All of the museum's programs and exhibits, both general and specialized, interpret the state's cultural maritime history and offer a larger national perspective on coastal environment.
The North Carolina Maritime Museum documents, collects, preserves, and researches the maritime history—and its corollary natural history—of coastal North Carolina for the purpose of interpreting this history through educational services and exhibits for our contemporary society, and passing intact its material culture to future generations.
Displaying centuries of North Carolina history, the maritime museum offers artifacts from the colonial period to the present. In June 2011, the museum will debut Queen Anne's Revenge, the flagship of the notorious pirate Blackbeard. It sunk off the coast of Beaufort in 1718, and was discovered by divers in 1996.