Community ready for Hōkūle'a visit after one-day delay

Delayed a day last week for COVID testing after leaving Juneau, the Polynesian Voyaging Society vessel Hōkūle’a was scheduled to arrive in Wrangell for a traditional Tlingit welcome and community reception on Tuesday, June 27.

Wrangell Cooperative Association and clan leaders planned to take the visitors on Wednesday aboard charter boats to see Old Town, WCA Tribal Administrator Esther Aaltséen Reese said Monday. The original Tlingit village is about 13 miles south of downtown.

The 65-foot, twin-hulled sailing craft left Juneau on June 18, embarking on a 43,000-mile, 47-month voyage, circumnavigating the Pacific Ocean, visiting 36 countries, nearly 100 Indigenous territories and 345 ports.

The voyage was delayed a day in Angoon to ensure none of the crew had picked up COVID after a close contact was reported in Juneau. From Angoon, the boat sailed more than five hours to Kake for an overnight visit and events before going to Petersburg. It is scheduled to sail to Ketchikan after it departs Wrangell on Thursday morning, Reese said.

The schedule for Wrangell, as of Monday afternoon, showed the visitors arriving just off Petroglyph Beach late Tuesday morning, where tribal and clan leaders were to paddle out in a traditional canoe and several smaller canoes to meet the boat, Reese said.

The flotilla was expected to head to Shakes Island for a cultural exchange and ceremony on Tuesday. A community potluck was planned for that evening at the Nolan Center. As of Monday morning, community members already had signed up to bring more than six dozen food dishes to the event.

The sailing ship’s schedule is weather dependent, and for the latest updates and to track the voyage, visit


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