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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

National Maritime Day


Each year on May 22 our country celebrates National Maritime Day.

The United States has always been and will always be a great maritime nation. From our origins as 13 British colonies, through every period of peace and conflict since, the Merchant Marine has been a pillar in this country’s foundation of prosperity and security. They power the world’s largest economy and strengthen our ties with trading partners around the world, all while supporting our military forces by shipping troops and supplies wherever they need to go.

In 1933, Congress declared National Maritime Day to commemorate the American steamship Savannah’s voyage from the United States to England, marking the first successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean with steam propulsion. During World War II more than 250,000 members of the American Merchant Marine served their country, with more than 6,700 giving their lives, hundreds being detained as prisoners of war and more than 800 U.S. merchant ships being sunk or damaged.

Maritime Day is a time-honored tradition that recognizes one of our country’s most important industries. Each year, ceremonies and celebrations throughout the country recognize Maritime Day and the people our maritime nation depends on.

2022 MARAD National Maritime Day

"Culture, Climate, and Commitment: The Future of the Merchant Marine"

This year MARAD has kicked off a Campaign of Learning in conjunction with Maritime Day, and is hosting three, virtual roundtable panels that focus on building the best future for the U.S. maritime industry.

The first panel took place on April 26, 2022 at 10:30am EDT and focused on fostering shipboard culture that promotes fair and dignified treatment of all on board. For more on this event, please check out our readout here.

The second virtual panel will explore innovations in maritime technology and future trends in maritime decarbonization, and will take place May 23, 2022 at 11am EDT.

Please register to attend the virtual event here: Maritime Decarbonization - It's Complicated

The final Maritime Day panel will be held on the afternoon of May 23, 2022 at 2pm EDT and will highlight MARAD’s commitment to support the mariner workforce through our workforce development initiatives and discuss the urgency of supporting mariner mental health and welfare efforts. 

Please register to attend the virtual event hereSupporting the Mariner Workforce: COVID-19 and Beyond

Finally, the Department of Transportation Maritime Administration will celebrate National Maritime Day in a ceremony honoring the men and women of the U.S. Merchant Marine and the maritime industry on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 10:00am - 11:30am. 

This event will be viewable via live stream by MARAD at: 

2021 MARAD National Maritime Day

"America's Maritime Workforce: Connecting the Nation and the World"

 The 2021 theme was – "America's Maritime Workforce: Connecting the Nation and the World" — reflects the U.S. maritime industry’s unwavering support of the nation, especially during the current challenge of COVID-19. While we may not be able to join in person, we can honor our nation’s maritime heritage, weather this current storm together, and commit ourselves to an even stronger future for America’s maritime industry.

The ceremony can be viewed live at:

Last updated: Tuesday, May 24, 2022