The 38th Voyage brought 21st-century minds together to sail a 19th-century ship. Today, the growing collection of work and participation tells many stories.

Art and Music

Voyaging on the Morgan inspired creativity from professional artists, crew members, and visitors alike. The historic maritime folk traditions such as scrimshaw, sea music, and storytelling are still studied and practiced today. Explore Art and Music »

Global Connections

The 38th Voyage visited maritime communities in New England, but 19th century whaling was an international enterprise. Whaling vessels routinely stopped in remote places and sailed with crews from all corners of the globe, bringing people to new homes. Participants on the 38th Voyage explored these cultural crossroads. Explore Global Connections »

History and Ancestry

Sailing aboard the last wooden whaleship provided a direct link between past and present. Historians tested their research and found new ideas for further study. Descendants connected with their ancestors who sailed on whaleships over a century earlier. Explore History and Ancestry »

Moby-Dick and Literature

The Charles W. Morgan is nearly identical to the whaleship on which Herman Melville sailed to the Pacific, later inspiring Moby-Dick. Thus this vessel is one of American literature’s most significant artifacts—sailing aboard is equivalent to staying a night in Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond. The legacy of Moby-Dick and whaling continues to influence writers of fiction, criticism, and poetry. Explore Moby-Dick and Literature »

Sailing the Ship

The captain and crew of the 38th Voyage successfully sailed the Morgan under her own power for the first time in 90 years. The ship maneuvered impressively well, a testament to the skill and sophistication of 1841 shipbuilding. Explore Sailing the Ship »

Science and Conservation

The 19th-century whalers’ deep knowledge of the sea and its creatures contributed greatly to scientific exploration and study. During the 38th Voyage, the Morgan was a platform for gathering data using modern methods. Whales today are stressed and threatened by 21st-century acts such as ship strikes, net entanglements, and sound pollution. Working with NOAA and other scientists, the 38th Voyage brought awareness to the efforts to conserve whale populations today. Explore Science and Conservation »

Teaching and Learning

Teachers and students use the Morgan and other ships to study history, literature, economics, and more. The 38th Voyage put these lessons in motion and teachers on board brought the experience back to their classrooms. Explore Teaching and Learning »


The Morgan returned to sail among whales during a visit to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, one of the world’s premier whale watching sites. The Morgan lowered a whaleboat to observe whales in a gesture to symbolize the change in humankind’s relationship with the oceans and marine mammals. Explore Whales »