Hawaiian sailing canoe Hokule‘a has arrived in Cuba, and its crew’s stay there is poised to coincide with U.S. president and Hawaii native Barack Obama’s own historic trip there.
The traditional Polynesian vessel replica reached Havana at about 7:30 a.m. local time Friday, according to the Polynesian Voyaging Society.
While in Cuba, Hokule‘a’s crew members are slated to visit Old Havana, which is recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage site, a PVS release stated. They also aim to meet with local advocates for better urban environmental sustainability and marine conservation, the release added.
Obama is scheduled to arrive in Havana today, becoming the first U.S. president to visit the Caribbean island nation in nearly 90 years as relations have recently thawed somewhat between the two countries.
Hokule‘a is slated to stay until Tuesday or Wednesday, weather depending, before departing for Everglades City, Fla. From there, it plans to travel up the East Coast and arrive in New York City by June 8 to participate in the U.N.’s World Oceans Day.