Current Projects


About PVS

Dedication: to Myron Bennett "Pinky" Thompson (1924-2001), who provided visionary leadership as president of the Society from 1979-2001.
Acknowledgement: The painting in the PVS Banner, “Kaha‘i entering Kāne‘ohe Bay,” is by Herb Kawainui Kane, a founder of PVS.

History and Education

Ho‘okele: Polynesian Voyaging Society Online Archives

Board of Directors
Donations and Membership
Previous Monthly Updates and Newsletter Archives

About the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS)

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.

Hōkūle‘a. 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.

Our Mission

With a legacy of ocean exploration as its foundation, the Polynesian Voyaging Society is commited to undertake voyages of discovery (Holokai); to respect, learn from, and perpetuate through practice our heritage and culture (‘Ike); and to promote learning which integrates voyaging experiences and values into quality education (Ho‘ona‘auao). We are committed to nurturing communities and the leadership therein that values learning and sharing knowledge in order to foster living well on islands.

Our Vision

Hawai‘i, our special island home, is a place where the land and sea are cared for, and people and communities are healthy and safe.

Our Guiding Values

Mālama: To care for

Aloha: To love

‘Imi ‘Ike: To seek knowledge

Lokomaika‘i: To share with each other

Na‘au Pono: To nurture a deep sense of justice

Olakino Maika‘i: To live healthy