Cook Islands Day at Pier 39

in Maritime, Upcoming Events

Post image for Cook Islands Day at Pier 39
Photo by M. Hofmann

Celebrate the historic “Vaka” ocean journey and Polynesian culture on Wednesday, August 10th from 11:00 to 4:00 at Cook Islands Day. The sights, sounds and tastes of the Cook Islands are set to enthrall San Franciscans at Pier 39. The event is open to the public, and attendees can enter a contest for a chance to win a trip for two to the Cook Islands.

Organized by the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, Cook Islands Day celebrates the arrival of the Cook Islands’ vaka ocean canoe, which is nearing the last leg of its historic three-month, 15,000 mile expedition through the Pacific. The Cook Islands’ vaka set sail from New Zealand in April alongside several other vakas representing other Polynesian nations including Aotearoa (New Zealand), Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, Papua, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Vanautu and Tonga.

Cook Islands Celebration in San Francisco

Photo by Sabri Zidan

The journey was to honor Polynesian culture and revive traditional respect for the ocean by using celestial navigation propelled by the wind, sun and solar electrified motors.

During Cook Islands Day at Pier 39, which will be attended by the Cook Islands’ Honorable Prime Minister Henry Puna, visitors can steep themselves in quintessential Cook Islands’ culture by enjoying rhythmic drumming beats and traditional Cook Islands dance performances.

“We’re thrilled to be celebrating the arrival of the Cook Islands’ Vaka in San Francisco after such an incredible oceanic journey,” said Carmel Beattie, CEO of Tourism for the Cook Islands. “Cook Islands Day will not only honor the vaka’s arrival, but it will also showcase the unique aspects of the Cook Islands Culture through our music, dancing, cuisine, and more.”

The Cook Islands Vaka will dock at Pier 39 on August 10, before its departure the following day down the coast of California, making stops in Santa Monica and Los Angeles. The journey is organized through the Pacific Voyagers Network, which aims to develop awareness and preservation of the ocean environment and marine life. More photos here.

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