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Molokai: “The Friendly Isle” Is a Classroom

Program Number: 1412RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/10/2013 - 2/16/2013; 3/6/2016 - 3/12/2016; 10/30/2016 - 11/5/2016;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Molokai, Hawaii
Price starting at: $1,649.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks
Meals: 17; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners    

Unearth the ancient secrets of Molokai, the most authentically Hawaiian island, known as the “Friendly Isle.” Take part in fishing, crafts, music and dance, discuss the preservation of endangered species and study history from the arrival of Polynesians and birth of the hula to early agriculture and Father Damien’s life. Journey past ranches, villages, bays and fishing grounds as you discover Hawaiian native culture.


• Descend by plane from the highest sea cliffs in the world to spend a day on isolated Kalaupapa Peninsula, where Father Damien’s historic service to leprosy patients earned him beatification.
• Learn the language and technique of hula dancing.
• Take field trips to the Molokai Museum, Meyer Sugar Mill, ancient fishponds, a Hawaiian-language elementary school, and private homes and gardens.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to a few blocks.

Date Specific Information

3-6-2016, 10-30-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Coordinated by Molokai Museum and Cultural Center.


Built from two distinct volcanoes known as East Moloka‘i and the much smaller West Moloka‘i, this island is one of the least developed in the state’s archipelago and is still home to traditional loko, or fish ponds, built along the reefs to catch and keep fish for easy harvest.

Polynesian-style oceanfront hotel with swimming pool.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Molokai
  Kaunakakai, HI 6 nights
 Hotel Molokai
Type: Hotel
  Description: Modest two story bungalows on oceanfront.
  Contact info: Kamehameha V Highway
Kaunakakai, HI 96748 USA
phone: 808-553-5347
  Room amenities: Refrigerator, phone, clock radio alarm, color cable TV, coffee maker, tub/shower, fans, private lanai.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, swimming pool, ATM machine, laundromat, sundries store.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Contact hotel for rates. Reservations must be made with Hotel Molokai.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Contact hotel for rates. Reservations must be made with Hotel Molokai.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Registration begins 4:00pm. Orientation 7:30 p.m. You will be staying at Hotel Molokai that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast at 8:30 a.m. You will be staying at Hotel Molokai the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free at the hotel and all other parking on island.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Kaunakakai, HI
  From End of Program
  Location: Kaunakakai, HI
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Molokai Ho'olehua Airport


From Airport




Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Varies from $11 - $32 per person
Prices are subject to change.

Driving Directions
  Molokai Ho'olehua Airport Taxi arrangements from airport to hotel made with prior reservation through the host organization; detailed information in welcome materials
Elevation Note: There is one field trip to 2000 feet. There is very little walking at that elevation.

Equipment Requirements: Binoculars are recommended in order to view wildlife and Kalaupapa peninsula.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome Dinner and Orientation
(Sunday, February 10)
 Afternoon: 4:00 pm - Hotel Check-in - Lobby 4:00 pm - Road Scholar Registration - Big White Tent
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner buffet at hotel dining room followed by full evening orientation.
Accommodations: Hotel Molokai
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Getting Acquainted with Molokai
(Monday, February 11)

Note: Classes at the hotel

 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Class: Primordial Beginnings to Modern Day Molokai The islands of the Pacific were the last lands on earth to be settled. The Hawaiians believe the gods prepared this land, sea, plants, sky and all living things. They knew the nearest people lived to the south. Examine Hawaiian legends of creation of how the islands and life came to be and compare it to what we learn from geologists and anthropologists. Each island is unique and different. In depth study of: 1) Molokai Geology, Geography & Weather; 2) The Ahupua'a, From the Mountains to the Sea; 3) E Molokai, Aina Kaulana - Modern Molokai.
 Lunch: At hotel dining room
 Afternoon: Class: Nation Within-The Story of America's Annexation of The Nation of Hawaii. You may never think of the history of Hawaii the same say again. Class: Island People, Island Values Who are the island people? Why are their values so important to the survival of their culture? What is their future? Is there a place for them in the world?
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Molokai
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Molokai Museum/Hawaiian Immersion School/Preview of Kalaupapa
(Tuesday, February 12)

Note: All-day Field Trip

 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Ground transportation on a non-air conditioned school bus. A native Hawaiian guide rides with you and interprets the corridors on our drive. Molokai Museum: The 1878 R. W. Meyer Sugar Mill is the Museum's largest artifact. A Museum docent takes you on an historical walk through the Mill, on the State and National Register of Historic Places. Examine the original Mill equipment and handwritten records of the German-Hawaiian family who started it all. Museum Gallery Exhibit: Live Kalaupapa's history as you move through the photo exhibit. Artifacts from the patients are on display. Pohaku - Stones: Stones have spiritual power. The Ku'ula, an important stone of the fishermen, and the Pohaku Hanau, a great birth stone to support chiefly mothers in a semi-sitting position while giving birth give us an appreciation of the great knowledge of the Hawaiians. Examine these two stones and hear their voices. Study other important pohaku in our Gallery. Class: A Balance of Economics and Values. Molokai is the "last Hawaiian Island' with a population of approximately 7,500, of which 52 percent are native Hawaiians. They are passionate about "Keeping Molokai Molokai" and preserving their culture and lands for future generations. Hear from a native Hawaiian his feelings, ideas, thoughts and current issues facing our island and its future.
 Lunch: At Molokai Museum. Prepared by our Museum staff using their treasured family recipes. Fresh fruits harvested from our garden and other delectable entrées are served. The recipes used will be given as a gift.
 Afternoon: Hawaiian Immersion School: In 1896 the native Hawaiian language was banned in all public schools and public places. The ban was removed by state law in 1986 and within a year two immersion schools opened. You are there! Take your place in first or second grade for a unique Hawaiian educational experience with the keiki (children) leading the way. Purdy's Macadamia Nut Farm: In 1921, the U.S. Congress passed the Hawaiian Homestead Act for the rehabilitation of Hawaiians. Meet the Purdy family, native Hawaiian homesteaders, for an on-site visit to their farm--the only Hawaiian Homestead Macadamia Nut Farm in Hawaii. Discuss their business and compare it to other macadamia nut farms in the state. Enjoy delicious, fresh samples of all their products.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: Class: Kalaupapa, Yesterday & Today In preparation for the next day, learn about the history of the leprosy settlement made famous by recently canonized St. Damien. For 16 years, Damien ministered to hundreds of leprosy patients at this place - a dark and sad period in the history of Hawaii.
Accommodations: Hotel Molokai
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Kalaupapa National Historic Park/Polynesian Voyaging
(Wednesday, February 13)

Note: Round-trip flight in 9-seater plane to isolated peninsula of Kalaupapa; all-day field trip.

 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Descend by plane to Kalaupapa National Historic Park where a local expert takes you on a pilgrimage through the "lands of Father Damien". Once a thriving Hawaiian village, Kalaupapa became a "living tomb" when the land was purchased in 1865 by the Hawaiian government for a leper colony. The Kalaupapa story is about more than 8,000 persons--men, women and children--taken from their families, man's inhumanity to man, and the courage and dedication of humanitarians who served the lepers.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch at Kalaupapa National Historic Park.
 Afternoon: Picnic at Kalawao, cold, wet and windswept, where the first inmates, yes, they were called inmates, came ashore. The beauty of the magnificent sea cliffs, a National Historic Landmark, are the only witnesses to the horror so many of mankind endured for being diagnosed with leprosy. What is next for Kalaupapa when the last patient passes away?
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: Class: Voyage of Rediscovery - The Hokule'a Hokule'a: Polynesians sailed the entire Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean, larger than all the land in the world put together. They perfected wayfinding, sailing millions of square miles of open ocean with a purpose, using their knowledge of astronomy, meteorology, oceanography, navigation and birds to find land. One of the first two women in modern times (1975) to sail on the double-hull, voyaging canoe Hokule'a, takes you on her voyage of self discovery.
Accommodations: Hotel Molokai
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Molokai's East End: Nene, Fishponds, and Halawa Valley
(Thursday, February 14)

Note: All-day field trip

 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Ride a non-air conditioned school bus with a native Hawaiian to guide you through the eastern corridor of Molokai. Travel a coastal two-lane road with the islands of Lanai, Kahoolawe and Maui in clear view. Visit the Nene, the most endangered goose in the world, and other birds of the Hawaiian flyway. Learn about endemic coastal plants, then step inside the beautiful, oceanfront home of our hosts for a brief lesson on the benefits of recycling and Hawaiian architectural design. The Hawaiian system of land use allowed access to all resources from the mountains to the sea. Fishponds required specialized technology to ensure an abundance of food from the sea from generation to generation. Our visit to Ali'i Fishpond, constructed approximately in the 13th century, gives us insight into the Hawaiian concept of aquaculture, history, use and decline, restoration, issues and concerns. Another visit to a home of a part-Hawaiian family. Quilts owned by Molokai Museum will be shown, including an award-winning contemporary quilt of the 1878 R. W. Meyer Sugar Mill. One of the most important trees in all of Polynesia is the coconut--the tree of life. Every part of the tree and fruit were used from the making of musical instruments, thatch for homes, medicines, oil, household products to cordage. Handle the displays and taste coconut meat at various stages of maturity. Quench your thirst on coconut water. Take a walk through the family's gardens of tropicals, hibiscus, fruit trees and vegetables.
 Lunch: Enjoy a picnic at the coast - private home and garden setting.
 Afternoon: Swim in the clear, azure ocean, stroll the sandy beach or just enjoy the refreshing tradewinds. Before the picnic's end, listen and learn from the Taro Planter, a descendant of the first settlers of Halawa Valley. He, too, shares a story of self discovery as he lives the culture taught to him by his kupunas (elders). Halawa is the oldest known human habitation on Molokai - 650 A.D. On the way home, step inside St. Joseph, a church built by Father Damien in 1878.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Molokai
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Lei Making/Luau at Molokai Museum
(Friday, February 15)

Note: Hands-on class

 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Class: Lei Making. Learn the art of lei making using fresh, picked flowers. Sew your lei for the proper adornment for tonight's luau.
 Lunch: At hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy a free afternoon, then join the local folk for Hawaiian music and dancing until it's time to leave for the luau at Molokai Museum.
 Dinner: Luau at Molokai Museum.
 Evening: Your week with us calls for a celebration. Experience a traditional luau in your honor through food, music, hula and conversation. The luau is prepared by our staff; entertainment by our Museum family.
Accommodations: Hotel Molokai
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: "A Hui Hou"
(Saturday, February 16)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.
 Morning: "Aloha is Spoken Here" on Molokai. When you leave, please take the aloha spirit with you. We do not have a word for goodbye. The Hawaiians say, "A Hui Hou" - until we meet again. And so we bid you "A Hui Hou". Program ends after breakfast at 8:30 am
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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