Benicia, California: Ghost Fleet of Retired Ships

Mothballed ships, many from World War II, clustered in the Carquinez Strait. Then they started to rust and decay, polluting the water. Most ships have been hauled away for scrap; only three remained in 2015.
Lake Herman Rd., Benicia, CA
From east, I-80 to I-680 south; from west, I-80 to I-780, east to I-680.View from a vista spot off of I-680 at Lake Herman Rd. Exit east of Benicia.
Visible from shore.
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Ghost Fleet of Retired Ships

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Ghost Fleet

Five ships remain that have as yet to be broken down for scrap -- a sad end for these vessels.

[Martin Hafer, 05/02/2016]

Ghost Fleet.

Ghost Fleet of Retired Ships

If you exit on the west end of Lake Herman road (and turn left onto Goodyear road), you can see the ships without the heavy traffic. There are still 8 or 10 ships left. (In a few small groups).

[Sydney Harter, 07/20/2010]
Ghost Fleet of Retired Ships

Not as many ships as there used to be. Best view coming from the south over the bridge during daylight. Tough view from the highway going south from Sacramento.

[bigmatt, 05/14/2010]

The old ghost fleet is being broken up, apparently -- individual ships are towed away for scrap and salvage. This won't be an attraction much longer!

Ghost Fleet of Retired Ships

Called the "ghost fleet" or "mothball fleet," a large flotilla of retired WWII and Vietnam-era ships reside in the Suisun Bay just east of the Benicia Bridge. Although the original intent was to have them capable of becoming battle-ready within a month, thus the official name of "reserve fleet," most of the ships have been quietly rusting away for years and are beyond repair. Scrapping of the fleet has been discussed for years. At one time the famous Glomar Explorer resided with the fleet, it's claim to fame having grabbed a Cold War sub off the ocean floor with a giant claw. In 1997 it was converted to a deep-water drilling ship, still in service today. The fleet has been used in a couple of movies, including "Down Periscope."

[Sheldon Carpenter, 12/13/2002]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Memorial to America's Worst School Bus AccidentMemorial to America's Worst School Bus Accident, Martinez, CA - 4 mi.
Birthplace of the MartiniBirthplace of the Martini, Martinez, CA - 5 mi.
Polar Bear Behind GlassPolar Bear Behind Glass, Port Costa, CA - 5 mi.
In the region:
Cable Car Museum, San Francisco, CA - 26 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

August 18, 2017

My Sights

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Crystal Shrine Grotto, Memphis, Tennessee (Aug 14-20, 2017)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from Subscribe now! Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Benicia, California

Nightly rates found:

Book Online Now