The Crown Princess left Nawiliwili in the afternoon of October 25, 2015. We sailed south-southwest four full days at sea, crossing both the Equator and the International Date Line. During this portion of the voyage our ship needed to slow, delaying our arrival to our next destination. The problem was the intense El Nino that year. The engines of the Crown Princess are cooled by sea water, and the unusually warm water during that year’s El Niño required the ship to reduce speed because of overheating concerns.
Thus, we arrived to Apia, capital of the Independent State of Samoa, later than originally planned. We would need to hurry if we were to adequately explore this destination that we had never before visited.
Samoa transitioned to the west side of the International Date Line less than four years prior to our visit, back in December of 2011. Prior to that Samoa shared the same side of the Date Line as our next destination, American Samoa, less than 45 miles to the east. This was done to facilitate trade with Australia and New Zealand, which over time became more important that the previously most important trading partner, California.
As we approached the dock we were pleasantly surprised to find a greeting performance troop in colorful dress.
From a distance Apia appears pretty unassuming, but as you set out on foot from the pier and proceed into town that perspective soon changes. First, we passed this quaint marina:
Following along Beach Road and rounding the bend into town we were greeted with this sight:
Shortly after we approached the beautiful EFKS (Ekalesia Faapotopotoga Kerisiano Samoa)Church with its colorful exterior and twin domed towers:
We didn’t linger here, however. We had a different destination in mind, and time was running out to get there. Our next stop, The Samoa Cultural Village.