History

This is Nancy.Since the launching of the Moshulu (pronounced Mo-shoe'-loo) in 1904, she has had a long and exciting career on the seas working the ports of Europe, South America, Australia, America and Africa. She was confiscated by the Americans in one war and by the Germans in the next. She has traveled around Cape Horn 54 times. She has hauled coal and coke, copper ore and nitrate, lumber and grain. In lesser days, she has served as a floating warehouse. In grander days, she won the last great grain race in 1939. Today, the Moshulu is the world’s largest four-masted sailing ship still afloat.

The Moshulu was purchased in 1968 in Naantale, Finland for restoration and conversion into a restaurant. In the fall of 1974, she was towed to Philadelphia and opened as a floating restaurant on Philadelphia's Penn's Landing in 1975 until she was damaged by fire in 1989. In 1994 the Moshulu was purchased by HMS Ventures, Inc and restored in the style of a turn-of-the-century luxury liner. The Moshulu was re-christened by Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell on July 24, 1996. In 2002, restaurateur Martin Grims, owner of many other restaurants, took over the operation of the Moshulu and opened the restaurant on May 1, 2003.

Since then, the Moshulu has established itself as one of Philadelphia’s best restaurants with AAA Four Diamond ratings and many "best of" honors. Ownership takes great pride in bringing inspired hospitality with adventuresome food and outstanding service to their guests. The Moshulu provides private party options with private dining rooms as well as outdoor decks with unparalleled views of the city and waterfront.

Originally launched under the name Kurt and built for the GJH Siemers & Co of Hamburg, Germany in Port Glasgow, Scotland. During the period of 1904-1914, the ship was used to transport supplies to a copper mine in Santa Rosalia, Mexico. She carried coal and coke to Mexico and returned with copper ore.

1914: The Kurt voyaged to Astoria, Oregon to pick up grain cargo. World War I broke out and the owners kept the ship in port.

1917: The United States entered World War I and confiscated the ship. The ship was placed in service by the US to make voyages across the Pacific to Australia and the Philippines. At this time the US Government decided to rename the ship after famous clipper ships and the Kurt was renamed the Dreadnaught. However, it never sailed under the name Dreadnaught. President Wilson's wife renamed the ship Moshulu, which means the same as dreadnaught - fearless. She selected this name to honor the Seneca tribe of Native Americans. The government operated the ship until 1921.

1921: The Moshulu was purchased by private owners, Charles Nelson Co. of San Francisco, who were engaged in lumber hauling along the West Coast with voyages to Australia and South Africa.

1928: the Moshulu made her last voyage for the Nelson Company. Around this time steamers were taking over the lumber trade and the Moshulu was laid up in the Seattle vicinity.

1934: Gustave Ericson of Finland expressed interest in the Moshulu. Ericson at that time had the largest fleet of square riggers in continuous operation. The ship was put back into service in the grain trade between Australia and Europe. As one of the last large square riggers still earning her way, the Moshulu carried passengers who later were to write books about ships, voyages, etc. Her route to Australia took her around Cape Horn. She continued in the grain trade until 1939.

1939: The owners of the square riggers decided to hold an informal race among the grain carriers to determine which could make the quickest time from Australia to Europe. The Moshulu won the race. As it turned out, it was the last such race, World War II broke out.

1940: The Moshulu was sent to Argentina for a commercial run. When the Moshulu returned to her permanent home in Norway, she was confiscated by the Germans. Her masts and spars were removed and the ship was used as a floating warehouse throughout the war and in the 1950's in different parts of Scandinavia.

1952: The ship again fell into the private hands of a German owner. He had two square riggers operating and tried to revive the sailing cargo vessels. The ship was never re-rigged. The owner's program failed after two years. Ownership changed again and she reverted to a floating warehouse.

1961: For the next seven years, Moshulu was used in Naantale, Finland for storage.

1968: Raymond E. Wallace was commissioned by Specialty Restaurants to find a ship to convert to a boat restaurant.

1970: The Moshulu was brought to the United States by Raymond E. Wallace.

1974: Prominently featured in the movie, Godfather II.

1975: The Moshulu opens as a boat restaurant on Penn's Landing in Philadelphia.

1976: In her second “starring” role in a major film, the Moshulu appears in “Rocky!”

1989: The Moshulu closes after damage by fire and is docked at the Broadway Terminal in Camden, New Jersey.

1994: The Moshulu is purchased by HMS Ventures, Inc in Philadelphia. She undergoes restoration as a dining, entertainment and tourist attraction.

1996: July 24 - The Moshulu is re-christened by Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell and opens in the style of a grand turn-of-the-century luxury liner on Pier 34 on Philadelphia's waterfront.

2002: The Moshulu is moved up the Delaware River to the Penn's Landing Marina, next to the USS Olympia.

2003: The Moshulu opens under the direction of restaurateur  Marty Grims. Inspired food and gracious service are the trademarks of Grims who presents a South Seas flair in this dining and entertainment adventure.

2003: The Moshulu gains prestigious "Three Bells" from Inquirer Food Critic Craig LaBan. He said that the Moshulu offers “a rare harmony of first-class food and service with stunning views and ambiance.”

2005: The Moshulu is honored with the Four Diamond Award from AAA, the first new restaurant to be added to the impressive AAA list.

2003 – 2011: Wine Spectator Excellence Award, Wine Spectator

2010:  Dish of the Year – Philadelphia Magazine

2011:  Dessert of the Year – Philadelphia Magazine 

 

 

Back Image

Penn's Landing · 401 S. Columbus Blvd · Philadelphia, PA 19106 · Click HERE for Map · Tel: 215.923.250 · Fax: 215.829.1604 · info@moshulu.com · Blog

Submit