What People are Saying

Read what some of our visitors are saying on Tripadvisor.

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Visitor Rating

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Certificate of Excellence 2014


Great Museum in a Charming Area

Visited December 2015
“This is a museum focused on the whaling industry and all its ramifications. As such you can see the skeletons of whole whales, learn about types of whales, the sounds they make and what threatens them. You can also see a reconstruction (half size) of a wooden whaling ship, learn how whales were hunted and why. You can also learn about the history of this part of New England and the role of the fishing industry. The exhibits are quite extensive. There is a huge amount to read. I could have spent 3 hours reading. The museum has also done a nice job of making the exhibits "relevant" or current. They remind you about the religious intolerance that was the basis of different colonies in New England and in turn, their intolerance of dissenters. The museum is set in a charming restored section of New Bedford that is wonderful and there is a gallery on the top floor overlooking the harbor to remind you that this is a real seaport. I am embarrassed how often I have driven through this town without stopping. This is definitely worth more than one visit.”


Fantastic collection of whaling and industry related artifacts!

Reviewed November 20, 2015
"Three visits over several years. Recently spent four hours browsing unbelievable collections, antiques, whaling history, and a great exhibit on New Bedford manufacturing. Excellent value."


A Whale of an Experience

Reviewed October 14, 2015
"This is a must see if you're in the area. It is extremely well done and you will leave with a wonderful understanding of the whaling industry and its impact on the people and the region. Layout is great and the labeling is well written and easy to understand. What we found impressive was the attention to ensuring children and their needs were integrated into the design. Impressive -- go see for yourself!"


Mesmerizing for the whole family

Reviewed August 19, 2015
"Wow. First off, does this place even need another fabulous review? Stop reading reviews and just go. My husband and I stopped here with our kids (11 and 9) while on our family vacation to Boston from the Midwest. The kids were absolutely awe-struck by the whale skeletons, boats, scrimshaw collection, and other artifacts and exhibits. Our tour guide, Jennifer R., was very knowledgeable and down to earth and gave us a wonderful tour of the museum. She kept our kids' attention and we all learned a great deal about the whaling industry. Do yourself a favor and be sure to watch the short video about New Bedford's vital role in whaling's history. We could have spent an entire day wandering through the exhibits. Bravo, New Bedford Whaling Museum!"


A whale of a museum experience – not to be missed5 of 5 stars 

Reviewed July 1, 2015
"This is perhaps the most thoughtfully and thoroughly curated museum you will attend.

Fossils, ship models, dioramas, timelines, maps and manuscripts, electronic displays, period clothing, historic implements and interactive elements serve to integrate the story of whaling within the context of history, commerce, geo-politics and the growth of the New World. While grated from others and grown in New Bedford the story of whaling reaches the Azores to the south Pacific and back and the New Bedford Whaling Museum delivers the most complete trip across a knowledge spectrum as a museum is able.

The facility encourages meandering and behind the next door is an exhibit unlike the previous. Growth is in the cards as an adjacent building in under reconstruction for expansion. Don’t miss the second floor outside deck with the 'postcard view' of the New Bedford Harbor, unchanged for the past 100 years.

A gift shop, auditorium and event space completes the scene of an ideal facility."


What a gem!

Reviewed June 7, 2015
"I have to admit that my main reason to stop at this museum was to get another stamp for National Parks Passport book. I figured we were driving near there, why not? Boy, am I glad we stopped. The exhibits are incredibly interesting (three full-size whale skeletons hanging from the ceiling!) and some wonderful saying/sea artwork. My husband is much more into the lore of 19th century sailing and commerce (including whaling), and I practically had to drag him out of the museum at closing time. Not only is this gem worth your while if you are in the area, it is worth an out-of-the-way stop if you aren't in the immediate area."


One of the Best

Reviewed May 19, 2015
"This is one of, if not the best whaling museums in the country. This is the city where it all happened. Learn why New Bedford is "The City That Lit the World". Make sure to watch all the films that run on a loop. It's a little long at 40 some odd minutes, but it will make the trip more interesting and help you understand more of what you see in the museum."


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.”

Last Modified: January 12, 2016