GulfQuest — the beleaguered “National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico” located on Mobile’s downtown riverfront — will reopen on Saturday, February 18 with new operating hours, revised ticket pricing, and free parking, Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s office announced Monday.
The museum has been shuttered for the past two months after abruptly closing last November, just 13 months after opening its doors in 2015. Faced with low attendance and financial shortfalls, Stimpson’s office chose to close the museum to the public while working with the museum’s board to restructure its operations.
Featuring more than 90 exhibits, the $62 million museum was the result of a 20-year effort to build a maritime museum on the riverfront site, located near the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center, Cooper Riverside Park, and the Alabama Cruise Terminal.
Beginning February 22, GulfQuest will be open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays. Monday’s announcement did not include specific details on operating hours or ticket pricing, but said further details would be shared as they become available.
When the museum reopens next month, it will feature a new exhibit, called “SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure.” The traveling exhibit, operated by Odyssey Marine Exploration, features over 500 artifacts recovered from deep-ocean shipwreck expeditions around the world.
“SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure provides a fun, attractive and appealing entertainment and educational opportunity for citizens and tourists alike,” said Stimpson. “We will continue to work closely with the Board of Trustees to identify a path forward that leads to a sustainable GulfQuest operation.”