New Bedford Whaling Museum. Photo/Tom Richardson

Boaters often ask me how they can access downtown New Bedford’s historic area and its many shops, galleries, restaurants and museums.

The Whaling City launch can shuttle you to shore. Photo/Tom Richardson

While New Bedford does not offer public dockage for large recreational boats directly on the downtown waterfront, it does maintain transient moorings in the harbor. These moorings, just south of Popes Island Marina, are easily recognized by their yellow floats. Best of all, they are free to daytrippers. Overnight stays are $35 per night.

Dinghy dock & public mooring location.

From the mooring you can either take your own dinghy to the public float next to the Schooner Ernestina, on the south side of the State Pier, or hail the Whaling City Water Taxi on VHF 72 or call (508-207-6994). Cost is $4 per person.

Sat map: Whaling Museum location.

Once ashore you’ll find easy access to downtown New Bedford, including the world-famous Whaling Museum, a short walk from the dinghy dock. The Museum is a must-see for any visitor, and recounts New Bedford’s heyday as the richest city in the country through all manner of whaling-era artifacts, including scrimshaw, paintings, harpoons, ship models and 2 full whale skeletons. Kids will love climbing around the 89’ Lagoda whaling bark, the largest ship model in existence.

New Bedford Whaling Museum. Photo/Tom Richardson

Hours are 9:00-5:00, Monday-Sunday.

Members FREE
Adult: $14.00
Senior (65+): $12.00
Student (19+): $9.00
Child & Youth: $6.00
Children aged 5 and under are FREE


For more on the Whaling Museum, CLICK HERE.

VIDEO: An interview with the Whaling Museum President

VIDEO: New England Boating TV, New Bedford, MA