Port 5 Apia — Our first visit to Samoa


Sailing in Apia Bay

Sailing in Apia Bay

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.

Apia Bay wreck

Apia Bay wreck

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.

Apia tugboat

Apia tugboat

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.

Apia from a distance

Apia from a distance

As we approached the dock we were pleasantly surprised to find a greeting performance troop in colorful dress.

The Crown Princess approaches port

The Crown Princess approaches port

Samoan greeters

Samoan greeters

Crown Princess in port

Crown Princess in port

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:

Apia marina

Apia marina

Following along Beach Road and rounding the bend into town we were greeted with this sight:

Apia, capital of Samoa

Apia, capital of Samoa

Shortly after we approached the beautiful EFKS (Ekalesia Faapotopotoga Kerisiano Samoa)Church with its colorful exterior and twin domed towers:

EFKS Church

EFKS Church

EKFS Church

EKFS Church

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.

Flowering tree at the Samoa Cultural Village

Flowering tree at the Samoa Cultural Village

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