The Tangaroa Expedition 2006 was based on three main pillars of activity: research, teaching and communication. The aim of the expedition was to continue the heritage of Thor Heyerdahl by testing pre-historic navigation techniques, demonstrating a Norwegian culture of undertaking expeditions and researching marine pollution.
The balsawood Tangaroa raft was built in Peru, and the six expedition members sailed it 8500 km across the Pacific to Polynesia, following the route of Kon-Tiki. The balsawood came from Ecuador, near the town of Quevedo, approximately the same place where Thor Heyerdahl found his timber in 1947. The timber was floated down to the coastal city of Guayaquil. From there it was transported to Peru and the harbour town of Callao, where the raft was to be built. In February 2006 the actual expedition started from Ecuador. The raft was to be ready to set sail from Peru on April 28. 100 days later the crew hoped to be able to sail into the harbour in Tahiti.