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Upcoming Hokule’a Events

Hokule’a’s Worldwide Voyage Sails to Newport News in April 2016

Spring 2016 will bring a true world traveler to the Virginia Peninsula. The Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule’a (“Star of Gladness” in Hawaiian) is circumnavigating the globe on a voyage whose goals are as impressive as they are important. Hokule’a was built by the Polynesian Voyaging Society in the 1970s, more than 600 years after any other voyaging canoe existed. The Hawaiian people were inspired to build and sail Hokule’afrom Honolulu to Taiti, proving that the incredible voyage that brought their ancestors to the islands was still possible. By traversing the globe today, they are able to better understand how Polynesians originally navigated the ocean, discovered islands and settled them.

What is the World Wide Voyage?

Hokule'a Crew image

Hōkūle’a crew photo, courtesy of the Polynesian Voyaging Society

Designed an sailed using skills that very nearly went extinct, Hokule’a seeks the wisdom of all indigenous peoples in a search for ideas on dealing with global concerns applied on a global scale. Just as a vessel of exploration must carry and maintain its own limited supplies, populations need to address how they interact with their environments, both natural and cultural. Appealing particularly to students and their communities, Hokule’abrings attention to the message of Mālama Honua – “to care for the Earth” in Hawaiian.

Hokule’a will remain in the Hampton Roads waters until May 7, when the canoe will continue sailing north, eventually visiting Washington, D.C., in time for a possible presidential declaration of National Oceans’ Month.

Experience the Awe of Hokule’a

Hōkūle’a image, courtesy of the Polynesian Voyaging Society

Hōkūle’a image, courtesy of the Polynesian Voyaging Society ® (Photo by ʻOiwi TV)


Hokule’a Arrives in Hampton
Friday, April 22, 2016 between 3 PM and 4 PM
Hokule’a is currently scheduled to arrive at the Bluewater Marina between 3 PM and 4 PM.

Earth Day Celebration
Saturday, April 23, 2016 between 10 AM and 4 PM
James River Fishing Pier in Newport News, Virginia
Tour the 60-foot voyaging canoe, enjoy fun and engaging educational activities for families, learn about traditional Polynesian voyaging and wayfinding and meet the crew of Hokule’a. Hokule’a tours will be available between 10 AM and 2 PM only.

Hokule’a Sails to Yorktown
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Hokule’a will sail to Yorktown, where the canoe and crew will receive a traditional welcome from Native American tribes followed by an afternoon of celebration. The canoe will be open for tours. 

Spring Lecture Series: Traditional Polynesian Wayfinding at The Mariners’ Museum
Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 7 PM
Join the crew of Hokule’a as they share some of the traditional navigational techniques that Hokule’a uses as it sails, without modern instruments, across all the world’s oceans.
Read more & buy tickets…

Hokule’a Homeschool Day at The Mariners’ Museum
Friday, April 29, 2016 9:30 AM – 3 PM
Join us as we learn about the native populations of Virginia and our Polynesian visitors from Hokule’a. During scheduled programming, participants will learn about Polynesian navigation using only the stars and nature, compare the cultures of the Powhatan and native Hawaiians, and so much more. Participants will also enjoy craft activities throughout the day.
Read more & register online…

Free Hokule’a Tours
Sunday, May 1, 2016 9 AM – 6 PM 
Riverwalk Landing Marina in Yorktown, Virginia
Hokule’a will continue it’s voyage, travelling north to Washington D.C. 

Hokule’a Departs Hampton Roads
Sunday, May 8, 2016 
Hokule’a will continue it’s voyage, travelling north to Washington D.C. 

Fall 2016
Be sure to check back in the fall of 2016, when Hokule’a returns to Hampton Roads and The Mariners’ Museum for a longer stay. There will be a number of programs offered, including an overnight stargazing event, a Maritime Heritage Festival and more. 

Join the Flotilla
Looking for an excuse to take your boat out on a beautiful Friday in late April? Then join The Mariners’ Museum Flotilla as we welcome Hokule’a on April 22, 2016. For more information, contact Anne Marie Millar at (757) 591-7748 or email [email protected]

Official Sponsor for Hokule’a Activities

Newport News logo

Hokule’a in Virginia Classrooms

The Mariners’ Museum, in partnership with the Office of Environmental Education, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Polynesian Voyaging Society, and Sam Lowe have created a Virginia Teacher Curriculum Guide to assist teachers across the state in tying the Mālama Honua World Wide Voyage with Virginia Standards of Learning.

Content includes comparisons between Polynesian cultures and the Powhatan along with activities and links to allow teachers to address environmental issues facing the Chesapeake Bay, Polynesia, and the world. To access this free guide, follow the link below.

To learn more about the Polynesian Voyaging Society & Hokule’a’s global voyage, visit