- Car parking
- Credit cards
- Non smoking
The Ocean Star is a retired jackup drilling rig that offers a fun, hands on way to learn about the offshore oil and gas industry in a comfortable and accessible facility. The museum features three floors of models, exhibits, equipment and interactive displays illustrating the story of offshore exploration and production. This self guided museum is open seven days a week and offers visitors the unique opportunity to board an actual offshore rig. While ticket sales halt at 4:00 PM, visitors can remain until the site closes at 5:00. Welcome Aboard!
The Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum, located in Galveston, Texas, is a museum dedicated to the offshore oil and gas industry. Located next to the Strand National Historic Landmark District, the museum is housed on a retired jack-up rig set up in the Galveston harbor.
Group Tours/Field Trips
Educational tours are available for groups of students (K-12) that are organized through a school, home school, scout troop, or similar program. Please visit the Tour Information page for more information.
What are the things that look like oil rigs that I can see from the pier?
They ARE rigs! Specifically, they are offshore drilling rigs. The term “oil rig” is used like the word “vehicle.” There are lots of different kinds and that’s just one of the things you can learn in the museum.
Do you get to go onto an actual rig? Is this a real rig?
Yes. The Ocean Star is a real rig that worked for approximately 20 years in the Gulf of Mexico. It was retired and modified for public accessibility and now houses the museum.
What do we do? What all do you get to see?
There are three floors of exhibits related to the oil and gas industry. This includes film presentations, video kiosks, interactive displays, actual examples of equipment like drill bits and ROVs, scale models of the different kinds of rigs used to explore and produce, and informational exhibits about careers, the environment, history, safety, and regulations.
Do you need a hardhat? Do you have to take a boat?
Not at all. There are no wardrobe restrictions, but shirts and shoes are appreciated. Please remember this is a family friendly museum and to cover up bathing suits. While the Ocean Star is situated in the water, as a proper jack-up rig should be, there is a pedestrian bridge that connects the rig to the public pier where our gift shop building / ticketing office is located.
What about wheelchairs?
All are welcome! While the entrance bridge can look intimidating, it is wheelchair compliant and the museum meets all Texas Accessibility and ADA standards. There is an elevator inside the museum building, and even the rig floor and pipe deck can be navigated by a wheelchair.
When do the tours start? How long does it take?
It’s a self-guided facility so you can tour at any pace you prefer. Allow at least an hour to walk through everything, or all day to really get an education! There is a 15-minute film we recommend as you start your tour, and staff docents on the rig get you started and can answer questions.
Can we go onto the pipe deck and/or rig floor? Can we see the bunks and where they lived?
The pipe deck offers access to view multiple exhibits and pieces of equipment, though some are not in their original location, and the rig floor has been configured to show the function of the drilling machinery. And while the original living space on this particular rig was renovated into museum space, there is a large, mock-up living space depicting “life on a rig” and a video tour of a modern facility.
Can I bring my service animal or pet?
Service animals that are specifically trained to mitigate a disability are allowed within the museum, but unfortunately, other pets are not.
Do you have a cafeteria or restaurant?
We do not have eating facilities aboard the rig, nor do we allow food or drinks throughout the museum. There are several restaurants within walking distance, and we are happy to provide a suggestion.