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Ten Maritime Movies to Stream From Home

National Maritime Day, May 22nd, is a day that is dedicated to people who have chosen a life working on the water. While life at sea can seem glamourous and adventurous at times, it can also be harrowing and difficult. Out in the open ocean, people who work in maritime careers are often faced head-on with intense forces of nature.
At Nauticus, we highlight these men and women daily and work to education about the Maritime Industry in all its facets. So, who better to recommend some great Maritime movies in honor of the day! Here are some Maritime movies you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home including “kid-friendly” options for those with little ones! Happy Maritime Day everyone!

1. Secret of Roan Inish

Rating: PG
Stream: Youtube

This is a great example of how deep a fishing village’s connection to the sea can run! Young Fiona and her brother are forced to move in with their grandparents in a small fishing village in Ireland. While there, Fiona gets in touch with her roots and unravels the mystery of her family’s connection with the sea! This film explores themes of magical realism and Irish fishermen lore. Dive into the beauty of the Irish coast and enjoy a heartwarming tale of a family reuniting with their past and each other!

2. The Finest Hours

Rated: PG-13
Stream: Amazon Prime and Disney+

When a pair of oil tankers succumb to a storm off the coast of Cape Cod, the Coast Guard goes out into the storm to rescue the survivors. This harrowing story of community and perseverance highlights how Maritime towns will all come together to make sure their people come home. Break out your tissues and get ready for an emotional story of man vs nature. The strength of the Maritime community and the trust these men and women put in each other working on the water is very apparent! You’ll also remember to say a big thank you to the Coast Guard and all the work they do to keep our Maritime workers safe!

3. In the Heart of the Sea

Rated: PG-13
Stream: Amazon Prime

The story that inspired the legend of Moby Dick comes to life in this action-packed movie that focuses on the sinking of the whaling ship Essex in the early 1800s. This is a brutal tale of survival at sea and gives audiences a look at what happens when nature fights back. It also showcases historic sailing vessels and maritime careers. Once you watch this historic drama, come by Nauticus and see our Schooner Virginia. It’s a much more modern wooden ship but this movie lets you appreciate the skill of the tradespeople who build wooden ships and the maritime workers who sail them!

4. Muppet’s Treasure Island

Rated: G
Stream: Amazon Prime, Disney+ 

If In the Heart of the Sea is not your cup of tea but you’re still in the mood a film about sailing in wooden ships, then may we recommend this classic! Set sail with Kermit and the gang in this hilarious take on Treasure Island. Join this swashbuckling crew on the quest for treasure and laugh a lot along the way! This movie is a classic that the whole family can enjoy!

5. Harriet

Rated: PG-13
Stream: Amazon Prime, Youtube

This movie may seem out of place but bear with me! Historically many mariners and maritime workers were African American, especially here in the Chesapeake Region! “She was part of this really complex maritime system of watermen, sailors, and dockworkers that formed this broad communications network that could get messages back and forth from North to South, a whole world that she tapped into that was entirely beyond the gaze of white people,” said Kate Clifford Larson, author of Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero and a historian who served as a consultant on the film.

6. Captain Phillips

Rated: PG-13
Stream: Amazon Prime 

Captain Phillips tells the true story of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama. After being hijacked by Somali Pirates, the Captain and Crew must find the balance between fighting back and cooperating in order to get out alive. This movie highlights the bravery of the ship’s Captain as he tries to negotiate with the pirates and save his crew. The Port of Virginia right here in Norfolk brings in container ships like this one all the time! We often see them passing right by our windows at Nauticus so this Maritime movie definitely hits close to home!

7. Happy Feet

Rated: PG
Stream: Amazon Prime

Penguins that sing and dance? What more could you want for you next family movie night! This adorable family movie ties in themes of maritime conservation and careers by featuring fishing boats and field researchers through the point of view of the animals that they interact with!

8. The Perfect Storm

Rated: PG-13
Stream it on: Amazon Prime

Enter a boat full of fearless fishermen who are willing to risk it all in order to reel in a profit, but unaware that three storm systems were about to come together off the coast of Massachusetts to create a super-storm. The Perfect Storm is a maritime movie that will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish, as forces of nature combine to create the ultimate tale of Man versus Nature. This film become even more intense when you realize it is based on true events! If this movie makes you curious about the true events then grab a copy of The Perfect Storm, the non-fiction book that the movie was based on.

9. Moana

Rated: PG
Stream: Disney+

Adventure, Sailing, and great music all come together in this gem from Disney! Moana is a young girl who dreams of what lies beyond the horizons of her small island village. When her island needs saving, she sets sail on the ultimate adventure to go find the demigod Maui and restore the Islands to their former glory! As you watch this wonderful tale, try and focus on all of the sailing skills that Moana must learn to accomplish her tasks! A type of celestial navigation like Moana uses was still used by the US Navy until the 1990s, including on our Battleship Wisconsin!

10. Titanic

Rated: PG-13
Stream: Amazon Prime

You cannot talk about the seas and ships without mentioning the hugely popular movie that broke all the records. Titanic was based on the maiden voyage of the ill-fated passenger liner by the same name, which sank into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Though the real life incident was gruesome and dark, James Cameron made the movie with romance as the main theme, which eventually struck a chord with the movie goers making it the highest grosser of all times. Did you know Nauticus campus is also home to the Half Moone Cruise Terminal? Learn about cruise ships and our vast campus during your next visit.