Visitor Tour Tips
To fully enjoy your visit on the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, we have provided a few tour tips and safety guidelines:
- Allow at least 2 to 3 hours for your visit -- there is a lot to see on the ship and more spaces are opened every month. Arrive no later than 2:00pm to sign up for the engine room and other docent-led tours. Some areas of the ship start closing at 3:00pm.
DISCOUNTED GENERAL ADMISSION DEAL COUPONS [such as Groupon, etc] are valid ONLY for general admission (excluding Federal holidays) to the Museum during regular museum hours, 10:00am-5:00pm. They cannot be used as payment for any group or individual tour, any overnight experience, or any special event (public or private) or program that is available for purchase on the USS Hornet Museum.
Before traveling to the museum to redeem your coupon, please check our Upcoming Events Calendar for special events that occur during regular museum hours at which such coupons are NOT valid. Full admission prices will be charged if you choose to attend, and any coupons presented will be returned for use on another day.
Any requests for a coupon refund must be made directly to the organization who issued the coupon and from whom you purchased it. Coupons are NOT redeemable for cash nor credit at the museum.
- For your safety and the security of the Museum, ALL BAGS larger than 12” x 8” x 12” are NOT permitted. This includes backpacks, camera bags, tote bags, diaper bags, ladies purses, etc. Visitors will be asked to return backpacks and large bags to their vehicle. To accommodate visitors arriving by public transportation, there is a limited supply of rentable lockers. Please note: for safety reasons, backpack-style infant carriers are also not permitted.
- The ship is mostly self-guided. A tour map is available at the admissions desk and docents are available throughout the ship to answer questions and lead special tours.
- There is plenty of free parking across the street. Spaces are available for buses and RVs. Please, no vehicles on the pier.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Dress in layers (some parts of the ship can be cold).
- Children must be with an adult at all times. It is a large ship and there are many passages.
- Markers and painting materials are strictly prohibited. Vandalism or defacement of any nature is subject to prosecution.
- Pets and other animals are not allowed on the ship. Please call (510) 521-8448 x 266 in advance if you plan to bring a guide dog aboard.
- Start your visit in the Orientation Area where you can watch a short video on the history of the ship and how to be safe during your visit.
- Due to the historic nature of the ship, wheelchair and stroller accessibility is extremely limited. A virtual tour is available for viewing on the Hangar Deck; ask the orientation docent for assistance.
- For your safety: Be exceptionally careful on all Ladders and hold onto ladder rails with both hands. Beware of Low Overheads and Knee-Knockers (door thresholds); Do not run; Do not touch Controls and Switches - this is a live ship! Do not cross any chains, closed doors, or enter any unlit areas. Heed all Restricted Area warnings and enjoy exploring the USS HORNET.
- Engine Room, Fire Room and CIC: Due to safety concerns, Engine Room, Fire Room and CIC tours are limited in size and visitor height. Our guideline is to allow adults and children taller than 48 inches to go on the tour. This is due mainly to the steep ladders (stairs) and narrow walkways that can prove challenging to most. IMPORTANT NOTE: The staff member leading the tour may make a judgment based on experience and safety to allow or deny a person’s access to the tour space, regardless of age. Please honor the staff member’s decision based on preserving and sharing this great ship with you.
- Vending machines are available onboard the ship and a concession stand is available on weekends. Please, no outside food or beverages. NOTE: The ship does NOT have an ATM machine onboard so you might want to be prepared by bringing extra cash with you.
- Cameras are welcome for personal use only (see filming guidelines for commercial use). Keep you and your camera safe by using the neck strap or wrist strap while exploring the ship.
- There is a Flight Simulator aboard the USS Hornet Museum. It operates on a regular* basis three times a day: 11:00am–11:30am, 1:00pm–1:30pm, and 3:00pm–3:30pm. The cost is $6.00 per person for the 5-minute ride.
- Talk to the many volunteers aboard the ship! They are great about sharing information about the ship, the restoration process, and their own experiences in the service. Many of our volunteers are veterans.
- Consider purchasing a membership to receive unlimited admission for a full year.
Prices and programs subject to change without notice.
*The Flight Simulator is closed once a week for regular maintenance (usually on Tuesday afternoon during our slowest day of the week). Occasionally, there are other causes for its closure, and we are sorry if visitors miss this feature. Please consider it a good reason to look forward to a return visit!