NJ.com Reports: Battleship New Jersey to debut new adults-only tour
In fact, he’s never told that story while on a tour at all.
The same goes for the account of a woman discovered on board the battleship during the Vietnam War, who had been “working her way” from California to Hawaii.
Curator Jason Hall also doesn’t make a habit of showing touring groups some of the more risqué and graphic examples of sailor art, painted throughout the gray innards of the ship during the 1980s.
That is, until today, when officials at the highly-decorated battleship are opening a new attraction they are calling the “Twilight Tour,” aimed at adults 21 and older.
According to Hall, the idea for the new tour came from a similar program available at Eastern State Penitentiary, telling the stories unsuitable for children, but no less important to the history of the site.
“It’s a reminder that this isn’t just a steel box — people lived here, for years, and these are their stories,” said Hall, walking though some of the new tour on Wednesday. “It’s very much off the beaten path of most of our normal tours, with stories that aren’t shared with the general public.”
The 90-minute Twilight Tours begin this evening at 6, and will carry on each day at that time, which is normally when the battleship closes to the public.
Tickets cost $34.95 per adult, which includes a free alcoholic drink at the ship’s portable bar at the end of the tour.
According to Hall, a group of 12 has already reserved spots for the first tour. Walk-ups are also welcomed.
In addition to sharing some of the less-known stories and paintings found at the battleship, another goal of the Twilight Tour is to show aspects of the ship’s all-ages tours, including its City at Sea and Turret Two programs.
“We’re going to be taking people around through different parts of tours we already do, and then call attention to something we normally would show, or actually go into a section of the ship we don’t show people,” said Hall.
Walking beside a large painting inside a boiler room featuring two partially naked women, Hall said such works have prevented tour groups from visiting entire areas of the ship.
“Because of that picture, we’ve had to re-direct whole tour routes, and find another boiler room to take people into,” he said.
He added that the paintings were created by sailors almost exclusively during the 1980s.
“It was tolerated by the higher-ups because it broke the boredom and gave them something to do,” said Hall. “They’re also in areas where not many people would go or find.
“But the sailor art is art, and for some of them, this is going to be the first time anyone’s shined light on them in a long time.”