Lost at Sea: The Explorations of Dr. Robert Ballard, Discoverer of HMS Titanic


“Everyone is an explorer. How could you possibly live your life looking at a door and not open it?”

– Dr. Robert Ballard

Battleship IOWA Museum at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro launches Lost at Sea: The Explorations of Dr. Robert Ballard, opening to the public on October 30, 2018. Ballard is known the world over for his discovery of the final resting place of RMS Titanic; yet, many vessels that he has rediscovered have been claimed by our oceans, lying undisturbed in “undersea museums.”  The USS IOWA is proud to highlight this partial retrospective of some of his underwater adventures. This special exhibit is included with General Admission tickets to Battleship IOWA.


The deep sea overview includes displays of the luxury liner RMS Lusitania, sunk by the Germans during World War I, explored off the coast of Ireland in 1993. Additionally, visitors will rediscover Titanic’s sister ship, HMHS Britannic, brought to the ocean’s floor by a World War I German mine; and PT-109, President John F. Kennedy’s boat, that at the age of 26, the future commander-in-chief risked his life to save his crew, becoming a war-hero and setting a future political stage. Five additional wrecks including USS Thresher, USS Scorpion, Germany’s U-166 (part of Operation Drumbeat where Hitler’s U-boats prowled America’s coast), the mighty German battleship KMBismarckUSS Yorktown and ships from The Battle of Guadalcanal will be explored as visitors tour through the newly created exhibition space throughout Battleship IOWA Museum.

“Battleship IOWA Museum is incredibly excited to produce the most comprehensive and educational experience on Dr. Ballard’s underwater findings,” states Jonathan Williams, CEO and President of Pacific Battleship Center, the museum’s non-profit entity. “We feel thankful that we can bring this experience to the masses. It showcases the ocean’s depths and rewards of STEM programs while engaging today’s youth and inspiring future generations.”

Bismarck 1939

“This exhibition features some of my most significant shipwreck expeditions,”  says explorer Dr. Robert Ballard. “We are presenting not only the expeditions but the historical context of each incident. The excitement that each expedition presented, we should not lose sight of the significant toll of human life lost at sea that each shipwreck represents.”

The museum has added approximately 11,000 square feet of a new tour centered on many of Dr. Bob Ballard’s underwater wreck explorations. Battleship IOWA has also crafted an additional experiential path that includes visits to the laundry, brig, barber shop and print shop. New digital media exhibitions and displays include almost a dozen films, an interactive map, and background audio. The former “Battleship of the Presidents” has added two wheelchair lifts which will allow physically-challenged guests to travel from the main deck, through the museum on the second deck, and down to the third deck.

“Supervising the installation of the Lost at Sea exhibit with our crew has been a tremendously rewarding experience,” says Mike Getscher, Battleship IOWA Museum’s Executive Vice-President and COO. “We are immensely grateful to our crew for all of their hard work during the creation of this project and to Dr. Ballard for his cooperation. The effort involved thousands of hours of crew time to give you all an idea of the scope of the work involved.”


For Battleship IOWA Museum and it’s curatorial team, there has been significant planning and implementation to show visitors nearly 200 individual graphical components, a dozen artifacts, and four ships’ models, installed with special exhibit lighting.The Lost at Sea exhibit has been the most significant project for the institution since the Navy donated the ship to the Pacific Battleship Center, the museum’s official non-profit name.

“Lost at Sea: The Explorations of Dr. Robert Ballard” was made possible by a generous grant from the Confidence Foundation and sponsored by Dr. Robert Ballard, Port of Los AngelesOcean Exploration Trust, and AltaSea.

Battleship IOWA
250 S. Harbor Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90731

877-4-IOWA-61 (877-446-9261)

General Admission tickets to Battleship IOWA:
Ticket office opens daily at 10:00 a.m. and the last tour ticket is sold at 4:00 p.m.

Military (active, retired & former U.S. armed forces) $14.95
Children (ages 5 & under) FREE
Youth (ages 5 – 11) $11.95
Adults (ages 12 – 61) $19.95
Seniors (ages 62 & over) $14.95

About Battleship IOWA Museum:

Named as one of TripAdvisor’s “Top 5 Museums out of 133 in Los Angeles, Battleship IOWA now serves as a historic naval ship institution. Forged in war, guardian of the peace, the proud ship keeps watch as the proud sentinel of the LA Waterfront. IOWA’s teak decks and steel bulkheads echo the words and deeds of history: three U.S. Presidents, six of the nine American five-star military leaders, countless foreign dignitaries, and most importantly thousands of her own heroic IOWA sailors. Visitors are awed by IOWA’s proud legacy as one of the fastest and most powerful ships ever to sail the world’s oceans. Battleship IOWA is open to the public daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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