The Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, photo and description

The Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) – For history buffs this is definitely a very interesting museum.

I am extremely surprised that there is not even ONE review about The Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo. By God, so many reviews about Vigeland Park with its incomprehensible (and for me totally stupid) sculptures and not a single word about the museum dedicated to the famous Norwegian explorer and navigator Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002)!

But all the better. I will be the first to show and tell you about it. After all, it is absolutely wrong and illogical to write about the sea voyage to the museum peninsula and not tell, actually, about the purpose of this voyage.

So, I will repeat and say that on the museum peninsula there are such world-famous museums as the Kon-Tiki Museum, the Fram Museum and the Viking Ships Museum.

Kon-Tiki Museum was founded more than 50 years ago, in May 1950. This museum is private and one of the most frequently visited museums in Norway. Its exposition is not only dedicated to one Kon-Tiki expedition, but covers all the voyages of Thor Heyerdahl – this is Ra and Ra-2, Tigris. And there are also several exhibits from Easter Island. But I will tell you about everything in order.

So, as many have read in my previous story, you can get to the peninsula Byugday by city bus number 30 or by sightseeing boat. We chose the second option, thanks to the fact that it wasn’t very cold that morning, and most importantly, it wasn’t raining.

The website of the Kon-Tiki Museum has a schedule of these boats and prices.

Excursion Boat trip to the Museum Peninsula (Norway, Oslo) photo

The museum building is located very close to the pier, it is simply impossible not to find it.

Excursion Boat trip to the Museum Peninsula (Norway, Oslo) photo

After buying the entry tickets (160 CZK – about 900 rubles for a family ticket – 2 adults and a child under 15 years), we go inside.

The first rooms of the museum are occupied by the exposition about Thor Heyerdahl’s trip on the boat “Ra”. This journey was after “Kon-Tiki”, not so long ago: in 1969. At that time, the Norwegian scientist, navigator, and traveler organized an expedition on a papyrus boat, the Ra (named after the god of the Sun). Our compatriot Yuri Senkevich also took part in the expedition. The expedition was to prove that it was possible to sail to America on a papyrus boat, having done the same thing as the peoples of Africa did in ancient times. However, the expedition ended unsuccessfully, they did not sail to America: because of faulty design boat, built from papyrus in Egypt, sank not halfway.

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Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

The following year, 1970, Thor Heyerdahl made a second attempt to reach the shores of America from Africa by boat Ra-2: the drawings were adjusted and the boat was 3 meters shorter than its predecessor, Ra. The expedition was successful (it lasted 57 days) and on the map below you can see the route of this historic experiment.

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

The Ra and Ra 2 exhibit is small but very informative and interesting

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

The boat itself and all the exhibits in the museum are the originals!

The rooms of the museum are half-dark and in this light, the entire exposition looks somehow mysterious and intriguing.

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Those who are older, I think, well remember the programs “Travelers’ Club”, hosted by Yuri Senkevich and his stories about the journey on “Ra-2” – a papyrus boat with a circle of red sun on its sail. I was small at the time, but for some reason these broadcasts stuck in my memory, perhaps they shocked me by their uncommonness, courage and bravery of people who risked to cross the Atlantic on a flimsy boat

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

But let’s move on and go to the next halls, dedicated to the voyage called “Kon-Tiki”.

Here it is, the beautiful raft.

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

For those who don’t know, I will tell you a little about this expedition of the Norwegian navigator. The year was 1947. Through scientific and experimental research Thor Heyerdahl, then very young, came to the conclusion that the first people who populated the Polynesian islands were not from Asia, but from South America. At the time, no one believed Thor, and to prove his theory, he decided to repeat the alleged route of the Polynesian migration.

To do so, Tour and his associates built a raft, Kon-Tiki, on which they set out on a long journey: it lasted 101 days and they sailed 8 thousand kilometers! But they achieved their goal and proved that Easter Island really could not be inhabited by Asians, but by migrants from South America.

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Raft “Kon-Tiki” was built of 9 logs of special wood balsa. It was built by the Indians of Peru using the old Polynesian method. The museum not only displays the original of the raft, but also all the original items that were then on the “Kon-Tiki”: spyglass, camera and video camera, guitar and ship’s magazine.

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

And, of course, the raft itself.

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Here they are – the heroes of Kon-Tiki.

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Here in the museum giant stone statues brought by Thor Heyerdahl from Easter Island are exhibited.

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Another stone statue is placed in front of the museum entrance

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

The museum also has a video presentation room, where every day at 12 o’clock a documentary about the Kon-Tiki expedition is shown. But for those who don’t know the name of Thor Heyerdahl and know nothing about “Kon-Tiki” and “Ra”, I would still recommend to watch in advance at home, either the documentary, which won the Oscar, or the feature film (I don’t remember exactly, but I think it was shot in 2011 or 2012) – so it will be easier and more interesting to perceive the whole exposition in the museum.

After leaving the hall devoted to the “Kon-Tiki” visitors get to the stylized caves of Easter Island, where it is possible to discern the cave paintings in near total darkness and where, don’t be frightened, quiet and ominous whispers can be heard. ))

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo, Norway) photo

A separate small exhibition of the museum is devoted to the underwater world. It depicts the scene – those who have seen the film about “Kon-Tiki” will understand – when different fish, and most importantly – a whale shark swam under the raft.

This is such an interesting and rich exposition of the small “Kon-Tiki” museum. Since I was interested in the Kon-Tiki theme and I made my son watch the film before we left, we enjoyed our visit, it was interesting to see the original exhibits, the raft and the boat “live”, thus getting in touch with history.

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The Fram Museum – it is dedicated to the history of the Norwegian polar expeditions, and the Norwegian Maritime Museum are located next to the Kon-Tiki Museum, but we did not go there, we ran out of time.

Kon-Tiki Museum in Norway

If you decide to visit Oslo, take time to stop by the Bjugdøy Peninsula, which is home to several museums. The Kon-Tiki Museum, created by the travelers Thor Heyerdahl and Knut Haugland, is very interesting there.

In Norway, travelers enjoy great honor and well-deserved love of the people. In this country they carefully preserve the memory of the discoverers and seafarers, and this also applies to ships that have made historic voyages to the unknown or helped their masters to set another record.

Maritime Museums in Norway - Kon-Tiki Museum

Therefore, popular maritime museums have been created in the capital of the northern country. Well, where else can you see an old sailing boat, a homemade boat or a real raft Kon-Tiki?

Museum of real travelers

Yes, the founders of the museum Thor Heyerdahl and his team member Knut Haugland figured out how to preserve for posterity the legendary raft on which they crossed the Pacific Ocean. The museum was built in 1949 and was led by Knut Haugland, who served as director for four decades.

Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon-Tiki Museum

The Kon-Tiki raft, named after the founding god from Polynesian legends, was built by Thor Heyerdahl and his crew from balsa logs in the image and likeness of Inca rafts. The purpose of the trip was to confirm the theory about the possibility of relocation of Indians from South America to the Polynesian islands.

Kon-Tiki Museum is devoted to the travels of Thor Heyerdahl.

Thor Heyerdahl’s team set out on a raft journey from Peru, leaving port at the end of April 1947. After reaching the Humboldt Current, the Kon-Tiki set course for the Polynesian islands. The journey to the Tuamotu archipelago took 101 days, during which time the crew researched and experimented and Thor Heyerdahl made a documentary.

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Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo

The museum exhibition conveys all the major milestones of the historic journey. Under the bottom of the raft are the fish that accompanied the travelers, including a snake mackerel discovered by Heyerdahl and a large tiger shark. The raft is guarded around the clock by Easter Island icons.

Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo

We can only imagine what interesting places Thor Heyerdahl visited on the boats “Fatu Hiva”, “Ra” and “Tigris” represented in the museum. Each of these homemade boats has already become a seafaring legend that you can see for yourself.

Legendary skiffs of Thor Heyerdahl in the Kon-Tiki Museum

A lot of space is devoted to imitation of the caves of Easter Island, explored by the traveler. The exposition is 30 meters long and is dedicated to the stage of geography and history of the mysterious islanders who built the strange icicles. By the way, one of them meets visitors entering the museum.

Kon-Tiki Museum in Norway

After the departure of the famous traveler, his museum has a new exhibition, telling about the life of Thor Heyerdahl, his research and travels. Here are the traveler’s personal belongings and items from his expeditions.

And also – a lot of photos, among them you can see a picture of a famous person who traveled with Thor Heyerdahl. People who saw the TV program “Travellers’ Club”, immediately recognize the presenter Yuri Senkevich, a good friend of the famous Norwegian.

Interesting exhibits at the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo

In addition, the museum handed over the personal library of the scientist, now the books are available to all visitors. Under the library allocated a separate room where you can quietly read books. The library is proud of the book by Thor Heyerdahl “Kon-Tiki Journey” (otherwise translated as “Expedition on the Kon-Tiki”), telling about the course of the expedition.

Kon-Tiki Museum Oslo tours

Thor Heyerdahl won an Academy Award for his film Kon-Tiki. The famous gold statuette was added to the museum exposition. And the film is shown every day in the cinema hall of the museum.

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Always open for visitors

This is probably one of the most hospitable museums in the world, because it is open 361 days a year (only 4 days off – Christmas, two days on New Year’s Eve and on Norwegian Constitution Day). The opening hours of the Maritime Museum depend on the season: in summer it’s a normal working day from 9.30 to 18.00, in the fall and spring – from 10.00 to 17.00, but in winter you’d better come early to have time to see everything before 16.00.

Visit Kon-Tiki Museum in Norway

Tickets are sold for adults and children, the youngest visitors pass for free. There is a flexible system of discounts for seniors and students. The good news for thrifty museum lovers: buying a ticket to the Kon-Tiki Museum, you get the opportunity to take it to the neighboring museum Fram. So get out on an informative museum tour for the day.

And what you shouldn’t skimp on is the guided tour. The museum is not usual, devoted to the legendary voyages of the twentieth century, and the guides are not ordinary. Excursions (including in English) are led by famous travelers, telling the stories of fellow sailors and their adventures.

Kon-Tiki Museum tours

And if you’re really lucky – you can get on an interesting action or even be in Oslo during the “Night of Museums”. How and when you can get on a night tour, you can find out by looking at the news section on the official site of the Kon-Tiki Museum.

Norway cherishes the memory of its outstanding citizens and honors their achievements. The Kon-Tiki Museum is privately owned and now owned by Thor Heyerdahl Jr. (son of the traveler) and is open to all who wish to learn about history.

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