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Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center invites you to explore the maritime history of our region!

The Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center offers a wide variety of free educational programming for school and community groups.  Please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your visit at 218-788-6430 or Programs are presented at no cost, whether your group visits our center, or we bring the activities to your school or community event. Reservations are required for all groups visiting the Visitor Center.

Listed below are brief program descriptions, length of program and target age groups. 


Welcome (5-25 min) K-Adults (On site only)
This orientation program describes the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, its exhibits and services as they reflect Great Lakes shipping and development. Tailored to your schedule.

Who's in Charge? (25-30 min) K-3rd(On-site only)
What is it like to work aboard a Great Lakes ship? Program discusses the ships' crew, their jobs and shipboard life.

Up and Down the Soo Locks (25-30 min) K-8th
Because of the difference in lake levels, all ships coming to or going from Lake Superior must pass through the Soo Locks. The purpose and operation of the locks are explored using a model, maps, and an exciting fast-paced and humorous film.

Rail Meets Sail (25-30 min) 4th-Adult
Program illustrates shipping activities in Duluth-Superior Harbor and the Great Lakes. Hands-on look at coal, taconite, grain, and other cargoes handled by local docks and overall waterborne commerce.

Tall Water & Steel Ships (30 or 60 min versions) 4th-Adult
The Great MATAAFA Storm of 1905 was the most devastating ever for ships on Lake Superior. Historic photographs illustrate vessels caught in this storm. Also discusses marine weather forecasts and lifesaving equipment

With All Hands (30 or 60 min versions) 4th-Adult
Explore the wreck of the EDMUND FITZGERALD which foundered on Lake Superior with all hands during a heavy storm on the night of November 10, 1975.

Pier History Tour (30-45 min) K-Adult (On site only)
This Ranger-led outside walking tour is offered during the months of May through September, depending on weather, and provides a glimpse into the past of the surrounding area.



U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in Canal Park Duluth, Minnesota is offering a series of summer films between noon and 4:00 pm now through Labor Day. A variety of Great Lakes topics are covered including shipping, natural history, shipwrecks, lighthouses, Soo Lock operations, and Duluth-Superior Harbor activities. Films will change weekly with more than twenty different films offered throughout the summer.

The Visitor Center also offers the popular 30 minute Pier History Tours, Thursday through Monday and 1:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This walking tour highlights the fascinating history of Canal Park.

The Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center is open daily from *10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. There is never an admission charge to the Visitor Center or any of its programs. For information regarding specific programs and times, please contact the Visitor Center at (218) 788-6430. 

*see seasonal hours on main page

School & community

The Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center offers a wide variety of educational programming for school and community groups.  Please call us and we will be happy to discuss how we can assist you at 218-788-6430.  The programs are free of charge!  All groups need to make a reservation whether you decide on a program or not.

For questions about the community programs you can contact the visitor center at:

Groups should have adequate supervision, with one adult for every 8-10 students. On arrival please have your group wait outside or in the lobby until notifying the staff person at the information desk on the museum's upper level. Most programs will begin in the meeting room on the lower level.

Restrooms and drinking fountain are located off the lower level entry.

The museum is handicap-accessible.

Additional Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center Program Information:

historic tour

Historic Canal Park Attractions Tour - via your cell phone

The Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center now offers a new tour option using a cell phone. The cell phone tour is an excellent way to explore and learn more about the history of the U.S. Corps of Engineers’ Canal Park. Best of all, the tour can be accessed any time of the day. The cell phone tour highlighted stops include the tug Bayfield, Duluth Ship Canal, Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge, local lighthouses and the shoreline anchor display.  

To access the cell phone tour, just dial 218 213-9069. Callers listen to a short welcome message followed by instructions on how to receive information about each featured attraction. The cell phone tour is free. Cell phone usage rates do apply. Additional tour details are included in a four-page overview:  Cell Phone Tour.