Long Beach Navy buffs, ship lovers and the curious general public are expected by the thousands to flock to the waterfront and local bridges Saturday to witness the final seagoing voyage of the USS Iowa.
After several days of maintenance work off the coast, "the battleship of Presidents" will Saturday reach its permanent home in Berth 87 of L.A. Harbor, where the storied vessel will become an interactive Naval museum this summer.
Dubbed the battleship of Presidents and "the world's greatest Naval ship" due to its big guns, the USS Iowa will ferry about 800 guests who were invited to board for the last journey Saturday.
The World War II battleship will be towed for about 3.5 miles to its final berth in the afternoon, according to the Port of Los Angeles and the Pacific Battleship Center that owns the storied ship and will turn it into an interactive Naval attraction set to open July 7.
Guests include donors, veterans of the USS Iowa and others involved in its journey to become a ship museum.
The was towed from Northern California to Southern California to much fanfare and there's been such public interest in it that the Pacific Battleship Center is reccommendng that tickets be purchased online in advance to ensure access, especially for travel planning.
The Port of Los Angeles announced Saturday events for media and guest passengers on the battleship, which is set to arrive at San Pedro's Terminal 87 (see attached map) about 3:45 p.m.
The U.S. Coast Guard has announced a 100-yard safety zone outside which other vessels must remain, but spectators may see the Iowa on its 1.25-hour towing voyage north from the general Long Beach area on up to the St. Vincent Thomas bridge. The latest details and viewing tips seem to be best at https://www.facebook.com/pacificbattleship
Here's a very nice CBS report on the ship's repair work serving as a healing bond among vets.
Here are viewing tips Saturday for spectators, who the Daily Breeze estimates will be in the thousands along the San Pedro waterfront.