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New Bedford Whaling Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740
Phone Number: 508-997-0046
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9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 360 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 299
  • 54
    Very good
  • 5
  • 1
  • 1
A Wonderful Experience!

My wife brought me here. We had free tickets, since we live @ The lofts at Wamsutta Place. They provide free tickets, as a "perk"!. I was so impressed by the Museum and the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 days ago
Craig B
New Bedford, Massachusetts
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360 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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New Bedford, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
173 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

My wife brought me here. We had free tickets, since we live @ The lofts at Wamsutta Place. They provide free tickets, as a "perk"!. I was so impressed by the Museum and the informative displays. Such rich History not only about Whaling, but about The Wampanoag Indians, King Philips War, The Acushnet River Basin and surrounding area, and New... More 

Thank Craig B
Barrington, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
102 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This museum was much bigger than I expected, covering so many facets of the whaling industry and New Bedford history. You learn about biology, oceanography, history, technology, economics, and much more. There are huge whale skeletons and an entire whaling ship in the museum, and even a nice view of the harbor from the top floor. Spend one hour or... More 

Thank RhodeScholar123
Bogota, Colombia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

During you stay in Bedford you should go to this museum. It has a lot of interesting things to do. This museum is great to go with kids. You will learn abouth the history of fishing and the story behind. The focus of the museum are the whales, so will you see a lot of history about it. You can... More 

Thank 460alejandra
Milford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2016

What an amazing time seeing the different types of Whales that were once sought after by the men. It was incredible to see the tools and vessels used to go after the whales. It really opened my eyes to the trials and tribulations these men endured during their hunts. I would recommend taking a day trip here. So much fun!!!

Thank Cathy L
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
78 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2015

This is a museum focused on the whaling industry and all its ramifications. As such you can see the skeletons of whole whales, learn about types of whales, the sounds they make and what threatens them. You can also see a reconstruction (half size) of a wooden whaling ship, learn how whales were hunted and why. You can also learn... More 

1 Thank jimtons
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
314 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2015 via mobile

This is a great little museum. There's a great view of the harbor from upstairs and there's school boat dedigned for the kids which was a hit. It's informative and fun. I recommend!

1 Thank DCTravelers69
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2015 via mobile

An awesome museum for adults and children. Whale skeletons, a ship to explore and interesting exhibits from all the places the whaling ships visited.

1 Thank packerjanice
Taunton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2015

Well, after the water. The Whaling Capital of the World; a claim made by several, but NB took over from Nantucket when ships grew larger and demand grew for whale oil. The 1/2 scale model of the Lagoda is the centerpiece of the museum. The exhibits of scrimshaw, art and international collections gives what is the most comprehensive overview of... More 

1 Thank Jon B
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2015 via mobile

Even if you know nothing about whales or whaling, you will find this place absolutely captivating. There is so much to see and experience. Best of all, its a little bit different everytime you visit ... New galleries, new themes. A most thought provoking place.

1 Thank Kinder W
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2015

Three visits over several years. Recently spent four hours browsing unbelievable collections, antiques, whaling history, and a great exhibit on New Bedford manufacturing. Excellent value.

Thank CapeCodOne

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Questions & Answers

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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?