Everything you need to know for Hokulea’s historic homecoming


Hokulea will return home to Hawaii on Saturday after her historic journey across the world, one that’s taken 37 months and 45,000 nautical miles.

The homecoming ceremony is set to take place June 17 at Magic Island and 50,000 people are expected to attend.

“They went all over the world and they met with all kinds of leaders and they met with all kinds of people. They learned much and they’re bringing it back here to Hawaii,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

“Boy, I don’t know anyone more proud than me than to know that maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day, they’ll find home,” said master navigator Nainoa Thompson, Polynesian Voyaging Society.

The first canoes will pull in at 7 a.m. and at 9 a.m., Hokulea will dock near Magic Island, completing her voyage. A blessing and ceremony begin at 10 a.m. followed by a concert celebration.

“Our job on that particular day, it’s not about us voyagers, but it’s making sure that we communicate to Hawaii this is their voyage. This is Hawaii’s voyage. We couldn’t go without you and it’s our day to thank you,” Thompson said.

“The security in the park will be enhanced, especially in Magic Island,” said Assistant Chief Clayton Kau, Honolulu Police Department. “If we find or feel that there is a lot of traffic or vehicle traffic in the park, we will periodically close access to the park, monitor that, and reopen it as the traffic begins to lessen.”

“It was spectacular to be here this evening, and to see that people are coming from far and wide. We should all be very cognizant of the significance of Hokulea. That this is a great resurgence and the opportunity to take pride in who we are and our language, our culture, our history,” said cultural practitioner Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu.

We will be airing Hokulea’s homecoming live on Saturday, June 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on our sister station, Hawaii’s CW. It will also be live-streamed on KHON2.com. You can also watch a rebroadcast that night on KHON2 at 6:30 p.m.

Parking Information

Ala Moana Park Drive will remain open for drop-offs, including the Handi-Van, which is allowed to drop off in the Magic Island parking lot with a reservation. Police may close the Ala Moana Park Drive if overcrowding occurs.

Parking restrictions will be in effect starting June 15 in order to prepare for the celebration. We’re told extra security will also be on hand.

On the day of the homecoming, all spots on the makai side of Ala Moana Boulevard are also off-limits and parking at Ala Moana Regional Park will be closed to the public.

There will be parking alternatives for those looking to attend the ceremony, with shuttle services available to Magic Island:

  • McKinley High School, 1039 South King St
    • Free, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
    • Shuttle departs frequently from Pensacola Street
    • Parking attendants present
    • Enter parking from Pensacola Street
  • Hawaii Convention Center, 1801 Kalakaua Ave
    • $10 per day, 7:00 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.
    • Shuttle departs frequently from the ground floor
    • Enter the parking from Kalakaua Avenue, Makai bound
  • Kakaako Makai, in former Fisherman’s Wharf location, provided by OHA, 1011 Ala Moana Blvd.
    • The lot will accommodate 300 cars with shuttle service to and from Magic Island starting at 6:30 a.m. and running every 15 to 20 minutes
  • In addition, OHA is offering free park-and-ride shuttle service from four locations. Seats for this service must be reserved ahead of time (click here for more information):
    • Maili – Maili Community Learning Center, 87-790 Kulauku Street, Waianae, HI 96792
    • Kapolei – Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, 91-5420 Kapolei Parkway, Kapolei, HI 96707
    • Kaneohe – Windward Community College, 45-720 Keaahala Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744
    • Papakolea – Stevenson Middle School, 1202 Prospect St, Honolulu, HI 96813

The Polynesian Voyaging Society is offering a bike valet service at Magic Island.

Event Details

Saturday, June 17
Homecoming Ceremony and Celebration*
Magic Island, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

  • 7-8 a.m. Four local voyaging canoes arrive at Magic Island
  • 8:30 a.m. Two canoes from the Pacific arrive at Magic Island
  • 9 a.m. Hikianalia and Hokulea sail into Ala Wai Boat Harbor Channel with several escort canoes
  • 10 a.m. Kalii Rite conducted by Hale Mua
  • 10:30 a.m. Formal homecoming ceremony
  • 12:30-1 p.m. Screening of Malama Honua voyage highlights
  • 1-5:30 p.m. Hoolaulea
    • Entertainment: Olomana, Jon Osorio, Kapena, Keauhou, Aulii Carvalho, Leon and Malia, Steve Grimes, Kainani Kahaunaele, Tahiti MANA, John Cruz, Brother Noland, and Paula Fuga
    • Food Vendors: Ahi Ambassadors, Da Spot, Hale Kealoha, Il Gelato, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, Teddy’s Bigger Burgers, Waimanalo Farms

*Program details subject to change.

Pop-up tents will only be allowed around the perimeter of the multipurpose field. There will be no canoe tours or entry onto Hokulea. Commemorative homecoming T-shirts are available for sale.

Sunday, June 18, through Tuesday, June 20
Malama Honua Fair and Summit
Hawaii Convention Center, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The summit will highlight the voyaging, cultural, environmental, educational, and health and well-being missions of the worldwide voyage. The general public is invited to walk through exhibits, participate in hands-on activities, and learn from local and global partners who are taking action to mālama honua. They will also be able to step on board Hokulea during canoe tours at the Ala Wai Promenade.

The Polynesian Voyaging Society is collaborating with the World Youth Congress to host a Youth Summit for students ages 5 to 25 to celebrate mālama honua stories and create a collective call to action for the future stewardship of Island Earth. Participation is by invitation only.

Monday, June 19
Inspirational Speaker Series
Hawaii Convention Center, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Tickets: $125 per person

The Malama Honua inspirational speaker series will feature standout local and global speakers who have touched the canoes and their crews during the worldwide voyage. Due to expected volume of demand, reservations are highly encouraged.

Featured global speakers include:

  • Megan Smith, 3rd Chief Technology Officer, United States
  • Dieter Paulmann, Founder and Chairman, Okeanos Foundation for the Sea
  • Byron Mallott, Lt. Governor, State of Alaska
  • Ocean Elders: Her Deepness Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Captain Don Walsh.
  • Nainoa Thompson, President, Polynesian Voyaging Society

Make a contribution to PVS and receive $50 off the $125 registration fee.

Click here for more information.

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