Maui Business

Trilogy Excursions Earns PBN Pineapple Award

September 28, 2017, 9:11 AM HST
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Trilogy Excursions has won the Pacific Business News’ Pineapple Award for Leaders in Attractions & Activities.

The award was based on several criteria: accomplishments the company has achieved over the last five years and the impact it has had on employees, guests, revenue, facilities and marketing.

Trilogy has been setting the standard for sustainable tourism practices since its inception in 1973.

It was the first boat company to not dump bathroom waste in the water and established the day-use mooring systems (instead of dropping anchors that destroy vulnerable coral reefs).

Over the past five years, Trilogy Excursions has focused on smaller changes that when adopted company-wide, make a large impact.


In addition to sailing as much as possible, Trilogy converted one of its boats to run entirely off biodiesel.


Trilogy purchased reusable cups and eliminated single-use plastics.

Schedules, manifests and ticketing processes have gone paperless.

The corporate office was converted to solar power and generates enough power to sell back into the electric grid.


With the recent revelation of the harmful effects of sunscreen ingredients on Hawai‘i’s coral reef systems, Trilogy began educating guests on reef-safe sunscreens and alternative sun protection options such as rash guards, and outfitted all boats with reef-safe sunscreen for guests’ use.

Marketing efforts also focus on environmental education through blog posts and social media, which further arms their guests with the solid knowledge needed make eco-conscious purchasing decisions.

“I am very grateful that my grandparents, father and uncle, when starting Trilogy, had the wisdom and foresight to incorporate sustainability into their tours,” said LiAnne Driessen, third-generation Trilogy family member and Trilogy’s director of sales and marketing. “As water lovers, employees have the confidence that Trilogy is a company that takes environmental stewardship very seriously, which has inspired personal conviction and created a culture of respect that extends beyond just caring for our natural resources.”

The award also considers how the company and its employees give back to the community. Trilogy’s employees started Blue‘Aina, a conservation and education program that facilitates monthly reef cleanups around Maui’s accessible coastline. The program targets reefs that are showing distress due to overfishing or roadside/general pollutants.

Trilogy also conducts native species planting projects to reduce the amount of pollutants that reach our reefs through run off.

Monthly cleanups and land projects connect corporate sponsors with local environmentally inclined nonprofits and they invite the community to lend a hand and conduct some citizen science. The cleanups have become a platform for education—where the nonprofit can speak about their mission and educate a community group on topics such as fish counts, water sampling, coral bleaching, manta ray migrations and the effects erosion has on Hawai‘i’s reefs.

In the last 18 months, Trilogy’s Blue‘Aina Campaign has raised over $100,000 in in-kind donation and close to $20,000, which has gone to financially help smaller nonprofits while leaving a lasting positive impact on Maui’s reefs.

PBN’s Pineapple Award also considered how the company contributes to setting Hawai‘i apart from other destinations by providing authentic experiences of the islands. Every Trilogy employee undergoes extensive training on the history of the islands along with Hawaiian culture and folklore. The Polynesians who first discovered the Hawaiian archipelago did so in double-hulled sailing canoes using celestial navigation methods.

Trilogy Excursions operates sailing catamarans, which are the modern day equivalent to those canoes.

“Most guests don’t come with a lot of knowledge of the Hawaiian culture,” said Riley Coon, director of operations. “It’s part of our job to show them what aloha means through our actions and bring our host culture to life by using proper Hawaiian place-names and explaining the meanings behind each word. We do this in hopes of a ripple effect, so that as our guests experience and learn more about our Hawaiian culture, it creates respect for the islands and a desire to perpetuate what our ancestors taught us.”

These efforts thread the needle in exemplifying Trilogy’s core values which are a reflection of their Hawaiian host culture’s principles: aloha, to be friendly and welcoming; ho‘okipa, to exhibit hospitality and helpfulness; lokahi, to be a dedicated team member; pono, to do what is right; and ike loa, to continually learn and strive for improvement.

Trilogy is honored by this award as Hawai‘i’s leader in attractions and activities.

About Trilogy Excursions
Trilogy Excursions is a family-owned and operated sailing company established in 1973 by the Coon Family. They operate on both Maui and Lāna‘i and have led their industry in environmental initiatives, setting safety standards and practicing Hawaiian hospitality. They are committed to sustainable tourism and undergo an extensive certification process every two years to remain a certified eco-tour operator by the Hawaiian Ecotourism Association. Trilogy is known for its daily snorkeling and sailing excursions most notably their all day tour to the private island of Lāna‘i. For more information on Trilogy visit or call (808) 661-4743, ext. 7010.

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