The Westfjords of Iceland has some destinations that are outright strange. One example is the art collection at the edge of the world which includes a replica of an Indian temple and a replica of the
The Patio de los Leones (Court of the Lions) and a church which the artist living there built on his own. Another is a ship in the Westfjords. It´s just sitting there on dry land.

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Oldest steel ship in Iceland

The ship is called Garðar BA 64. It ist hought to be the oldest ship made of steel in Iceland. It was built in Norway as a whaling vessel exactly one hundred years ago. Garðar was launched in Norway in 1912, the year Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean. It was named Globe IV and was equipped with both sails and a steam engine to use when the weather was still. It was specially reinforced to endure the harsh conditions of the Southern Ocean where it was used to hunt whales.

Sold to Iceland in 1936

Globe IV was sold to the Faroe Islands in 1936 where it got a brand new name. It also got a somewhat less dignified role in the whale hunting business. At the end of the second world war the ship was sold once again. This time to Iceland. Once here it was given an icelandic name, Siglunes SI 89, and the old steam workhorse which has powered it all those years was replaced with a 378 hp Ruston Hornsby diesel engine. The ship traded owners and names for number of years until 1963 it finally aquired the name it has today, Garðar. It was a good ship and served it’s many owners well for a long time.

Photogenic Ship in the Westfjords

In desember 1981 Garðar BA 64 was deemed unfit for duty. Instead of sinking it a sea as was the custom in these days when ships went out of service, it was and rammed ashore at Skápadalur valley in Patreksfjörður. Today Garðar patiently awaits it’s inevitable rusty fate in the sand. It provides you with a spectacular scene and just the perfect photo opportunity.

How to get there

Skápadalur is situated in Vestur-Barðarstrandasýsla in the Icelandic Westfjords. You can see the exact location of the ship on the Google map here below. If you look closely you can even see the ship.

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References: Garðar BA 64 – Saga nýræðs öldungs.