Reykjavík Maritime Museum

A harbour museum exploring Iceland’s dramatic relationship with the sea.

The survival of the Icelandic nation depended on generations of brave fishermen heading into the unknown. Over the centuries, tra­ditional methods of catching and working with fish transformed into a science that helped create and maintain a modern society.

The museum’s exhibitions and ar­tefacts bring our ocean history to life, from battling the waves, to the ‘Cod Wars’, and beyond. And you can take a guided tour onboard the Óðinn, a 900-ton coastguard ship with its own stories to tell.

Fish & folk–150 years of fisheries

The museum’s new permanent exhi­bition Fish & folk–150 years of fisheries is about the history of the Icelandic fisheries, from the time when rowing boats gave way to large fishing vessels in the late 19th century, through to the 21st century. The story is told from the perspective of Iceland’s biggest fishing port, Reykjavík, and vibrantly presented through objects, text, pictures and games.

The value of fish to the Icelandic nation cannot be overstated. Over the centuries fish has been a staple of the Icelandic diet, and one of the nation’s most important exports. The Fish & Folk exhibition is built around the central character of this history: the fish itself. The fish is followed from the ocean, into the net, on board the boat, onto dry land and to its final destination – the plate.

The setting for the exhibition on Grandagarður, is an appropriate one, as the building once housed a flourishing fish factory. The exhibition is both entertaining and educating, and is equally of interest to those familiar with the fisheries and their history, and those who have no experience of the sea.

Climb aboard the Óðinn

A former warrior of the Cod Wars, the Óðinn is a 900-ton, former coastguard ship that now rests in the harbour. Daily guided tours reveal the fascinating his-tory of this great vessel, from to-wing ships to land and freeing stranded fishing boats, to saving crews from the sea. Climb aboard and explore, surrounded by the atmospheric sights and sounds of the harbour.

There are three, one-hour guided tours a day at 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00.

The Reykjavík Maritime Museum is housed in a newly renovated former fish factory. Located by Reykjavík's old harbour, a pleasant stroll from the city centre.

The museum's varied exhibitions show the development of the Icelandic fish industry and coast culture through the years.

The Coast Guard Ship Óðinn (probably Iceland's largest historical relic!) is docked next to the museum. Óðinn served in all three Cod Wars during the last century and played an important role in rescue work at sea. Other ships of historical significance, such as Iceland's first steel ship Magni, lie by the museum docks for guests to explore. Guided tours daily at 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00.