Tour the world’s largest naval complex and see some of the U.S. Navy’s most powerful ships.
Get close to destroyers, aircraft carriers, amphibious assault vehicles, submarines and frigates by taking a bus tour of Naval Station Norfolk. Navy personnel narrate details of vessels, their histories and roles, as well as providing a few insights into life at this sprawling military base.
Naval Station Norfolk is spread over 4,300 acres (1,740 hectares) and houses the U.S. Navy’s largest concentration of naval forces. When they are not at sea, more than 70 ships and over 100 aircraft reside here. The base provides sea and air support for the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
The land on which the base stands was the site of the 1907 Jamestown Exposition. This world fair commemorated the 300th anniversary of the first permanent settlement of the English in the Americas. Some of the original buildings survive and are still in use today. They can be seen during the tour. It was during the exposition that naval officers realized that the area would make a good naval base.
Base tours depart from the Naval Tour and Information Center. Bring a camera and binoculars with you for a closer inspection of the vessels. Since this is a secure military base, your guide will tell you where you are allowed to take pictures. The tour also passes one of the busiest airfields in the country, with more than 200 daily flights.
The naval station is located at the tip of the Sewell’s Point peninsula. A Hampton Roads Transit bus stop is a two-minute walk away from the tour and information center. Free car parking is also available.
Tours are given at different times and frequency depending on the time of year. For the most up-to-date information, check Naval Station Norfolk’s website. Group tours can be arranged in advance. You will need to bring photo ID with you.