Imagine the perils faced by ancient seafarers when you explore this museum, dedicated to the work of the intrepid explorer Thor Heyerdahl.
The Kon-Tiki Museum tells the amazing story of the extraordinary Norwegian scientist and explorer Thor Heyerdahl, who dedicated his life to proving first hand that ancient civilisations could have crossed the world’s oceans. See the primitive vessels in which he set sail, and learn all about the vital contributions he made to our understanding of world culture.
The most famous exhibit by far is the Kon-Tiki raft, a fragile construction of balsa wood and bamboo. It was based on detailed descriptions recorded by Spanish settlers in the 16th century of common Native American vessels. In April 1947, Heyerdahl set out with his six-man crew from the port of Callao in Peru on a perilous 8,000-kilometre voyage across the Pacific Ocean. 101 days later, they finally reached the Polynesian island of Raroia.
As well as the original craft, you’ll be able to view the Kon-Tiki documentary film that the crew shot during the voyage. It was awarded an Oscar as Best Documentary Film in 1951, and the Oscar statuette is also on display for you to admire. Screenings of the film take place every day in the museum’s cinema.
Heyerdahl led two further expeditions, again with the aim of proving possible connections between ancient lands. You’ll see the reed boat Ra II, in which he crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1970, and the Tigris, another reed boat, which he used to navigate the Tigris River, the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.
Heyerdahl will also be forever associated with the mysteries of Easter Island, having led the first ever archaeological expedition to the site. Step into the three models of excavated caves and marvel at original artefacts, photos and documents from this pioneering endeavour.
The Kon-Tiki Museum is located on the Bygdøy Peninsula, five kilometres from central Oslo. Take the number 30 bus, or, during the summer months, the ferry from the City Hall pier. Alternatively, parking is available nearby for a fee. The museum is open every day, except on 24, 25 and 31 December, 1 January and 17 May.