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February 24, 2014

Tour The Huge USS Somerset On Penn’s Landing Through Wednesday, February 26 In Advance Of The Naval Ship’s Commissioning On March 1

The USS Somerset is docked at Penn's Landing all week long in advance of its commissioning ceremony on Saturday, March 1. (Photo courtesy Delaware River Waterfront Corporation)

Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River Waterfront, just a short walk from Old City and Historic Philadelphia, hosts marvelous family-friendly attractions and events all year long.

Right now, Penn’s Landing’s Blue Cross RiverRink is about to wrap its celebration of 20 years on the Delaware River waterfront, but not before a grand finale.

This week, the waterfront’s backdrop not only holds views of the rolling Delaware River and Camden’s waterfront, but also a huge amphibious transport dock.

The 684 foot-long Naval LPD 25 ship the USS Somerset arrived in Philadelphia on Friday, February 21 and presides over almost the entire area in advance of its commissioning ceremony on Saturday, March 1.

One of three ships named in honor of those killed on 9/11 in Somerset County, Pa., the commissioning will be a tribute to the airplane passengers whose quick reactions prevented the plane from reaching its intended target.

The massive ship’s construction includes remembrances of the Somerset crash site, including 22 tons of steel from a crane that stood nearby and flooring from sugar maple trees grown in that area.

Through this Wednesday, February 26, public tours of the warship will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To tour the ship, visitors should wear closed-toe footwear and dresses, high-heels and sandals are highly discouraged. Young children may have trouble negotiating ladders and carrying small children is discouraged for safety reasons. Security checkpoints will be in place to screen all guests, too.

Note that tickets to the public are no longer available for the Saturday, March 1 commissioning ceremony, which expects nearly 7,000 attendees.

Those who arrive this week to take advantage of the last days of the RiverRink, though, will be treated to the incredible sight of the historic ship.

USS Somerset Public Tours
When: Tours, February 23-26, 1-4 p.m.
Where: Penn’s Landing, Market Street at Columbus Boulevard
Cost: Free
More info: www.delawareriverwaterfront.com

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