VIDEO: Historic whaleship arrives in Martha’s Vineyard

Publish date:

The 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan arrived Wednesday in Vineyard Haven, Mass., in the next phase of her 38th voyage to ports across southern New England.

Leaving Newport, R.I., the ship was towed out of Narragansett Bay and across the mouth of Buzzards Bay into Vineyard Sound. Once in the sound, the crew cast off the tow and continued by sail alone to the mouth of the harbor at Vineyard Haven.

The trip to Martha’s Vineyard was about 42 nautical miles.

“We are very excited to take the Charles W. Morgan to the Vineyard because the ship has a lot of ties to the island. Many of her crew hailed from this place, and it is great to bring her here so the community can reconnect with their whaling heritage,” Capt. Kip Files, the 22nd master of the Morgan, said in a statement.

The ship will be berthed at Tisbury Wharf and open to the public from Saturday to Tuesday. Visitors can tour the ship and explore an expansive dockside exhibition that includes information about the history of whaling, demonstrations of maritime skills and live music and performances.

The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day; the last boarding of the ship takes place at 4:30 p.m. There is a suggested admission of $5.

The Morganis the last of an American whaling fleet that numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Built and launched in New Bedford, Mass., in 1841, the Morgan is now America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat. Only the USS Constitution is older. The whaleship came to Mystic Seaport in November 1941, and more than 20 million visitors have walked her decks since her arrival there.

After more than five years of restoration, the Morgan began her 38th voyage on May 17, traveling to New London, Conn., the first stop on what will be a nearly three-month journey to historic ports in New England.

The Morgan will remain in Vineyard Haven until Wednesday, when she is scheduled to sail to New Bedford, Mass.