Board a WWII submarine

from your living room.

U-505 Submarine Live Tour
U-505 submarine in exhibit.


  • Created a new longer, virtual version of the U-505 tour.
  • Developed custom livestream rig for the guide to safely take aboard the submarine.
  • Significant gains in accessibility for guests with limited mobility or not able to visit MSI.

The U-505 submarine on-board tour at the Museum of Science and Industry takes guests on a 15-minute guided tour through the inside of a real WWII submarine. When the Museum reopened in 2020 after a long COVID-19 closure, the state guidelines required that the submarine remain closed due to the tight quarters. 

Working with the Museum’s Guest Experience team, we created a new version of the tour that could be experienced from anywhere. The format allows guests to spend twice as much time on the boat in conversation with the guide and (for the first time ever) makes the submarine accessible to guests unable to navigate the steps and uneven floors of the submarine.

U-505 submarine engine room.

We built a custom livestream rig to make it possible for the guides to take guests through the submarine without a separate camera person, which allowed them to remove their mask while alone onboard. Essentially a tricked-out iPad on a stick-like tripod, the rig is small and light, which makes it easy to take around the tight interiors of the submarine and set down. An earpiece and “just large enough” screen lets the guide see all 20 guests’ faces and converse throughout the tour. The livestream rig worked so well that it has become the default tour platform and has been used for groups of 10 to 8,000 guests.

Museum facilitator giving tour.

This was the Museum’s first revenue-generating digital product. The limited capacity tours were sold online via the Museum’s ticketing system, Ticketure. We created an integration between the Museum’s CRM and Zoom to take care of booking guests into their correct scheduled slot and sending joining instructions with their private Zoom link.

At launch, we leveraged the Museum’s CRM to focus marketing efforts on guests who had expressed interest in the U-505 submarine in the past. The first batch of tours sold out almost instantly. Tours continue to run for the general public, private groups such as senior homes, and as part of the Museum’s virtual field trips for students.

U-505 captain's quarters.