National Maritime Day | May 22
(Last Updated On: November 7, 2022)


Each year on May 22nd, National Maritime Day recognizes the launch of the maritime industry in the United States. The celebration also honors America’s Merchant Marines for their contributions and sacrifices for our country. Special acknowledgment is given to ships and seafarers that have held a prominent place in our nation’s history.


As one of the oldest industries, its time-honored traditions compose a full and rich history. Celebrations and ceremonies around the country recognize the people our maritime nation depends on. Each year the Department of Transportation holds a national ceremony in Washington D.C. at the Department of Transportation headquarters.

While the holiday commemorates a transatlantic event, U.S. maritime industry encompasses nearly every state in the nation with workers transporting vessels on lakes, rivers, and oceans. Employment opportunities aren’t limited to shipyards either. The maritime industry also calls for workers with expertise in fishing, aquaculture, processing, diving, and transportation, just to name a few.

HOW TO OBSERVE National Maritime Day

Join a celebration near you. Learn more about maritime history and the people who work in the industry. Share your knowledge and experiences, too. You can also read a book, watch a documentary or visit a maritime museum.

  • The Forgotten Heroes by Brian Herbert
  • Patriots and Heroes by Gerald Reminick
  • The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World by Lincoln P Paine
  • The Men Who Sailed The Liberty Ships – a documentary by PBS
  • Council of American Maritime Museums list of maritime museums by state

Give a shoutout to someone you know in the maritime industry using #NationalMaritimeDay to post on social media.


On May 20, 1933, Congress approved Public Resolution No. 7 designating May 22, 1933, as National Maritime Day commemorating the first successful transoceanic voyage from the United States. On May 22, 1819, the steamship The Savannah set sail from Savannah, Georgia to England. For more information on the observance, events visit

Maritime FAQ

Q. How many ships are on the ocean from day to day?
A. Worldwide there are more than 90,000 commercial ships. You can get a visual of ships in real-time by visiting

Q. What do you get when you cross the Titanic with an ocean.
A. About halfway.


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