The Berkeley Ferryboat is a steamboat that was built in 1898 and operated for 60 years on the San Francisco Bay. On this vessel lays the museum’s office, a research library, workshop, museum, dry storage areas and a venue which can hold 800 guests.
The ferryboat’s lower deck is where the exhibits and galleries are including a fully-restored triple expansion steam engine. Although the engine no longer runs today, visitors can still view its inner workings. In 1906 during the SF earthquake, the Berkeley carried thousands of survivors to safety. People worked day and night to help victims escape the burning shores of San Francisco.
The upper deck has been used to host thousands of weddings and other special events. Her architectural body is reminiscent of the Victorian Ages and she is a fine example of a 19th century ferryboat.
“The steam ship Berkeley, which is next to the Star of India, has reports of footsteps, apparitions and a stall in the ladies room that locks itself.”
Interesting Fact: Operated day and night rescuing victims of San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake/fire
NOTE: For the (current) price of $15 you get to explore 11 historic ships and for an additional small fee (currently $3) you can also take a guided 45-minute boat tour of the bay area. It was definitely worth the price!
Personal Experience: The ferry, along with all the other boats you get to tour, is a free-range boat to explore. There is an art gallery below with art by artist Paul Gaugin, a museum with model ships of all eras as well as other historical trinkets, a reception area with beautiful stained glass and Victorian details plus more! It is the boiler room that was the most interesting and adventurous for me though. I was surprised that we were allowed to just walk around in all these areas that seem like they should be off-limits but I’m certainly not complaining!