Months of community protest against the 36-passenger Safari Explorer cruise ship gave way to compromise about six months ago. Dan Blanchard, CEO of Un-Cruise Adventures, signed an agreement in January with members of the Molokai community that allows his company to dock the Safari Explorer in Kaunakakai once a week between November and April. The agreement limits the number of visitors to 36 and requires the company to use only local vendors and businesses to support its visits.
Helping negotiate this agreement with the Aha Kiole O Molokai representatives was the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the State Department of Transportation. A series of meetings concluded in November of 2012.
Now, Un-Cruise Adventures unveiled its newest plans yesterday to make Molokai the centerpiece of its Hawaiian cruises.
Un-Cruise Adventures News Release
From November 2013 to April 2014, Un-Cruise Adventures’ 36-guest yacht Safari Explorer explores the Hawaiian islands on a new itinerary sailing one-way between Molokai and Hawaii, the Big Island or reverse. Weeklong luxury adventure cruises in Hawaii include activities and tours while exploring four islands —Molokai, Lanai, Maui and Hawaii, the Big Island.
New this season, Molokai — a quieter, less-visited island — takes center stage as the beginning or ending point for the line’s cruises. Exclusive cultural activities are included for guests on Molokai with the vessel spending an evening at dock to allow for a full day of activities and cultural immersion.
“Molokai is like stepping back in time to the Hawaii of yesteryear,” said Dan Blanchard, CEO and principal for Un-Cruise Adventures. “It’s incredibly scenic and values its culture and heritage which we’re proud to be able to share with our guests.”
Anakala Pilipo invites guests to Molokai’s historic and scenic Halawa Valley for a hike to a secluded waterfall or a relaxing day on his land “talking story,” learning the traditions of his family’s ancient taro patch and a visit to a nearby beach. In the evening, an authentic Pa’ina (feast) at the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center features local cuisine including fresh fish, poi, seaweed, Molokai sweet potatoes and other staples of the Hawaiian diet. Local musicians join in the celebration along with a kumu hula dancer.
Travelers booked by Aug. 2 for travel November 2013 through April 2014 receive a $700 per couple travel credit. Rates for the inclusive weeklong Hawaii cruise start at $3,595 per person, double occupancy. Inclusion of premium spirits, fine wines and microbrews, superb hand-crafted meals featuring local Hawaiian flavors, massage, yoga, guided tours geared toward small groups, from-yacht activities and equipment, whale and dolphin encounters, transfers, lei greeting, and port charges and taxes are all wrapped into the cruise fare.
Highlights of the Hawaiian seascapes cruise include a night snorkel with giant manta rays and snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay where Captain Cook was slain in 1779. A tour to the Lanai Culture and Heritage Center introduces guests to the history of the island. In the Humpback National Marine Sanctuary, expedition cruising allows time for searching out marine life — humpback whales, dolphins, turtles and other marine life. In Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, an afternoon is free to explore the historic town.
The yacht carries a full complement of water sports equipment for guest use and a swim step provides a convenient and safe launch pad for kayaks and paddleboards, or jumping in for a swim. Guests can be as active as they like and activities include hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, sailing and skiff excursions. Expert naturalists provide interpretation on guided excursions ashore and at sea.
An experienced and attentive crew, many from the islands, provides a guest-crew ratio of 2-to-1. Charters and group bookings are available. To book or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or Un-Cruise Adventures at 888-862-8881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.