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New Historical Experience Features 300-Year-Old Artifacts and Treasure from Only Fully Authenticated Pirate Ship Ever Discovered
Real Pirates Salem is a historical experience featuring an exhibition of real pirate treasure recovered from the shipwrecked Whydah. The objects in the exhibit are from the world’s only fully authenticated pirate treasure ever discovered – including coins, jewelry, a cannon, and other weapons – retrieved from the wreck, and last touched by the hands of pirates more than 300 years ago.
Salem, one of the oldest ports in the United States, is famous not only as Witch City, but also as a storied center of maritime history. Real Pirates Salem features the real story of Pirate Captain “Black Sam” Bellamy, one of the youngest, most successful pirates of all time, and Maria Hallett, the love of his life and legendary “Witch of Wellfleet.” The exhibit also introduces the crew of the Whydah and follows their journey as they searched for and acquired the largest pirate treasure ever amassed on the high seas and met their untimely fate in a violent storm off the coast of Cape Cod and on the gallows of Charlestown, Massachusetts.
The exhibit features a Discovery Lab where visitors can dive into the preservation process of authentic Whydah artifacts. The Lab includes real concretions – pieces of the ship and its cargo – still encased in their underwater calcified “time capsules,” and dives further into underwater archaeology and the challenges of undersea exploration. In addition, the exhibit includes interactive hands-on activities for kids of all ages, including learning how to tie nautical knots, raising pirate flags, and touching real pirate treasure.
Interactive experiences also include the opportunity for visitors to picture themselves as a real pirate with the exhibit’s complimentary photo experience, touch real Whydah coins, and stop by the gift shop for a special keepsake to remember their visit.
Real Pirates Salem provides visitors with a complimentary audio tour narrated by Barry Clifford himself. Clifford will take visitors on a journey through the past, present, and into the future of the Whydah – as there is still much history left to be discovered.
Location, Hours & Admission
Real Pirates Salem is located on Charlotte Forten Park at 285 Derby Street on the historic waterfront of downtown Salem, within walking distance from world-renowned museums, amazing restaurants, hotels, parks, shops, attractions, and historical sites. Convenient parking is also available in Salem’s nearby downtown parking garage.
Real Pirates Salem is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Groups of 10 or more are welcome at special rates.
While there is no age restriction for younger visitors, the exhibit is best suited for children ages 5 years or older.
Extended hours occur for the month of October and certain holidays. The venue is available for rental for special events and private parties.
March 28, 2022