Columbia River Maritime Museum

CURRENT EXHIBITS

Galapagos 3D

In the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, there is a paradise unlike any other: the Galapagos. Amongst these remote volcanic islands, life has played out over millions of years in relative isolation. The result is a wonderland of nature, with a remarkable collection of plants and charismatic animals that have all adapted to this unique environment. Meet giant half-ton tortoises and marine iguanas that spit sea-salt. Dance with the tropical albatrosses and hunt fishes with the colorful blue-footed boobies. Swim with tiny penguins thousands of miles away from their natural habitats. Narrated by Jeff Corwin, this is a story of discovery, of survival against the odds, and of nature’s ingenuity, all brought to life in stunning 3D.

Tickets for the film are $5 in addition to Museum admission. The film is free to Museum members.

What to know before you see the film

Turtle Vision 3D

A dazzling, ‘round the world, ocean adventure. The long-awaited follow-up to "PandaVision" and "SOS Planet" is here. Experience the ups and downs of life on land and sea in this coming of age story starring the cutest sea turtle on the big screen. From the warm waters of the tropics to the icy Antarctic, join Sammy and his friends on an exciting journey through truly immersive environments. Swim through colorful coral reefs and enjoy a dazzling ride on a fun-loving octopus. Dive into icy polar waters to meet a friendly whale. Are you ready to face the dangers you may encounter with humans?

Tickets for the film are $5 in addition to Museum admission. The film is free to Museum members.

What to know before you see the film

USS Shark Cannon

USS Shark Cannon

On Presidents' Day weekend in 2008, Oregon teen Miranda Petrone and her father, Mike Petrone, were beachcombing on the beach near Arch Cape in Clatsop County when she noticed a misshapen lump of rock and remarked how much it looked like a cannon.

That one moment kicked off the discovery of two 19th century cannon. It resulted in six years of restoration work, leading up to the planned public unveiling of the never before displayed artifacts at the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria. 

The two cannon are a specific type called a carronade. They were part of the 1846 wreck of the USS Shark, a US Navy vessel that ran aground on the Columbia Bar as it attempted to leave the Northwest after touring the territory. 

Crossing the Bar: Perilous Passage

Crossing the Bar

This exhibit takes an exciting look at the legendary Columbia River entrance, where the forces of the mighty Columbia River and Pacific Ocean meet to create one of the most dangerous bar crossings on the planet.

The coastline of the Pacific Northwest is no stranger to violent winter weather, but nothing can compare to the extreme forces at work along the Columbia River Bar. Here, waves can exceed 40 feet in height during the most severe winter storms.

“The new exhibit features dramatic, never-before-seen video of rough water passages captured while working with the U.S. Coast Guard and Columbia River Bar Pilots during fierce winter storms,” said Senior Curator Jeffrey Smith. Also on display is a rare bar pilot pulling boat that was used for decades to transfer pilots to ships. This historic boat is from the Museum’s collection.

Since the days of the earliest explorers, hundreds of vessels have been lost to the fury of the Columbia River Bar. A dramatic interactive shipwreck map shows the terrible loss the wind and waves have caused over the last 200 years at this location.

This exhibit promises a full interactive experience for all visitors, and a great adventure for the entire family.

The Art of Michael Spakowsky

Crossing the Bar

The Museum is pleased to host an exhibit of the art of Michael Spakowsky. He lived and painted on Washington State’s Vashon Island for most of his life. Michael Spakowsky’s watercolors have been featured in the Foss Maritime calendar, the Kirsten Gallery in Seattle, the Frye Art Museum, and here at the Columbia River Maritime Museum. The exhibit is in the Brix Gallery until October 2015.