Vikin – the Reykjavik Maritime Museum

The maritime museum in Reykjavik is situated in a former fish processing plant on the edge of the old harbour. Its displays illustrate many aspects of the history of the city and its links with the sea. Reykjavik was described in 1858 as ‘a collection of wooden sheds with a suburb of turf huts’. There were 6,000 inhabitants in 1900, a total which almost doubled in the next ten years as the fishing industry prospered. The harbour breakwaters were built between 1913 and 1917, and from the early 20th century Icelandic companies began to operate their own trawlers, the first of which, the Coot, was acquired from Great Britain by the Faxaflői company in 1905. The museum illustrates the history of vessels used for shipping, from rowing boats, through sailing vessels and steam trawlers to factory ships. The development of techniques for preserving fish is explained, from the salting of cod, that was exported on a large scale to Spain and Portugal, to the freezing technologies developed after the Second World War. One of the principal exhibits is the 910-ton coastguard shipvOdinn, built in Aalborg in 1959, which was used in all three cod wars, and also rescued many seamen whose vessels were wrecked.


Vikin – the Reykjavik Maritime Museum
Víkin - Sjóminjasafnið í Reykjavík
Grandagardur 8
101 Reykjavik
+354 (0) 517 - 9400