New Bedford Whaling Museum

New Bedford Whaling Museum


A visit to the New Bedford Whaling Museum is essential to any visit to New Bedford. With five huge skeletons, a half-scale whaleboat that visitors can board, a theater, and outstanding paintings, artifacts, and scholarship, it is the cultural, historic, and research epicenter of Greater New Bedford.

Located in the heart of the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park downtown, the museum is truly at the heart of the community. For over a century, the Whaling Museum has been collecting, documenting, and preserving history, with focus on human interactions with whales around the world, the development of Old Dartmouth and nearby communities—including the impact of immigration and cross-cultural interactions—and maritime traditions and growth in New Bedford and throughout the region.

The museum offers inspiring, engaging, and highly informative content for all visitors. The massive whale skeletons—especially the complete skeleton of an adult blue whale—and thoughtfully crafted material and programming for kids are sure to capture the imagination of children. Adults will enjoy the fascinating art and artifacts of eras gone by, as well as informative exhibits that thoroughly document America’s rise as a global leader through excellence in business and international trade and the waves and lasting impact of immigration. Scholars will appreciate the meticulous research and analysis, as well as the research library containing whaling logbooks, prints, and journals.

With the exception of the research library, all of these resources and attractions become free and open to the public on AHA! nights, every second Thursday of the month. On other days, entrance remains free for members, and affordable for everyone else. The admissionprices are listed above.

If you are looking for a New Bedford souvenier, the Whaling Museum’s store is a great place to find one. They offer fine apparel, gifts, and books oriented toward marine life, whaling, and Greater New Bedford.

October – April:

Tuesday – Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Until 8:00 p.m. every second Thursday of the month*

May – September:
Daily 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Until 8:00 p.m. every second Thursday of the month*

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



Photo by John Robson

Photo source