20. november 1820 : Essex

The American whaling vessel Essex from Nantucket, Massachusetts is being sunk by a sperm whale on open sea outside the west coast of South America. 95 days go by, before eight out of 21 crew members are being brought to safety. To stay alive, they had to eat seven of their fellow shipmates.

10. desember 1848 : The world's longest whale painting

Caleb Purrington and Benjamin Russell show their 395 meter (1275 feet) long, moving panorama of "A Whaling Voyage Around the World" in New Bedford. The whole presented as the world's longest painting, and with such a realistic representation of the ocean that one of the spectators would have become seasick. The sinking of the whaling vessel Essex was an inspiration for the painting. The impressive exhibition was seen by tens of thousands curious people, including at the New York's World Fair in 1964. It can be found at the New Bedford whaling museum today.

18. oktober 1851 : Moby Dick

Herman Melville, who himself was a crew member on the whaling vessel Acushnet in his younger years, writes the novel "The Whale" or "Moby Dick" inspired by the story about Essex. The book is being critically received, and sells poorly. Today, it is considered as one of the biggest novels in world literature. The book inspired environmental activists all over the world. One of the first Greenpeace boats got the name "Moby Dick", just like one of the sperm whales outside Andenes.

14. oktober 1869 : Wealth and ruin

"The body of an unknown male found in the Aker river the 12th of October. The man is buried at the expense of the municipality." This message is written in Christiania"s (today"s Oslo) public record of deaths. Svend Foyn has recently made whaling safer and more effective by the introduction of the explosive harpoon. The man in the river turns out to be the northerner, artist and inventor Jakob Nikolai Walsøe from Myklebostad in Lødingen. He is the rightful brain behind the patent Foyn will become very rich on. But Walsøe refuses patent because he received public support developing his idea. Walsøe only gets 50 years old and dies as poor as a church mouse.

13. april 1977 : Whales in space

Roger Payne records the sound of Humpback whales outside Bermuda the 20th of August. Seven years later, NASA"s satellite Voyager I is being sent into space with a so-called "gold plate" on board. A group led by Carl Sagan gets to choose what the plate will contain. In addition to greetings in several languages (including Swedish), classical music, and the song Johnny B. Goode from Chuck Berry, the plate also contains the whale sounds Payne recorded. The 26th of November 1986 Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home has its premiere. In the movie the Humpback whale sounds play an important role and individuals of the species end up on board of USS Enterprise.
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20. august 1987 : The first whale safari tour

The very first whale safari tour from Andenes is being organised in conjunction with a two-day conference. The Swedish "Center for Studies of Whales and Dolphins" (CSVD) poses with boat and captain, Old Bi and Mic Calvert. On board is also Al Alvelar, who is arranging whale watching tours from Cape Cod. In 1989 the company Hvalsafari AS is founded in Andenes. The very first whale watching tour was arranged in San Diego in 1955. The fisherman Chuck Camberli puts up a sign saying "See the whales $1" and brings people out into his boat to show them gray whales.
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June 2025 - The Whale

A whole new attraction The WHALE opens in Andenes. More than 200 years have passed since Essex sunk. The world's oldest whales may have experienced everything on the sideline. They can be over 200 years old.
1948 →

Our vision

«The Whale is a world class attraction celebrating whales and their relationship with man through science and art.»

Our mission

«To create awareness and inspire learning and conservation of whales and their environment through an unforgettable and extraordinary experience.»

The project is supported by