This museum founded by explorer Thor Heyerdahl houses homemade vessels that took him on historic voyages across oceans.
The Kon-Tiki Museum is dedicated to the dreams and research of legendary Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl. He sailed across oceans in primitive vessels to prove that people could have traveled from one continent to another in ancient times.
The centerpiece of the museum is the original balsa wood and bamboo Kon-Tiki raft. In 1947 the fragile vessel took Heyerdahl and his crew across the Pacific Ocean from Peru to Polynesia. They covered 4,300 nautical miles (7,964 kilometers) in 101 days.
Look over the crude raft and its cabin and view footage from the expedition on an adjacent television screen. There is a daily showing of the Kon-Tiki documentary movie in the museum’s cinema. It was filmed en route and won the Oscar for Best Documentary Film in 1951. The museum also houses the Oscar statuette.
Thor Heyerdahl embarked on many adventures during his long career. View artifacts, photos and documents from these world-famous expeditions. One of his most important endeavors was leading the first archaeological expedition to remote Easter Island.
His excavations revealed statues, stone platforms and cave dwellings. Venture into the museum’s basement and wander through the recreation of caves similar to those on Easter Island.
Spend a few minutes observing the reed boat, Ra II. In 1970, Heyerdahl and his crew sailed it across the Atlantic Ocean from Morocco to Central America. The point of the expedition was to demonstrate that ancient Egyptians would have been able to reach the Americas.
Situated in the Bygdøy Peninsula, the museum can be reached by the number 30 bus from the center of Oslo. During the summer take the 15-minute ferry ride from the city hall pier. If you prefer to drive, there are three pay parking lots outside the museum.
Kon-Tiki Museum is open every day except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and May 17. There’s a small entrance fee. Give yourself at least an hour to tour the museum.