The SS Lane Victory is San Pedro's other wartime museum ship.
The brawny battleship USS Iowa has been a media darling since it was towed to L.A.'s harbor and opened as a museum on July 7. But the Lane Victory, built in Los Angeles in 1945 as an emergency cargo ship and lovingly restored by U.S. Merchant Marine veterans, has been a floating museum since 1989. The ship also served during the Korean and Vietnam wars. And, unlike the Iowa, this one lets you take a spin on it.
The ship, a National Historic Landmark usually found at Berth 46, plans daylong cruises on the open ocean from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. this summer and fall that are designed to re-create the feel of being transported on a cargo ship.
During the cruise, there's a wreath-laying memorial ceremony to pay tribute to the hundreds of merchant ships lost during World War II. Then you might find a German spy aboard ship and witness the defense of a Luftwaffe air attack. Passengers also can visit the inner workings of the Lane Victory -- the wheel house, the radio room, the onboard museums -- while dancing to swing music from the Yellow Hound Dawg Blues Band.