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. A film titled A Brief History of Whaling is currently on view in the Cuffe Kitchen Exhibition room on the main level.

Hours  |  Directions  |  Admission  |  Groups  |  Host Your Event  | Birthday Parties  |  What People Are Saying Family Take-Along Guide small pdf logo pdf  |  Museum Visitor Guide small pdf logo pdf  | How to get to Reading Room small pdf logo pdfHow to get to Discovery Center small pdf logo pdf  |  Family Fun Video on YouTube (2:21)  |  Downloadable Museum Calendar small pdf logo pdf

Museum Tours

Free with Museum admission. Regular rates apply.

New Docent Tours: To Catch a Whale
Alternate Saturdays – 2 pm  Docents share the story of life leading up to and aboard a whaleship. Schedule is posted on the calendar. Tours leave from the front desk.

Highlights Tours
Tuesday through Friday – 11 am
Docent-led 45-60 minute highlights tours of the Museum. Tours leave from the front desk.


Museum Hours

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 am – 4 pm
Sunday 11 am – 4 pm
Select Galleries open until 8 pm every second Thursday of the month*

April through December
Daily 9 am – 5 pm
Select Galleries open until 8 pm every second Thursday of the month*

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

*AHA! night


Research Library Hours

Tuesday – Friday 10 am – 4 pm 
First Saturday of each month 10 am – 4 pm

The new Research Library’s Grimshaw-Gudewicz Reading Room is now open. Researchers are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with Librarian Mark Procknik: (508) 997-0046 ext. 134, or For more information about the Research Library click here. Admission Members always free, non-members $16.







Senior (65+)


Students (19+)


Child & Youth


Children aged 3 and under are FREE

Extend your admission to include the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum for an additional $5.

*FREE on AHA! nights. Select Galleries open until 8 pm every second Thursday of the month. 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.
Online Driving Directions (Google maps)

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 is fully handicap accessible.


Bus & Motorcoach Parking

Whale’s Tooth Parking Lot
532 Acushnet Ave New Bedford, MA

After dropping off passengers at the Museum, proceed to the Whale’s Tooth Parking Lot until passengers are ready to be picked up. Whale’s Tooth Parking Lot on Google Maps.


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

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. 508-990-3366

Dattco Bus Lines New Bedford to Taunton to Boston 800-453-5040

Southeastern Regional Transit Authority  For local bus information 508-999-5211

Seastreak Martha’s Vineyard New England Fast Ferry 866-683-3779 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  508-992-0200 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 508-979-1456

New Bedford Regional Airport 1569 Airport Road New Bedford, MA 02745 508-991-6160

Cape Air 1475 Airport Road New Bedford, MA 02746-1368 800-352-0714 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 logo

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: March 28, 2017