First Costa Atlantica voyage into Pago Pago
The first “Chinese” cruise ship to visit American Samoa will arrive on Friday, December 23, according to the Samoa Visitors Bureau. The Costa Atlantica is on a 46-night return South Pacific Cruise from Tianjin, which departed November 30.
The Atlantica’s visit will also be the ship's maiden call in the Pago Pago Harbor arriving at 8:00 a.m. and departing at 6.00 p.m.
A Samoan cultural group along with Miss American Samoa, Antonina Lilomaiava and the team from the American Samoa Visitors Bureau will greet the ship.
Passengers will disembark for tours of Tutuila and shopping at the vendors market on the Fagatogo Malae.
The voyage takes in South Korea, Northern Mariana Islands, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, French Polynesian, American Samoa, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and Japan.
The ship carries 2652 passengers with a crew of 902.
According to the ASVB Executive Director, David Vaefa, “The arrival of this Chinese charter, is the first of its kind that potentially will bring hundreds of thousands of Chinese passengers into the Pacific.
“Cruise lines view Asia as the new biggest cruising market with over 25 million plus potential travelers and have been home basing ships at various Ports throughout the region.
“The visit by the Costa Atlantica is the third Costa ship to be based in Asia and this inaugural 46-night cruise is one of its longest itineraries to date.
”Like everything we do to promote the Territory we have to be prepared for the ever changing tourism industry and if we put on a good show in terms of hosting them on this inaugural visit, then we are going to get more of these charters from Asia. The more ships we get, the more new money is injected into our economy,” he said.