The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) was founded in 1973 to carry out an experiment that would help answer some questions: how did the Polynesians settle the far-flung islands of the mid-Pacific – by accident or by design? Did their canoes and their knowledge of navigation enable them to sail purposefully over the vast sea distances between Pacific islands?

PVS began with the building of a replica of a Hawaiian voyaging canoe, Hōkūle‘a, launched in 1975, to explore the seafaring heritage and the voyaging routes of our ancestors.

Photo by Monte Costa

Since its first voyage to Tahiti in 1976, PVS has journeyed across the islands of Hawai'i, from Cape Kumukahi and Ka Lae on the Big Island to Papahānaumokuākea; to the far corners of Polynesia (Aotearoa and Rapanui); from Vancouver south to San Diego and north to Alaska; and through Micronesia to Japan.

It has explored the ocean of our ancestors in order to rediscover and perpetuate through practice Hawaiian voyaging traditons and values and to bring together communities throughout the Pacific. PVS is dedicated to mālama Hawai‘i and mālama Honua – our planet earth and all its people.

More Information:

Vision and Mission / Current Project: Worldwide Voyage

Holokai / Voyages

Founding of PVS and the Building of Hōkūle‘a / Herb Kawainui Kāne

Founding of PVS and the Building of Hōkūle‘a / Ben Finney

Twenty-Five Years of Voyagin (1975-2000) / Nainoa Thompson