Visiting the Nao Trinidad in New Bedford

The best way to experience this historic seaside exhibit

Destination New Bedford and Pope’s Island Marina welcome Nao Trinidad, a replica of the 16th-century tall ship that sailed with Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s fleet that circumnavigated the world. This year marks the 500th anniversary of Magellan’s historic trip.

“While at port, the ship is a floating museum and people are welcome to tour the ship, interact with the crew, and visit the exhibition on board,” says Ulises Custodio of the Spanish-based nonprofit, Nao Victoria Foundation. The ship will arrive in New Bedford on September 4th and open for tours at the marina from September 5th through September 10th. Tickets may be purchased in person at Pope’s Island Marina or online in advance. Purchasing in advance is strongly recommended.

Here, we’ll provide a guide for visiting the Nao Trinidad while it’s here in New Bedford.


Parking at Pope’s Island Marina is limited, especially on weekends. We suggest parking in New Bedford’s historic downtown at the Elm Street Parking Garage. Parking is available daily for $2 an hour with a $12 maximum per day.  Metered parking is also available throughout the downtown area. Meters accept quarters or you can conveniently pay through the Passport App on any smartphone.

Stroll Through Downtown

After you park, it’s just a short walk through New Bedford’s historic downtown to New Bedford’s waterfront Pier 3. While you walk through the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, enjoy stunning views of centuries-old buildings and cobblestone streets. You’ll pass by the Seamen’s Bethel, noted in Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, and an assortment of locally owned shops and restaurants.

Take the New Bedford Launch

When you arrive at New Bedford’s Pier 3, you can take the New Bedford Launch, an affordable boat ride for the whole family that connects you with attractions, restaurants, and more for only $4.00 cash per person per ride. Be sure to bring a camera, the launch will provide stunning views of the ship and New Bedford’s waterfront from the harbor, allowing you to capture photographs before arriving at Pope’s Island Marina, where the ship will be docked.

The launch is available daily by calling 508-989-1328.

Grab a Bite to Eat

After you visit the Nao Trinidad, enjoy seaside dining on Pier 3. Families can enjoy delicious seafood, at the Whale’s Tail, a casual outdoor seaside shack. For a more upscale dining option, The Black Whale offers delectable seafood, sushi, and raw bar selections. Need a caffeine fix? Mirasols Cafe has you covered with their famous Chippi. And, if you’re looking for a sweet treat to accompany your visit to New Bedford, Acushnet Creamery has an assortment of locally made ice cream that you will not want to miss.

Want to explore even more history in New Bedford?

New Bedford is home to a number of museums that provide insights into the city’s history, its whaling and fishing legacy, and art. No visit to New Bedford would be complete without exploring the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Check out real whale skeletons and the largest model ship in existence! Head to the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center where you can explore stories about the men and women who have dedicated their lives to New Bedford’s fishing history and the present-day working waterfront. New Bedford Harbor Tours will also be making a special stop near the Nao Trinidad during their guided boat tour of the New Bedford Harbor.

There is so much to see and experience in New Bedford! Check out our event calendar full of upcoming events and festivals for everyone.

Whale’s Tail Photo Credit: ServedWell Hospitality

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