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18 cruise ships scheduled for 2014, including 7 Princesses, 2 Queens

fili@samoanews.com

An estimated 40,000-plus temporary visitors will disembark in American Samoa next year onboard a total of confirmed 18 cruise ships, which include two vessels arriving on the same day, giving boost to the local economy.
 
“It will be a great year for cruise ship visits for American Samoa in 2014 as we continue to further develop our visitors industry,” American Samoa Visitors Bureau executive director David Vaeafe told Samoa News over the weekend, confirming the good news for the Port of Pago Pago.
 
“Next year we’re getting more bigger cruise ships bringing to our shore close to 44,000 passengers and crew — and this means more money boosting this industry especially the local economy,” Vaeafe said in a phone interview. “And next year’s total is the biggest number of cruise ship passengers and crew to visit the territory in a year.”
 
He also shared that the highest number of passenger and crew — at 4,270 — are to arrive on board the ship, ‘Crown Princess’ — on her maiden voyage to the territory in November and will be the last ship for 2014.
 
The first ship for the New Year, arrives Jan. 21, and is the ‘Silver Whisper’, also on her maiden voyage to the territory. It will have the smallest number of passengers and crew at 684 for 2014.
 
The third ship also on her maiden voyage is the ‘Golden Princess’ arriving Apr. 14th.
 
Because American Samoa competes with other South Pacific islands for cruise ship visits, Vaeafe said the work is constantly ongoing in promoting the territory as a destination.
 
“We are constantly promoting American Samoa as a destination to visit, talking to cruise lines and our partners overseas, as well as  attending cruise ship conventions,” he explained. “Cruise ship lines plans two years in advance, so the 2014 sails were planned in 2012.”
 
The Visitors Bureau announced in it’s eNews for December 2013, the cruise ships for next year and among the highlights are three ships will be on “Round the World” voyages, with the longest for 116 nights; two ships will visit the territory twice; and seven ‘Princess’ and two ‘Queen’ ships are scheduled for visits.
 
“Yes, we will have two ‘Queen’ visit our shores,” Vaeafe said, and laughed when asked if one of the ships is named, ‘Queen Fili’.
 
According to the schedule, ‘Queen Elizabeth’ sails into port on Feb 18 followed by ‘Queen Victoria’ 30 days later, arriving Mar. 18th.
 
February will be a busy cruise ship month, with six of them, including two arriving on the same day — Feb. 1st — the ‘Amsterdam’ and the ‘Amadea’.
 
The last time two ships were hosted at Pago Pago Harbor, for the first time, was two years ago and the Visitors Bureau has used this as a selling point in attracting ships to the territory, promoting the ability of the Port of Pago Pago to accommodate two cruise liners at the same time and provide pictures as proof.
 
In March, there are four ships followed in April with three. Specific passenger and crew counts for all other ships will be available prior to their arriving in Pago Pago.



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