Hokulea: the double­hulled sailing canoe was launched in 1975 | Photo: Bryson Hoe

The Hokulea has successfully completed the three-year voyage around the world.

It's like going back in time. The voyaging canoe arrived home, and thousands of proud Hawaiians converged at Honolulu's Ala Wai Boat Harbor to welcome the historical sailing craft.

The Hokulea traveled more than 40,000 nautical miles around the globe, and the crew used only ancient navigating techniques based on the positioning of the sun, stars, winds, waves, and seabirds.

"The Hokulea talks to the future, to the keiki [children]. Thank you, Hawaii. Thank you for the moment. I am very humbled to tell you right now that Hokulea is home," said Nainoa Thompson, Hokulea's master navigator.

The Hokulea started its worldwide voyage in May 2014 and docked at 150 ports. The sailing vessel stopped in 23 countries, including Tahiti, Brazil, South Africa, and Cuba.

The ultimate symbol of the Polynesian culture is sailed by 12-14 crew members. Over 240 volunteers contributed with their time and knowledge to the circumnavigation.

The vessel will continue to spread the Aloha spirit, but it also shares a grand message with the people of the world: to care for our Earth and teach the virtues of environmental sustainability.

Hokulea: it measures 62 feet in length, and 20 feet in width | Photo: Jason Patterson

Hōkūle‘a - the original Hawaiian name - is a wa'a (traditional voyaging canoe) launched for the first time on March 8, 1975. It mimics the canoes that brought ancient Hawaiians to their archipelago over 600 years ago.

Through her voyages, Polynesian Voyaging Society’s legendary vessel has sparked a reawakening of Hawaiian culture, language, identity and revitalized voyaging and navigation traditions throughout the Pacific Ocean.

Two years after the first voyage to Tahiti in 1976, the stunning double-­hulled sailing canoe tried to repeat the feat, but it capsized in stormy conditions off of Molokai.

Eddie Aikau, one of the crew members, decided to paddle his surfboard back to Hawaii to get help, but he was never seen again.

Hōkūle'a is the Hawaiian name for the star Arcturus ("Star of Gladness"). It was designed by artist and historian Herb Kawainui Kāne, one of the founders of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

It measures 62 feet in length, and 20 feet in width.