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Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum

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Address: 158 Polpis Rd, Nantucket, MA 02554
Phone Number: 508-228-1885
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Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description: In the 19th Century, hundreds of ships passed by Nantucket Island each...
In the 19th Century, hundreds of ships passed by Nantucket Island each day, all navigating without the benefit of modern nautical technology. Unpredictable storms, dense fog and strong currents often caught even the most experienced sailors off guard. Treacherous shoals and inclement weather led to over 700 shipwrecks in the surrounding waters of Nantucket, causing the area to be dubbed "a graveyard of the Atlantic."The Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum preserves the memory of those Islanders who risked their lives to save shipwrecked mariners. These men served in organizations devoted to maritime rescue, such as the Massachusetts Humane Society, United States Life-Saving Service and the United States Coast Guard.The Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum is located at 158 Polpis Road, just 3.5 miles from Nantucket Town. The museum can easily be reached by car, NRTA Shuttle/Polpis Route or by the Polpis Bike Path. We are open from Thursday, May 23 through Columbus Day, Monday, October 14, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Admission costs are free for members, $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for youth 5 - 17 and free to children under 5. The Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum is proud to be part of the Blue Star Museum program that offers free admission to active duty military and their families.Come visit the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum and enjoy guided tours, films, new exhibits, family-friendly programs, special events and more, designed to appeal to all ages.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Tiny But Info-Packed Museum

Fascinating little museum that tells the history not only of shipwrecks, and there were many, around Nantucket, but also of the lifesaving efforts of brave men and women who went... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 31, 2015
Lynn F
,
Stratford, Connecticut
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80 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Stratford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
57 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2015 NEW

Fascinating little museum that tells the history not only of shipwrecks, and there were many, around Nantucket, but also of the lifesaving efforts of brave men and women who went to the rescue. The guided tour is excellent, the film clip interesting, and the displays really well done and supportive of the theme of the museum. It really is small... More 

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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
46 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2015 NEW

This museum really makes one realize how dangerous the seas of Nantucket were and are. The exhibits are fantastic in bringing to life the ingenuity and courage of the early life savers. The volunteer guides are the best, and they are the most knowledgeable that you'll find at any museum. The museum is easy to drive past in a car... More 

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Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2015

Very impressed by how kid and 'grand' parent friendly this place is. Lots of hands-on/interactive exhibits and a brief movie clip explaining lifesaving process. Marshall the GIANT stuffed lifesaving sea dog at the front door leaves you feeling warm, safe & dry!

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Boston, MA
Level Contributor
70 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2015

REcommend to visit for those who have interest in how lives were rescued at sea as well as some famous shipwrecks. Also, you get a free tour with a visit. It is especially nice that is done by someone so knowlegeable and passionate about the subject.

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Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
75 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2015

The museum contains displays focusing on the many ways that Nantucketers worked to prevent shipwrecks, and rescued passengers and sailors whose vessels were in distress. There are films to view and many artifacts to see. A guide is included in the price of admission ($10) who added a lot to our understanding.

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Plymouth, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
113 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2015

Not sure why I overlooked this museum, but at the insistence of a friend, we visited...and we enjoyed every minute. Docent very knowledgeable and we even bought the book about Marshall the Dog for our granddaughter.

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Chestertown, New York
Level Contributor
25 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2015

You need a few hours to take it all in but do not miss it! The movie is very well-presented and a nice break from walking around the island. There are no discounts on the admission price at all.

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Aspen, Colorado
Level Contributor
106 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2015

A great way to spend an hour or so learning about the formation of the first life saving group in America. You'll learn of the over 1000 shipwrecks that circle Nantucket from the fog, shoals and reefs that the ships could not see and ended up wrecked. A great little museum a couple miles from town. Worth the effort to... More 

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Nantucket, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2015

This museum is now very well organized showing the systems and people involved in the early days of shipwreck rescue and lifesaving. Nice display on the Andrea Doria too. Several dioramas showing how these old systems worked. Staff are very friendly and knowledgeable. Suitable for all ages.

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Macclesfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2015

The film was very interesting about island life and was very moving about our ancestors. We purchased a ticket that gave us free access to the other walikng sites which some were (sorry) boring to us but some great, for example the fire station and the old jail. You need a full day as in early June most sites close... More 

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