Result for 2020: DSM records increase in visitors between lockdowns

Despite the renovation phase and the Corona crisis, the German Maritime Museum (DSM) / Leibniz Institute of Maritime History was able to maintain its visitor numbers at an upper five-figure level last year. 53.348 people visited the museum. The fact that the drop was not significantly greater, despite the pandemic-related closures of more than three and a half months in total, is mainly due to the success of the special exhibitions.

Thanks to the SEA CHANGES and 360° POLARSTERN exhibitions in cooperation with the Alfred Wegener Institute - Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and a photo exhibition on Bremerhaven's structural change in cooperation with Bremerhavener Gesellschaft für Investitionsförderung und Stadtentwicklung (BIS), visitor numbers in the otherwise rather quiet months of January and February were more than twice as high as in the same period last year. Even in the traditionally busy summer and autumn holiday periods, the museum was able to increase its visitor numbers. The special exhibition "KOGGE trifft PLAYMOBIL - Die Geschichte eines Schiffes neu erzählt" (COG meets PLAYMOBIL - the story of a ship told anew) from the collection of Oliver Schaffer proved to be a particular crowd puller during this period. Despite the pandemic-related restrictions, the museum recorded more than 37,000 guests between the beginning of July and the end of October alone, an increase of more than ten percent compared to the same period last year. Time slot tickets, which could be booked online in advance, additional hygiene measures and predefined walkways contributed to the safety of museum guests and staff.

"The success of our special exhibition encourages us to continue offering museum guests an attractive programme during the renovation phase of our house," says Prof. Dr. Sunhild Kleingärtner, Executive Director of the DSM. In 2021, the house will therefore focus on special exhibitions that will attract the public, as soon as the Corona situation has eased somewhat. For example, on the occasion of the UN Decade of Ocean Research for Sustainable Development, the DSM will probably present an exhibition focus from May onwards under the motto " Man and the Sea - What the Oceans Mean to Us". One of the highlights will be the special exhibition "INTO THE ICE" with photos of the MOSAiC expedition of the POLARSTERN, which the DSM is organising in cooperation with the AWI. During the pandemic-related closure period, interested visitors are still invited to explore the museum's digital offerings. These include virtual tours, digital ship models, learning and hands-on opportunities, 360-degree videos from aboard the POLARSTERN and much more exciting content, which can now be found bundled together at

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Thomas Joppig

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The exhibition "COG meets PLAYMOBIL - The story of a ship told anew" from the collection of Oliver Schaffer. The cog in the background.
Photo: Hauke Dressler


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