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reporters@samoanews.com

16 CRUISE SHIPS AND UP TO 40,000 VISITORS EXPECTED IN 2013

The American Samoa Visitor’s Bureau has confirmed that 16 cruise ships are scheduled to visit the Port of Pago Pago next year, 2013, bringing nearly 40,000 passengers and crew to the Territory.

Visitor’s Bureau executive director David Vaeafe told Samoa News last month that they were still working on getting confirmation of more ships for the territory.

However, the agency’s eNews letter this week confirms there will be 16 cruise ships in 2013. The first ship to arrive will be the Phoenix Reisen's Artania, on Jan. 31 while the last ship of the year will be the Holland America Line's Amsterdam on Nov. 19.

Among the cruise ships calling into port in the new year will be the Queen Elizabeth, set to dock on Feb. 14— Valentine’s Day— arriving at 8 a.m. from Hawai’i and departing for Samoa at 6 p.m.

All the ships will visit for a day with passengers and crew taking excursion tours, dining out and shopping, according to the Visitor’s Bureau.

In the current year, 2012, a total of 20 ships were scheduled but only 19 called in to port. The 20th ship cancelled its voyage two weeks ago due to Cyclone Evan, which caused severe infrastructure damage to neighboring Samoa, while the territory was spared.

CHAMBER DELIVERS CYCLONE RELIEF TO LOCAL RED CROSS UNIT

Chamber of Commerce chairman David Robinson says that the business organization’s cyclone relief collection for Samoa has been going very well. He said two truck loads of food items, clothing, bedding and general goods were delivered Wednesday to the local unit of the American Red Cross for shipment to Apia.

He said the donations came from Chamber members, and in particular from the Mary Elizabeth Care Ministry who donated a lot of clothing.

“Our collection center is still open at Impex Pacific at the Tafuna Industrial Park and we shall keep it open as we expect some more donations to come in during the next few weeks,” he said Thursday morning.

PORT OFFICIAL ACCEPTED AT HOMELAND SECURITY LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

Port Administration’s assistant director Tuifaleamato Robert Atimalala Tagovailoa  has been accepted at the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Security, to attend the Pacific Executive Leaders Program.

The program sessions are set for Jan. 28 to Feb. 1, 2013 in Hilo Hawai’i. The program is fully funded and all expenses are paid by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

According to Ms. Heather Issvoran, the director of Strategic Communications for the Center for Homeland Defense and Security, which is based in Monterey, Calif., some 350 applications were received for 44 slots.

The selection criteria looked at the relevancy and level of applicants' positions and homeland security/emergency management responsibilities, as well as homeland security/emergency management experience and knowledge they will bring to the program.

The program is open to all full-time local, state, tribal, territorial, federal and military officials who are working in the Pacific Islands and Territories. This program also includes private sector officials with significant homeland security responsibilities.



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