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New Bedford Whaling Museum

18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740
508-997-0046
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Ranked #1 of 22 Attractions in New Bedford
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Specialty Museums
Owner description: The largest museum in America devoted to the history of whaling, it houses an extensive collection of art and artifacts relating to this industry... more » Owner description: 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. « less
Useful Information: Activities for older children
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203 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Frankfort, Kentucky
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2014 NEW

This is an outstanding museum and a must see. It tells the history of whaling and had wonderful artifacts. Their scrimshaw collection is world class. They have complete whale skeletons as the first exhibit hanging from the ceiling. It is quite impressive, and you can get a better picture from the second floor overlook. Children and adults alike will enjoy... More

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
1,680 reviews 1,680 reviews
882 attraction reviews
839 helpful votes 839 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2014 NEW

This is very interesting museum. It pays tribute to the Portuguese whalers and to the region where they came from, Azores. Some of the info is in Portuguese which is really nice. They also have some references to Cape Verde. The boats and whale skeletons are truly impressive. You can have good view sover the city's port from the upper... More

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Bisley, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
230 reviews 230 reviews
83 attraction reviews
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2014 NEW

We spent a couple of hours here and could have taken longer if we had not used the two hours free on street parking on the "cobbled" streets in that surround the museum. The main lobby area has three large whale skeletons hanging from the ceiling which give some idea how big these mammals can get. The museum has everything... More

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in NJ
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
72 attraction reviews
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2014

This is an extremely well done museum celebrating New Bedford's whaling history. There was so very much to see, first thing you see are the whale skeletons suspended above your head. There is a film (the City that Lit the World) to see & so much more, paintings, furniture, a boat! (the Lagoda the largest ship model) an outdoor balcony... More

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Walker, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
11 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2014

Located in downtown New Bedford, we stopped here after taking the ferry from Martha's vineyard...well worth the stop. We walked in and saw the huge whale skeletons in the main lobby. The staff was very friendly and helped me find some of the local history books I was looking for. Very nice bookstore---lots of variety. So happy we made the... More

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Marion, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
10 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2014 via mobile

When I was in elementary school growing up in neighboring Mattapoisett, MA, my class visited the whaling museum. I was amazed but could not appreciate what I saw. My wife and I revisited today and left in AWE! We immediately made plans to join as supporters and return. Room after room with models, paintings, artifacts, video and audio presentations drew... More

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Attleboro, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
26 attraction reviews
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2014

The last time I came here this was a rather small museum. With the main attraction the 1/2 scale Whaler Ship. Now they have added a lot more to see and do. We took our 4 yr. old great nephew because he is just learning about sea creatures. He was amazed from the start, by the large whale skeleton hanging... More

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Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2014

Located in a fascinating historical district. We did the NPS walk that set the scene - worth doing. Then we went into museum. Lots in there that is very interesting. We had not realised how the whalers went all across the oceans and how the diversity of the population in New Bedford changed as a result. Go upstairs and look... More

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Marble Falls, Texas
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
39 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2014

Much larger than it appears. Has scrimshaw, whaling implements, figureheads, tail boards, and the world's largest ship model: a 1/2 size whaler. This alone is worth the price of admission (which is good for two consecutive days). Art works blend with artifacts in abundance. A terrific staff adds to one's enjoyment. This is a must see, Five stars are not... More

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Mts of western NC
Top Contributor
458 reviews 458 reviews
158 attraction reviews
286 helpful votes 286 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014

This museum puts all the rest to shame, even Nantucket's. Spending an entire day here is easy. Many examples of whaling boats and whale skeletons and just about everything. They even had a smell test for the different types of whale oil. Extremely informative and plenty of tributes to Herman Melville's Moby Dick. The scrimshaw exhibit is fascinating too. We... More

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