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Historic ships of the past

Delve into our archive of ships of the past, consisting of a range of historic ships and boats with interesting and intriguing histories.

Explore the ships of the past with our maritime history archive

Throughout history, vessels have been used on the sea and inland waterways to transport passengers and cargo, for defence and military support and for exploration and for leisure. Today, ships are built using the most cutting-edge maritime technology and marine engineering, but some of those principles were conceived many years ago.

Here in our maritime history hub, you can find fact files on many facinating ships of the past, with a particular focus on merchant vessels, as Nautilus International is the Union for merchant seafarers, and some of our members will have served on the more recent ships we feature. With information about build, deployment, and ownership, each vessel has a colourful and interesting story. We include expert information on important and famous ships in history, from all over the world, that have been a vital part of our maritime heritage.

Get started by clicking on the ship you'd like to find out more about or search using our filters below...

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Some of the most important ships in history are stored in our maritime history archive, where you can find ships from all over the world. Find out which historic ships were built in Portsmouth, Liverpool, Rotterdam or other interesting international ports from different parts of the globe. Discover answers to your questions about some of the ships that shaped our maritime heritage, such as where they were built, what they carried, how large they were, where they were deployed and more. We document the timeline of the history of each ship, from being built to its final days in operation.

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