As one of the oldest commercial ships in the United States, the whaleship Charles W. Morgan
is a living testament to the legacy of the American whaling industry. The ship—now a National Historic Landmark—is among the most popular attractions at the Mystic Seaport Museum and a must-see historic attraction for visitors to coastal Connecticut.
Since the whaleship's arrival at Mystic Seaport, the Charles W. Morgan
has hosted more than 20 million visitors on its historic decks. Still floating today, it is the world's last extant wooden whaling ship. Visitors typically stop by on a daylong excursion to the Mystic Seaport maritime museum and buy advance tickets to avoid weekend lines. In addition to the Charles W. Morgan
, don't miss the other Mystic Seaport attractions: a re-created seafaring village, preservation shipyard, and Treworgy Planetarium. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Maritime history enthusiasts shouldn't miss the Charles W. Morgan, which originally launched in 1841 and embarked on 37 whaling voyages.
- Wear sturdy shoes for navigating the ship's wooden decks and uneven surfaces around the seaport.
- Bring sunglasses and a hat—you can expect to spend lots of time outdoors, with limited access to shade.
- Access to the Charles W. Morgan is limited to a gangway, so it may be challenging for wheelchair users.
- Tickets to the ship are good for entry on two consecutive days.
The Charles W. Morgan
is located at Mystic Seaport, situated about 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of New London, Connecticut. It's most convenient to drive—the seaport offers free parking—but travelers without a car can also take the train from New York City. Hop on the Amtrak Northeast Regional train, which runs daily from New York's Penn Station.
When to Get There
Visitors to the Charles W. Morgan
need to buy admission to Mystic Seaport, which is open all year round. From late March through late October, the museum is open daily from morning to late afternoon. The museum holds limited hours during the winter months, so it's best to check the calendar before planning a visit. For the best weather, arrive in June, July, or August—but expect crowds during the summer months.
Exploring Mystic Seaport
The Mystic Seaport Museum covers more than 19 acres (7.6 hectares) along the Mystic River and offers numerous must-see attractions. Catch a live historical demonstration; stop by the shipyard; and visit the 19th-century Seafaring Village to see historic maritime tradespeople in action, including coopers, woodcarvers, and riggers. When you work up an appetite, enjoy a meal at one of the museum's eateries, and take a stroll through the traditional Buckingham-Hall House gardens.