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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Allow a few hours” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of New Bedford Whaling Museum

New Bedford Whaling Museum
Ranked #1 of 40 things to do in New Bedford
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Allow a few hours”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2013

This is a very complete collection of items relating to the whaling industry. Varied displays make it extremely interesting.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank retiredMassacqusetts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

502 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
171 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Lots More than Whale Skeletons”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

We had this on our list of places to see in Massachusetts for sometime so the arrival of some out of town visitors was all the extra incentive we needed to make the trip to New Bedford. This is a small museum with lots to see. Families with children will find plenty of activities that seemed geared to getting the young ones involved with the exhibits. We lacked any youngsters so the party of five adults explored the exhibit halls at individual paces and selectively based on interests. At the time of our visits there were two artists preparing works based on their recent museum sponsored trip to Greenland. It was tied to a separate exhibit in the museum. Children will find the half sized replica of the ship interesting but for an adult, the craftsmanship will be admired but climbing on board could be hazardous due to low head clearances. The museum has picked up on the various cultural and ethnic backgrounds of the whalers and fisherman of New Bedford. This is a gem of museum and a great attraction for New Bedford. The geographic area is obviously focusing on tourism to boast the economy of the area and the nearby shops and restaurants are geared to helping visitors leave some money behind. The museum will take a couple of hours so a full day in New Bedford to take in other sites, shop, and eat is very doable for visitors to the area.

Visited May 2013
2 Thank NeedSher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
139 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“A Whale of a Time”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013

There is so much history, so artistically displayed, and so intriguing, that you will need to spend at least a few hours. Kids will love the whale skeletons hanging from the ceiling. Not only a museum of the highest caliber, it is also an event venue! We had our daughter's wedding here and it was fantastic!

Visited April 2013
2 Thank bestnanaever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
93 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“An interesting museum with some lovely buildings nearby”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2013

This is an interesting museum, which was enjoyed more by my son - aged 7 - than my daughters - aged 10 and 12. However, they were all impressed by the reconstruction of a whaling boat and the hands on activities like origami and knot tying. All in all it gave an interesting insight into whaling, which is something they hadn't really come across before. The streets around the museum are cobbled with some lovely houses and buildings from New Bedford's heyday. However as you move further away the other parts of the town look a bit more run down.

Visited March 2013
2 Thank CavMcDs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Ma
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2013

This is a must visit if yiu go on Route 95 into New Bedford.. This museum is so fantastic if you really want to learn about whales and the life of men who went whaling. This is the perfect complement to deepen your understanding of Melville's great American classic, MOBY DICK.
This is one of the best museums in the United States and complements a visit to Mystic Seaport and Sturbridge Village.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank TonyCrusi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed New Bedford Whaling Museum also viewed


Been to New Bedford Whaling Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing