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.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

New Bedford Whaling Museum

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 18 Johnny Cake Hl, New Bedford, MA 02740-6317
Phone Number: 508-997-0046
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 469 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 370
  • 69
    Very good
  • 6
  • 1
  • 2
Best of New Bedford

This is the reason to stop in New Bedford. The museum was great and well done, especially The Lagoda! Great learning more about this segment in time!

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 days ago
Laura C
Geneva, Ohio
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

469 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 448: English reviews
Geneva, Ohio
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

This is the reason to stop in New Bedford. The museum was great and well done, especially The Lagoda! Great learning more about this segment in time!

Thank Laura C
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
94 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Great Museum about whales and the history of the area. It’s a beautiful building with lots of exhibits to explore. The building rambles a bit. Make sure you really explore and don’t miss anything. We had to get directions a couple of times in order to find the family interactive Discovery Center. Even our 2 ½ year old in tow... More 

Thank KimMac1
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
35 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

An unabashed animal lover, I nevertheless accompanied friends to this, the world's largest whaling museum, with some trepidation as I expected to see display after display of carnage on the high seas. Instead, I discovered an intriguing reveal of the relationship between whales and the men who hunted them, along with a new respect for the seamen from many different cultures who labored together... More 

Thank Car Keys
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
106 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

It was a rainy day and we were looking for something to do. This museum was surprisingly interesting, telling about the part whaling had played in the local area, the ethnic groups that had settled because of whaling, and had several whale skeletons. Worth an hour and a half and a good rainy day activity. And there's a great little... More 

Thank eurilla
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We were vacationing on the Rhode Island shore and hit a rain date. Fortunately the New Bedford Whaling Museum was about half an hour away and recommended highly by a local. So glad we made the choice to go. The place is situated in the historic district, which is clean, authentic, and charming. The museum itself is quite modern in... More 

Thank Meryl M
Cobleskill, New York, United States
Level Contributor
37 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Museum is larger than it looks. Very nice collection of history for area. Something for everyone. Kids may get bored in some sections. Wonderful building and great view of harbor.

Thank Kimberly M
Canandaigua, New York
Level Contributor
36 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This museum provides a wonderful overview of the whaling industry not only of America but New Bedford. It provides context and shows the resilience of what every community in America faces. The whalers, like New Bedford, looked outward, and bore uncertainty and danger to thrive. This is the hope of the museum and the connections it continues to promote.

Thank John D
Stafford, Virginia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

My husband and I were visiting Cape Cod for the long weekend and were happy to visit the Whaling Museum on a very rainy Sunday morning. The museum layout is well done and very informative. We went on a whale watching tour the day before, so this was a good follow on activity. I never realized that whaling was such... More 

Thank FoodNWine1
Belleville, Canada
Level Contributor
152 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We were captivated by the New Bedford Whaling Museum! Although the name might suggest it is all about whaling, which for some is a politically sensitive topic, looking beyond the name will help visitors see some marvelous art, artefacts, models, and get to learn about maritime life in both New Bedford and areas related to its history, such as the... More 

1 Thank zubill
Lincoln, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Fun and educational, very well worth the visit! We especially enjoyed learning about history of whaling industry.The collections of scrimshaws and whale's skeletons were phenomenal.

Thank Pigox75

Travelers who viewed New Bedford Whaling Museum also viewed


Been to New Bedford Whaling 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

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of New Bedford Whaling Museum and other visitors
2 questions
Ask a question
over a year ago
santa rosa california

See all questions (2)

Questions? Get answers from New Bedford Whaling 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?