- Cultural Communities
- Digital Scholarship
- 25th Annual Sailors’ Series
- Lifelong Learning Lecture Series
- Where the Land Meets the Sea
- Watkins Bioacoustics Symposium
- Nautical Antiques Show
- 27th Annual Scrimshaw Weekend
- A Grateful Dead Yoga Experience
- Painting with a Splash FOR KIDS
- Right Whale Day
- April Vacation Week
- Over the Top Summer Gala
- Members’ Trip to Porto, Portugal
- Family Activities
- Community Programs
- Annual Events
- Moby-Dick Marathon
- Past Programs
What People are Saying
Read what some of our visitors are saying on Tripadvisor.
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Awesome Displays of the Whaling Industry. Family Friendly
Reviewed March 14, 2015
"Able to browse at a leisure pace. Lots of educational items for kid and adults alike. Should allow at least a couple of hours to do justice with exhibits. The overhead hanging of whale skeletons are a sight to see, and remember! "
Amazing and Unexpected
Reviewed February 18, 2015
"Thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Not only great history of whaling, but an unexpectedly broad history of the region, galleries, and ship/naval history. Larger than expected and undergoing an expansion. Excellent school/educational activities witnessed. Went with 2 families and 4 kids under 14 y.o."
A Master Class in Whaling History
Reviewed January 9, 2015
“The history of whaling comes alive with a 1/2 scale model of a whaling ship, art, photos and memorabilia from whalers, and a retrospective view of the importance and impacts of the whaling industry. Yes, protection and preservation are represented as well. You'll see scale models of whales, boats, equipment and learn the stories of the people who held this challenging profession. Did you know that many runaway slaves worked on whale ships to escape their potential captors... now you do! Learn more at the museum. The beautiful museum was funded by the family of whale ship owners, so the bent is on the importance of this activity during its heyday. You'll learn about the international whaling industry and the transition of Port of New Bedford to America's #1 Fishing Port (who knew?) Finally - talk with the docents. They gave us excellent information that added color to the exhibits.”
In the Heart of the Sea!
Reviewed December 24, 2014
“With the recent release of the movie adaptation of the book In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whale Ship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick – the actual historical basis for Herman Melville's Moby Dick – I decided to go take another visit at the Whaling Museum. When I was growing up we used to have field trips to this museum all the time, and I think it proves itself to be a great place since I can say I still like going there after all these years. It has a lot of things for both kids and the historically-inclined adults. There are mock-ships for people to go around and walk about, whale skeletons (the smell has gone away – when they first got their last whale skeleton they were cleaning it out, but there is no smell left!), scrimshaw elegantly designed, biographies of people involved in whaling etc. And since it is located so centrally in downtown, it is right across the street from a few other Historical attractions, as well as only a 10 minute walk to the harbor and the Ernestina – a functioning old-time ship. If you visit New Bedford, this is a must-see!”
Best Museum in the Area
Reviewed December 15, 2014
“Fantastic display about all things ‘whaling’ - the biology of the whales, evolution to current whaling regulations, use of the different parts of the whale, local history of whaling, maritime aspects, dangers of whaling profession... you name it. The exhibits and interpretive material is first class... you can read as much or as little as you want and still learn something. The layout of the museum tells a story. The scrimshaw exhibit is pretty spectacular. A definite must-do if anywhere near New Bedford.”
A Great Treasure
Reviewed December 3, 2014
"Step back in time to discover the unique history of the whaling industry. Visit New Bedford, the ‘Whaling City’ and see how it got its name. The exhibits are well maintained and the docents (museum guides) are very knowledgeable about everything concerning whales and the industry that Herman Melville portrayed in Moby Dick. You can step aboard the Lagoda which is a replica of a whaling ship or walk around the museum and see exhibits from seagoing journeys. The museum is located in scenic downtown New Bedford with an inspiring view of an actual working waterfront which is also easily accessed and pedestrian friendly. Close by are local shops and restaurants that offer a variety of local flavor. Come to New Bedford and enjoy history."