Whales of Iceland is the largest museum dedicated to whales in Europe and possibly the world. Life-sized and based on 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.
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. Guests can monitor their movement in and out of the Icelandic fjords with an interactive station inside the museum. Our newest exhibit, the Fin Whale Theatre, was designed in cooperation with local whale scientists. And we look forward to strengthening our relationship with whale research even further in 2023 - stay tuned for updates.
Whales of Iceland is located in the Grandi harbour district, which only about 15 minutes’ walk from the city centre. Grandi was previously a place for the fishing industry, where fisherman fixed their fishing nets and fishing vessels landed their catches. Today, Grandi is becoming one of Reykjavik's most sought after areas, where you can find some of Iceland's best restaurants, small shops selling Icelandic design, and three supermarkets. Grandi is also home to a variety of attractions, which we are proud to be one of. The harbour where whale watching and other trips depart from is only a short walk away. City bus 14 stops outside the museum, as does the hop-on/hop-off City Sightseeing bus. Free visitor parking is available onsite.
At Whales of Iceland, education is at the core of everything we do. We believe that one of the best ways to protect our oceans is to instill strong interest in whales and the ocean in every guest that passes through our halls. We always welcome preschool groups to our museum free of charge, and offer heavy discounts and guided tours to other student groups visiting us. In order to maximize the number of people who can learn about our wonderful whales, we have translated our audio guide into 17 languages and counting.
Inside the museum we are proud to feature the Big Little Whale Café where we serve coffee and freshly baked pastries. You can enjoy a beverage underneath the whales basking in the underwater ambience. It serves as the perfect haven when Icelandic weather turns and the right place for meditation before continuing your journey.
We are also very proud of our souvenir shop. We sell quite a wide range of local handmade Icelandic products and designs only found here. Our shop features a carefully curated variety of gifts and other items, including books, shirts, and magnets, some of them custom-made for our museum. We also feature a variety of stuffed animals, so you can take your favourite whale home with you after your visit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whales of Iceland's purpose is to educate the public about the fragile and fascinating world of whales and dolphins. The museum 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. Our team is guided by a deep sense of respect an dedication to our marine environment and this reflects in our policy of environmental friendliness and sustainability.
Whales of Iceland's environmental policies revolve around minimizing our impacts on both the land and sea while increasing awareness of the largest environmental issues.
• All plastic, cardboard, and paper is recycled at our local recycling centre.
• We use only eco-labeled cleaning products to keep our museum clean and sanitized.
• Our souvenir shop is stocked with many locally-sourced products which have a much lower carbon footprint.
• Heavy emphasis is always placed on conservation, as demonstrated by our newest exhibit highlighting the threats that whales face and their solutions.
• Visitors are encouraged to sign the petition against commercial whaling, so that we can soon live in a world where whales can swim freely without fear of being hunted.
• New employees are trained to consider the environment with every decision.
• And thanks to our location in Reykjavík, Iceland, our museum proudly runs on 100% renewable energy!
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