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New Bedford Whaling Museum

18 Johnny Cake Hl, New Bedford, MA 02740-6317
+1 508-997-0046
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US$ 17.00*
and up
New Bedford Whaling Museum Admission
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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.
  • Excellent80%
  • Very good17%
  • Average1%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“whaling museum” (97 reviews)
“scale model” (25 reviews)
Open Now
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
18 Johnny Cake Hl, New Bedford, MA 02740-6317
+1 508-997-0046
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Reviews (600)
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1 - 10 of 568 reviews

Reviewed 4 days ago

I'm a bit conflicted about giving this museum a mere average rating. There really are some fantastic exhibits! The whale skeletons as well and the art, artifacts, and tools associated with whaling are highly impressive. And, they do a very good job of presenting the...More

1  Thank JDBonthemove
Gayle H, Public Relations Manager at New Bedford Whaling Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Thanks for taking time to write a review. I'll pass on your comments to our curatorial and education departments. We have just launched a multi-phase expansion of our whale ecology and marine mammal exhibits, so watch for changes coming soon. You might find this interesting:...More

Reviewed 1 week ago

The building facade just begs you to enter... new has been melded with old to a very pleasing and inviting structure. Exhibits that will capture the interest of all ages. Very comprehensive history of whaling and the industries ingrained way of New Bedford life in...More

Thank pearlyww
Gayle H, Public Relations Manager at New Bedford Whaling Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 6 days ago

Thanks for this comprehensive review! PostScript: your admission receipt is good for two consecutive days.

Reviewed 1 week ago

The museum has some very interesting artifacts and helps one become acquainted with the area and understand the cultural heritage. It doesn't do much for the present, and New Bedford is sadly economically depressed and has been for a real long time. The film further...More

Thank LC M
Gayle H, Public Relations Manager at New Bedford Whaling Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thanks for taking the time to write a review. One of the things the Whaling Museum does is to tell the story of human interaction with whales through time, so that covers Yankee whaling. You can't really understand New England OR the current status of...More

Reviewed 1 week ago

I love whales and was excited to find an entire museum dedicated to them! I particularly enjoyed when a docent used a model boat to show me the process of how people were able to catch whales at sea. I also thought the museum did...More

Thank April S
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We highly recommend the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The four of us spent a delightful 3 hours visiting this museum last week. The exhibits were very good and the staff was knowledgable and friendly.

Thank TheRockyRacoon
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We had a wonderful time visiting this beautiful museum. The highlight was the time spent with a volunteer, Michael Taylor, discussing the the life on the whaling ships as well as the evolution of the harpoon. The exhibitions are excellent.

Thank CarouselambraNC
Gayle H, Public Relations Manager at New Bedford Whaling Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thank you for visiting and for taking the time to write a review! We have a wonderful corps of generous and dedicated volunteers, many of whom lead tours. I'll make sure that Michael knows how much you enjoyed your time with him.

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

A Most Impressive Experience. A Thorough Accounting. Returned a 2nd day to ensure nothing was missed. Knowledgeable, helpful and polite staff.

Thank bruceeb2017
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This is one of the most interesting museums I've ever seen. We are from the west and had no idea how great this could be --- WOW

Thank Jwvv
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We were there for the meeting of the IGKT and to see the Clifford Ashley exhibit which is really good. Their collection of scrimshaw is also worth the visit.

Thank Joe B
Gayle H, Public Relations Manager at New Bedford Whaling Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

It was great to have IGKT here for your annual meeting! We learned a lot! "Thou Shalt Knot:Clifford W. Ashley" is on view until June 2018.

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The museum contains many artifacts from whaling. The whale skeletons were from animals that died from accidents. Enjoyed feeling the balleen, walking on the half size replica, and seeing the scrimshaw. We were there three hours and could have spent more time. I was worried...More

Thank nangfar
Gayle H, Public Relations Manager at New Bedford Whaling Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Your reaction is common! We DO explain the history of whaling - you can't really understand the history of the region without understanding how whaling impacted economic and social development: here and around the world. But we also explain how the industry affected whale populations...More

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Questions & Answers
14 September 2016|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from docralph | Reviewed this property |
That's usually too early in the school year to take a Field Trip. There may be 2 days school break (Oct 7 &10) in that area, so you're safe anyway. Often field trips occur in the Spring. Also, I suggest you take the Tour... More
27 September 2015|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from Fobie | Property representative |
The best RV parking is along S. Water St, diagonally across from the NBWM's Union St frontage.