AASLH Member Since 1989

This summer, the City of New Bedford, MA will welcome the iconic Charles W. Morgan for its 38th voyage. The Morgan is the oldest commercial ship still afloat and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The only older ship afloat in the United States is the USS Constitution. The Charles W. Morgan launched from New Bedford in 1841, made its last visit to New Bedford during World War II, and will return home to the nation’s most iconic whaling city in late June.


To celebrate the Morgan’s return, the City of New Bedford is planning several days of celebrations and activities that will not only honor its rich history, but shine a light on the charming city as it is today with its working waterfront, rising culinary scene, stunning architecture, and thriving arts community.

“The ties between the Morgan and New Bedford are profound,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “We’re proud to host the Morgan, and even more proud to give residents and visitors an opportunity to celebrate New Bedford’s rich history as a thriving seaport.”

The Morgan was designated a National Historic Landmark by order of the Secretary of the Interior in 1966, and she has also been recognized with the prestigious World Ship Trust Award. She has welcomed over 20 million visitors at Mystic Seaport.

The Morgan’s journey will begin in Mystic, CT where the ship currently resides and head north to various ports in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In New Bedford, at State Pier, the ship will be open to the public featuring a dockside exhibition program including demonstrations, music and the opportunity to explore the whaling vessel.

This is a homecoming over 60 years in the making and there are many descendants from the old Charles W. Morgan crews that still live in New Bedford and will celebrate the ship’s return at the ceremony. The Morgan will arrive on June 28 and stay through July 6. During that time, there will be tours of the working waterfront open to the general public, food, music and cultural events. For more information on The Charles W. Morgan, visit the website at http://www.mysticseaport.org/visit/explore/morgan/ 

For details of events in New Bedford, visit http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/

About New Bedford:

With a population of approximately 100,000, the City of New Bedford is the world’s most famous whaling era seaport and the number one fishing port in America. This city is a wonderfully diverse, culturally rich community with a proud present, past and future.