Operation Red Trek. Ensuring Estonian Freedom

9 October 2018 – 30 June 2019

The exhibition in the experience room of the Seaplane Harbour tells the story of the tense first months of the Estonian War of Independence at sea.

At the time, the First World War had just ended and a Soviet Russian invasion to the territory of the brand new Republic of Estonia was expected. Keeping the enemy at bay was possible only thanks to foreign aid and the Navy; without those, the entire Estonian War of Independence could have lost its momentum.

At the exhibition, visitors can enjoy the activities of the British squadron, led by Admiral Edwyn Alexander-Sinclair, which came to help upon request from Estonia. The exhibition shows their treacherous journey from its beginning in November 1918 to military action on the Gulf of Finland in January 1919. For the first time ever, the British squadron’s exact route to Tallinn, which was riddled with minefields, can be seen on a digital map.

Previously unpublished material has been used in the exhibition, which also provides information about the complicated and even chaotic situation of the initial months of the War of Independence. In addition to the actions of the Navy, we can see the political will of the United Kingdom to give public support to the attempts of the Baltic countries to reach independence.

These events, which started a friendship between Estonia and the United Kingdom that persists to this day, are also described in the online exhibition that complements the exhibits at the Seaplane Harbour:

Curator: Arto Oll, Estonian Maritime Museum
Partners: British Embassy Tallinn, Estonian War Museum, Imperial War Museum, Museum of the Estonian Struggle for Liberty
Design: Kärt Maran and Tuumik Stuudio
Project manager of the exhibition: Teele Siig, Estonian Maritime Museum
Project manager of marketing: Marge Rahu, Estonian Maritime Museum


The fate of a country by the sea is inextricably tied to its ships, which carried people off and brought them back, as well as saved them and helped them flee, marked the start of war and the beginning of peace, depicted happiness and heartache – they were of vital importance to the country and its people.

The turbulent series of events taking place from the inception of the Republic of Estonia to its 100th birthday is reflected in the fates of our ships. ‘100 years on water. The ships of Estonia 1918–2018’, an exhibition at the Estonian Maritime Museum, will bring their exciting and remarkable stories before us.

Each year of the period of 1918–2018 is represented by one ship, in connection with which some monumental event took place during that year. It may be the year the ship was completed or the year it perished; it may also mark the crossing of the equator under the Estonian flag, fleeing to the United States from Sweden, or the launch of Baltic Sea cruises from Tallinn. All kinds of vessels are represented – passenger ships, war ships, cargo ships, sailing ships, steam ships, riverboats, etc. The exhibition is also a recognition of the people who worked, studied, or travelled on these important vessels.

The abundant display of ship models in an impressive environment is supported by modern special solutions and a plentiful selection of illustrations.

The story of our ships is the story of Estonia. The ebb and flow of the waters of time have brought us here today. We have spent 100 years on water.

Come and see the ships of the Republic of Estonia!

The exhibition was open from 24.02.2018 to 13.01.2019

Photo: Erlend Štaub


Vikings: Life Beyond the Legend

13 August 2016 – 15 January 2017

The Viking weapons and booty displayed at the exhibition speak of bravery and conquest, but this is by no means the whole story of the Vikings. Advanced handicrafts, fine gold and silver jewellery, Arabic coins and skilfully forged weapons and tools speak of highly developed blacksmithing and close trade relations with neighbouring countries. The exhibition consists of over 500 Viking Age finds. It includes original coins, weapons, household tools, talismans, bones and ship details that shed entirely new light on our knowledge of the Vikings, their trade, conquests, magic, beliefs and daily life. The exhibition has been organized by the Swedish History Museum.

Race to the End of the Earth

29 August 2015 – 3 April 2016

This large joint exhibition is about one of the most dramatic chapters in the history of exploration: the story of conquering the South Pole. Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and British Navy officer Robert Falcon Scott started their expeditions in 1911 almost simultaneously. Both reached the destination but only one of them returned home. Race to the End of the Earth describes and depicts both teams’ equipment and tactics, and the daily life, thoughts and moods of the men. This exhibition has been organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, US, and Musée des Confluences, Lyon, France, and the Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, Canada.

Sail or Sink

12 February – 26 July 2015

This hands-on exhibition for the whole family is about the forces of nature in the realm of water and related colourful stories from maritime history. The visitors can generate waves and whirlpools, steer ships through locks, escape from a sinking ship and much more. The exhibition has been prepared jointly by the Estonian Maritime Museum and Science Centre AHHAA.

Sea in the Wardrobe

20. September 2014−18. January 2015

An exhibition on the sea and fashion

Sea in the Wardrobe is an exhibition on clothes, sea and fashion. We will talk about the development of storm clothes, the striped shirt and frothy evening dresses. More exciting stories about swimwear, navy uniforms and children’s sailor suits. The exhibition rooms will have plenty to offer to fashion freaks, children and even genuine sea dogs!

TITANIC: The Artifact Exhibition

15 November 2013 − 31 March 2014

The exhibition will feature more than 150 original items salvaged from the bottom of the ocean around the wreck of Titanic at the depth of approximately 4 kilometres. The reconstructions of a number of the Ship’s rooms will take us back to the year 1912, when faith in technical progress was virtually unwavering and Titanic, the world’s biggest and most luxurious passenger Ship of her time, seemed to embody the almightiness of humankind.
The exhibition will be brought to Estonia in cooperation with Premier Exhibitions Inc., an exhibition provider from the United States.


Estonian Antarctic expedition visits Copenhagen

On 30-31 July an Estonian sailboat, ‘Admiral Bellingshausen’, will stay at Amaliehaven, Copenhagen. An art installation will be set up to draw attention to the climate issues at polar areas.

29. July

The audio guide at the Seaplane Harbour is in ten languages

The audio tour at the Seaplane Harbour now tells the Estonian maritime history in ten languages. The audio tour introducing the permanent exhibition above and below water and in the air is a unique journey.

27. June

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