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New Bedford Whaling Museum

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Address: 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740
Phone Number: 508-997-0046
Website
Today
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description: The largest museum in America devoted to the history of whaling, it houses...
The largest museum in America devoted to the history of whaling, it houses an extensive collection of art and artifacts relating to this industry during the age of sail.Through its educational programs and activities, the Museum looks to the future by engaging children, teaching that they are part of the fabric of the community, critical to its growth, and destined to be a chapter in its history. The Museum is a forum for whale and now fishing conservation, research and symposia. Its cultural outreach extends around the world, with close ties to Japan, Portugal and the Iñupiat people at the Arctic Circle. The Museum is a compelling destination that inspires all visitors to reflect on the complex issues that shaped the past, remain critical today, and inform a sustainable future.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 253 reviews
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A must stop to learn more about whaling!

We spent a rainy afternoon in this museum and were amazed at all the information so brilliantly shared. From actual ship models to whale bones/skeletons to a fabulous scrimshaw... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 24, 2015
Mary B
,
Dallas, Texas
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253 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
13 attraction reviews
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2015 NEW

If you're in search of a Moby Dick experience, the New Bedford Whaling Museum is not for you unless you tie it into other nearby whaling attractions such as the Seamen's Bethel, which was mentioned in the novel, 'Moby Dick.' Or unless you come to the annual Moby-Dick marathon readathon of Herman Melville's literary masterpiece. This nonstop reading occurs every... More 

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Fairhaven, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW

A must see when visiting New Bedford. It was something for all ages and lots to learn about the history of whaling. Very interesting movies and facts about that era.

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Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
33 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW

We spent a rainy afternoon in this museum and were amazed at all the information so brilliantly shared. From actual ship models to whale bones/skeletons to a fabulous scrimshaw exhibit and so much more. With each turn there was even more interesting and informative history to learn from. Well worth your time and the admission fee. Warning: 2 hour free... More 

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Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
10 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2015 NEW

If you have any curiosity at all about whaling, this is must see! More than you ever wanted to know about 19th century whaling from the one-time capital. There's even a half-scale walk-in replica of a whaling ship (a bit disorienting in size) and an amazing scrimshaw (whale bone carving) display. Plus a lot of New Bedford history, a good... More 

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Northbrook, Illinois
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
3 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2015

This is a pretty small museum but it has some nice things. The whaling boats are very interesting and it makes one wonder how they survived. The movie is informative but could be better. The scrimshaw collection was amazing. Looks like they are building an addition. It is worth the visit as it is a very nice museum.

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Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
16 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015 via mobile

Take it from someone who has traveled the USA....this is a great museum with an unending number of interesting facts. This place would be worth visiting sgain. A great spot for kids to learn.

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Orlando, Florida
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
18 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015

This is one of, if not the best whaling museums in the country. This is the city where it all happened. Learn why New Bedford is "The City That Lit the World". Make sure to watch all the films that run on a loop. It's a little long at 40 some odd minutes, but it will make the trip more... More 

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Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
3 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2015

Very educational for adults but could be more engaging for younger kids. Needs to be more interactive vs looking at pictures. About half is focused on the history of whaling and the other half is on what happened in New Bedford after the whaling stopped. The bones of the whales are impressive.

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Taunton, Massachusetts
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2015 via mobile

Full scale blue whale skeleton that still leaks whale oil. New Bedford given National Park status by President Bill Clinton, our reading president, due to our whaling history. Whaling boats, harpoons, photos galore. If you want whaling history this is where you should come. Seaman's bethal should also not be missed nearby.

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Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
8 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2015

Very good display of historical artifacts and a pretty complete account of whaling throughout its known history. Going through the displays in some detail takes a couple of hours. Would have loved to see some updated multimedia or interactive exhibits.. those appear to be on the horizon with the new expansion of the museum.

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