Polynesian Voyaging Society Launch of Moananuiākea

A Voyage for Oceans, A Voyage for Earth, 2023 to 2027


“Moananuiākea is Hōkūle‘a’s 15th major voyage in her first 50 years. At the core of Hōkūle‘a’s creation was exploration – to uncover, recover, and reclaim. Reclaim our culture, traditions, and our relationship to home and our island earth. Moananuiākea is no different, but we are now guided by what the worldwide voyage told us—that we must deepen our values in the voyage and move from exploration and understanding to mālama, or caring, and kuleana, or taking responsibility. With those values, we must move discovery toward choices and actions that we believe will help build a future good enough for our children. This is our most difficult voyage yet because the destination is not ours. It will be the most difficult island yet to find, because it is the future of island earth.”

polynesian Voyaging Society

We are thrilled to announce that our valued partner Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) will hold the Global Launch of their Moananuiākea Voyage in Juneau, Alaska on June 15, 2023, and start a four-year circumnavigation of the Pacific.

Founded in 1973, the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s mission is to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves, each other, and their natural and cultural environments. Through voyaging, PVS hopes to inspire humanity to care for the earth by highlighting the vital importance of oceans, indigenous knowledge, communities, education and sustainability.

Prior to the Moananuiākea Voyage’s Global Launch on June 15, Hōkūleʻa has been sailing through a portion of Southeast Alaska on a pre-launch voyage called the Alaska Heritage Sail to pay homage to Alaska Natives and the places that played a part in the 30-year history between Hawaiʻi’s voyaging community and Alaska. PVS chose Yakutat to be the first stop on the Alaska Heritage Sail to honor the late Byron Mallott who was born and raised there. In 1990 under Mallott’s leadership, Sealaska, a corporation owned by the Tlingit, Haida and Tshimshian tribes of Southeast Alaska, gifted two 200-foot Sitka spruce logs to Hawai‘i to help construct the voyaging canoe Hawai‘iloa. This kind gesture, which came at a time of decline for Hawaii’s native koa trees, sparked reforestation efforts on Hawai‘i Island, and started the special bond between the native peoples of Southeastern Alaska and Hawai’i. Byron later joined the PVS Board of Directors.

Hōkūleʻa also will stop in Hoonah to honor former Sealaska Forestry Manager Ernie Hillman tasked with finding two 200-foot tall Spruce trees, large enough to build Hawai‘iloaʻs hulls. The trees were found on Shelikof Island, west of Ketchikan, Alaska. Hokule’a and crew will also stop in Haines in honor of Judson Brown, who was from, and is laid to rest, in a village about 20 miles north up the Chilkat river system (unaccessible for Hokuleʻa). In 1990, Judson, an Alaska Native elder, received a call from PVS co-founder Herb Kawainui Kane, who asked for help in finding the logs for Hawai’iloa. It was Judson’s profound kindness, friendship and compassion for another native people trying to revive and hold onto tradition that lead us to Byron and Ernie, and ultimately, as Judson said, the “gift of our children.”


(Subject to change)

  • June to September 2023: Alaska to British Columbia
  • September to November 2023: West Coast of the United States
  • November 2023 to February 2024: Mexico, Central America, South America
  • February to March 2024: Galapagos to Rapa Nui
  • March to April 2024: Pitcairn Islands, Marquesas Islands, Tuamotus
  • April to December 2024: Tahiti, Austral Islands, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga
  • December 2024 to May 2025: New Zealand
  • May to December 2025: Melanesia and Micronesia
  • December 2025 to March 2026: Palau
  • March to September 2026: Philippines, China, Taiwan, Okinawa, Japan, South Korea, Hokkaido, Russia
  • September to December 2026: Japan, Los Angeles (ship), Hawai‘i
  • Spring 2027– Tahiti

On Thursday, June 15, PVS will hold the Global Launch of Moananuiākea Voyage, a four-hour ceremony to bless and celebrate the start of Hōkūleʻa’s circumnavigation of the Pacific. Hōkūleʻa’s departure will be dependent on weather. Upon departure, she will voyage south with scheduled stops in Angoon, Kake, Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan, Saxman, Metlakatla and Hydaburg.
Hōkūleʻa’s sister canoe Hikianalia will join the voyage in Seattle, WA in August of this year.

With your support, Polynesian Voyaging Society can continue to preserve the traditional art and science of voyaging by relying solely on knowledge of our natural surroundings. To learn more and to pledge your support, please go here. By becoming a PVS member, you are supporting the legacy of voyaging and the vital principle of mālama honua—caring for Island Earth. 

What could matter more?