Editor’s Note: During this period of social distancing, Student Group Tour magazine will continue to provide ideas for planning educational travel. Many attractions and destinations are closed at this time; please contact them directly for updated information.
Home to two World War II National Historic Landmarks — the USS ALABAMA battleship and the submarine USS DRUM — USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park has welcomed over 18 million visitors since its opening in 1965.
“The USS ALABAMA is a floating city and a historical WWII capsule,” said Rhonda Davis, director of sales and marketing at USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park. “The curation department has studied the ship’s deck logs, examined the collection of historic photographs of the ship and recorded oral histories of the crewmen in an effort to make sure the ship is presented in the most historically correct and authentic manner possible.”
Once students arrive, a guide will greet groups and describe the self-guided tour routes which are broken down into three color-coded routes that include 12 decks.
Venture into the USS ALABAMA to see a hologram of a re-enactor interacting with groups to explain the job of divers in the “Divers” exhibit. Throughout the battleship, students will also hear sound effects coming from different compartments.
“They will hear cooks cooking in The Galley, the barbers cutting hair in the Barber Shop, the radio transmissions in Radio Control and the forging in the Blacksmith Shop,” Davis said.
On the USS DRUM, watch a film that plays in the Aircraft Pavilion and learn about the dog Stateside who lived abroad the submarine. The Aircraft Pavilion also includes a flight simulator, which can be added to tours.
In addition to the two crafts, the park is also home to a collection of aircraft and military vehicles, including the A-12 Blackbird — a spy plane used by the CIA.
Another draw to the park is the on-site performance space; choirs and bands have the option to play right underneath the “big guns” on the USS ALABAMA for a one-of-a-kind experience. During normal operations, the park offers field-trip luncheon options. Contact the park directly regarding current lunch options and restrictions.
For more information call 251-433-2703 or go to ussalabama.com.