Hours & Directions

New Bedford Whaling Museum
18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740


April through December:
Daily 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Select Galleries open until 8:00 p.m. every second Thursday of the month*

January through March:
Tuesday - Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Select Galleries open until 8:00 p.m. every second Thursday of the month*

Open holiday Mondays, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day

*AHA! Night






Senior (65+)


Student (19+)


Child & Youth


 Children aged 5 and under are FREE
*FREE 0n AHA! nights. See calendar for more details.

Curator TALKS
Tuesdays and Thursdays
2:00 p.m.
Join a Curator for a special talk in one of the Museum’s galleries. Tours leave from the front desk.  Free with Museum admission. Regular rates apply.


THE RESEARCH LIBRARY IS MOVING INTO THE NEW BUILDING: After July 6th, the library will be closed, reopening  sometime in the early fall.

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

791 Purchase Street, New Bedford, MA 02740

Hours of Operation:

The Research Library is open by appointment Wednesday through Friday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. as well as the first Saturday of every month. To make an appointment, please contact the Research Library at: (508) 997-0046 ext. 134, or by email at: research@whalingmuseum.org


Free access is a benefit of Museum membership and is extended as well to partner organizations including the staff and volunteers of the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Rotch-Jones-Duff House, the New Bedford Free Public Library, the New Bedford Historical Society, the Melville Society and the Ocean Explorium.

Admission for all non-members reflects current Museum admission of $14.00 per day.

Access and Research:

Library staff is available to assist researchers and many patrons find it convenient and efficient to search the library collections’ online databases before making an appointment. Many of the most significant manuscript collections have records in the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections.

Researchers must check in with the Museum's admission desk prior to beginning their research visit in the Library.   

There is a $10.00 flat fee for any digital photography which is to be used for personal reference use only.  This fee must be paid at the Museum's admission desk prior to entering the Library. 

Photocopies are $0.25 per sheet with a limit of 20 sheets per visit. Photocopies will be made only by Library staff at the discretion of the Librarian.

Research requests via email, telephone, and post beyond basic reference and confirmation of holdings are subject to a pre-paid non-refundable fee of $25.00 per hour.

Microfilms of the logbook and journal collection including the Old Dartmouth Historical Society collection and the Kendall Whaling Museum collection are available through interlibrary loan at a rate of $15.00 per reel, one reel at a time, for a period of 30 days.

Directions to the Museum

New Bedford is located one hour south of Boston and 35 minutes east of Providence.

From the west: Take the Mass. Turnpike to Exit 11A for Rte. 495 South to Exit 7B - Rte. 24 South to New Bedford to Exit 12 - Rte. 140 South to Exit 2A - Rte. 195 East - Cape Cod to Exit 15 - Rte. 18 New Bedford Historic District to Downtown exit. Turn right on Elm Street and take second left - Bethel St., which becomes Johnny Cake Hill. Museum is on second block.

From north/central: Take either Rte. 495 South or Rte. 128 South (whichever is closest to Rte. 24) and follow directions listed above.

From the south: Take Rte. 95 North to Rte. 195 East, then follow directions above.

From Cape Cod: take Rte. 495 North to Rte. 25 to Rte. 195 to Exit 15 - Rte. 18, then follow directions above.

Visitor map for parkingParking Alternatives

Metered Street Parking is available throughout the central business district (downtown), curbside parking is available for hourly-metered parking for a nominal fee (follow instructions on the meter).

The Elm Street Garage is located one block north of the National Park Visitor Center (at North Second and William Streets) and two blocks from the Whaling Museum. Vehicle height limit: 6'3". Directions to Elm Street Parking Garage: From I-195, take Exit 15 (Route 18 South - Downtown). Take RIGHT at the first traffic light onto Elm Street. Garage is approximately 500 feet on your RIGHT.


Accessibility: the Whaling Museum and the Research Library are fully handicap accessible.


Travel to New Bedford by Bus, Boat and Airplane

Bonanza Bus Lines
Daily service from New Bedford to Hyannis and Cape Cod, also to Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, New York and beyond.
Dattco Bus Lines
New Bedford to Taunton to Boston 
Southeastern Regional Transit Authority 
For local bus information 
Seastreak Martha’s Vineyard 
New England Fast Ferry
A one hour passenger service to the island of Martha's Vineyard aboard a state-of-the-art high speed catamaran offers daily round trips, year-round. The ferry departs from New Bedford State Pier. Ferry parking is located nearby with a continuous Shuttle Bus to and from the terminal, and through the National Park district adjacent to the waterfront. 

Cuttyhunk Ferry Company, Inc. - M/V Cuttyhunk 
Passenger ferry service to Cuttyhunk Island.

For recreational boaters: 
Are you planning to drop anchor in New Bedford and need an overnight berth?   
Contact the City of New Bedford's Pope's Island Marina
102 Pope's Island
New Bedford, MA 02740 


New Bedford Regional Airport 
1569 Airport Road
New Bedford, MA 02745 


Cape Air
1475 Airport Road
New Bedford, MA 02746-1368 

Enjoy fast, frequent flights to and from New Bedford Airport and points within New England including Boston, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. 


Destination New Bedford

Visit Destination New Bedford for more information about New Bedford... a city with a vibrant working waterfront, beaches and boating, art and culture, feast and festivals, parks and playgrounds, and home to the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.

Last Modified: September 15, 2015