22nd Annual Moby-Dick Marathon

January 5 – 7, 2018

Pre-marathon Dinner Tickets  |  Pre-marathon Dinner  |  Schedule of Events  |  Marathon Reading Timetablepdf icon

Join us for the 22nd annual readathon of America’s most iconic novel, Moby-Dick. An experience you don’t want to miss, you’ll relive the famous, action-packed narrative and be transported back in time on the search for the elusive white whale. In addition to the main event, the Whaling Museum hosts two mini-marathons on January 6: a Portuguese-language reading of Tiago Patricio’s abridged Moby-Dick; and a children’s version by Classic Starts.

We are no longer accepting Reader signups for the
main Moby-Dick Marathon and the Portuguese reading of Moby-Dick.
Reading spots are being selected. You will be notified December 15th.

The Children’s Moby-Dick Marathon remains open.
Reserve your child’s spot today!


Drawing for a Seamen’s Bethel Seat now closed.

Part of the Marathon takes place across the street from the Museum at the famous Seamen’s Bethel, where Herman Melville found his inspiration for Father Mapple’s legendary sermon.

Seating is very limited, so a drawing took place to get a coveted seat. You will be notified in advance if your name is selected from the drawing. Don’t fret if your name isn’t selected; you can still enjoy the live streaming marathon from a couple of venues within the Museum.

Further Questions?


Schedule of Events

Friday, January 5

5:30 pm – 9 pm
Pre-marathon Dinner, Movie, and Discussion
Members $40  |  Non-members $50
Call: 508-997-0046 x100
Online: Tickets for Pre-marathon events

Enjoy a meal well-suited for hungry sailors followed by David Shaerf’s documentary film Call Us Ishmael, an intimate look at the world’s obsession with Moby-Dick and its cultural legacy. The Melville Society Cultural Project will conclude the night with a lively discussion of the film. LEARN MORE
Sponsored by Buzzards Bay Brewing.



Saturday, January 6

The Marathon Experience:
From 10 am Saturday to 1 pm Sunday

10 am Stump the Scholars
Test your knowledge of Moby-Dick and try to Stump the Scholars with questions for Melville Society Cultural Project members.

10 am Children’s Mini-Marathon
Children of all ages can read a section of an abridged version of Moby-Dick by Classic Starts.

Reserve a child’s reading spot. Registration is ongoing.


11:30 am Extracts read by the Melville Society Cultural Project

12 pm The Main Attraction
The 22nd Annual Moby-Dick Marathon reading begins with celebrity readers nestled among the world’s largest model whaleship – the Lagoda. Next, head to the Seamen’s Bethel to hear Father Mapple’s rousing sermon (if your name is drawn in the seat raffle. Otherwise, watch a live-stream of the sermon in the Museum’s theater.) Readings continue while overlooking the New Bedford Harbor, with the exception of Chapter 40, “Forecastle-Midnight” in the Museum’s theater with Culture*Park. Listen to excerpts read in multiple languages, bringing to life Melville’s experience of a culturally diverse whaling crew.

2:30 pm Chat with Melville scholars

3 pm Portuguese Mini-Marathon
Join us for the third annual reading of Tiago Patricio’s abridged version of Moby-Dick in Portuguese. Read Melville in the Azorean Whaleman Gallery with forty-eight other intrepid souls.

Junte-nos para a terceira leitura anual de versão abreviada de Tiago Patricio de Moby-Dick em Português. Leia Melville na Galeria do Baleeiro Açoreano com quarenta e oito outras almas intrépidas.

Special thanks to the Azorean Maritime Historical Society and the Portuguese Consulate of New Bedford.

Um agradecimento especial ao Azorean Maritime Historical Society e ao Consulado de Portugal em New Bedford.

Obrigado pelo seu interesse na mini Maratona de Moby-Dick  em lingua Portuguesa. Todos os lugares para leitores são preenchidos. Não estamos aceitando novos registros.

Thank you for your interest in the Moby-Dick Marathon in Portuguese. All of the places for readers are filled. We are not accepting new registrations.


3 pm – 5 pm “Above It All” Artist Demonstration
New Bedford Whaling National Park, 33 William Street (across the street from Museum)

See art in action as artist Peter Michael Martin pulls a large-scale woodblock print especially designed for the Moby-Dick Marathon. Peter’s collection of large-scale pieces called Martin & Moby, inspired by Moby-Dick, were exhibited at the Whaling Museum January–June 2014. Currently, a piece by Peter entitled Trust (4 ft x 8 ft) is currently on exhibit in Enlightened Encounters: The Two Nations of Manjiro Nakahama at the Whaling Museum.

4 pm – 5 pm Artist Jacob Mark signs copies of the poster he designed for the marathon

5 pm – 9 pm Cousin Hosea’s Chowder House and the Decanter Taproom
Re-charge and warm up with New Bedford’s finest chowders and soups from local restaurants – Destination Soups, Freestone’s City Grill, Tia Maria’s European Cafe, and Quahog Republic Whaler’s Tavern. Moby-Dick Brewing Co. will be serving up local brews in the Decanter Taproom.

7 pm – 7:30 pm Culture*Park’s performance of Midnight, Forecastle (chapter 40)


Sunday, January 7

8 am The 20th-hour Feast
Enjoy malassadas, provided by Inner Bay Café, and all the trimmings to fuel you up for the home stretch!

9:30 am Chat with Melville scholars

Around 1 pm Epilogue
A few souls will be richly rewarded for impressively staying up all night.


Livestream Broadcast: The entire marathon will be broadcast via livestream in a couple of venues within the Museum, as well as online, so enthusiasts around the globe can follow along.

Marathon Questions? For information about the 22nd Annual Moby-Dick Marathon call 508-717-6851 or email mdmarathon@whalingmuseum.org.



Thank you to our Marathon Sponsors!


Allan Smith logo


Buzzards Bay Brewing logo


Empire Loan Logo




Thank you to our Marathon Partners!


pidalia logo


Azorean Maritime Heritage Society logo


Consulate of Portugal in New Bedford logo


Chowder Sponsors

Chowder provided by Destination Soups, Freestone’s City Grill, Tia Maria’s European Cafe and Whaler’s Tavern.


Last modified: December 15, 2017