Our Floating Classroom

Community Programs: Seamanship & Maritime History

The Steamer Virginia V is a National Historic Landmark and a learning resource worth sharing with the next generation. Students on board the ship experience local history and culture firsthand. Youth programs for grades K-12 and high school internships offer hands-on lessons in shipbuilding, engineering, environmental science, and so much more. We are committed to serving community groups and the general public throughout the State of Washington.

Youth Programs

Steamship Discovery Program

Grades 2-5 
Duration 2.5 hours

This guided program engages young learners through stories, games, experiments, and hands-on skills as they learn about ships and steam power. Participants take on the roles of deckhand, captain, engineer, and others as they haul lines, oil the engine, and send messages on the telegraph. Visit includes a take-home craft and an honorary Crew of the VIRGINIA V certificate.


  • $15 per student
  • $250 minimum fee
  • Adult chaperones (age 18+) admitted free

To book this program, contact 206-624-9199 or heron@virginiav.org.

Seafaring Adventure Summer Camp

Grades 3-5
4 days, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
2017 dates TBD

This week-long camp, produced by our friends at Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), takes place on and around Lake Union, on land and in boats. Campers explore life on board of a ship, the science of steam-powered engines, navigation, model sail boat building, and more. We are proud to partner with MOHAI, The Center for Wooden Boats, and Northwest Seaport on this summer camp experience.


  • $350 per student for the week
  • Registration opens February 28, 2017
  • Member discounts and early bird pricing
  • Optional extended care available

Visit MOHAI Summer Camps for more registration details.

Support Education at Sea

Your donation ensures that we continue to fulfill our mission for the next generation.

C. Keith Birkenfeld Youth Internship Program

Through our partnership with Ballard Maritime Academy, we offer Seattle high school students the opportunity to apply for summer internships aboard the historic Steamer Virginia V.

The program runs for two months, from mid-June to mid-August, and introduces interns to the skills and tasks essential for operating the the wood-hulled steamship, which is a US Coast Guard inspected vessel and National Historic Landmark. Upon completion of the program, interns receive a scholarship to help further their personal educational goals, ideally in the maritime industry.

For more information, contact Heron Scott at heron@virginiav.org.

Over the course of the summer, interns would rotate through three focus areas:

  1. Engineering typically includes lining up pumps, performing oiling rounds, and engine maintenance.
  2. Deck typically includes handling lines, stewarding passengers, and navigating the ship during cruises.
  3. Maintenance typically includes varnishing, painting, and small woodworking projects.

Interns are required to fulfill four (4) shifts in each of the three (3) areas above, for a total of twelve (12) shifts between mid-June and mid-August.

Scheduling Details

Once students are selected for the internship, they will work with the Steamer Virginia V Foundation staff to set a summer schedule that fulfills the above requirements. Shifts range from 4-6 hours depending on the event and the excursion schedule. Interns will be supervised by the Focus Area Lead assigned to that shift. For example, while performing engineering duties, interns would report to the Chief Engineer, while working deck, the Captain.

Performance Objectives

Interns can expect to receive practical experience in all aspects of operating a steamship like the SS Virginia V, contributing to an understanding of maritime careers.


Upon completion of the internship, students receive a $1,000 scholarship to be applied towards personal education goals, ideally in the maritime industry.


  • Prospective interns must be enrolled in high school or recently graduated seniors.
  • Students planning on a career in the maritime industry will be given priority during selection.

Students who are wish to apply should contact Heron Scott at heron@virginiav.org.

© 2016 The Steamer Virginia V Foundation. All rights reserved.