New Bedford Whaling Museum
New Bedford Whaling Museum
5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Anchored in the story of New Bedford’s whaling industry, NBWM shares the art, science, history, and culture of this vibrant maritime region and its people. We're a champion for whale conservation, and a keeper of the region's collective memory. Surrounded by cobblestone streets once strolled by Frederick Douglass and Herman Melville, the Museum is conveniently located within the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. Dive into whale biology, ecology and behavior, and marine mammal conservation. Marvel at massive whale skeletons and the world’s largest ship model, the Lagoda – a half-scale model of a 19th century whaling vessel. See a digital replica of America's longest painting in motion - the incredible “Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World.” The original 1848 painting is longer than the Empire State Building is tall! Enjoy exhibitions focused on the museum's impressive art collections, and changing exhibitions of contemporary art. Wheelchair accessible.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • tridcod
    Annandale, New Jersey698 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Call me Ishmael!
    It has been 50+ years since we visited New Bedford and we were very pleased to find this new (to us) whaling museum. It is chock full of New Bedford whaling history, including a half-scale whaling ship inside the museum. The exhibits were fascinating, and in many cases, information we had never heard before about the sailors, their ships, and their lives. Although we spent 2.5 hours touring, I am sure we did not see it all. Well worth the trip and the time.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 13, 2023
  • barbmc93
    Spencer, Massachusetts91 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Plan the whole day for a visit.
    Excellent presentation of whaling back in the day. Excellent exhibits of various paintings, drawings, artifacts, glassware, scrimshaw, whale skeletons, bones etc. we spent more than 5 hours there and need to go back to see the rest. There was metered street parking. I suggest you start at the top floor3rd) and work your way down. The museum cover whaling around the world.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 5, 2023
  • Tanya W
    Austin, Texas90 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    New bedford whaling museum
    Truly an amazing museum and collection of all things whaling. The replica tall ship was fantastic. So much to see and learn. Culturally, environmentally & geographically. Plan on a few hrs. if you don’t have little kids. Well worth a few hrs
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 4, 2023
  • packedlite
    Cambridge, Massachusetts395 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great for all ages
    This is a wonderful museum and it is great for all ages. They tell the story of Native Americans, the impact of Europeans, the slave trade and contributions of ex-slaves, the development of industrial mills, as well as the whaling industry. There are works of art, historical artifacts, multimedia presentations, and scientific displays that would interest everyone. The whale skeletons are phenomenal. This is a museum to which we could return many times and still enjoy.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 23, 2024
  • Colleen
    Belfast, United Kingdom347 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A lovely and educational way to spend a few hours in New Bedford
    This museum was actually larger than I expected and had a great variety of exhibits. It’s true that it’s great for all ages. There were exhibits geared towards younger audiences and lots of information to read for individuals interested in New Bedford’s history — including things related to the textile industry. There was much more to see than simply things about the history of whaling, so that was a pleasant and welcome surprise.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written May 18, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles871 reviews
Excellent
702
Very good
148
Average
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4

Campnsquatch
New Hampshire Lakes Region, NH45 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Friends
We toured with Charlie. He's a pro docent.
Except the guide (I won't name him) in the Art exhibit was rude to interrupt and tell us not to talk there. Noone else was even in the exhibit.
Young man with some social issues related to rule following...respect your elders.
Written July 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Donna D
Germantown, NY12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Couples
Terrific little museum in New Bedford. We went specifically for the show on Albert Pinkham Ryder and his influence on contemporary artists and it did not disappoint. Great little show in one room. Well installed, works well chosen and a fine catalog for sale in the museum shop. This time we did not visit other exhibits but have in the past and found them very interesting and informative.
Written July 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Zephyr_Travel
Fredericksburg, VA2,986 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
We were blown out of the water by the size, unique artifacts, multicultural art, kid friendly displays, and whaling ship replica. It was worth the 19 dollar adult admission. Perfect for all ages. Plan to spend 2.5 hours if you wish to see the whole museum. Theirs a scavenger hunt for older kids to keep them engaged. The large ship exhibit gives a real feel for whaler's experience. The scrimshaw, or ivory art from sailors and artisans was an incredible collection. The museum does a great job highlighting all the difference countries and cultural customs involved in global whaling. The exhibit from Japanese culture has several vibrant art pieces. The giant whale heart display in the front of the museum is designed for kids to climb in and play on.
Written August 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brittany A
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Family
Great rainy day with the kiddos. Cody was phenomenal and provided a guided and informational tour of the museum. He is such a bright young man and a delight to be around. Made the kid's experience one to remember with his trivia and pocket full of prizes.
Written March 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

508EllenCee
Northborough, MA1,044 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
The Whaling Museum in New Bedford is an excellent museum for kids, for lovers of the sea and history, and for locals who want to see themselves as the world sees them. We spent 3 hours there and saw exhibits of nautical history, the ocean, the Underground Railroad (escaping via ship was much more successful than land-based escapes), history of New Bedford mills, and art. Oh, the art of scrimshaw is well-represented, but also nautical art, Asian art, local artists, and the art of photography. I cannot fail to mention a half scale replica ship that kids scurry around on to their heart's content. We also spent a fair amount of time out on the third floor balcony. Despite terrible hot weather at home, it was shaded, cool, and breezy with an excellent view of the harbor. Great place for the kids to enjoy their snack, but no food is for sale, BYO.
Written August 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sthomas0616
East Greenbush, NY288 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
This place came as quite a surprise! First off is the size of it; you keep walking and walking and it keeps going on and on with each room being better than the last. The showcase of the scrimshaw was breathtaking; never have we seen such an extensive display; we could have spent the entire afternoon just wondering through that section alone. I think all of the displays were wonderful; perhaps the art work was an added feature that could have been excluded because there is just so much to see that it seemed out of place there. The only place we didn't go was upstairs in the room that housed the whaling ship; way too many stairs for 2 senior citizens. But, overall, this was a wonderful day outing and, like I said before, we could have spent more time just on the scrimshaw display.
Written August 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gus B
Massachusetts597 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
We took a wonderful guided tour given by Docent Cody, who is a remarkably knowledgeable young man. As an amateur historian myself with long-time family links to New Bedford, I found Cody's knowledge to be still more complete than mine. Even of you can't go on the guided tour, the museum has so much to offer and is so well laid-out that you will be glad you came here.
Written August 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tridcod
Annandale, NJ698 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Couples
It has been 50+ years since we visited New Bedford and we were very pleased to find this new (to us) whaling museum. It is chock full of New Bedford whaling history, including a half-scale whaling ship inside the museum.
The exhibits were fascinating, and in many cases, information we had never heard before about the sailors, their ships, and their lives.
Although we spent 2.5 hours touring, I am sure we did not see it all.
Well worth the trip and the time.
Written September 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

packedlite
Cambridge, MA395 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
This is a wonderful museum and it is great for all ages. They tell the story of Native Americans, the impact of Europeans, the slave trade and contributions of ex-slaves, the development of industrial mills, as well as the whaling industry. There are works of art, historical artifacts, multimedia presentations, and scientific displays that would interest everyone. The whale skeletons are phenomenal. This is a museum to which we could return many times and still enjoy.
Written March 23, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

barbmc93
Spencer, MA91 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Excellent presentation of whaling back in the day. Excellent exhibits of various paintings, drawings, artifacts, glassware, scrimshaw, whale skeletons, bones etc. we spent more than 5 hours there and need to go back to see the rest. There was metered street parking. I suggest you start at the top floor3rd) and work your way down. The museum cover whaling around the world.
Written October 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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New Bedford Whaling Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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