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New Bedford Whaling Museum

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Address: 18 Johnny Cake Hl, New Bedford, MA 02740-6317
Phone Number: 508-997-0046
Website
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 438 reviews
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  • 346
    Excellent
  • 63
    Very good
  • 6
    Average
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    Terrible
Wonderful

Great museum with plentiful exhibits including giant skeletons of whales, scrimshaw art, whaling boats, models, paintings, short films and much more. Great for the whole family.

5 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
docralph
,
Alma, Georgia
via mobile
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438 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 418: English reviews
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
121 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

We enjoyed the exhibits and spent about a hour in the museum. What's stopping it from being excellent is that the exhibits are not arranged in a sensible order, e.g we had to wait until the end until we were told why whales were hunted. Perhaps we went round the wrong way, but if so it wasn't obvious.

Helpful?
Thank SAHoulwood8284
Alma, Georgia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Great museum with plentiful exhibits including giant skeletons of whales, scrimshaw art, whaling boats, models, paintings, short films and much more. Great for the whole family.

Helpful?
Thank docralph
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

The museum had done interesting information about whales but the tickets were a little scientists for such a small museum. The tickets were $16.00 each.

Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Whaling M, Public Relations Manager at New Bedford Whaling Museum, responded to this review

Thanks for taking the time to write a review of the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Did you have time to see all 23 galleries and public spaces on four levels including the new child-friendly Discovery Center, observation deck overlooking the waterfront, and the Reading Room? If not, next time you visit remember that your admission is good for two days. More 

Boston, MA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Excellent museum all the way around. Balanced views of the barbarity of the industry with understanding the traditions of subsistence whaling. A ticket is good for two days which is a relief since there is so much to see....

Helpful?
Thank ramblinrae
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
441 reviews
253 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 196 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Being from the Midwest, whaling has always been something that we read in a book or saw in a movie. Nothing deep, just guys in a ship going after the whale. Yes, I knew the oil was used and bones were used for a variety of things, but little else. This is one of my favorite museums - we learned... More 

Helpful?
Thank pitufo00
Plymouth, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
51 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Great museum on whaling, but also a lot of other info on New Bedford as well. Definitely glad we went there, although there is so many exhibits we will be returning. Staff is very helpful as well!

Helpful?
1 Thank GeorgiaLucy41
Kingsbury, Maine
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Ma ---there is so much to see that a few hours is not enough! It is both visually interesting and very educational and fun! The whale skeletons are fascinating and obtained by means of accidental or natural deaths and cleaned and put back together. ... one is of a mother and baby. .... More 

Helpful?
Thank Linnea M
CT
Level Contributor
76 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

My dad suggested I go here because our relative had a plague listed on the wall - Sailors beware do not sail with (insert name here). These plagues would be listed over the town. Why, because they did not get a whale and came back poor and that would be blamed on higher management. Such fun....

Helpful?
1 Thank travellerroct
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

To be honest, you don't even need to pay to get in. At the front entrance, they let you have a clear view of three whale skeletons. Both my son and I ended up leaving and crying after viewing that, since one of the skeletons was a pregnant mom with the baby skeleton still in it's tummy. You can even... More 

Helpful?
Thank Mary C
Whaling M, Public Relations Manager at New Bedford Whaling Museum, responded to this review

Thank you for taking the time to write a review Mary C. Skeletons are important teaching tools for museums, science centers and aquaria. The magnificent whales in our main lobby either died of natural causes or after being struck by a vessel: none were killed by whalers. Whaling ended in New Bedford in 1925. Each animal has a story and... More 

Binghamton, New York
Level Contributor
66 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

The museum is much bigger, has much more than I expected. The portion on the whaling industry was comprehensive and well done. Seeing four or five whale skeletons was awesome. Our docent was very well informed and interested in us as well as great at keeping our focus. I had no idea that whaling was such an important part of... More 

Helpful?
Thank Bruce O

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?