Visit the historical sailing ship Mercator

The Mercator is a three-masted schooner, moored at the Ostend marina. The museum ship, which was launched back in 1932, is located in the docks between the railway station and the town hall. It is a listed monument and probably the most famous ship in Belgium.

This schooner barque was designed by arctic explorer Adrien de Gerlache (1866-1934) as a merchant navy training ship. Built in Scotland and launched in 1932, the ship initially suffered a few construction problems, which were later solved. In addition, it was used for scientific observation. Apart from being a training ship, the Mercator also acted as a floating ambassador at world’s fairs and other ceremonies. During its ninth journey (14 October 1935 - 4 May 1936), the Mercator brought back the remains of Father Damien. As of 1961, the ship was turned into a floating museum and has nearly continuously been moored in Ostend since 1965. 

As of 29 September 2015, the Mercator has been moved to a dockyard for urgent repair and maintenance works (which will probably last until 1 April 2016).

Practical information

€ 4.00/person
€ 2.00/children 4-12 years
Child < 4 years: free of charge
€ 3.00/person (group of at least 20 persons)
€ 2.00/person (school groups with a maximum age of 18 years)
€ 3.00/teacher 
One teacher per 15 pupils free of charge and only on presentation of a valid teacher’s card.


Mercator Dock (directly opposite the town hall) 8400 Ostend

Opening hours

Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm

Reservations & bookings

For more information or bookings, please contact the Mercator by telephone on 059 51 70 100473 59 08 43 or by sending an e-mail to

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