It's a simple museum housed in three old buildings built in the 1600s originally to hold spices, coffee and textiles; they still retain much of their original structure such as the massive wooden beams.
However, regular flooding of this area of town means that some of the structures are deteriorating despite pumps working overtime to clear the water and an ongoing maintenance programme repairing flood damage.
Inside the museum one will find an interesting collection of boats, boat parts and scale models which together tell the story of Indonesia's maritime history of which there is a lot, given that the country is a huge archipelago. Eager staff sometimes may offer to take you on a free guided tour showing you the most important parts.
Walking north from here and into the nearby village (kampung), one can see a side of Indonesia often hidden from the tourist gaze. In this kampung, the majority of people live simple lives a far cry from the glamour of the big malls in the centre of town.