The 38th Voyage

May 17 – August 6, 2014

Over an 80-year career, the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan sailed on 37 voyages to remote corners of the globe. In May of 2014, following a five-year, multi-million dollar restoration, the ship set out on her 38th Voyage — perhaps her most important — to raise awareness of America’s maritime heritage and to call attention to issues of ocean sustainability and conservation. It was the first time the National Historic Landmark had left Mystic Seaport since her arrival in 1941.

The CHARLES W. MORGAN sails on Block Island Sound en route to Newport on June 15, 2014. Photo by Dennis Murphy/Mystic Seaport.

The Charles W. Morgan sailing on Block Island Sound en route to Newport on June 15, 2014.

With Captain Richard “Kip” Files at the helm, the Morgan departed Mystic Seaport on May 17 and visited New London, Conn., Newport, R.I., Vineyard Haven, Mass., New Bedford, Mass., the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boston, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy as part of the centennial celebration of the opening of the Cape Cod Canal.

During her three day sails to Stellwagen Bank with NOAA, the public was able to follow the Morgan’s visit to the sanctuary on OceansLIVE (http://www.OceansLIVE.org). The live broadcast offered interviews and commentary with historians, scientists, authors, and artists discussing the shift from whaling to watching in New England.

Sailing the 1841 whaleship was a maritime event not seen since the 1920s. Due to her status as a National Historic Landmark, the ship proceeded to each scheduled port on a one-day sail so that she could be safely berthed in the next harbor by nightfall. As weather conditions were a determining factor in the decision to head to sea each day, each port transit was scheduled with a three-day window of opportunity with the intention that the ship would sail on the first acceptable day.

Once in port, the Morgan was open to the public on select days. Additionally, the ship was accompanied by a dockside exhibition that included historic interpretation, live demonstrations, music, waterfront activities, and Spouter, a life-sized inflatable model of a sperm whale.

The Morgan completed her historic 38th Voyage on August 6. The ship is docked at Chubb’s Wharf and has resumed her role as an exhibit and the flagship of Mystic Seaport.

The 38th Voyage Itinerary

  • May 17 — Charles W. Morgan departed Mystic Seaport for New London.
  • May 24-25, 31 and June 1 — New London, City Pier. Open to the public with the dockside exhibition program.
  • June 7-8, 11-12 — Sea trials off New London.
  • June 14-16 — Sailing window: New London to Newport, RI.
  • June 17 — Newport, Fort Adams State Park. The ship was open to the public (no dockside exhibition).
  • June 18-20 — Sailing window to Martha’s Vineyard.
  • June 21-24 — Vineyard Haven, Tisbury Wharf. The ship was open to the public with the dockside exhibition.
  • June 25-27 — Sailing window to New Bedford, MA.
  • June 28-July 6 — New Bedford, State Pier. The ship was open to the public with the dockside exhibition. There was a special July 4th celebration and many other community activities.
  • July 8-11 — Sailing window to Provincetown via the Cape Cod Canal. There was an overnight stop at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (no public access).
  • July 11-13 — Day sails on Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The ship was not open to the public but there was a free dockside educational exhibit at Provincetown Harbor and special event programming on OceansLIVE.org.
  • July 15-17 — Sailing window to Boston.
  • July 18-22 — Boston National Historical Park at the Charlestown Navy Yard. The ship was berthed next to the USS Constitution and open to the public with the dockside exhibition.
  • July 23-25 — Sailing window to Massachusetts Maritime Academy via the Cape Cod Canal.
  • July 26-27 — Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The Morgan was open to the public with the dockside exhibition. The visit coincided with the centennial celebration of the opening of the Cape Cod Canal.
  • July 28-30 — Sailing window to New London.
  • July 31, August 1-2 — Day sails off New London (no public passengers)
  • August 6 — The ship was towed from City Pier in New London to Mystic Seaport. An arrival celebration was held on Chubb’s Wharf to welcome the ship home.
  • August 9 — The Charles W. Morgan reopened to the public at Mystic Seaport. The Museum hosted a homecoming fundraiser for the ship.

All dates were subject to change due to inclement weather and unforeseen operating conditions.