The Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Downtown Manitowoc offers what they’re calling a “Sub B&B” since September 2020. Groups stay overnight in a real submarine, which floats on Lake Michigan right outside the museum.
“We hope they get to experience what your submariners would have during World War II,” says Development Coordinator for Wisconsin Maritime Museum Emily Shedal.
While the submarine doesn’t actually go underwater, here is still plenty of authenticity, Shedal says. Groups stay in a 300-foot World War II submarine with capabilities of sleeping 65 individuals.
“You [also] get a tour of the submarine that night, you get to hear about what they did, how they lived,” Shedal says.
Right now, the museum is hosting mainly families and groups of men celebrating birthdays or other special events.
“We’re looking to expand to team building exercises for companies,” Shedal says. “We do have a real estate group coming up from Chicago this summer, and that’s [when] they plan to use … overnight as a team building exercise for their company.”
The Sub B&B starts at $500 for five beds (so typically five individuals), with an extra charge of about $20 to $30 per additional person. This package includes many amenities besides the overnight on the submarine and the aforementioned tour. In the summer, the museum has a rooftop bar; overnighters may grab drinks and enjoy the view. A continental breakfast is included as well. There is a movie theater in the museum where the groups may watch movies if they please. Sub B&Bers receive keys to use the staff door throughout their stay, too.
“Guests are welcome to be in the museum. … The museum is theirs from the time they check in until in the morning,” Shedal says.
In the morning, the museum provides guests with towels, shampoo, soap, etc., in case they want to use the showers located right before the area to head out to the submarines.
Shedel has promising outlooks on the future of the Sub B&B.
“We’ve had a few groups book in the last few weeks for the upcoming months, so we’re thinking it’s going to get pretty busy this summer,” Shedal says.