The Museum was established in 1992 as a specialised structure inside the Istituto Nautico "Duca degli Abruzzi". In the same year was registered by the Ministry of tourism and entertainment among the European Naval Museums. Since 1997 is a member of the Association of museums in the Mediterranean Sea, and in 2007 was recognized regional interest Museum from Regione Campania.
The Museum of the sea is, currently, the only reality linked to the sea Museum in a city of ancient maritime traditions such as Naples. With the wealth of its collections of great historical and artistic value and with his valuable collection of books of specific interest constitutes a unique testimony of the evolution of Neapolitan Navy over the past three centuries. The initial core of the Museum of the sea, which dates back to the beginning of the twentieth century, were added over the years donations and private entities that have enriched the heritage and expanded the cultural offer.
In addition to the preservation and enhancement of its rich heritage Museum, the Museum of the sea, with its exhibition spaces, paths and teaching materials, study and research, the organisation of cultural events for the recovery, promotion and dissemination of historical memory and the maritime civilization of Naples which is a rich historical and cultural heritage , developed mainly from the eighteenth to the twentieth century and which threatens to disappear.
The Memory Project, in which the Museum is strongly committed, wants to respond to the need that each community to seek their roots and finding its own identity. This project was born without codified formulas, evokes events, invokes a long chain of events of private, public and collective: it, however, is not to be confused with a false reconstruction "mythological" celebratory and folk type of marine world, which distort the history of towns of the coast-with nostalgia to contrast a supposedly traditional society to modern society and post-modern. Our appeal to the memory does not fall into a cultural trend, devoid of real interest but wants to locate search paths in order to know and understand the processes of development and transformation, economic social and cultural rights that have impacted on the territory and on the lives of the community.