Two more cruise ships added for 2014
Two additional cruise ships have been added to American Samoa’s visit schedule this year, bringing the total to 20 ships calling into the Port of Pago Pago. One of the ships, will arrive Christmas Eve, “making our holiday a little festive not only for vendors, tourism industry and the community, but also our temporary visitors,” ASVB executive director David Vaeafe told Samoa News.
One of the new additions is the Holland America Line's 'Volendam', which is on a 22-night voyage from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia. It is scheduled to arrive Oct. 10 from Honolulu and depart later in the day for Dravuni, Fiji Islands.
The Christmas Eve cruise ship on Dec. 24 is the Regent Seven Sea’s vessel ‘Mariner’ making her maiden visit to American Samoa during an 18-night voyage from French Polynesia to Auckland, New Zealand. The ship arrives in the morning from Rarotonga, Cook Islands and departs late in the afternoon for Suva, Fiji.
Last year’s vessel count was 20 and this year with another 20 ships — it is a “good and encouraging” sign that cruise lines still favor American Samoa as a stopping point for their ships, Vaeafe said.
He pointed out that in the coming years, some of the current ships will be replaced with newer ones, which are bigger, carry more passengers and increase frequency in the ports they call into. “And we want these ships to continue to call into Pago Pago in years to come bringing more visitors.”
According to the executive director, the South Pacific and Asia regions are seeing a boom in cruise ship sails as cruise liners adjust where the ships are based, moving them from Europe and the Caribbean to Australia and Asian ports.
“This gives American Samoa more opportunities to get a share of this booming industry, which will give us an increase in tourism visitors,” Vaeafe told Samoa News on Thursday.