Hokulea, a traditional double-hulled Polynesian traveling canoe, took three years to travel around the world. Now a new exhibition at Honolulu’s tells the story of the journey and other ancient voyages.
“Holo Moana: Generations of Voyaging” launches for landlubbers Saturday. Vacationers staying at Waikiki hotels can reach the exhibition aboard the museum’s new trolley too.
Most modern-day Hawaiians are unfamiliar with centuries-old seafaring skills, but they have been invigorated by this summer’s triumphant June 17 return of the . The large canoe completed a journey of 40,000 nautical miles — without modern-day devices.
Crew members, led by master voyager , spent three years at sea, navigating the way their forebears did, using only the sun, the stars and the wind.
The big buzz generated by the Hokulea’s odyssey is behind the new attraction, which explores the experiences of contemporary voyagers who have successfully sailed without the help of radar or GPS devices.
At the museum, visitors learn about non-instrument navigation from Thompson by watching a recorded presentation in the full-dome projection theater. They also have a chance to engage with sailors through interactive touch-screen displays.
And visitors can experience the bluster of the high seas during an immersive activity that brings to life the winds on which the voyagers relied.
The collection of artifacts on display includes an ornately-carved double fishhook presented to the navigators during their visit to French Polynesia, and a model of the Hokulea, made from a wooden paddle used during the canoe’s maiden voyage in 1976.
The exhibition continues through June 24.
Museum admission is $22.95 for adults and $14.95 for youths ages 4 to 17. Tickets can be purchased or at the door. It’s open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tourists who don’t have rental cars can reach the Bishop aboard the museum’s , which stops at five Waikiki locations several times each day. The round-trip fare is $7.
The museum, at 1525 Bernice St. in Honolulu, is about six miles from beachfront resorts.