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Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule’a to visit Yorktown

Virginia’s York County invites visitors to an event welcoming the Hokule’a as she sails into Yorktown on Sunday, April 24, and docks at Riverwalk Landing through May 8. 

The Hokule’a (“Star of Gladness” in Hawaiian) is a Polynesian voyaging canoe circumnavigating the globe on a voyage with goals both scientific and educational.

Hokule’a was built by the Polynesian Voyaging Society in the 1970s, more than 600 years after any other voyaging canoe existed.

Designed and 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. Appealing particularly to students and their communities, Hokule’a brings attention to the message of M?lama Honua – Hawaiian for “to care for the Earth.” 

On Sunday, April 24, Hokule’a will sail to Yorktown for a traditional welcoming ceremony with Virginia Indian tribes, followed by an afternoon celebration and tours of the canoe. 

Hokule’a’s approach to Yorktown will begin around 10:30 a.m. At 12 p.m., native tribes will welcome Hokule’a with water song, canoe dance, and exchange of gifts. The celebration will include tours of Hokule’a and opportunities to meet the crewmembers. Public tours will be available between 2 and 5 p.m.

Activities during the two-week visit will include public canoe tours, a community outreach and education day on May 1, multiple public programs, events, and educational activities throughout the region.

Hokule’a also will also be available for public tours while docked in Yorktown. Additional tours will be Thursday, April 28, from 1 to 4 p.m.; Sunday, May 1, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Friday, May 6, from 3 to 6 p.m. Additional tours will be added and once finalized will be published on Tours are free and will be available on the green area adjacent to the Riverwalk Landing piers. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The schedule is subject to change due to weather and safety conditions.