Early into the inaugural Hawaiian season for American Safari Cruises, protests by locals are causing some issues.
The Safari Explorer has made a port stop in Molokai on three occasions during its inaugural season. The first two visits were met by protesters on land, which had no effect according to protest organizers. On the third visit on Saturday, protesters decided to attempt to block the Safari Explorer from entering the harbor. After two hours, the 36-passenger Safari Explorer left without docking, moving on to its next port of call.
The locals have stated that they do not want their rural environment turned into another Waikiki. The locals are protesting that American Safari Cruises did not engage the locals, allowing them to be part of the decision making process.
Dan Blanchard, owner of American Safari Cruises, has stated that his company took the proper channels to coordinate arrivals, meeting with community members and even attending one of the prior protests. A community meeting is planned for Wednesday, November 30. At that time, Blanchard hopes to sit down with protesters to discuss their concerns. Until an agreement is reached, Blanchard stated that the ship will continue on without the stops and services from Molokai.