Skip to main content

Whaleship Morgan heads to the big screen

The new documentary film by Connecticut filmmaker Bailey Pryor, “The Charles W. Morgan,” is set to premier on May 4.

The one-hour documentary film, directed by five-time Emmy winner Pryor, tells the story of America’s last wooden whaleship and the incredible saga of whaling, the first global industry dominated by America.

From her humble beginnings in New Bedford, Mass., in 1841, the film follows the adventures of the Morgan on 37 voyages around the world where this “Lucky Ship” survived freeze-ups in the Arctic, attacks by south sea headhunters, fire aboard ship, and a host of other stories, each of which had the potential to end the vessel’s life.

Yet more than 170 years later, the Charles W. Morgan lives on, and she is poised to sail again, on her 38th voyage in June.

The film will premiere at the Garde Arts Center in New London, Conn., at 7 p.m. on May 4. The film will receive its broadcast debut on CPTV on May 12 at 10 p.m., after which it will be aired on PBS affiliate stations around the country.

The screening of the film at the Garde will be followed by a panel discussion with Pryor, Executive Producer Steve Jones, Morgan Historian Matthew Stackpole, and Mystic Seaport Shipyard Director, Quentin Snediker, who oversaw the ship’s recent five-year restoration.

Tickets for the event are $25 per person and $30 at the door. VIP tickets are $100 and include a pre-film reception with the filmmakers, and preferred seating in the theater. Proceeds from the event will support the Morgan’s 38th voyage.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Garde Arts Center Box Office at (860) 444-7373, Ext. 1 or online at