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New Bedford Whaling Museum

Certificate of Excellence
Specialty museums, Museums
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Address: 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740
Phone Number: 508-997-0046
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Today
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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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 225 reviews
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Most recent review
Worth a trip if you are visiting Boston

While visiting Boston, we decided to go to New Bedford to see the museum. It gives a thorough look at the industry and culture that surrounded whaling. One of the large whale... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed February 22, 2015
Wanda C
,
Denver, Colorado
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225 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
15 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2015

While visiting Boston, we decided to go to New Bedford to see the museum. It gives a thorough look at the industry and culture that surrounded whaling. One of the large whale skeletons hanging in the main entryway is still secreting oil. There is something for everyone, including a room full of models, visual artwork, a video of Portugese whalers... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Newton, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
13 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Not only great history of whaling, but an unexpectedly broad history of the region, galleries, and ship/naval history. Larger than expected and undergoing an expansion. Excellent school/educational activities witnessed. Went with 2 families and 4 kids under 14y.o.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
new bedford, ma.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

The NB Whaling Museum is such a fun and educational place. The kids will love to see how Whale Oil was made and used in New England. You are also close to Seamen's Bethel which is a must see for family. Cobblestone streets will lead you to the Waterfront and many restaurants.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
New Bedford MA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Whaling helped the city evolve into one of the most prosperous in America and this gem of a museum transports the visitor through it's humble beginnings, financial ascendancy and eventual return to economic earth because of the decreased demand for whale oil. The signature of Herman Melville on a ship's log, priceless paintings from the period, scrimshaw and perhaps the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Providence, Rhode Island
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
37 attraction reviews
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2015

Located in the heart of "old" New Bedford, the Whaling Museum is packed with fascinating collections, generally well-laid out with lots of information. There were a few places where things seemed a bit jumbled as if they needed someone to rearrange things or put them back in order, but otherwise it was very nicely done. Our first stop was the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
New Jersey
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
34 attraction reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2015

The history of whaling comes alive with a 1/2 scale model of a whaling ship,art, photos and memorabilia from whalers, and a retrospective view of the importance and impacts of the whaling industry. Yes, protection and preservation are represented as well. You'll see scale models of whales, boats, equipment and learn the stories of the people who held this challenging... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Brewster, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
18 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

This is a great event at a lovely, warm museum full of beautiful things and nice people. Anyone who has a love of literature should attend the Moby Dick Marathon. People who truly love the book read for 25 hours, some camp out in sleeping bags on the upper level of the museum. The exhibit in the museum pertaining to... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Columbia, Missouri
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2014

With the recent release of the movie adaptation of the book In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whale Ship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick -- the actual historical basis for Herman Melville's Moby Dick - I decided to go take another visit at the Whaling Museum. When I was growing up we used to have field trips... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Detroit, Michigan
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2014

This is what New Bedford is all about. This is what put New Bedford on the map. The people that work here make the museum what it is. They love and believe in what they are doing. When you step aboard the "ship" that is constructed indoors, you become a child at heart. What a great experience.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Orange Beach, Alabama
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
6 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2014

Fantastic display about all things "whaling" - the biology of the whales, evolution to current whaling regulations, use of the different parts of the whale, local history of whaling, maritime aspects, dangers of whaling profession...you name it. The exhibits and interpretive material is first class...you can read as much or as little as you want and still learn something. The... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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