Trip Planner USA  /  Massachusetts  /  New Bedford  /  Museums  /  New Bedford Whaling Museum

New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford

Categories: Specialty Museums, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 460+ reviews on the web
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of whales, whaling and the cultural history of the region. A cornerstone attraction within New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and a Park partner, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. The museum’s 20 galleries of maritime art and science exhibits include five whale skeletons and the world’s largest ship model, Lagoda, which visitors may climb aboard. The Museum’s collections number in excess of 750,000 items, including the world’s largest collections of scrimshaw, whaling logbooks and journals. The Museum Theater displays films running continuously. The Museum Store carries a large inventory of books on maritime, whaling, and local history topics, as well as unique gifts related to the collection. Winter hours of operation, November through March: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on holiday Mondays. Wheelchair accessible. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Plan to see New Bedford Whaling Museum and other attractions that appeal to you using our New Bedford trip generator.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • It was a rainy day and we were looking for something to do. This museum was surprisingly interesting, telling about the part whaling had played in the local area, the ethnic groups that had settled be...  read more »
  • We were vacationing on the Rhode Island shore and hit a rain date. Fortunately the New Bedford Whaling Museum was about half an hour away and recommended highly by a local. So glad we made the choice ...  read more »
  • Museum is larger than it looks. Very nice collection of history for area. Something for everyone. Kids may get bored in some sections. Wonderful building and great view of harbor. 
  • My wife and I visited the museum last year and spent five hours in the museum until it closed. We left and wished we had another five or six hours to see the exhibits more thoroughly that we had to rush thru before the museum closed. The whaling ship exhibit was one of many exceedingly well exhibits that were shown. I recommend this museum to anyone who wishes to have a unique experience.
  • It's a fun place to learn about the whaling history and whales for both children and adults alike. The museum's ginormous whale skeletons are impressive. There is a fun room for toddlers to play and a room with a 1/2 life-size model ship people can go on. Oddly, they have a collection of non-whale related antiques and paintings that take up about half of the museum - they're fun, historical, but feels a bit out of place for a whaling museum.
  • Very impressive and comprehensive museum. Start up the street at the National Park visitors center for a good overview of the whaling process before starting to explore the museum. The half-scale whaling ship is an experience you won't get elsewhere and the huge whale skeletons hanging from the ceiling will help you see what a daunting business it was. Don't miss the scrimshaw and glass works on display.
  • Learnt a lot abou whale fishing and culture. 8$ with student ID
  • Recently remodeled and it looks great! Take a walk through and learn about the history of whaling, he equipment used, and what life was like on board. There were many docents there who did a great job of doing little tours for anyone interested.
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 3​h
Visit for 2​h
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 1​h 30​m