The 2020 programme for the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth has been announced.

The year of events includes aerial performances from Cornish Company Yskynna, the return of Heritage Boat Tours and the launch of a new major exhibition: Monsters of the Deep.

On Sunday February 16, World Whale Day, the museum is hosting local illustrator Becky Thorns for the launch of her new book The World of Whales.

Visitors will have the chance to join in creating a huge group collage and to get their copies of the booked signed by Becky.

Bristol Explorer Dome, who present interactive science shows across the UK, return to the Museum with ‘Science of the Sea’ from Monday February 17 to Friday February 21. This half-term the team will be using magical fog, exploding water and curious chemistry to introduce visitors to the intriguing world of science with a nautical twist.

Working with Mayes Creative, on Saturday February 22, visitors will have the opportunity to explore the universe with the Transit of Venus. There will be three tours which last for an hour. Mayes Creative are a Cornish company who specialise in creating opportunities for local communities by working with heritage, technology and science partners.

On Friday March 20, Monsters of the Deep, National Maritime Museum Cornwall’s next major exhibition, opens to the public. Set to be its most ambitious exhibition to date, visitors will take an immersive tour through the world of deep-sea monsters, both real and imagined. The exhibition will be on display at National Maritime Museum Cornwall from Friday March 20 2020 to Monday January 3 2022.

To complement Monsters of the Deep the museum is hosting a brand new lecture series, including a talk on Hunting Monsters by internationally-recognised palaeontologist Dr Darren Naish on Thursday April 16. Other talks include Treasured Maps with archivist David Thomas from Kresen Kernow on Thursday May 7 and Maps, Globes and Monsters with Dr Megan Barford, Curator at Royal Museums Greenwich on Thursday October 15.

Across the Easter and summer holidays the Museum is partnering with Yskynna, a Cornish aerial performance company, who will be performing a newly commissioned show called Into the Deep Blue. Audiences will follow a mermaid on her adventures and the production will feature breathtaking aerial dance, song, storytelling and music.

Heritage Boat Tours return again this season and, due to last year’s success, with extended dates and a new addition to the fleet. This year steamboat Emma will be added to the flotilla creating the opportunity to explore Falmouth under stream. Emma is a traditional steam launch from the early 20th Century and the museum has been restoring the boat for the last 12 months. The tours will operate from Monday May 4 to Sunday September 27.

After the 2019 launch of the new RNLI Rescue Zone, an interactive exhibition about water safety, the museum is teaming up with the RNLI again for a weekend of activities. The two day event takes place on Saturday May 23 and Sunday May 24 and will include fun games and demonstrations focused on staying safe on the beach.

Discover tiny beasts with The Rock Pool Project in Mini Monsters of the Not So Deep on Monday May 25 to Friday May 29. Visitors will have the chance to learn how to rock pool safely and which creatures can be found on Cornwall’s beaches.

North South Theatre are a Cornish theatre company who perform in unusual locations, such as aboard boats out at sea. They are heading for dry land on Thursday May 28 to Saturday May 30 for three evening shows under the flying flotilla in the Museum’s Main Hall. The show, Canvas and Rum, follows an old shell-backer who leaves his home in Falmouth for a new life at sea. With his crew of hardened sailors and hungry fisherman he faces all the briny sea throws at him.

Opening in October is the latest exhibition by well-known Cornish artist and author Robert Jones. His work captures the dramatic nature of the sea through atmospheric seascapes and maritime paintings.

October half term at the museum takes on the theme of Silhouettes and Shadows. Shadowy storytelling runs from Monday October 26 to Friday October 30.

On Saturday October 31 dress up as ghosts and ghouls for Halloween at the Museum. Find all the spooky sea spirits in the dark corners of the museum and trick or treat along the way.

After the huge successes of the Model Boat Weekend in 2018 the two day event returns on Saturday November 7 and Sunday November 8. There will be exhibitors from across the county, live demonstrations and activities for all ages.

Building on the success of last year’s Lanterns and Lights, the Museum will be celebrating festive light once again with illuminated boats, historic ship lanterns and nautical light, paving the way for the festive season. Lanterns and Lights is on Saturday December 19 2020 to Sunday January 3 2021.

Most activities are free as part of the admission. Full details about the events can be found on National Maritime Museum Cornwall’s website.