USS Constitution Sets Sail Again for First Time in Over a Year

The USS Constitution launched from the Charlestown Navy Yard Friday morning, marking the first voyage for “Old Ironsides” since October 2019.

The world’s oldest commissioned warship left the dock at 10 a.m., accompanied by a 21-gun salute.

The Constitution usually has seven underways a year, but the coronavirus pandemic shut down most of its operations.

Friday marked the ship’s reopening to the public. Going forward, visitors can tour the ship and museum from Fridays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum will open this weekend, and will once again welcome visitors on a daily basis starting May 27th.

“The USS Constitution Museum looks forward to wowing our guests with great hands-on experiences as we share the stories of ‘Old Ironsides’ and her dedicated crew, both past and present,” said Anne Grimes Rand, Museum President and CEO.

“Old Ironsides” defended sea lanes during the War of 1812 and earned her nickname when British cannonballs appeared to bounce off her sides. She first sailed to Boston Harbor in 1797. At that time, ships were expected to last 10-15 years. Rumors of her decommission in 1830 inspired Oliver Wendell Holmes to pen a poem, “Old Ironsides,” in her honor.

This article is written by Meghan Ottolini from Boston Herald and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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