We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Book On TripAdvisor Bonus Book your hotel on TripAdvisor — then save 20% on things to do for your trip. Use code BOOKTOSAVE.

Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 158 Polpis Rd, Nantucket, MA 02554-2320
Phone Number: 508-228-1885
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description:

In the 19th Century, hundreds of ships passed by Nantucket Island each day,...

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.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 100 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 70
    Excellent
  • 28
    Very good
  • 1
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Wonderful Museum in mid Island

Lots to discover at this beautiful museum filled with boats, equipment, histories and all kinds of information about lifesaving and shipwrecks. Worth the excursion. Make sure you... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
ACKGAL18
,
McLean, Virginia
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

100 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
Showing 100: English reviews
McLean, Virginia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Lots to discover at this beautiful museum filled with boats, equipment, histories and all kinds of information about lifesaving and shipwrecks. Worth the excursion. Make sure you look up the hours open. Great for families of all ages.

Helpful?
Thank ACKGAL18
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Fun and interesting museum with a history of the shipping adventures during the birth of the United States. Great film about the different types of life saving skills developed over two centuries of time. Beautiful displays of many different types of ocean craft. Plenty for the kids to see and explore. Give yourself about 2 hours to see most of... More 

Helpful?
Thank Scott P
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is a small museum but you will learn a lot about the history of both Nantucket and the Coast Guard. After hundreds of shipwrecks the formal Coast Guard as we know it got its start right here on Nantucket. There's a great exhibit on one of the shipwrecks. While my husband enjoyed the narrated tour my kids enjoyed playing... More 

Helpful?
Thank BostonMom333
Quakertown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
170 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Tours are offered at intervals and our tour guide was most pleasant and informative. It was fascinating to hear about the beginnings of what would become the Coast Guard. This was out of necessity because of so many shipwrecks in the area. There is a display on the Andrea Doria there until October.

Helpful?
Thank Babz J
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I visited this museum with my father-in-law and three teenage boys. The museum had some very interesting artifacts on shipwrecks surrounding Nantucket going back to the 1800s. There were only a few people in the museum so we got a personal guided tour which was fantastic. There was also a very interesting display on the Andrea Doria shipwreck which occurred... More 

Helpful?
Thank TA-KO5
Maine
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Wonderful small museum filled with artifacts from times gone by ... from lifesaving equipment, to dories, to pictures. Also wonderful short movies that continually run explaining the different methods of shipwreck and life saving procedures. Last but not least, the best part was the tour by a wonderful docent. Wish I could remember her name but she put it all... More 

Helpful?
Thank cozyharbor
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Fascinating exhibits and good films. Guides are well informed. This is a good stop for families with kids.

Helpful?
Thank rolliefrye
Eastham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
102 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2016 via mobile

The Museum provides an excellent tribute to those who put their lives at risk saving folks they likely never knew personally. Great summary of the techniques and implements used to rescue the the shipwreck sailors in peril. Moving tributes to the Andrea Doria collision, Mille and others.

Helpful?
Thank Mike S
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2016

A little out of town but worth the trip. Shipwrecks and rescues are fascinating in the age of sail. Can do the whole museum in 45 minutes ... or 2 hours. Several 10 minute movies are great, and one for kids. Good exhibits and recently renovated. Great stop for bicyclists! Great vies too!

Helpful?
Thank Eric H
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
160 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2016 via mobile

If you want to understand the history of this magical island, you have to make a stop here. Lovely docents who are happy to share their knowledge. Beautiful setting and fun experience.

Helpful?
Thank GMBG

Travelers who viewed Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum also viewed

 

Been to Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?