ABOUT WHALES OF ICELAND

About us

Our MISSION

Whales of Iceland is the largest museum dedicated towards whales in Europe and possibly the world. To scale and based off of specific individuals found in the wild, a team of expert craftsmen have sculpted 23 life-like and detailed cetaceans found in Icelandic waters. The audio guides are narrated by an international group of marine biologists and tour guides. Great for families and guests of all ages, we at Whales of Iceland are dedicated to informing our guests about these magnificent creatures.

Sonic Sea

Twice daily, at 11 and 14:30, we screen the Emmy award winning documentary Sonic Sea. Narrated by Rachel McAdams, the documentary highlights the threats facing whales such as sonar, seismic activity and shipping, and what humans can do to prevent it.Featuring stellar underwater photography and interviews with top marine biologists such as Jean-Michel Cousteau, Sylvia Earle and Kenneth Balcomb, the film is moving and illuminates this little-known hazard ​that whales are facing.

Location

Whales of Iceland is located at Grandi area, Fiskislóð 23. Which is close to the old harbor and about 15 minutes’ walk from the city center. The Grandi area was previously a place for the fishing industry, where fisherman fixed their fishing nets and fishing vessels brought their catches. Today, Grandi is becoming one of Reykjavik's most sought after areas, where you can find many of Iceland's best restaurants, small shops selling Icelandic design mixed with supermarkets. Grandi is also home to museums that are suitable for everyone. Whales of Iceland is also a short walk to the whale watching area, which makes it easy to book a whale watching tour after a visit to Whales of Iceland.
City bus nr. 14 stops outside the exhibit as well as the Reykjavik sightseeing bus. Free parking

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Research and Education

Whales of Iceland and the Marine Research Institute have worked together on one of the most powerful whale research and education programs in Iceland. The research was carried out with satellite tracking on whales around Iceland. The guests can monitor their movement in and out of the Icelandic fjords with an interactive station inside the museum.

You can prepare your visit to Whales of Iceland by downloading the Whales of Iceland audio guided app to your phone or tablet. The app is multilingual in 11 languages and will guide you throughout the exhibition, narrating and explaining the different species of whales, dolphins and porpoises found in Iceland. It furthermore provides information about the whales in the North Atlantic, their biology, social behavior, and other fun facts. The app is free and accessible on both Appstore and Googleplay. You can also download the app on site. We offer free Wi-Fi and headphones.

Whale Café & The Whale Souvenir Shop

Inside the exhibition there is a beautiful and relaxing café where we serve coffee and freshly baked pastries. You can enjoy a beverage underneath the whales basking in the underwater ambience. The perfect haven when Icelandic weather turns and the right place for good meditation before continuing the journey.

We are very proud of our souvenir shop. We sell quite a wide range of local handmade Icelandic products and designs only found here. Our gift shop has a wide variety of stuffed animals including nearly all the cetaceans found inside the museum. ​So, you'll be able to take one of your favourite whales home with you. Including great one-of-a-kind books, shirts, and magnets, some of them custom-made for our exhibition, these souvenirs are not to be forgotten.

history

2014
2015
2016
August 2014

To make the models for the exhibition, we created detailed blueprints based on close study of the 23 species found in Icelandic waters. We sent the blueprints to experts in China, who custom built each model. In August 2014, the whales arrived. The larger
models were too big to fit in either a shipping container or through the entrance, and had to be shipped in sections and assembled in their new home. Each model was then carefully hand painted to match real life individuals. The scars and scratches on our sperm whale thus tell the story of deep water battles that were really fought and the fluke pattern on our humpback represents the unique fingerprint of a real animal.

January 2015

We added a new addition to the exhibition: An interactive multi-user installation, created for Whales of Iceland by Gagarin. The installation, which focuses on the minke whale's anatomy, is user-friendly, immersive and offers an exciting new way to learn about the many fascinating aspects of whale biology.

November 2015

Whales of Iceland joined forces with the Marine Research Institute of Iceland for an excursion to Eyjafjörður in the north of Iceland. Tags were placed on three humpback whales, which allow us to track their movements and migration routes. A new interactive installation, again by Gagarin, was added to the exhibition, giving our visitors an opportunity to explore the lives and travels of real life whales as they migrate, mate and go about their business.

February 2016

We added a free app. The Whales of Iceland App was developed in collaboration with ENNEMM and the Whales of Iceland biologist Ástrún Eva Sívertsen.
It features an audio guide narrated by our partner and wildlife advocate Sigursteinn Másson.

purpose and preparation

Our purpose is to educate the public about the fragile and fascinating world of whales and
dolphins. The exhibition is a space where amateurs and connoisseurs alike can experience marine life at its greatest and explore more intimately the wild and extraordinary creatures we meet while whale watching.

ideology

The team behind Whales of Iceland is guided by a deep sense of respect and dedication to whales and their habitat. We believe our work will help spread and increase this respect, both in Iceland and abroad.

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