all the stairs, I recommend sticking to the deck.
Read about the USS Massachusettes.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Battleship Cove has a museum in addition to the vessels, BUT the museum is closed during winter and reopens in spring. As a result, I was not able to visit the museum. I am unsure why an indoor museum would be closed during the off-season while the ship tours are not halted. Nevertheless, the museum is closed during certain months, so plan accordingly.
I highly recommend visiting Battleship Cove if you are in the Fall River, New Bedford, or even Newport. They also offer a variety of special events, such as sleeping on one of these gorgeous vessels! Learn more about Battleship Cove and plan your visit.
I have toured a few vessels, including the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier. I remain amazed that one could have served and lived on these vessels each time I tour one. Probably because I get seasick, the appeal is not there for me. That aside, I have no mobility issues and struggle to move through the doorways and stairs. I cannot imagine young men running through these corridors and levels to man their battle stations and not falling flat on their faces! These vessels were entire floating cities. They had their barber, dentist, laundry, doctor, galley, etc.—everything one needs daily.
Another aspect that fascinates me is that many men in WWII enlisted in the Navy only because they spent their entire lives on farms, never seeing water. The prospect of sailing the world interested them. Imagine joining the Navy only to find out you are not well suited to spend months at sea!
To all of those who have served in the Navy, you have my utmost respect and
"Anchors aweigh, my boys, anchors aweigh
Farewell to foreign shores, we sail at break of day, of day
Through our last night ashore, drink to the foam
Until we meet again, here's wishing you a happy voyage home."