Húsavík Whale Museum

September 27, 2009

Iceland

 

So, we’ve started our honeymoon and are currently in the north of Iceland. Never shy of a busman’s holiday, we are taking in any museum we come across, the more unusual the better. Húsavik itself is a very small town, with just over 2,200 inhabitants, but it has established itself as a centre for whale watching and boasts a very impressive Whale Museum.

First opened in 1997 as a small exhibition in one of Húsavik’s hotels, it later moved to bigger premises in the town’s old slaughter house where it has remained since its official opening in 2002. The museum cover an exhibition space of 1,600 m2 of exhibition displayed over two stories.

The lower floor introduces visitors to the habitat and ecology of whales and other cetacean species, and other topics including whale strandings, whale watching and the history of whaling. Documentary AV footage, touch objects, hands-on interactives as well as a dedicated children’s corner make this an engaging experience.

The upper floor hosts the ‘whale gallery’, with life size assembled skeletons of several whale species, including a minke whale, a humpback whale and a sperm whale.

The museum is open from May to September (and at other times by arrangement), so we were lucky to get in a visit just before the end of the season. We spent a good two hours there and it was well worth the 900 ISK (ca. £3).

 

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