What People are Saying
Read what some of our visitors are saying on Tripadvisor. Write a review here.
Ranked #1 of 36 things to do in New Bedford.
I love this place. Maritime history + Art
Visited May 2019
A great museum. A great balanced combination of art, industry and history. Take a tour or wonder on your own. Surprises abound on every corner.
Visited January 2019
“Just attended the 26 hour reading of Moby-Dick. Standing room only. Saw the support of the museum staff and many volunteers who love this museum; I especially like the Lagoda Room with the 1/2 size model of a whale ship and the actual whale boats used to chase whales. It is really best to visit several times and take it in with small bites rather than all at once since there is so much to see.”
Visited November 2018
“The New Bedford Whaling Museum is a great museum for the whole family. There is something to satisfy visitors of all ages and interests. My granddaughters (ages 4 and 7) loved the whale bones, the replica blue whale heart (large enough to climb in), and the Discovery Center. My wife enjoyed the amazing scrimshaw display. I enjoyed all of the history displays especially the ones about the New Bedford connection to the Azores and Cape Verde. We only allowed about one and a half hours to see everything and we ran out of time. A return trip during warmer weather will be planned as will a walk down to the harbor.”
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!!”
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!”
One of the best museums we have ever visited
Visited May 2018
“We went here expecting to only spend a couple of hours. We ended up spending almost the whole day and then coming back the next day! The tickets are good for two days. If you have any interest at all in early American commerce or, specifically, whaling, then the museum is a must. Is is very thoughtfully laid out and the displays provide excellent information. We found it fascinating. It is a different experience from Mystic Seaport so don’t assume that if you have seen one you don’t need to see the other. They both deserve a visit because they are very different form each other.”
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.”
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.”