The safety of our visitors, staff, and volunteers is our top priority. Due to the growing concerns related to the coronavirus, we have decided to close the New Bedford Whaling Museum to the public effective immediately. There have not been any reported cases of infection or exposure at the Museum, but we are responding with an abundance of caution for the wellbeing of our community. We plan to remain closed through 3/27/2020 and we will continue to assess risk levels and recommendations from public health officials as they are made available.  

The security of our campus and Collection will remain a priority for the Museum during this time.

While the Museum will remain closed to the public, essential staff will continue to work both on and off site, maintaining recommended public health measures, including thorough handwashing and use of hand sanitizers, and, most importantly, practicing social distancing.

We will continue to communicate as the situation evolves. 

Thank you and be well!



Discover the underwater world of whales, the dramatic story of whaling and its impact, and the maritime history of Southcoast Massachusetts at the New Bedford Whaling Museum – located in the heart of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. Marvel at five massive whale skeletons, the world’s largest ship model (Lagoda), and America’s longest painting. Explore whale science and conservation, learn how Yankee whalers sailed the seven seas, enjoy works by internationally known maritime artists, and have fun in the 3000 sq. ft. kids’ Casa dos Botes Discovery Center.

Take the American Alliance of Museums Survey. Share your thoughts!

Hours  |  Directions  |  Admission  |  Groups  |  Host Your Event   |  What People Are Saying How to get to Reading Room small pdf logo pdf How to get to Discovery Center small pdf logo pdf  |  Museum Highlights Video on YouTube (1:18)


Whaling Museum Admission





Senior (65+)


Students (19+)


Child & Youth


Children aged 3 and under are FREE
Extend your admission for an additional $5 and include the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum.

EBT Card to Culture Program
Show your Massachusetts Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card and pay only $3 per person (adults and youth) for up to 6 people per EBT card. Children under 3 years are always free.

The Museum does not process EBT. Cash or other payment must be provided for admission. This discount program is being offered in collaboration with the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ Department of Transitional Assistance.


Become a member for as little as $50 and immediately receive 1 free admission pass and 10% off Museum Store purchases.


Museum Tours

Group tours led by docents throughout the Museum focus on some of the most historically significant artifacts and visitor favorites. Tours leave from the front desk. Check at the front desk for tour schedule. Free with Museum admission.

Audio Tours

Audio tours add depth and understanding to your visit, as narrated by our curators and subject matter experts. Audio handsets must be rented at the Admissions Desk.

A coleção das pistas da visita em áudio está disponível em Português.

Audio Guide players are free for visitors who are blind, partially sighted, or have hearing loss.


Museum Hours

January through March
Tuesday – Saturday 9 am – 4 pm
Sunday 11 am – 4 pm

Open holiday Mondays, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents Day. 

Select Galleries open until 8 pm every second Thursday of the month*

April through December Museum Hours
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.
Christmas Eve closing at 1 pm.

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.

*FREE on AHA! nights. Select Galleries open until 8 pm every second Thursday of the month. See calendar for more details.


Research Library’s Grimshaw-Gudewicz Reading Room Hours

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

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 $19.



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). Learn more about the MobileNOW! App used for downtown metered spaces. 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

(including oversized vehicles)
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.

Parking Information for Bus Drivers and all oversized vehicles (pdf)


Southeastern Massachusetts Convention & Visitors Bureau 

Harborview Webcam and Today’s Weather


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.