What People are Saying

Read what some of our visitors are saying on Tripadvisor. Write a review here.
Ranked #1 of 48 things to do in New Bedford


Visitor Rating

Trip Advisor Rating Chart 2018

trip advisor certificate of Excellence


Worth a special trip

Visited October 2018
Really one of the best museums I’ve ever visited. We had only a few hours to spend before leaving to catch our flight home, but if I had it to do over I would have spent an entire day here, at the museum and the surrounding historic district. It will definitely be on my itinerary if we return to the region. Very well-rounded, comprehensive look at all aspects of the whaling industry, not just a nostalgic whitewash; with respect for the hard work of the whalers and the technical aspects of their job, and the diversity of people involved; and good look at the overall impact on the local industry and economy. Also the scrimshaw gallery was amazing.


Don’t rush your visit

Visited August 2018
“I wish we had more time here. We were there about 2 hours. If I had it to do over, I would go for 2 hours in the morning, go out for lunch and then come back and do another 1 to 2 hours. They give you a sticker so you can come in and out. Every time we turned a corner there was a whole new room with completely different things to see and learn than the last. It really isn’t just about whaling, but really covers all sorts of topics about the whole region at the time whaling was going on and seafaring town culture. Your ticket also covers the Seamen’s Bethel and Mariner’s home right across the street. I’m so disappointed we weren’t able to spend more time in those places. But overall – Just super!!”


From hunting to preservation

Visited July 2018
“Although the lay out of the museum can be a bit confusing, it also adds to the adventure. The history of men verses whale in a number of attractive displays. They show the move from hunting them down to protect and preserve the mighty beasts. Most of all the children might like the fact that here and there a sign says ” Please touch” And the 50% of life seize whaling boat forms the perfect place to be either a pirate or a whale hunter. What I liked best is the gorgeous collection of scrimshaw. It is a place to go to more than one time; I have the idea that I did not see all there is.”


A lot more than whales

Visited June 2018
“There is a lot to see here, whether your interest is art, history, science, or culture. Great stuff for kids! It was a little overwhelming–in a good way–to take in a half-scale ship model that you can climb around on, displays of ship’s logbooks and loads of scrimshaw, art from cultures around the world that the whalers encountered, work from local photographers, painters, and glass makers, and those massive whale skeletons. You can focus on your main interests, or go for it–take it all in!”


A whale of an experience

Visited April 2018
“Spent two days at the museum. The staff were so accommodating, knowledgeable and friendly. Learned so much about the whaling industry and some of the personalities associated with it. The modern day research and what is being done to ‘save the whales’ was both informative and reassuring.”


This museum is awesome!

Visited January 2018
“We loved this museum so much. The exhibits are huge and amazing – especially the various whale skeletons. We did the audio tour so we learned a ton about each exhibit. The museum is so big that we ran out of steam before we could see the whole thing. Oh, and it’s easy to park and right across the street from a church where Herman Melville used to go. Highly recommended.”


Surprisingly Great Museum – Better than Expected

Visited December 2017
“My wife and are are history buffs, and we have been to many museums. Friends of ours said to visit this one, but we did not have high expectations based upon other whaling museums we had visited in the past. WOW. This place is huge. An entire city block with multiple floors of exhibits. Whaling made New Bedford a very wealthy community in the past, and this museum benefits from having extensive collections, art and history related to New Bedford’s “golden age”. We strongly recommend this museum to any who are interested in sailing, nautical and maritime history, marine biology and sea life. A half day is barely enough time to race through all the exhibits, you could easily spend an entire day here.”


Don’t Miss the Rooftop!

Visited August 2017
“I grew up in New Bedford and live close by. I didn’t realize what an amazing museum I have in my own backyard. We visited on a recent Saturday to see the display of the Ashley Knot collection. I hope the museum can gain permanent possession of these knots. It was a beautiful display. I haven’t been here in a long time and I was so impressed by the sheer amount of quality displays in this museum. I heard the roof deck was spectacular and I have never been up there. Don’t miss it! It affords a spectacular view of the water front and beyond. That is not to be missed. I’m so proud to have a museum like this close to home and I hope those who visit can appreciate the displays and the all this museum has to offer.”