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Eclipse on a Warship FAQs

Molly Hamilton Jul 19, 2017

Thinking about joining us to view the total solar eclipse on 21 August 2017?  Our Eclipse on a Warship event will give one of the most unique and historic locations in the United States to view this spectacular event.  The last time the contiguous United States saw a total eclipse was in 1979.

On 21 August 2017, the eclipse will begin near Lincoln City, OR, at 1:15 p.m. and the path of totality will move east toward Charleston, SC where it will occur just after 2:46 p.m.  As the USS Yorktown is within sight of the coast of South Carolina, this historic World War II aircraft carrier will be one of the last places to witness the eclipse in the continental United States of America.

To find out more about the Eclipse on a Warship, check our event listing here and/or the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below:

Eclipse on a Warship FAQ’s

      1. Is a special ticket needed to attend Eclipse on a Warship?
        No, there is not a special ticket for Eclipse on a Warship. A normal admission ticket will grant access to the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum on August 21 and participation in all programs being offered for the eclipse event. All tickets purchased online prior to July 14, 2017 may be used for this event. Online ticket sales have now ended, and a limited number of tickets will be sold the day of the event at our ticket window on site beginning at 9 a.m.
      2. How many tickets will be sold on the day of the event?
        The actual number of tickets sold on August 21 will depend on various factors we will not know until that day; however, we expect to have at least 2,000 tickets available for purchase.
      3. Can I bring a chair to set up on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown or along the grounds of Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum to view the total solar eclipse?
        Guests will be allowed to bring a portable chair to use while viewing the eclipse. Please be advised that to reach the flight deck of the USS Yorktown, guests must ascend multiple “ladders” (steep stairs). Chairs should be easy to carry. No chairs will be provided for guests by the museum.
      4. How do I receive a free pair of special eclipse safety glasses?
        The first 3,000 paid visitors on August 21 will receive a free pair of glasses.
      5. Is there a screen or something that people can use to view the eclipse if they don’t have the eclipse glasses?
        We will have an alternate viewing method on the flight deck for those without glasses. Also, we will show the NASA livestream of the eclipse on a large projection screen aboard the USS Yorktown.
      6. Will all guests be allowed to access the USS Yorktown’s flight deck to watch the total solar eclipse?
        Every effort will be made to ensure that everyone who wants to be on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown can be there, but the capacity of that space is limited due to fire codes (and the ticket sales will be capped to reflect that capacity). However, keep in mind there are other prime viewing areas throughout our museum including the pier, the USS Laffey, the pier near the USS Clamagore and along the marsh at the Vietnam Experience exhibit.
      7. Can we purchase tickets online in advance?
        No, due to high demand for the tickets, we have ended all online ticketing at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. We apologize for this inconvenience. All guests must purchase tickets upon arrival at the museum.
      8. What time should I arrive to purchase a ticket?
        Tickets will go on sale at 9 a.m. and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. We expect to have at least 2,000 tickets available at that time.
      9. Will food and drinks be available for purchase on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown?
        Non-alcoholic drinks will be available for purchase on the flight deck.
        Sales will be cash only and we expect to have an ATM available on the flight deck. Our snackbars will remain open landside and on the USS Yorktown; and the Fighting Lady Cafe (table-side service restaurant) will be open as usual from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (the entrance is on the hangar deck of the Yorktown). The snackbars and restaurant all accept both cash and credit cards.
      10. What special events are planned for the day?
        Details are still being decided but various science/space professionals will be at the museum making various presentations about the eclipse. Dr. Christian Iliadis, chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, will offer a presentation on the science of a total solar eclipse. Additional presentations will be made by several representatives from NASA including Dr. Douglas Terrier, Chief Technologist, Johnson Space Center. Various children’s activities will be offered as well by the museum’s education department.
      11. What kind of children’s activities will be offered?
        Various children’s activities will be offered by our education department staff at Eclipse on a Warship including:
        * Move the Moon with Magnets! – Children will decorate a moon and then demonstrate the its motion during a total solar eclipse using magnetic art!
        * Eclipse Selfie Station –- Strike a pose at our total solar eclipse selfie station!
        * Ultraviolet Light Detectors – Children will make bracelets using UV beads and take them outside to discover the invisible light of the sun – “ultraviolet light.”
        * Eclipse Chalk Art – Children will learn about and sketch the sun’s corona, the outermost layer of the solar atmosphere. The corona can only be viewed by the naked eye during a total solar eclipse!
      12. What time will events begin?
        Our exact schedule of the day is still being decided. The museum opens at 9 a.m.
      13. An estimate of events is as follows:
        Children’s activities will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
        10-11 a.m. NASA and the Eclipse; Technology used by NASA during the eclipse
        11:30 a.m. Physics behind the eclipse – Dr. Christian Iliadis, University of North Carolina
        2:46 p.m. The Total Solar Eclipse
      14. What time will the eclipse take place?
        Since Charleston is in the path of totality, we will experience a total solar eclipse. The entire event will last a few hours, but the expected totality should begin at 2:46 p.m. and will last one to two minutes.
      15. Can I arrive early and reserve a spot on the flight deck, leave the ship and return later?
        We cannot reserve seating on the flight deck for this event. Keep in mind that the flight deck is 888 feet long and we expect there will be ample space for all guests to view the total solar eclipse.
      16. If I leave the museum after purchasing my ticket, will I be allowed re-entry?
        Yes. As with all days our museum is open, re-entry will be allowed as long as you still have your ticket. However, please note that parking is not guaranteed once you leave and high levels of traffic are expected in the Charleston area on August 21.
      17. What ages are the children’s activities geared toward?
        Children of all ages should enjoy the events we will offer at Eclipse on a Warship.
      18. If and when ticket sales end because capacity is reached, will guests be allowed to pay for parking (if available) and watch the eclipse from the grassy area along the marsh adjacent to the parking lot?
        Yes. Guests are welcome to watch the eclipse from this area, but entertainment and food and drink tents will not be available. However, the Sticky Fingers Snack Shack (snack bar) is next to the ticketing office and non-ticketed guests will have access to this, as well as multiple vending options and our gift shop.

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9 thoughts on “Eclipse on a Warship FAQs

  1. Bill Rowen says:

    Can you recommend transportation for a family to this event from downtown Charleston?

    1. Molly Hamilton says:

      Hi Bill. Thanks for your interest in our event. I would recommend contacting the Charleston Water Taxi (search for them online or find their Facebook page) and find out what their options are on the day of the Eclipse. They usually have many scheduled drop-offs each day at our museum bringing guests directly across the harbor from downtown Charleston. However, since our tickets will be sold that day on a first-come, first-served basis, I would recommend either arriving early (we will open at 9 a.m), or taking a taxi or Uber ride earlier in the morning to purchase your tickets, and then returning later in the day by water taxi for the event (after confirming the taxi schedule). Hope that helps!

      Molly Hamilton
      Public Information & Media Relations

      1. Chris Coffield says:

        We plan to arrive early on Aug 21 to purchase tickets. When will the parking lot at Patriots Point be open?

        1. Molly Hamilton says:

          Hi Chris. The parking lots will be open by 6 a.m. on August 21 for Eclipse on a Warship. We look forward to seeing you at this great event!

          Molly Hamilton
          Public Information & Media Relations

  2. Tanya says:

    Will you be selling t-shirts with the Yorktown ship solor eclipse 2017

    1. Chris Hauff says:

      Hi Tanya,

      We actually already started selling t-shirts for the Eclipse on a Warship. They are available for purchase in the Ship Store (our gift shop) right now!

      Chris Hauff
      Public Information Officer
      Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum

  3. Chuck says:

    Can I use my tripod on the flight deckto photograph the eclipse?

    1. Molly Hamilton says:

      Hi Chuck. You are welcome to bring any photography equipment you wish to carry up several flights of stairs to the flight deck. Sorry for the late response!

      Molly Hamilton
      Public Information & Media Relations

  4. Sabdy says:

    Do you still have t shirts from yorktown eclipse available.

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