Explore Baltimore: USS Torsk

Historic Ships

The Historic Ships of Baltimore is a great place to start if you’re looking for a fun afternoon in the Inner Harbor. Historic Ships of Baltimore’s collection includes four historic ships and one lighthouse. Among those four ships is the USS Constellation which is the ship I produced an event on earlier this summer.   

I hadn’t visited any of the others so a trip to the USS Torsk was in order. If you’ve been to the Inner Harbor you’ve definitely see the USS Torsk- it’s a submarine located above water next to the National Aquarium with a shark painted along the side. It’s pretty cool to see and I imagine its every little boys dream to step on the deck of such an awesome ship.  



USS Torsk is one of two tench class (a type of submarine) submarines in the US and was active in WWII sinking three Japanese vessels. This submarine has seen some stuff if you know what I’m saying.  

I had no idea what to expect when touring the submarine but I knew one thing…it was going to be close and tight quarters. I could never imagine living on this ship for days, weeks, or months at a time, let alone submerged underwater.  


There was one long hallway that ran the entire length of the ship and it was difficult to get from one small room to the other as the doorways were very small. I’m thinking the shorter folks were destined for the submarines, not my 6’ and over friends.  


Even the bunk beds were super close together. There was one set of bunks that laid on top of the missile!  If you were on watch you’d sleep in those beds with barely six inches between your face and the ceiling. A torpedo launched from the missile room was the torpedo that sank the last enemy ship during WWII. 

It was a very surreal feeling knowing that I was standing inside of a submarine that held so much history. I tried to imagine the sub bustling with people trying to get to their stations squeezing past each other with very little room to spare. I just can’t imagine what that was like.  


There are three other REALLY cool ships in the Historic Ships lineup: the USS Constellation, the USCGC Taney, the Chesapeake. I’ve toured all of them and enjoyed each ship for a different reason. If you visit I recommend buying a ticket to tour each of the four ships  and make an afternoon of it! 

For more information: visit the Historic Ships website HERE

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  • http://www.thefreeandwildblog.com Annie

    I went on a tour of this as kid and it FREAKED. ME. OUT. mainly because of how cramped it all was. But now that I’ve matured, I really think I would like this! I had no idea it was ACTUALLY in WWII!

  • Jen

    SO fun! My husband and I tend to stop at any battleship that we come across. It’s amazing to walk through them and think about all that happened.