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SS American Victory

The SS American Victory is a magnificent relic of maritime history, serving as one of the only a few fully operational World War II ships in the United States. As a Victory ship, the SS American Victory was part of a class of cargo ships produced in large numbers to support Allied efforts during World War II. Today, it serves not only as a living museum but also as a memorial to the men and women who built and sailed these ships across dangerous seas.


The SS American Victory was one of 531 Victory ships built during World War II. Launched in 1945, shortly after the end of the war, she served with distinction for both wartime and peacetime efforts. The ship saw service in the Pacific during the final months of World War II, as well as during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Post-war, she was used to transport goods and troops back home in Operation Magic Carpet.

After being retired from active duty, the SS American Victory was preserved to serve as a museum ship. She was rescued from the reserve fleet and brought to Tampa, Florida, where she underwent restoration to her former glory. The ship is named in honor of American victory in World War II, reflecting the hope and determination of the era.


  • The SS American Victory is 455 feet in length and has a beam of 62 feet, with a draft of 28 feet.
  • She was built in just 55 days by the California Shipbuilding Company in Los Angeles and launched on May 24, 1945.
  • The ship is powered by a steam turbine generating 6,000 horsepower, capable of speeds up to 17 knots.
  • The Victory ships were an improvement over the earlier Liberty Ships, being faster and having greater cargo capacity.
  • The ship has been featured in several films and serves as a venue for events and ceremonies.


The SS American Victory is moored in Tampa, Florida, behind the Florida Aquarium at 705 Channelside Drive. This location is part of the bustling Channelside district, close to other attractions, dining, and entertainment options.


The SS American Victory maintains an online presence where visitors can find information about tours, events, and the history of the ship. The official website is typically found with a quick web search for “SS American Victory.”

Opening Hours

The ship museum is generally open to the public for self-guided tours, but hours can vary based on events, maintenance, and time of year. It is common for the ship to be open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10 AM to 5 PM, with the last admission at 4 PM. Visitors should verify the current schedule on the ship’s official website or by contacting the museum directly.

Things to do

  • Visitors can explore the various decks, cabins, galley, and the engine room on a self-guided tour.
  • Educational exhibits are available, detailing the ship’s participation in significant military conflicts and its role in American history.
  • Special events, including reenactments, memorial services, and themed celebrations, are held aboard the ship.
  • Living history cruises are occasionally offered, allowing guests to experience sailing on this historic vessel.

Tips For Visiting

  • Check the weather before your visit and dress appropriately, as parts of the ship are exposed to the elements.
  • Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes as you’ll be navigating through tight spaces and climbing steep stairs.
  • Children should be closely supervised due to the nature of the ship’s historic design.
  • Accessibility for those with mobility challenges may be limited due to the ship’s original structure.


The SS American Victory stands as a proud symbol of America’s maritime heritage and the enormous effort of the home front during World War II. It offers a tangible connection to history, allowing visitors to experience the life of sailors during a time of global conflict. As one of the few surviving Victory ships, it is a precious artifact and a testament to the resilience and technological prowess of the era. The SS American Victory is an essential visit for history buffs, maritime enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the story of America’s industrial and military might.

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