What is ShiPosium?


ShiPosium brings together preservationists, mariners, and historians from across the country to discuss the challenges, opportunities, and realities of conserving or utilizing heritage ships for modern purposes.

The ShiPosium is held in tandem with SSHSA’s Annual Conference, attended by SSHSA members from all over the country.  Attendees are invited to attend social gatherings, outings to local attractions; and special maritime-related tours, in addition to the ShiPosium.

The first ShiPosium was held in May 2012 aboard NS Savannah moored in Baltimore Harbor.  It included case studies of Savannah, SS Badger, SS Delta Queen, SS United States, and USS Olympia.  The keynote speaker was the Honorable Helen Delich Bentley, former U.S. Maritime Commissioner and 4-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Ms. Bentley is and always has been an ardent supporter of the U.S. Merchant Marine.  The third ShiPosium was held at the Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina in Newport, Rhode Island on May 15-18, 2014.


ShiPosium II Highlights:

The 2013 ShiPosium in Long Beach, CA highlighted:

  • RMS Queen Mary
  • USS Iowa
  • SS Milwaukee Clipper
  • USCGC Comanche
  • SS Coho
  • SS Delta King
  • SS Jeremiah O'Brien
  • Historic ships and education
  • Repurposing historic ships as hotels

Attendees also had the opportunity to see presentations by Marc Cruder, the Senior Traveling Marine Inspector at United States Coast Guard Headquarters who oversees these types of vessels; Ken Marschall who has recently photographed the current state of Titanic with “Exploring Titanic: Unseen Interiors;” and Martin Cox whose Maritime Matters web site documents day-to-day as well as historical notes on all types of ship. 

Fun conference activities included a ride on the historic Los Angeles Harbor tugboat Angels Gate, currently owned and operated by the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, a behind the scenes tour of the museum, a visit to SS Lane Victory Museum in San Pedro, and a visit to the home of Peter Knego, an avid collector of furnishings from scrapped passenger liners, whose home is completely furnished with these items.  There were also cocktail receptions on Queen Mary and Iowa.

SSHSA presented its 17th annual Ship of the Year award to the MV Coho at the Awards Banquet.  The keynote speaker was Mark B. Perry, Executive Producer of “SS United States:  Lady in Waiting,” Primetime Emmy Award winner in 1993 for Picket Fences, and currently writer and co-producer of ABC’s series Revenge.


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