Maui News

Cruise Ship Protest Planned on Molokai

November 7, 2011, 7:27 AM HST
* Updated November 7, 7:29 AM
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By Wendy Osher

Walter Ritte file photo by Wendy Osher.

A group of residents on Molokai plan to hold a protest this Thursday in demonstration against a cruise ship company planning port calls on the island.

There are at least five trips planned this year by the American Safari Cruises company, according to a booking website.

Protest organizers say, “it will be the beginning of the end for the island’s rural lifestyle” if the Safari Explorer is allowed to come to Molokai without proper community process.

“We must demand community participation in the decisions over tourism on Molokai, and not let a few business people control tourism for their personal benefits,” said Molokai resident Walter Ritte in an email communication.

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The cruise company meantime, touts an “un-cruise” theme, with a maximum of 36 passengers per visit, and use of local products aboard, according to an October, 30, 2011 report in the The Molokai Dispatch.

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The protest, which is the second of its kind, is planned for 6 a.m. Thursday at Kaunakakai Wharf.

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