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For those who have ever admired the craftsmanship and beauty of a traditional ship in a bottle, it should be pleasing to hear that this clever piece of art has its own annual day! Ship in a Bottle Day celebrates the centuries-old skill of creating a miniature, fully-rigged ship that sits magically inside a glass bottle. 

History of Ship in a Bottle Day

The secret of constructing a ship in a bottle lies in assembling the ship with the masts and sails hinged and lying flat so that it will fit through the neck of the bottle and once it is inside, gently pulling on strings to bring the pieces of the model ship upright until it fits inside the bottle. Sailors originally made these ships to pass the time on long voyages and today, many people around the world still practice this skilled art.

While the tradition of this pastime can be traced back to the late 18th century, the first Ship in a Bottle Day wasn’t celebrated until 2013. The reason Ship in a Bottle Day is held on this day is due to the day’s association with the birthday of Jack Hinkley, the first president of the Ships in Bottles Association of America (SIBAA).

The SIBAA got its start in the 1980s thanks in part to the dream of Don Hubbard, whose desire it was to increase the public’s awareness of this unique form of art. Over the decades, the association has grown to include worldwide membership of several hundred ship in a bottle builders and supporters.

Other places around the world also have ships in bottles associations, including a European association as well as many individual countries such as Norway, Sweden, Japan, Germany, France and others.

Show support and raise awareness for such an interesting and international hobby by celebrating Ship in a Bottle Day!

How to Celebrate Ship in a Bottle Day

Those who are interested in observing Ship in a Bottle Day can certainly get creative with their events and activities surrounding the day. Get started with some of these ideas and plans:

Build a Ship in a Bottle

One of the most important ways to show appreciation for Ship in a Bottle Day might be to begin the patient and tedious task of building a ship in a bottle! The great part is that, instead of needing to create the tiny parts from scratch, kits for ships in bottles can be purchased online or at hobby stores, providing all of the parts as well as the instructions. This might be a fun activity to celebrate with a child or grandchild to help pass on the passion for a hobby that requires patience and a steady hand.

Learn Interesting Facts About Ships in Bottles

Take some time on Ship in a Bottle Day to get more acquainted with some interesting tidbits and trivia. Share it with friends and family members to raise awareness for the day!

  • A sea captain from Venice, Italy, Giovanni Biondo was the first person to create a ship in a bottle.

  • London houses the largest of its kind, a replica of Admiral Nelson’s flagship.

  • The popularity of building ships in bottles grew in monasteries as monks were notoriously patient and had a great deal of quiet time.

Create a Ship in a Bottle Day Playlist

Music has the power to add joy and beauty to almost any occasion and Ship in a Bottle Day is no exception! Have loads of fun celebrating and enjoying this day by collecting a few songs together that are built around the theme of the art of ships in bottles. Who knew there were so many songs along this idea?!

Get a playlist started on Spotify, Apple Music or another platform with some of these songs:

  • Ship in a Bottle by The Bouncing Souls (2012)
  • The Ship and the Bottle by Brett Young (2018)
  • Ship in the Bottle by Beck (2002)
  • Ship in a Bottle by Amanda McBroom (1986)

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