End of summer

Húsavík Whale Museum's attendance numbers from June-August 2020 were 11.500. That's roughly 1/3 of the visitor numbers during the summer months of 2019. When the Covid 19 pandemic was at its peak in Iceland (March-May) the expectation numbers were much lower than the results. The Icelanders were almost 40% of the visitors, with Germany safely in first place of foreign countries.

The Húsavík Whale Museum's staff would like to thank everyone who visited this summer. The winter projects are next up for the staff members, including maintenance, school collaboration etc.

The museum is open from 11-17 this week but from September 14th the opening hours will be:

Monday-Friday: 11-17
Saturday-Sunday: 11-15

 

The museum opened again today

The Húsavík Whale Museum opened today, after being closed since March 22nd because of a Covid related ban on gatherings. Opening hours in May are from 12-16. The museum is closed on Sundays. There is plenty of hand sanitizer by the counter. The 2 meter distance rule will be obeyed and please note that the maximum capacity of guests is restricted to 50 people at the same time.

According to the museum's project manager Heiðar Hrafn Halldórsson, the employees are relieved to be able to open the museum again, although they realize the visitor numbers will be low the first weeks. There were a few guests in the museum today which was an inspiring feeling compared to the lockdown weeks. The Húsavík Whale Museum should be a must-stop-place for this summer's tourists, being built up by high quality exhibitions. The leading role so to speak is without a doubt the blue whale skeleton. The giant skeleton is one of only two on display in Europe.

 

 

A recap from the whale museum's history: 1992-1995

The Húsavík Whale Museum opened an anniversary exhibition in May 2019 to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

In the next weeks, some parts of the museum's story will be revealed here on the museum blog. We began our journey in 1992 because as in all good stories there is always a preface behind it.

The origin of the Húsavík whale museum can be traced to whale watching tours that were operated in Höfn from 1992-1994 on the initiative of Discover the World. In the first trip were a British guide Mark Carwardine and Ásbjörn Björgvinsson which would later establish the Húsavík whale museum. The tours took about 8 hours. In 1994 scheduled whale watching tours in Húsavík were operated for the first time by the company Sjóférð Arnars. In the following year a few groups arrived in Húsavik for whale watching, some from Discover the World. Whale sightings had decreased in Höfn at the time but Húsavík which was known as an old minke whaling area also had its advantages for a whole lot shorter distances than the tours in Höfn's area. In 1995 a whale watching course was held in Keflavík where foreign speakers gave an inside knowledge about whale watching as a phenomenon. One of the speakers was Erich Hoyt. By the summer of 1995 two whale watching companies, North Sailing and Arnar's Sea Tours were operating from Húsavík harbor on a daily basis.

Mark Carwardine with the Húsavík Whale Museum's former project manager Huld Hafliðadóttir.
Erich Hoyt has been connected with the Icelandic whale watching industry since its establishment. His latest visit to Iceland in 2019 included a talk at the Whale Museum's Whale Congress.
A humpback whale takes a dive in the early years of Icelandic whale watching.