2017 marks the 40th anniversary year for Polynesian Adventure Tours – Gray Line Hawaii, the leading provider of unique tour experiences and high quality transportation services in the Hawaiian Islands. Polynesian Adventure Tours (Poly Ad) began in 1977 with three employees and four fifteen passenger vans and grew to become one of Hawaii’s largest, internationally recognized transportation company.
Founders Bob George and Don Brown established Poly Ad’s home base at the Waikiki Surf hotel and operated a few Oahu tours utilizing drivers as tour guides, who provided live narration. The first tours included the Oahu Circle Island and Pearl Harbor and Punchbowl excursions which remain in operation and continue to be among Poly Ad’s most popular tours. The Circle Island tour included beach picnics where guests were provided with snorkeling equipment.
In 1987, Poly Ad’s Maui, Kauai, Kona and Hilo Stations opened, initially to support One Day Flyaway Tours from Oahu and later island-specific land tours were introduced. 1988, Poly was awarded the contract for Pineapple Transit, a shuttle service from Waikiki to Dole Cannery. In the early 2000s, Poly Ad began offering charter services for large groups like the SAP and Lions Annual Conventions.
Norwegian Cruise Line acquired Poly Ad in 2004 in order to service its shore excursion requirements throughout its port calls state-wide. Backed by the strength of NCL, Poly Ad further expanded its shore excursions enterprise for not only NCL, but all other major cruise lines that visit Hawaii.
In 2005, Poly Ad became a Gray Line affiliate, benefitting from Gray Line’s well-known reputation for offering enjoyable sightseeing tours around the world. The Gray Line brand and marketing channels, including websites are used to convey key messages of providing safe and reliable tours.
Since its founding by Bob George and Don Brown in 1977 up to the present, Poly Ad has sought to deliver services that are relevant, progressive, and valued by its customers. From the innovative concept of using specially-trained drivers as narrators and guides, to its expansive role as a shore excursion provider for the cruise industry, to developing a broad array of appealing sightseeing tours, and cultivating its reputation as a top charter operator with excellent drivers and a legendary group team.
Over the past 40 years, Poly Ad has made a meaningful contribution to Hawaii’s visitor industry and is a vibrant company full of great memories, truly great people, and with a very confident view toward the future. Company President, Sandra Weir remarked: “Poly Ad has sought to meet the needs of its customers – and in doing developed the skills, company culture, and expertise necessary to succeed – all in the spirit of aloha.”