Decks of Historic Virginia Battleship Transformed into Holiday Wonderland

Battleship Wisconsin is putting the “sea” in seasonal fun!

Battleship Wisconsin WinterFest
Photo: Gregory Hardison

All aboard for a holiday experience like no other!

More than 250,000 holiday lights, a 25-foot-tall Christmas tree, and a team of custom-designed animatronic elves have transformed Battleship Wisconsin into a Christmas wonderland bright enough to be seen from space!

With Nauticus' annual Dickens' Christmas Towne canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic, the maritime museum has debuted WinterFest on the Wisconsin, a safe, new, family-focused experience aboard the historic battleship in downtown Norfolk, Virginia.

"Perhaps most notably, the Battleship Wisconsin is a symbol of this country's resilience and resolve," Nauticus executive director, Stephen E. Kirkland, said in a news release. "That makes it the perfect venue upon which to celebrate the season after a tremendously challenging year."

Winterfest on the Wisconsin will heap on the holiday cheer with an enormous light trail along the decks of the battleship and special tree lighting ceremonies each night. An elaborate projection system will cast holiday imagery across the entirety of the ship's colossal hull, and each Saturday evening Santa Claus will arrive by boat at the conclusion of a lighted sailboat parade. Food and drinks will be available for both the kids and adults.

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"I mean there's something about light and being able to walk through and experience this up close," Kirkland told 13NewsNow. "Of course, we'll have music out here. We'll have live entertainment out here as well."

"It's meant to be fun, but it's meant to be safe," he added.

Produced by Nauticus and presented by GEICO Military, the holiday spectacle will launch on November 21 and conclude on New Year's Eve. Tickets are $12.50 for adults and $10 per child. For more information and to reserve tickets, visit

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