HONOLULU (KHON2) – The Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia sailed into Papeete, Tahiti on Saturday, May 7.

The welcoming committee had French Polynesia President Édouard Fritch, other officials and the community.

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There was a traditional cultural ceremony followed by speeches and tributes honoring the crew for their voyage from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti. The arrival welcome ceremony was livestreamed on Tahiti Nui TV.

We are reviving the spirit of unity of the Polynesian peoples.

Édouard Fritch
French Polynesia President

The day’s festivities honored the original 1976 Hōkūleʻa voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti and back to Hawaii.

The next stop for the canoes will be the marae of Taputapuatea in Raiatea. That is where the crew will ask permission to launch the Moananuiākea Voyage which will start next year. 

“We are about to embark on the largest voyage ever done, Moananuiākea, which will focus on bringing together the Pacific islands for the oceans,” said Polynesian Voyaging Society CEO Nainoa Thompson.  “I can’t think of a better place to start this voyage than in this place of our ancestors where the relationship to nature, oceans and culture is so strong.”

Thompson and fellow Pwo Navigator Bruce Blankenfeld will attend the Blue Climate Summit May 14-20.

Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia are scheduled to leave Tahiti on May 20 and return to Hawaiʻi in mid-June.

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The Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia left Oahu to go to Hilo on Monday, April 11. Then on Monday, April 18, the crews left Hilo to go to Tahiti. After 17 days, the crews spotted the atoll of Arutua before arriving in Rangiroa on Friday, May 6.