New Bedford Whaling Museum

By Jaime Martinetion ,
Author Rating: 
4.5 Stars

One small hour away from beautiful Historic Boston is the nautical town of New Bedford to check out the New Bedford Whaling Museum, located in the heart of the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.

I was greeted by Stephanie Poyant Moran, Director of Marketing and PR and Brian, who gave us our own private class on Whales 101. There are beautiful whale skeletons and we received the history on all of them.

My kids loved hearing about how the Humpback Whale grows to be the size of a school bus and that the biggest whale in the world is the Blue Whale. They can grow to be 66 feet long and weigh up to 80,000 pounds; the skeleton alone weighs 8,000 pounds. When they are born they are 6,000 pounds and 23-27 feet long. Imagine having that baby? (LOL) They gain up to 200 pounds a day and their heart is the size of a Volkswagon Beetle.

The third and final skeleton was of a New England White Whale, endangered and there are only 500 left in the world. Unfortunately this one was an even bigger loss as it was a female. This is an amazing exhibit and Brian kept my kids involved in the presentation and it was truly interesting.

Before heading into the main rooms of the museum, my daughter was treated to an adorable craft table where she created a unique bookmark featuring nautical symbolism. On the main level you will find the “Lagoda”; the World’s largest whaling ship model built in 1916. You may climb aboard and get a real “feel” for riding the whaling seas. You can get a glimpse of what the bunks looked like and the foods that they ate while out on the water.

“What life was like aboard a whaling vessel” really explained the daily tasks for the whaler; this was truly hard work! There are beautiful art galleries and decorative glass displays. The Elizabeth Shulman Exhibit which opened on July 1, 2014 covers the Art of Seeing Whales and you simply must view the Benjamin Russell Exhibit, which spans Russell’s life-long commitment to portraying the art of whaling and his amazing sketches. By far my favorite exhibit was on the upper level; “Voyage Around The World” takes you on a trip like no other from the Atlantic to the Pacific and you can experience all the cultural exchanges and connections these men made through illustration, logbooks, journals and sea charts.

Before heading back downstairs, check out the Observation Deck and grab a bird’s eye view of the ports of New Bedford. Also make sure you check out the awesome films available in the Cook Memorial Theatre.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in New Bedford MA. You access information on all exhibits, archives, upcoming events and shopping by visiting www.whalingmuseum.org or by calling 508-997-0046. Hours of operation depend on the month; summer hours are daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. with late nights on alternating Thursdays. A special thank you to Stephanie, Brian and the staff for making our whaling adventure, unique and truly a fantastic way to spend the afternoon!

Please check this out: such interesting information on the Lagoda:

Lagoda of New Bedford from Second Story on Vimeo.

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