Garðar BA 64 – Iceland - Atlas Obscura

Garðar BA 64

The oldest steel ship in Iceland has been beached for years and is now a rusting ruin. 


Launched the same year that the Titanic met its final fate, the whaling ship that came to be known as Garðar BA 64 was a hulking hybrid of a ship, having both a powerful steam engine in addition to traditional sails.

Originally known as the Globe IV, the large ship was completed in Norway in 1912 as a state-of-the-art-at-the-time whaling vessel. The hull was specially reinforced to break through the icy Southern seas in which it operated and the powerful engine kept the boat sailing even in calm waters. During its active lifetime it was sold around to a number of different countries before finding an Icelandic owner after World War II. Once whaling restrictions became more widespread, Garðar BA 64 (a name it finally received in 1963) was used for fishing herring in the waters off of Iceland. 

After decades in faithful service to its bevy of owners, Garðar BA 64 was finally deemed unsafe for service in 1981 and as opposed to being scuttled, the old ship was run aground in Skápadalur Valley where it remains to this day, falling apart bit by bit. It is now a popular site for photographers and anyone looking for a lovely mix of Icelandic scenery and industrial ruin.

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