Updated: Oct 2, 2022
The permanent collection of the National Maritime Museum in Haifa is dedicated to the history of shipping in the Mediterranean Basin, the Red Sea, and the Nile and displays models of ships, pottery, coins, stamps, a collection of ancient maps, and old navigation tools.
Until 1995, a museum of ancient art operated in Haifa. Upon its closure, its collection was transferred to the Maritime Museum. There are also exhibits of archeological finds such as sculptures and tools from ancient times.
The museum has two significant exhibits. The first is mosaics and finds from the excavations at nearby Tel Shikmona.
The second is a bronze ram from 102-103 BC. It is probably the largest found from that period.
In addition, the museum has recently renewed its face, and it presents rotating exhibits on various topics, also aimed at children. For example, when we visited, the museum put on shows about pirates and sea superheroes.
I especially liked the side room, which displays various exhibits from the museum's colossal collection - ones that were not selected for the permanent display but are definitely exciting.
Overall a charming museum for adults and children. However, its name - "National Maritime Museum" - is quite pretentious. An Israeli national museum that deals with the sea can not ignore topics like Ha'apala (the illegal Jewish immigration to Israel toward the end of the British Mandate period) or the IDF navy. "National Museum" is expected to deal with the whole complex. "Municipal Maritime Museum" sounds more appropriate to me.
🎫 The museum is part of the Haifa Museums Corporation, including the Haifa Museum of Art and the Center for the Arts, the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, the City Museum, the Mané Katz Museum, the Hermann Struck Museum, and the Museum of Prehistory. There is an option to purchase a discounted weekly ticket that allows a visit to all the museums for seven days.