Opening day at Maritime Gloucester means a time to celebrate the city’s heritage and relationship to the sea.

The 1-acre waterfront location was transformed into a working waterfront museum, a maritime heritage center and an educational facility. It kicks off its 19th season this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with half-price admission.

Michael De Koster, executive director of the nonprofit organization, said that opening day is only the beginning of many events and programs that will take place throughout the year.

“Come and enjoy the day,” he said. “Saturday is our first day to kick off our summer hours, and we will be open every day after.”

Visitors can walk out to the waterfront on the Harriet Webster Pier and visit the many exhibits on diverse maritime topics and the Sea Pocket Aquarium, with touch tanks featuring the habitats and marine animals of Cape Ann.

There is a visitor center, gift store and interactive Stellwagen exhibit on the first floor and the Gorton’s Seafood Gallery and exhibit space on the second floor. The property was home to a marine railway, which was restored when the nonprofit Maritime Gloucester was established. 

Maritime Gloucester is also the home base for two schooners, the Adventure, which will be at the dock, and the Ardelle, which will be sailing for opening day.

Another focus is learning about stewardship of the local maritime culture and environment.

Coming up, Maritime Gloucester will celebrate World Oceans Day on Saturday, June 8, in partnership with an organization called OLLIE, which stands for ocean learning lab and immersive experiences. OLLIE will officially launch that day with a virtual submarine, interactive activities and more from noon to 6 p.m.

Maritime Gloucester also plans to host hourlong pop-up educational opportunities on a variety of topics throughout the season. The programs will be focused on local maritime history and culture and the community’s relationship with the ocean.

If you go 

What: Maritime Gloucester’s 19th season

When: Opening day this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Also open Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regular summer hours are Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: 23 Harbor Loop, Gloucester

How much: Regular admission (which is half-price this Saturday) is $10 for adults and $7 for teachers, military and students, with a family maximum of $25 

More information: 978-281-0470 or