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 reveiled here on the museum blog. We begin 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 Sjóferðir Arnars. In the following year a few groups arrived to Húsavik for whale watching, f.e. from Discover the World. Whale sightings had decreased in Höfn at the time but Húsavík which was known as an old minke whaling area had also 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 Sjóferðir Arnars were opertaring 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.

Successful anniversary celebration in the Whale Museum

The Húsavík Whale Museum celebrated its 20th anniversary last weekend. The celebration was originally scheduled to take place in 2018 but due to several changes in the museum‘s staff the decision was made to postpone the events for a year.
                The schedule began on Thursday evening when the 5th Whale Congress was held. Several speakers were on the set-list, including four who travelled from England for the event. Among them were two of the museum‘s longtime friends, Natural History Museum London‘s principal curator of mammals Richard Sabin and whale- and dolphin specialist Erich Hoyt. Both of them have been in a good collaboration with the Húsavík Whale Museum from its establishment and have visited Húsavík several times. The congress was attended by 70 people.

                On Friday, the Húsavík Whale Museum‘s 20th anniversary exhibition was reveiled. The exhibition tells the story of the museum from as early as its premises were created by the popularity of whale watching to the present era.

                On Saturday between 14-16 the museum was open on free entry for a special anniversary celebration. A big anniversary cake from the local bakery was offered for about 200 visitors who attended the event. It was really enjoying to witness all the enthusiasm the museum got from people from all ages.

The staff of the Húsavík Whale Museum would like to thank all of those who attended the events of the anniversary celebration, the speakers of the whale congress and all whom helped in one way or another to make this happen.

Former Húsavík Whale Museum’s employees Huld Hafliðadóttir and Elke Wald check out the anniversary exhibition
Hörður Jónasson attended the exhibition opening
Happy guests at the exhibiton opening
Eva Björk Káradóttir, the manager of the Whale Museum cuts the first piece of the anniversary cake
Snædís, Guðný and Kristín at the anniversary exhibition
Marianne Rasmussen and Adam Smith from the University of Iceland’s Research Centre in Húsavík were among the speakers at the Whale Congress. They attended other events of the anniversary as well.
The Museum received many visits this weekend