The Whaling Museum Sandefjord or Hvalfangstmuseet

The Whaling Museum Sandefjord or Hvalfangstmuseet

The Sandefjord Museum (also called Commander Christen Christensen's Whaling Museum or Hvalfangstmuseet) is Europe's only specialized museum on the subject of whales and whaling. A natural history section is centered around a full-sized model of a blue whale. The cultural history exhibition shows whaling on a world basis.

Sandefjord is a historical town which has become a modern town of culture with a dynamic business life. The history of Sandefjord has been formed by the Viking Age, the shipping industry and whaling in Arctic and Antarctic areas. Sandefjord has a history of pioneer spirit and creativity, daring and bravery.

The Whaling Museum Sandefjord or Hvalfangstmuseet is located in Sandefjord, Norway, is the original Whaling Museum that was donated to Sandefjord by Consul Lars Christensen, the son of Commander Christen Christensen.

The Whaling Museum shows the development of whaling from primitive utensils to floating cookeries. The museum also gives an idea of different other hunting and trapping cultures. The museum also has an exhibition that shows discoveries from the Viking burial mound Gokstadhaugen.

Exhibitions are the visual part of a museum's operations and play a decisive part in the realization of our vision. Without exhibitions there would be no arena for learning, understanding and engagement. We have several permanent, temporary and ad hoc exhibitions. The museum's photo collection consists of 150,000 photographs around 30,000 of which are related to whaling. The new exhbit "The World of Whales" takes you to where the whales live and we can learn about their behaviour and the threats that face them today. Also a large variety of stuffed animals and whales, puzzles and other activity toys for children.

Today, the Whaling Museum's aim is to be a central institution in the presentation of a wide perspective of material connected to the history of Whaling. The museum is host to a variety of international conferences related to marine life. In September 2005, it was host to the second international conference about whales and whaling. The museum is host to international conferences related to whales and whaling, the latest one being held in June 2009.

The whale ship ”Southern Actor” is both a living museum and a passenger ship. This museum ship, or sometimes memorial ship, is an old ship that has been preserved and converted into a museum open to the public. There are several hundred of these around the world, often associated with maritime museums.

Sandefjord itself has many islands and an almost endless coastline. Spend the day at the beach or hike on the many coastal paths.

The Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy has the best preserved Viking ships on display. The ships were
found in large burial mounds south of Oslo. They had been packed in these barrows more than
1100 years ago to serve as vessels for their royal owners’ fi nal journey to the realm of the dead.
”Lived Life”: The Viking Skeletons from the Oseberg and Gokstad ships.

Opening Hours
1st October-30th April
Monday-Saturday 11.00-15.00, Sunday kl. 12.00-16.00

Whaling Museum Library
The Whaling Museum Library is located at Sandefjord Public Library. The Whaling Museum Library covers a wide range of Whales and whaling topics:

  • the zoologi of whales
  • whales in an environmental context
  • whaling from a Norwegian and international perspective
  • other related themes
  • Old books on Polar history and expeditions

Sandefjord Library more info:

Address and Contact:
The Whaling Museum
Museumsgaten 39,
PostBox 396 N-3201 Sandefjord. Norway
Telephone: +47 33 48 46 50,
Fax: +47 33 46 37 84
Also see:
The Blue Whale - largest mammal on the Planet: The Whaling Museum collection

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