Bergen Aquarium (Norwegian: Akvariet i Bergen)

Bergen Aquarium (Norwegian: Akvariet i Bergen)

Here at the Bergen Aquarium you will meet famous local personalities like Vitus, Dodraugen and Ping Kong. You can also experience the great atmosphere created by the young and old citizens of Bergen who keep coming back to say hello to the animals – and to meet each other. Since 1960, the aquarium has formed a vibrant part of our local identity.

Bergen Aquarium (Norwegian: Akvariet i Bergen) is a public aquarium in Norway. It is situated on the Nordnes peninsula in Bergen and is one of the city's tourist attractions. When it opened in 27 August 1960, it was considered to be the largest and most modern aquarium in Northern Europe. In the more than 50 aquariums that line the walling of the Maze you follow the evolution of marine life. The aquariums contain both freshwater and marine animals found in tropical and cold climates.

The complex houses over 60 tanks of fish, marine invertebrates, as well as three outdoor ponds with seals, penguins and cyprinids and a tropical branch with reptiles and monkeys. Seals and penguins playing in the large pools welcome you to the Aquarium that has as one of Europe's largest collections of fish and invertebrates. One million liters of clean seawater are pumped up from depth of 130 meters, allowing as one of the few aquariums in the world to keep a shoal of herring. In addition, they have a number of 100,000 liter fresh water aquariums containing fish from all parts of the world.

In more than 60 large and small aquariums you can watch in fascination all the weird and wonderful things that go on beneath the surface at close quarters. In addition to getting to know the cod, and all the other creatures that live along the Norwegian coast, you can meet animals like crocodiles, snakes, turtles and silk monkeys in our new tropical section.

In the cinema you can watch the spectacular 3D film SOS planet, as well as the classic Ivo Caprino film about the Bergen Aquarium, Bergen and the Norwegian coast. In summer, you can also attend concerts and musical performances of local music that is steeped in history. If you get hungry, or just need a short rest, you can visit the café or the restaurant.
Bergen Aquarium entrance and outer view

The Norwegian fish

Did you know that there are lots of remarkable treasures along the Norwegian coastline: in the fjords, in the rivers and in the lakes? Everyone is familiar with the bearded cod, but few people know that the hagfish was voted Norway’s national fish. Many people shrink back when they see these eels twisting and coiling in the cement pipe. There is a rumour amongst the staff here that there is an eel living in the walls of the aquarium called the coastal zone. Here everyone can bend down and feel what a crab or starfish feels like, or pick up a sea urchin to inspect it more closely. The secretive eel apparently only comes out to eat at night, so it isn’t easy to get to know it. But who knows – maybe you will spot it next time you are here?

The shimmering light flashing like silver amongst a shoal of herring creates a very special atmosphere, and you won’t be wondering what a Martian looks like after seeing an anglerfish at close quarters. Norwegian children’s TV voted the piked dogfish and the small-spotted catshark Norway’s “coolest” fish. The catfish was voted the ugliest. We would like to show you how many exciting fish and animals that live along the Norwegian coast, and we hope to make you as proud of this fantastic ecosystem as we are!

The seals

The seals that we have here at the Bergen Aquarium are harbour seals. Currently five seals live here: Vitus, Celina Fullfart, Loffe, Selma and Selterz. Vitus is the eldest, at 15 years old, and he was born here at the aquarium. Amalie Brann and Snorre, who lived with us for a number of years, moved away from the Bergen Aquarium in the winter of 2006. That was rather sad, both for the staff at the aquarium and for the many inhabitants of Bergen who had been here to visit them a number of times. But we know that they will be happy at Kattegatcenteret in Denmark.

Vitus always keeps a close eye on the youngsters Celina Fullfart and Loffe, who are best friends. All of them get up to all sorts of tricks in order to catch our attention. Because, of course, seals are by no means stupid. And they absolutely love playing. We have known this for a long time, and some years ago we started training them each time we feed them. They learn colours, and jump high into the air chasing balls or to go through hoops. Both the seals and the keepers look forward to these training sessions. Seals love herring, and that is what we feed them on, although in the wild they eat all sorts of fish and crustaceans.

Selma and Selterz, who are neighbours with the penguins, can look forward to a very interesting time. Soon you will be able to see a film of what they have been up to…

The penguins

Penguins are strange animals. Humans have always been fascinated by penguins, mainly because they always appear to be dressed in their dinner suits as they waddle around. The penguins that live here at the Bergen Aquarium are called gentoo penguins. We currently have six penguins, and Pingmar is the eldest. He is named after one of his forefathers, who became the subject of a popular children’s book.

Penguins live in colonies, and they like to swim and hunt fish in large groups. They can swim as fast as 30 km/h, and their thick feathers contain oil to keep the water out. As penguins live in cold regions, they have several layers of feathers to stop them getting too cold. In fact, penguins are one of the animals that can survive in the coldest climates. Penguins only live in the southern hemisphere, from the coasts of South-America and South Africa right down far into Antarctica. And here at the Bergen Aquarium, of course.

The tropical fish

You can meet Nemo in real life here. Nemo is a clown fish, and is just as beautiful and colourful as you would expect. Clown fish hide amongst the poisonous tentacles of anemones, to prevent dangerous fish from getting too close to them.

You can also encounter lots of other strange and colourful tropical fish here, including saltwater and freshwater varieties. How would you feel about standing face to face with a bloodthirsty school of piranhas? Or perhaps you would prefer to marvel at beautifully coloured tropical plants and coral?

The tropical animals

Are you afraid of snakes? The best medicine is close contact! Here you can stand really close to a massive anaconda and still be perfectly safe. The snakes’ neighbours are two Cuban crocodiles, which look very peaceful lying and dozing or sliding gently through the water. But we recommend that you do NOT get too close! We have also had the good fortune of being able to adopt Idar, a small crocodile who we have built a new home for.

The two sweet common marmosets would love to talk to you: they’re as inquisitive as any other monkey. They jump around and swing from the branches, and if you go right up to them, they get as close to you as they can and inspect you with cocked heads. It would be interesting to know what they really think...

Many visitors also enjoy saying hello to the lizards. Are you brave enough to have one hanging from your jumper?

The 3D cinema

Every hour you can watch the 3D film SOS planet, as well as Ivo Caprino’s film about the Bergen Aquarium, Bergen and the Norwegian coast, in the cinema.

SOS Planet
This is a film that raises global environmental problems using modern 3D technology. It takes the audience to the Arctic, the realm of the polar bear, to exciting underwater environments, and shows life high up in the rainforest. Be on your guard! The modern 3D goggles will make you think that a snake is really crawling out of the screen, and inspecting you at uncomfortably close quarters! The film is exciting and enjoyable, and will give adults something to think about too.

The Bergen Aquarium, Bergen and the Norwegian coast
The film is shown on a Supervideograf, Ivo Caprino’s trademark wide-screen system, which makes the experience as authentic as you can get in a cinema. The audience is taken sightseeing by helicopter over Bergen and along the coast to fish farms and good dive sites. You will also be taken underwater, where you will recognise the sea-urchin eating catfish, and other animals from the aquarium. The cinema allows you to go on a dive without putting on diving equipment, and you don’t need to hold your breath either.

Feeding and training

  • 11:00 we feed the animals in the coastal zone
  • 12:00 we train the seals and feed the penguins
  • 13:00 we feed the carp in the outdoor pond (only in summer)
  • 14:00 we feed the silk monkeys, snakes and crocodiles
  • 15:00 we train the seals and feed the penguins
  • 18:00 we train the seals and feed the penguins (only in summer)

Education and Research

Would you like to take your class or your group to the Bergen Aquarium? Here you can enjoy a pleasant day together – and see and learn about the animals and plants in the sea. Please get in touch with us in advance. Send an e-mail to post@akvariet.no, or phone us on (+47) 55 55 71 71, to tell us when you’re coming, and how many of you there will be.

The aquariums in the rotunda present the most common habitats along the Norwegian coast. The maze focuses on different marine and aquatic animal groups, including tropical ones. The exotic animals in the tropical section are fascinating, get children interested and demonstrate biodiversity.

Bergen Aquarium has a separate aquaculture exhibition, where you can use four interactive screens to discover information about fish farming, and you can also test your knowledge about sea life. The cinema shows films that are informative for younger and older pupils. The 3D film SOS Planet is fun, and helps to get children interested in environmental issues. The keepers feed the animals and talk about them at certain times of day. Make your visit even more exciting by coming at feeding time and allowing enough time to see one of the films.

Personal guided tours can be booked. Packed lunches should be eaten outdoors – you are unfortunately not allowed to eat your own food in the cafeteria. We recommend nursery schools and schools to visit the Bergen Aquarium during the winter half-year, between 1 September and 15 May.

The Bergen Aquarium regularly receives “strange animals” from anglers and professional fishermen. Often they are just ordinary fish that have been caught, but sometimes the catch causes a sensation. In some cases, as is true of the American lobster, the creature may be a threat to life along the Norwegian coast. We are therefore very interested in pictures and reports about special finds. We have a large network of keen specialists who are more than happy to help you determine the species of the animal you have found, and provide any other assistance you might need.

The Bergen Aquarium collaborates on research projects, and we are happy to provide advice to researchers with relevant questions. We are continuously working to create as good as possible an environment for our various animals, and have gained considerable expertise in this field. The Bergen Aquarium is a gigantic laboratory, with sixty different aquarium environments, a number of quarantine tanks, advanced pumping systems, filters and so on.

Researchers have oceans of opportunities at the Bergen Aquarium. This is the place to come for parasitologists who get excited about finding a rare louse on one of our piked dogfish, and for systematists who get ecstatic about being able to classify a living deep-water crab.

Restaurant

At the aquarium, you can get something to eat at Nøstet. During the day, Nøstet is a cafeteria serving light dishes such as ice-cream and hot-dogs. Our fish soup is also quite popular.

In the evening, you can hire Nøstet for functions. The restaurant can seat up to 90 guests, and is ideal for informal occasions. The restaurant is decorated in the style of a boathouse, which provides a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Birthday parties

Your visit will start with a guided tour. You will get to see the whole of the Bergen Aquarium, including the seals, penguins and all of the exciting fish in the small and large aquariums. The guided tour ends and the cinema, where you will be shown a fantastic film about life in the sea. Afterwards you will be served food at our restaurant, Nøstet. We will also organise suitable activities for your visit. Before the end of the party, the birthday child will receive a special surprise. You can arrange a birthday visit on Saturdays and Sundays between 12:00 and 14:00, or between 15:00 and 17:00. The visit lasts two hours. To order, please phone (+47) 55 55 71 81.

Function rooms

You can now use several of the Bergen Aquarium’s fascinating areas for special occasions. You can, for example, start your visit with an aperitif and a guided tour, continue it with a film at the cinema, and finally enjoy some food at our restaurant.
Bergen-Aquarium-Function_rooms.JPG
The great hall
This is one of Bergen’s finest function venues, with views over Nordnes park and Byfjorden. Capacity to seat 240 guests for banquets, and 400 guests for receptions.

The rotunda
This hall is surrounded by nine large sea aquariums, giving the room an air of mystery. Ideal for that unique occasion. Capacity for up to 120 guests.

Nøstet
The restaurant can seat up to 90 guests, and is ideal for informal occasions. The restaurant is decorated in the style of a boathouse, which provides a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

The outdoor area at the Bergen Aquarium can also be used for receptions, family occasions and so on. Capacity for up to 1200 guests.

Shark tunnel at Bergen Aquarium

Bergen Aquarium is building its own shark tunnel. The tunnel will be six metres long and will give visitors an opportunity to experience sharks and other fish close up.

Construction work is well under way and it is scheduled for completion in February 2010. Ulriken643 Cable Car and the Bergen Aquarium will be offering a brand new package to visitors from May 2010.

A double decker bus will provide a non-stop shuttle service to the attractions, making this a simple choice for visitors who wants to enjoy Bergen in a nutshell in not more than a couple hours.

Schools and nursery schools
There are separate prices for schools and nursery schools, and we also have a special agreement with the City of Bergen during the winter half-year.

Hours:
26/12/2009 - 30/04/2010: Monday - Sunday = 10:00-18:00

How To Get Bergen Aquarium (Norwegian: Akvariet i Bergen), and Disable Access

The aquarium is situated near the Nordnes Park, approximately 15 minutes' walk from the city centre. Distance to Fish Market is 1600 meters.
By foot: It takes 15 - 20 minutes to walk here from the city centre.
By bus: Take the number 11, which runs from the centre of Bergen.
By boat: The M/F Beffen runs from Bryggen to Nykirken throughout the year between 08:00 and 16:00. The M/F Vågen runs from Fisketorget to Tollbodkaien between 10:00 and 18:00 from 15 May to 31 August.
By car: There is a small multi-storey car park by the aquarium, but during summer it is often full. You may be better off leaving your car at one of the car parks in the city centre, and using one of the above transport options.

The Bergen Aquarium has provided easy access for disabled people. Adapted for disabled and toilet for disabled persons.

Contact and Location
Bergen Aquarium
Nordnesbakken 4
NO-5005 Bergen
P.O. Box 1870, Nordnes, 5817 Bergen
Nordnes, center of Bergen
Phone and Booking: 55 55 71 71 55 55 71 71
Fax: 55 55 71 80 55 55 71 80
Email: post@akvariet.no
Internet: http://www.akvariet.no/

Pictures of Bergen Aquarium, Norway (All images are clickable)
The tropical fishes
demonstration
snake
Seals
penguins
children fun activities
3D cinema
tropical animals
crocodile



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