Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum

Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum: Hours, Address, Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum

Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum
4.5
Speciality Museums • History Museums
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
In the 19th Century, hundreds of ships passed by Nantucket Island each day, all navigating without the benefit of modern nautical technology. Fog, storms, and treacherous shoals led to over 750 shipwrecks in the waters surrounding Nantucket. The Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum preserves the memory of those Islanders who risked their lives to save shipwrecked mariners. These men served in organizations such as the Massachusetts Humane Society, U.S. Life-Saving Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard. The Museum is located at 158 Polpis Road, just 3.5 miles from Nantucket Town, and is easily reached by car, The WAVE, or our free Shipwreck Shuttle pick up at the Visitors Service on Federal Street from June on, or by bike on the Polpis Road Bike Path.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
183 reviews
Excellent
140
Very good
40
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Gene R J
Silver Spring, MD7,909 contributions
Jun 2021
After arriving on the Hyannis Ferry, we walked to the Visitor’s Center and discovered the free shuttle should start in July. So we walked 2 blocks to the Main Street taxi stand for a $17 ride to this museum, beautifully sited above the Fulling Mill Creek estuary. To its side is a working 1857 Fresnel lens from the 1818 Greatpoint Lighthouse. After using a credit card, $14 for 2 seniors, we were given a choice of a full or brief tour, then guided along the historic pictures of the area’s shipwrecks and the building of the lifesaving service that became the US Coastguard. Special exhibits; the 1956 wreck of the 1951 Andrea Doria with the loss of 46 passengers(and a futuristic Chrysler-Ghia car), the “faking bin” to assemble the cannon line to shoot to the wrecked ship, actual 19th C surfboat and life-car. This is an excellent museum operated by knowledgeable and helpful docents with special thanks to Laura for helping with our transportation problems.
Written June 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your visit and kind words. Our free Shipwreck Shuttle will be operating from the Visitor Center from Mondays through Saturdays starting 1 July until October 15h. Laura was pleased to help get you back to town and continue your exploration of our beautiful island.
Written June 6, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Stephen K
2 contributions
Jul 2021
Both adults and children will enjoy this little gem of a museum. Volunteer docents will show you around and explain the interesting stories of how Nantucketers, over the years, have risked their own lives to save people on ships and fishing-boats that were foundering in storms or run aground on one of the many shoals that surround the island. There are also short films that go into these fascinating human dramas. The museum has a nice little gift shop. There is free parking, but those without a car can reach the museum on the free shuttle that runs from town in the summer. Do go see it -- you will have a very pleasant time!
Written July 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
I am glad that you enjoyed your visit. Thank you for the lovely review. We hope to see you again.
Written July 30, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AdProf
Laguna Niguel, CA52 contributions
Sep 2021
A tribute to the people who ventured out to save lives when Whaling ship disasters happened, this museum is well off the beaten path, but also well worth the visit. Our visit started with a volunteer who gave us a complete, brief, concise and truly informative verbal download on the museum, its purpose and some of the key things to take in. It was a perfect "table-setter" to the rest of our relaxed tour of the museum. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Written September 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lindell G
Tampa, FL8 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
To begin with you get a free ride from the visitor center to the museum. The driver Leanne was delightful and very informative. The museum was very educational and Tom explained all the lifesaving devices used in the last 300 years. It’s a must see if visiting Nantucket.
Written October 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

marycurtin
Boston, MA4 contributions
Aug 2021
What a noble and fascinating place! A few days ago, my husband and I spent 3 hours there, and still feel that we didn’t take it all in. Certainly requires another visit or two or three. So interesting to know that the Humane Society of Massachusetts was initially established back in the 1700’s specifically to rescue the survivors of shipwrecks and ships in distress. The Museum is a strong reminder that humans do have it in them to help out others in times of need, even if, in the case of saving lives, it means putting themselves at risk to save another. For centuries, rescuing survivors of shipwrecks has been a serious and dangerous mission on Nantucket. Very hardy brave citizens.
Written August 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JWbel
Nantucket, MA15 contributions
Aug 2019 • Friends
Compact site celebrates the history of lifesaving on Nantucket and much more about Nantucket's involvement with the sea outside of its whaling history. Dramatic rescues from wrecked sailing vessels, the story of the wreck of the Andria Doria off the coast and much more related to the maritime history of Nantucket. Located beside a salt marsh creek, it is a delightful place to spend some leisurely time. Well-informed docents explain the exhibits. There are also a number of audio-visual presentations which tell.a variety of historical stories. It's a couple of miles out of town on the Polpid Road but can easily be reached by a NRTA bus.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your visit and your wonderful review. During the season we offer a free shuttle bus that leaves from outside of the Visitors Service Center and takes you directly to the Museum. We are proud of our amazing history and we are proud to keep the stories alive and well with our wonderful docents.
Written March 9, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LilRhodyRider401
Newport, RI12 contributions
Aug 2021
We did the advanced splicing class with LeeAnn Buse in partnership with the Egan Maritime Institute. Wow! She was incredibly patient and informative in the art of splicing as well as Nantucket maritime history. We learned a lot and walked away with handcrafted leashes for our new puppy. He loves the leashes!

We also did the museum tour with Jackson. He offered a wealth of information and gave a great top-level summary in an interesting and stimulating way. There are so many stories to be found here and recognition for the value the volunteers brought to helping strangers is truly memorable. This museum is a hidden gem and well worth the visit off the beaten trail for a visit. The outside has a perfect picnic spot and plenty of space for bikes. Highly recommend!
Written August 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dawn Eliz
1 contribution
Sep 2021 • Solo
Looking for a unique manageable museum experience? With original artifacts from well known wrecks, learn about lightships, heroism, the precursors to the Coast Guard and the volume of shipwrecks off of Nantucket's shore from knowledgeable docents. Spend an hour or bring a picnic and enjoy the spectacular idyllic view of this pristine side of the island! Great for children. Free shuttle from the Visitors Center to the Museum.
Written October 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gerri A
3 contributions
Aug 2021 • Friends
A great little museum with wonderful displays and short movies about shipwrecks and rescues. The docents were very knowledgeable and friendly. Leanne who ran the shuttle was very friendly and gave us lots of insights into life on Nantucket!
Written August 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bob G
1 contribution
Jul 2021
Fascinating & excellent experience; beginning to end. Free shuttle from center of town (on the half-hour). Driver had excellent insights to share for visitors to Nantucket. Admission very reasonable (Senior rate, for us.) Guide took us through museum and explained its history and exhibits. Then took an opportunity to select and watch several short videos. Browsed bookstore and caught a return shuttle to the center of town (leaves on the hour.) This was a Thursday in July.
Written July 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Looks as if you had a July Thursday well spent. Thank you for your review and for the welcome remarks.
Written July 30, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum

Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum is open:
  • Mon - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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