Located in the heart of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, 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.
VISIT THE NEW BEDFORD WHALING MUSEUM
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Reading Room & Library are open Tuesday and Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. by appointment only. Contact Mark Procknik, Librarian, at 508-(508) 997-0046 ext. 134.
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.
Online ticketing is now our primary method of selling admission. We have maximum capacity caps in effect at the Museum and tickets are sold on a first-come-first-served basis.
In an effort to better manage the flow of crowds and maximize the ability for you to social distance, the Museum has instituted a timed admission system. You will need to choose either the morning session (9 a.m. - 1 p.m.) or the afternoon session (1 p.m. - 5 p.m.) for your visit.
|Children & Youth||$9|
|Children 3 & Under||FREE|
Become a Member
Members enjoy free admission year-round and many other benefits. Before you purchase your admission ticket, CONSIDER BECOMING A MEMBER!
Extend Your Admission
At the admissions desk, you can extend your admission for an additional $5 and include the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum.
Card to Culture Program
Show your Massachusetts Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, your WIC card, or your ConnectorCare card at the admissions desk and pay only $3 per person (adults and youth) for up to 6 people per card. Children under 3 years are always free. The Museum does not process EBT, WIC, or ConnectorCare transactions - cash or other payment must be provided for admission. This discount program is being offered in collaboration with the Mass Cultural Council and other state agency partners.
Metered Street Parking
Metered street parking is available throughout the central business district (downtown), curbside parking is available for hourly-metered parking. 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 26 (formerly Exit 15) for Route 18 South – Downtown. Take RIGHT at the first traffic light onto Elm Street. The Elm Street Garage is ahead approximately 500 feet on your RIGHT.
Daily Highlights Tours - 11:00AM
Tour the Whaling Museum with one of our docents to see the "can't miss" exhibits and hear stories about the people, places, creatures, and history of Southeast Massachusetts. Highlights Tours are free for Whaling Museum members and are included in the price of admission for other visitors. Tours are 45 - 60 minutes. Meet near the reception area inside the main entrance.
A Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) Tour
Tuesdays | 2:00 - 3:00PM
What can we learn by observing art? What can we gain by listening to others? What more can we learn as we take a moment to take a closer look? During a Look Again program, you will gain perception, critical thinking, listening, language, collaboration, and reflection skills by observing and discussing a piece of artwork. We'll look closely at artwork in the exhibition A Wild Note of Longing: Albert Pinkham Ryder and A Century of American Art, which brings together major masterworks of New Bedford native, Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847-1917). Look Again is included with Museum admission and is suitable for all ages.
For adult groups of 10 or more people, book your visit through firstname.lastname@example.org to be eligible for group rates.
Looking for a K-12 school or program group rate? Please schedule your group through our school group registration form
Join us for a virtual tour from the comfort of your own home or classroom.
Audio tours add depth and understanding to your visit, as narrated by our curators and subject matter experts. All audio tours are FREE and accessible online using your personal internet-connected devices. Free wifi is available throughout the Museum for your convenience. We recommend that you bring your own headphones to enjoy the tours.
What Can I Expect?
Expect the unexpected
As a compelling destination that anchors a national park and vibrant urban seaport, the New Bedford Whaling Museum encourages exploration of our region’s cultural, artistic, historic, and scientific contributions. A keeper of the region’s collective memory, the Museum preserves a communal story of the many who settled in the “city that lit the world” and of those who keep the light shining brightly today.
At the New Bedford Whaling Museum, you will discover the underwater world of whales, the dramatic story of whaling and its impact, and the maritime history of Massachusetts’ south coast.
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, and enjoy works by internationally known maritime artists.
The “New Normal” During COVID-19
Since the global COVID-19 pandemic, the New Bedford Whaling Museum has adopted new policies and procedures to help ensure the health and safety of visitors, staff, and volunteers.
Masks and Face Coverings
The Whaling Museum is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance regarding mask wearing as it relates to community transmission levels. Based on CDC data for Bristol County, the Whaling Museum is returning to a policy of requiring masks or face coverings for ALL visitors, staff, and volunteers regardless of vaccination status, while inside the museum. This mask requirement takes effect on July 29, 2021. We will continue to monitor the CDC data tracker for any changes in community transmission levels.
Around-the-clock cleaning & air purification
In addition to around-the-clock cleaning and disinfecting routines, the Museum has installed UVC air purification systems throughout the building, which reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria in the air and on surfaces.
Plenty of space in the galleries
Gallery capacity limits remain at 50% of normal capacity, so there is plenty of room for social distancing. Structural changes to the Museum’s entrance and exit are complete, and protective plexiglass shields have been installed at key locations. Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the Museum as well.
The Whaling Museum entrance and galleries are accessible to people using wheelchairs and walking aids. Wheelchair accessible restrooms are located on the first floor.
The Whaling Museum welcomes service dogs.
For questions about accessibility, contact Visitor Services at 508-997-0046 x100 or
1. Face coverings are required.
2. Stay at least 6 feet away from others
3. Wash your hands or use sanitizing stations located throughout the Museum