Accessibility - New Bedford Whaling Museum

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is committed to creating an engaging and accessible experience for all guests and staff. This page outlines some of the resources available during your visit.

Planning your visit


Exploring Our Website
We recommend using the latest versions of the  Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge web browsers when viewing this website. If you need to enlarge or reduce the size of the text, press "Ctrl +" and "Ctrl -" for custom sizing. For more accessibility functionality look into your web browser’s settings for tools and extensions, including: live captioning, highlighting, text readers, translation, and more.

Visitor Guide / Floor Plan

Our Visitor Guide (also available in Chinese, French, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish) contains a floor plan of all three levels and is a helpful planning tool for your visit. A version of this guide is also available in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, and German at our Admission Desk.

Average Length of Visit
We recommend at least 1.5 to 2 hours to experience the New Bedford Whaling Museum. If you are interested in watching one of our 3D movies, we recommend adding on an additional 30-minutes to your visit time. Guests are welcome to leave the Museum and return multiple times throughout the day until closing time. If you plan to utilize this option, we recommend keeping your admission receipt. 

Quieter Times to Visit
The Museum's visitation varies depending on holidays, school vacations, weather, and other factors. However, typically, the Museum is busiest from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  If you are curious about a specific day, please contact the Visitor Experience team at or 617-997-0046 x. 100 for more information.

Arrival & Admissions


Parking & Drop-Off
Metered street parking is the closest available parking to the New Bedford Whaling Museum's entrance and is always free in Massachusetts for those with a disability plate or placard. If dropping off a guest, there is free 15-minute parking located in front of our entrance on William Street.  Click here for additional parking information and directions.

There are automatic doors that can be activated by a push button to assist guests entering or exiting the Museum. The one entering the Museum is on a stone pillar to the right of our main entrance doors and the one exiting is to the far right of the entrance doors.

Discounted Admission
There are over 20 discounted admission programs for individuals, families, and groups to visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Find a full list of qualifying discounts, including for AAA and EBT cardholders, here. To utilize one of the following discount programs, please present a valid identification card to a Museum staff member when purchasing your tickets onsite.

Service Animals
Service animals under the control of their owner are welcome at all times. Pets, emotional support, or therapy animals are not allowed at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Food & Drink
Food and non-water drinks are only allowed to be consumed in our lobby or in our Harbor View Gallery on the third floor. Any beverage or food that is brought into the galleries should be closed and put away until reaching either of these two locations.

Backpacks & Lockers
Backpacks and back baby carriers are not allowed within the galleries of the New Bedford Whaling Museum. We recommend either leaving them at home or storing them in one of our free 9" w x 17" h x 16" d lockers. There is no charge for the use of a locker, but they do require a token that is available upon request from our Visitor Experience staff.

If you have a medical reason that necessitates the use of a backpack, such as for a Sensory Processing Disorder, let our Visitor Experience team know and we can give you a sticker to designate your backpack as being approved for in gallery use.

Exploring the Exhibitions


Mobility Devices & Strollers
All three floors of the New Bedford Whaling Museum are accessible for visitors using mobility devices and strollers. The location of elevators and ramps are marked on our Visitor Guide (PDF).  The only exception is our Lagoda ship model requires 7 steps to access the upper deck.

The Museum has a variety of adult-sized manual wheelchairs available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis for guests to borrow from our Admission Desk.

Air Purification
The New Bedford Whaling Museum has an UV-C air purification system, which reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria in the air and on surfaces.

Assisted Listening Devices
Assisted Listening Devices (ALDs) are available to borrow at no cost for our 3D movie experience. ALDs are available as stereo headphones or single-ear headphones.

There are wheelchair accessible stalls available on all three floors of the Museum and an all-gender restroom is available on our second floor. Our 1st and 2nd floor bathrooms are equipped with baby-changing stations.

Gallery Seating
There are a variety of chairs, benches, and couches throughout the galleries for guests that need to take a break and sit down.

Questions? Contact US

Visitor Experience team at 508-997-0046 x100 or for further information on accessibility.