Construction work and other ongoing projects

The winters in the north are not known for massive tourism which gives the museum staff space for important updates on exhibitions, construction work, school collaboration etc.

In February a stairwell was built from the museum‘s reading area on the 1st floor, down to the ground floor. This is connected with a new innovation center and a Fab Lab which began operating on the ground floor recently. There will be a collaboration on various basis between the museum and the innovation center so being able to travel between each other inside the building is ideal.

A new security system was recently installed in the museum. The old one was quite outdated so hopefully the new system will ensure the museum‘s security and fire alarm.

The Húsavík Whale Museum was the host of a christmas market on three occasions on the 2021 advent. The goods for sale were mostly local design of various kind. In the days before the museum staff took down the 20th anniversary exhibitions- the story of the Húsavík Whale Museum. It had been on display since May 2019. The new exhibition which will open in the upcoming spring is about the ocean nature. The text is done by the museum but the overall design by Þórarinn Blöndal. Þórarinn has previously designed the blue whale exhibition and the whaling exhibition. A graphic footage is made by Strýtan divecenter in Hjalteyri.

In 2021 the museum received 22 thousand guests. Icelandic visitors made the top of the chart in numbers for the second year in a row. It is not expected to happen for the third time in a row though, as international travelling will probably return to more natural phase in the summer of 2023. From 2016-2019 the Whale Museum received over 30 thousand guests so employees can prepare for a busy summer, given that covid restrictions will be minimal.

Af framkvæmdum og öðrum verkefnum

Vetrinum lýkur senn enda þótt eitt og eitt vorhret muni ef til vill líta dagsins ljós fram að sumrinu. Veturnir eru ekki síður mikilvægir safnastarfi eins og háannatími sumarsins en þó á gjörólíkan hátt. Á meðan að sumarið fer í stóran meirihluta gestamóttöku ársins eru veturnir notaðir til viðhalds, nýsköpunar og safnafræðslu.

Í febrúar smíðaði Trésmiðjan Val ehf. smíðað stigahús sem liggur frá frá 1. hæð niður á jarðhæð. Framkvæmdirnar eru tilkomnar vegna komu Hraðsins- nýsköpunarseturs á jarðhæð Hafnarstéttar 1 sem mun jafnframt tengjast Langaneshúsinu, Hafnarstétt 3 með þar til gerðu glerhýsi. Stigahúsið mun gera starfsfólki í húsunum tveimur kleyft að ferðast innanhúss um allt rými húsanna tveggja en töluvert samstarf verður milli fyrirtækja og stofnana sem hafa aðsetur þar.

Búið er að setja upp nýtt öryggis- og brunavarnakerfi í safninu en gamla kerfið var komið til ára sinna. Kerfið sjálft er keypt af Öryggismiðstöðinni en EG Jónasson ehf. sáu um lagnavinnu.

Á síðustu aðventu hýsti Hvalasafnið jólamarkað í þrígang. Markaðurinn sem var samvinnuverkefni Húsavíkurstofu og Fimleikadeildar Völsungs var haldinn á 1. hæð Hvalasafnsins. Fjölbreyttar vörur voru á boðstólnum, flestallar hannaðar í nærhéraði. Í undirbúningi markaðsins var veggur rifinn niður og 20 ára afmælissýning Hvalasafnsins fjarlægð en hún var opnuð í maí árið 2019. Til stendur að opna nýja sýningu á vordögum um náttúru hafsins. Textavinna er unninn innan safnsins en hönnun er í höndun Þórarins Blöndals. Þórarinn er safninu vel kunnur en hann hannaði heildrænt útlit steypireyðarsýningarinnar sem og hvalveiðisýningarinnar á safninu. Þá er nýja sýningin einnig unnin í samstarfi við Strýtan Divecenter á Hjalteyri sem útvega myndefni.

Árið 2021 heimsóttu 22 þúsund manns Hvalasafnið. Íslendingar voru fjölmennasta gestaþjóðin en sem kunnugt er voru utanlandsferðir í lágmarki sumrin 2020 og 2021 vegna Covid 19. Árið 2019 heimsóttu 31 þúsund manns safnið þannig að óhætt er að segja að Hvalasafnið eigi inni fyrir komandi sumri, gefið að ferðatakmarkanir verði litlar sem engar

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 everybody 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

 

Sumarlok

Aðsókn í Hvalasafnið á Húsavík í sumar var framar vonum en rétt um 11.500 þúsund gestir heimsóttu safnið í júní, júlí og ágúst. Það er vel rúmur þriðjungur af þeim fjölda sem heimsóttu safnið á sömu mánuðum árið 2019. Þegar Covid 19 faraldurinn stóð sem hæst síðastliðið vor hafði verið gert ráð fyrir að gestir yrðu 10-20% af því sem væri í venjulegu ári. Íslendingar sóttu safnið heim í mun meira mæli en búist hafði verið við en þeir töldu rétt um 4500 eða rúm 39% af gestafjölda. Þjóðverjar voru fjölmennastir af gestaþjóðum en heilt yfir má segja að heimsóknir erlendra ferðamanna eftir 15. júní hafi verið fleiri en fyrirfram var búist við.

Starfsfólk Hvalasafnsins vill koma á framfæri þökkum til allra þeirra sem heimsóttu safnið í sumar.

Nú taka við vetrarverkefni hjá starfsfólki Hvalasafnsins. Þau eru ansi fjölbreytt og innihalda ýmiskonar viðhald, fræðslustarf og fleira. Heimsfaraldurinn mun áfram hafa sitt að segja um afdrif sumra verkefna en vonandi er komið fram í seinni hálfleik í þeirri baráttu.

Hvalasafnið er opið út þessa viku frá 11-17 en svo breytast opnunartímarnir sem hér segir:

Mánudagar-Föstudagar: 11-15
Laugardagar-Sunnudagar: 11-17

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 sanitiser by the counter.  The 2 meter distance rule will be obeyed and please note that 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 being able to open the museum again, although they realize the visitors numbers will be low the first weeks. There were a few guests in the museum today which was a 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.

 

 

Whale museum staff in a successful educational tour to ANHM, NYC

The Húsavík Whale Museum‘s employees went abroad in late February with their spouses, in a highly anticipated trip to New York City. The purpose of the trip was to visit the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) with the goal to observe realistic ways of enhancing interactive- and digital experiences in the Whale Museum. The whale museum‘s staff got a chance to meet up with Jennifer Chow, the director of sales and strategy in the AMNH as well as Raphael Pelegrino, the digital product manager in the AMNH. The visit included a detailed tour of the ever so extraordinary museum. The rest of the weekend was spent in some of the endless activites of the big apple in a weather conditions that were ideal for Icelanders, cleas skies and sunshine with the temperature being natural for the current season.

The Húsavík Whale Museum‘s staff would like to thank their friends in the American Museum of Natural History for the warm welcome and are looking forward to a possible collaboration in the future.

The Whale Museum staff meets up with Jennifer Chow, the director of sales and strategy in the ANHM
The group who travelled from Húsavík, Iceland to New York City

Vel heppnuð námsferð til New York City

Starfsfólk Hvalasafnsins fór um síðastliðna helgi ásamt mökum sínum í vel heppnaða námsferð til New York. Tilgangur ferðarinnar var að heimsækja Ameríska Náttúrugripasafnið (American Museum of Natural History) með því markmiði að kanna raunhæfar leiðir til gagnvirkra- og stafrænna lausna fyrir Hvalasafnið. Fundað var með tveimur starfsmönnum Náttúrugripasafnsins, þeim Jennifer Chow framkvæmdastjóra markaðsmála og Raphael Pelegrino yfirmanni stafrænna tæknilausna. Auk þess var safnið skoðað hátt og lágt. Það sem eftir lifði helgar var eytt í allskyns afþreyingu í borginni enda að nægu að taka. Veðrið var Íslendingunum afar hagstætt, heiðskírt og sól enda þótt hitastigið hafi verið í takt við árstíma.

Starfsfólk Hvalasafnsins á Húsavík vill þakka kollegum sínum á Ameríska náttúrugripasafninu fyrir góðar móttökur og hlakkar til mögulegs samstarfs í framtíðinni.

Starfsfólk Hvalasafnsins heilsar upp á Jennifer Chow, framkvæmdastjóra markaðsmála á ANHM
Hópurinn sem ferðaðist saman til New York

A recap from the Whale Museum’s history: 1998

 On June 17th 1998 the museum moved in a 200 m2 area in a old baiting shed by the harbor called „Verbúðir“. In the next years the museum gained more popularity as it dwelled in a good relationship with the neighbours who were mostly fish baiting workers.

The Whale Museum’s home from 1998-2002 was on the upper floor of „Verbúðir“, old baiting sheds which were still serving its original purpose on the lower floor.
Þorvaldur Björnsson from the Icelandic Institute of Natural History making the bones ready for the exhibitions.
The number of skeletons increased bit by bit over the years. The Killer Whale was added in 2001.
Ásbjörn Björgvinsson, the Whale Museum’s managing director from 1997-2008 on the grand opening of the museum’s new home in 1998.

Ágrip úr sögu Hvalasafnsins: 1998

Þann 17. júní Árið 1998 flutti safnið í um 200 m2 rými á efri hæð “Verbúðanna” við höfnina undir nafninu “Hvalamiðstöðin á Húsavík”. Gestafjöldi óx jafnt og þétt og samhliða því þörfin fyrir stærra húsnæði sem hentaði starfsemi safnsins betur.

Verbúðirnar á Húsavík urðu heimili Hvalamiðstöðvarinnar árið 1998 og gegndu því hlutverki næstu árin
Þorvaldur Björnsson frá Náttúrufræðistofnun Íslands vinnur hér að hreinsun hvalbeina til uppsetningar á sýningu
Svipmyndir af safninu
Ásbjörn Björgvinsson við vígslu Hvalamiðstöðvarinnar í Verbúðunum

End of whale watching season 2019



Last Saturday was the final day of a 9 month long whale watching season in Húsasvík. Both Gentle Giants and North Sailing departed for their 30th and final tour of November but as a consequence of especially good weather in November, whale watching has been available every single day. According to recent update of Gentle Giants November 2019 was a month to remember. The bay was really active, with passengers gazing at as much as 30 humpback whales in the same tour as well as other species!

The Húsavík Whale Museum enjoyed a visit of over 31 thousand guests this season, a similar number of guests as in 2018. The museum was open every to from April 1st to October 31st. From November 1st and until March 31st the opening hours will be 10-16 on weekdays.

The museum’s employees are currently doing typical winter projects in maintenance, collection cataloguing, exhibition updates etc. etc.

Photo by: Christian Schmidt