Journey across the Great Map

Essential information

Opening times: 
10am–5pm daily

Discover the Great Map at the centre of the National Maritime Museum, a giant atlas from which you can explore the world and our collections, join in with events and play interactive games - no matter what age you are. And it's all free!

  • Pick a card and explore the world as a submarine or build bridges across continents!
  • Walk across the map’s surface and use a touch-screen tablet to uncover stories of female pirates, Scott’s Antarctic expedition and many more.
  • Understand from live data the currents and winds that drive vessels and people across the world’s oceans and seas.
  • Become the Great Map’s Greatest Explorer. Take one of our tablets, name your ship and set sail for distant lands.

Five famous ships

Catch one of our modern ship models on their voyages across the Great Map.

RRS Sir David Attenborough

RRS Sir David Attenborough is a next-generation marine science platform for UK research in both Antarctica and the Arctic.

Encounter Bay

Once the world’s largest container ship, Encounter Bay was launched 50 years ago during the infancy of “containerisation”, the development of which changed globalisation forever.

HMS Kildangan

HMS Kildangan was operated by the Royal Navy during World War I, and was double-ended and painted in “dazzle” camouflage in order to confuse German submarines.

Empire Windrush 

Empire Windrush brought some of the first post-war migrants to Britain from the Caribbean. 

Arctic Sunrise

Designed as an icebreaker, the Arctic Sunrise has been used by environmental organisation Greenpeace since 1995.

Take a breather

Good news for parents - the Great Map is located next to the Great Map Café where there's ample space for buggy parking, so take a pew and enjoy a cappuccino while the little ones explore.

Entry to The Great Map and access to all our interactive games is free.

Plan your visit