Worldwide Voyage Receives First Major Sponsorship

Hawaiian Airlines Pledges Crew Travel and Cargo Transportation

In a significant display of support for the mission of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Worldwide Voyage, Hawaiian Airlines has pledged to provide air transportation for PVS crew and cargo throughout Hawaiian’s route network for the duration of the four-year voyage.

Hikianalia on its way to Hawaii last year.

Hikianalia on its way to Hawaii last year.

Under a sponsorship contract signed this week, Hawaiian Airlines will provide 32 million air miles for crew travel, as well as cargo support for supplies needed as the sailing canoes Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia travel to international ports throughout the Pacific.  The value of the sponsorship is estimated to be $1 million.

Hawaiian will be the lead sponsor of the voyage, which will be known as “The Worldwide Voyage Sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.”

The Dalai Lama blessed the Hokulea at Kualoa Park last year.  Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

The Dalai Lama blessed the Hōkūle‘a at Kualoa Park last year. Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

“We are deeply appreciative of Hawaiian’s extraordinary commitment to our mission to inspire young people throughout the world to care for and sustain our planet, and to coexist in peace and compassion,” said navigator Nainoa Thompson, PVS president.  “Sailing Hōkūle‘a has taught us the importance of understanding and connecting with our natural resources.  She is a reminder to us all of the need to celebrate and protect the natural and cultural treasures of Island Earth.”

“The Worldwide Voyage honors a legacy of connecting islands throughout the Pacific that Polynesian navigators created centuries ago. It is our privilege as modern-day navigators and beneficiaries of that legacy to support this voyage and its message of sustainability and resource protection,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines’ president and CEO.

The Worldwide Voyage Sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines will begin in June 2013 with a series of voyages throughout the Hawaiian archipelago, and continue through 2017 with visits to more than 60 ports in more than 20 countries.

The Hōkūle‘a being worked on. Picture courtesy of Pillars of Peace

The Hōkūle‘a being worked on. Picture courtesy of Pillars of Peace

The 48-month voyage involves more than 400 crewmembers from 16 countries.  This includes educators and scientists who will be using the voyage to research ocean wellness, using Native Hawaiian and western science research methods, and to create voyaging-based curriculum to be disseminated in as many Hawai‘i schools as possible, including Mālama Honua, a newly created charter school affiliated with the voyage.  Hikianalia, the solar- and wind-powered support and sister vessel to Hōkūle‘a, will be a platform for marine science, documentation, education outreach, communication and teacher training, while Hōkūle‘a will continue to be a platform for indigenous knowledge, experiential learning and sustainability.

PVS expects to have approximately 5,000 of Hawai‘i’s school children physically on the canoes during the first year of the Worldwide Voyage, and more than 100,000 Hawai’i students and teachers on board PVS’s third canoe, the website, throughout the four-year voyage as part of their curriculum.  Students from several public and private schools in Hawai‘i have already been involved in preparing for the voyage by assisting in dry docks (restoration and repair work) for Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia, studying the sail plan, and participating in crew training and classroom work on the wa‘a.

Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

The blessing of the Hokulea. Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

“The involvement of our youth has been one of the most powerful aspects of planning for this voyage,” remarked Thompson.  “We can count on this next generation of voyagers to perpetuate the values and practices that will guide our planet toward good health.”

Commented Dunkerley: “The students who will be touched by this voyage, either by participating in it or by learning from the science-based curriculum it will produce, are the future workforce of Hawaiian Airlines.  So it is fitting that Hawai‘i-based companies such as ours support this journey.”

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