The New Bedford Whaling Museum is a world-renowned museum that brings to life the rich history of the whaling industry and New Bedford.

Located in the heart of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum features interactive exhibits, including the world’s largest whaling ship model; displays of fine and decorative arts; collections of cultural artifacts, rare antiquities, scrimshaw and logbooks; and five whale skeletons including the rare blue and northern right. An introductory film titled A Brief History of Whaling is currently on view in the Cuffe Kitchen Exhibition room on the main level.


Curator TALKS
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 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.


Driving Directions to New Bedford Whaling Museum (Google maps)
Museum Visitor Guide small pdf logo pdf file

VISIT NEW BEDFORD overview video
Take a Virtual Tour inside the Museum

Visitor Survey

Southeastern Massachusetts Convention & Visitors Bureau 

NEW! Harborview Webcam and Today's Weather

webcam image of the New Bedford Harbor Nov 3, 2015



The Museum changes its hours seasonally. We do not have control over the accuracy of other publications and websites that choose to display our hours. 

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*

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*

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

*AHA! night






Senior (65+)


Students (19+)


Child & Youth


Children aged 5 and under are FREE

*FREE on AHA! nights. See calendar for more details.


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

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). Free two-hour parking is available along Johnny Cake Hill.

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.


New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

THE RESEARCH LIBRARY HAS MOVED INTO THE NEW BUILDING: The library is closed and will reopen  sometime in the spring 0f 2016.

Wednesday - Friday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
First Saturday of each month: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Research Appointments required for admission to Library

Members always free, non-members $14
All research fees must be paid at the Museum's admission desk prior to entering the Library.


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: January 26, 2016