Hawai'i State News

Hōkūleʻa crew to return to ocean for circumnavigational voyage of the Pacific in 2025

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Since Hōkūleʻa’s return to Hawaiʻi in December, the Polynesian Voyaging Society has been developing a new sail plan for the Moananuiākea Voyage.

After consulting with science and weather experts, community partners and voyaging leadership, PVS has decided to keep the canoes primarily in Hawaiian waters until next year when severe El Niño weather conditions settle down. The circumnavigation of the Pacific will resume in March 2025 when Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia depart Hawaiʻi and head first to Aotearoa (New Zealand) with stops in the major Polynesian Island groups on the way.

  • Hōkūleʻa crew. Courtesy of Polynesian Voyaging Society.
  • Hōkūleʻa crew. Courtesy of Polynesian Voyaging Society.

“In terms of our oceans, we are, in my opinion and not from a scientific point of view, but from just experience over 49 years of sailing this canoe, we’re in a changing ocean and we need to pay attention,” says PVS CEO and Pwo Navigator Nainoa Thompson.

The circumnavigation of the Pacific will cover an estimated 43,000 nautical miles, 36 countries and archipelagoes, nearly 100 indigenous territories and more than 300 ports. The Moananuiākea Voyage is a global educational campaign that will amplify the vital importance of oceans and indigenous knowledge through port engagements, education and storytelling.

While PVS waits for more favorable weather conditions to continue the Pacific circumnavigation, the organization and its crews will focus on training, statewide engagements, educational outreach and a series of initiatives.


This year PVS is ramping up crew and captain training, including two deep-sea voyages to the Intertropical Convergence Zone, known also as the doldrums. The voyage will launch in May and go till June.

“We’re adding on the convergence zone as a strategic training ground for future captains and navigators. Hawaiʻi is really this web of all of these special training grounds for different reasons, primarily because of our islands and what they do to the winds and the ocean,” said Thompson. “We’re very, very blessed that we have learned to use these islands as a school.”

PVS and its crewmembers will also participate in June’s Festival of the Pacific Arts, from June 6-16, and will be convening with other voyaging societies and leaders from around the Pacific, who are expected to be coming to Hawaiʻi to attend the events.

When the new 2024-25 school year begins, the society will launch a Pae ‘āina (Statewide) sail to connect with schools and communities throughout the Hawaiian Islands. During this sail, which is lifted by the generous support of Hawaiian Airlines and DAWSON, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia will visit approximately 30 ports throughout the state.


PVS is working in partnership with the Hawaiʻi Department of Education and other educational and community partners on a plan that includes community outreach, canoe tours, teacher professional development and voyage-inspired curriculum development focused on culture and sustainability. PVS will announce dates and details for each Hawaiʻi port visit once confirmed.

“2024 should be seen as a year of coming home, really paying attention to our children in our communities and training, training hard and getting ready,” said Thompson. “This is also the year of getting younger people more prepared to take the reins of these canoes.”

Following the relaunch of the Moananuiākea Voyage, the crew will stop in Aotearoa (New Zealand) from December 2025 to May 2026 and from May 2026 to March 2027, they will stop at the Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Palau.

Also inn 2027, stops include major countries along the coast of Asia. Canoes will then be shipped to Long Beach, Calif. where they will pick up the sail down to Mexico.


In 2028, the crew will visit Central/South America, re-enter Polynesia at Rapa Nui, visit the major island groups of Polynesia before stopping in Tahiti, Taputapuātea, then returning to Hawai‘i.

The Polynesian Voyaging Society held its global launch of the four-year circumnavigation of the Pacific in Juneau, Alaska on June 15, 2023. Hōkūleʻa sailed south through British Columbia, to Washington State, and down the West Coast of Oregon and California after engaging with First Nations communities, Native Hawaiian communities and the general public in 45 ports.

Hōkūleʻa returned home from San Diego, California in December 2023, in the wake of the devastating fires on Maui and because of the unprecedented El Nino weather patterns in the Pacific causing unpredictable conditions.

For the latest updates on the voyage and Hōkūleʻa’s public events, visit the Polynesian Voyaging Society website, www.hokulea.com and social media: @hokuleacrew on Facebook and Instagram.

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