American Safari Cruises News Release
Seattle-based American Safari Cruises is extremely pleased to announce that an understanding has been reached allowing its 36-guest yacht, the Safari Explorer, to resume visits to Molokai in January 2012. After working with state and federal authorities and local groups, an amicable agreement has been reached to allow the yacht unimpeded visits to the island on its seven-day adventure cruises.
The yacht will return to its regularly scheduled two-day visits Jan. 21-22, 2012.
This agreement is a result of many long hours of spirited discussions about tourism and development on the island with all participants sharing the underlying desire to preserve Molokai’s unique character, history and traditions. With an eye on conservation, American Safari Cruises’ small-group travel philosophy strives to educate guests, be responsible stewards and make a positive impact on communities visited. On Molokai, the yacht purchases fresh produce, meat and coffee, and contracts with locals for tours.
“We are grateful to the wonderful people of Molokai for their true aloha spirit. We hold tremendous respect for their unwavering desire to preserve their traditional lifestyle for future generations,” said Dan Blanchard, American Safari Cruises’ CEO and principal. “We are delighted to be able to share Molokai’s beauty and honest and untainted Hawaiian spirit with those guests traveling on our 36-guest yacht, the Safari Explorer.”
From October through May, seven-night active, adventure un-cruises explore Lanai, Molokai, Maui and the Big Island. Itineraries sail between Maui/Lanai and the Big Island and reverse; a scenic ferry ride connects guests between Maui and the yacht on Lanai.
Exclusive cultural tours on Molokai are included during a two-day visit. Lawrence Aki, a 50th generation of his Hawaiian Halau lineage, will guide the group to a waterfall in the pristine Halawa Valley. Along the way, guests spend time with Lawrence “talking story,” listening to the land and absorbing the spirit of the natural world and ancient cultural practices passed down through generations of native Hawaiians. Guests may also choose to tour local farms — Molokai Plumerias and Tuddie and Kammy Purdy’s Macadamia Nut Farm — and walk through ancient taro terraces.
Auntie Noelani Keliikipa hosts a visit to the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center and a Hawaiian pa’ina celebration feast. The feast features locally sourced cuisine including fresh fish and poi, seaweed and Molokai sweet potatoes, all staples of the Hawaiian diet. Local musicians join in the celebration along with a kumu hula dancer.
Flexible yacht itineraries focus on the leeward side of the eastern-most Hawaiian Islands. Guests can be as active as they like and explore by foot, kayak, paddle board, sailboat and motorized skiff excursions. Expert naturalists provide interpretation on guided excursions ashore and at sea. The unstructured itinerary allows time for viewing wildlife such as humpback whales and snorkeling tours are a highlight throughout the trip.