Photo: Melaka's busiest museum.

Maritime Museum

Our rating:

You’ll be forgiven for shouting, "Ahoy!" as you approach the Maritime Museum. Bring the kids to this one, and have fun clambering over the decks of the replica Flor de la Mar, a 400-ton Portuguese carrack that was shipwrecked in 1511 in the Straits of Melaka off the coast of Sumatra.

It was rumoured to have been carrying one of the world’s greatest loots plundered from the Sultan of Melaka. The sunken treasure is still waiting to be found!

It's a two-combo affair: Ship and building. Photo taken in or around Maritime Museum, Melaka, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

It's a two-combo affair: Ship and building. Photo: Sally Arnold

Board the vessel and take off your shoes to explore the inner quarters stuffed to the rafters with dioramas, navigational instruments, a terrific collection of model ships and exhibitions relating to Melaka’s golden age of trade and maritime history. An audio guide (3 ringgit) adds an engaging commentary. The gift shop aboard the ship sells crude models and ships in bottles (from 6 ringgit).

A path leads to the second part of the exhibition in a neighbouring building. This section doesn’t hold the thrill of the ship, but is worth a look to see the extraordinary canoe-type vessel carved to resemble a giant floating hornbill, feathers and all. For fans of cartography, some early Chinese ink wash maps are as beautiful as they are fascinating. An exhibition on Malaysian sea life presents some environmental messages (lets hope the punters take heed). Posters advertised a “sleepover at the museum” programme, which would be a fun though probably uncomfortable alternative to a hotel. Possibly more for the selfie factor than anything else, this is Melaka’s busiest museum.

Maps were simpler back then. Photo taken in or around Maritime Museum, Melaka, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

Maps were simpler back then. Photo: Sally Arnold

Your ticket gains you entry into the Royal Malaysian Navy Museum across the road, which the ticket sellers don’t make you aware of, and unfortunately we missed out, although a patrol boat and other military hardware on display in the outer courtyard looked like it would make a worthwhile visit.

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Maritime Museum
Jalan Merdeka, Melaka
Mon–Thurs 09:00–17:00, Fri–Sun 09:00–18:30
T: (06) 282 6526
Admission: Adults 10 ringgit, children 6 ringgit.

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Location map for Maritime Museum

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