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Cruises to Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa)

5 Reviews
Apia, Samoa (Photo: emperorcosar/Shutterstock)

About Cruising to Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa)

The port of Apia is the international gateway to Samoa, for both airlines and cruise vessels. Even though Apia has been welcoming cruise ships of various types and sizes since the time of Robert Louis Stevenson (in the late 19th century) it has remained something of a niche destination favoured by expedition ships. Recent port improvements have enabled more frequent visits by larger vessels including Vista-class cruise ships.

Despite the presence of some well-known Western chain stores and a long history of Christian missionaries, Samoa has retained a strong connection to its Polynesian roots and is regarded widely in academic circles as the 'centre' of the Polynesian culture, evidenced by a very laidback lifestyle and a love of sport, song and dance.

Apia business centre is an easy and pleasant walk from the newly renovated port facilities which also contain small shops, bars and cafes to distract you. The main shopping centre, markets, banks, visitor centre and post office are all easily found along the beachside strip. Find cruises to Apia on our Samoa cruise itineraries.

  • More about Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa)

  • Why Cruise to Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa)?

  • Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) Cruise Port Facilities?

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Grand Princess
Grand Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

33 Night
South Pacific Cruise

1,613 Reviews
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Westerdam
Westerdam

23 Night
South Pacific Crossing

1,129 Reviews
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Coral Princess
Coral Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

27 Night
World Cruise

1,032 Reviews
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Sapphire Princess
Sapphire Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

32 Night
South Pacific Cruise

1,029 Reviews
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AmaWaterways

54 Night
Australia Cruise

1,234 Reviews
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150 Night
150 Night World Cruise

395 Reviews
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28 Night
South Pacific Cruise

644 Reviews
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32 Night
South Pacific Cruise

1,029 Reviews
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18 Night
South Pacific

2,178 Reviews
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25 Night
South Pacific Cruise

644 Reviews
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19 Night
Australia Cruise

804 Reviews
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Cruise Critic Favorite

16 Night
Fiji Transpacific Cruise

2,242 Reviews
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118 Night
118 Night World Cruise

409 Reviews
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14 Night
South Pacific

2,178 Reviews
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120 Night
120 Night World Cruise

115 Reviews
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More about Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa)

Why Cruise to Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa)?

Pros:

A true hub of Polynesia culture with good shopping and visitor experiences

Cons:

Slow-paced life may frustrate busy city types. Some petty crime.

Bottom Line:

As authentic a Polynesian city as you'll find in the South Pacific

Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) Cruise Port Facilities?

Apia's port facility at Matautu is still a working container port despite recent upgrades for cruise vessels, which includes a wharf extension and navigation upgrades. Passenger facilities are still in temporary marquees on the dock and toilets are housed about 200 yards from the berth near the small retail centre that is on the walkway to the town centre.

The walk into the main shopping precinct is about one mile on flat pavement. Shuttle buses to the Visitor Information Centre in town will often be provided, so check with your cruise director or daily bulletin about this service.

Good to Know?

You'll quickly find the Samoan people, with their broad, welcoming smiles are wonderful hosts and eager to show you their beautiful island but, as the early explorers found, a respect for culture ('Fa'a Samoa') is important. Visitors should dress modestly and observe protocols, such as asking permission before taking photos or swimming in secluded lagoons. Don't be afraid to consult your guide as some protocols are tricky, like not standing in the presence of seated elders or inadvertently pointing your toes when seated. It's also a good practice to exercise alertness and awareness of personal safety as opportunistic crime like bag-snatching and burglary has been reported in Apia. Water is safe to drink. It's also worth knowing that most businesses are shut on Sundays for church.

Getting Around?

On Foot: It's a short and pleasant 20-minute walk into the town centre from the port and from there it is easy to get around the shopping precinct as all the essential businesses are very close together around midtown.

By Bus: The favoured local transport is by bus. These colourful vehicles are an attraction in themselves and it can be fun to jump aboard for a cheap short trip.

By Taxi: Taxis may be in high demand on cruise days, so unless you really need one, it may be easier to walk. Be aware that taxi fares are best negotiated prior to your journey.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Samoa has its own currency, the Samoan t?l? (WST), which is roughly USD$0.35 to USD$0.40 cents. Officially, at least, the t?l? is the only accepted currency, but you can exchange other currencies at banks and some hotels or withdraw from any of the ATMs. Even though credit cards are now much more widely accepted in Apia, it's still important to have some cash at hand for minor purchases made at market stalls or for catching taxis.

Language?

English is widely spoken and understood in Samoa but often with a thick Polynesian accent that may be difficult at first. Even so, speak clearly (not loudly) and politely and you will be understood.

Samoans will be delighted if you can greet and thank them in the local language. 'Talofa' (tah-lo-far) is much like Fiji's 'bula' as a multipurpose greeting that will never offend. But say it with gusto! Thank you is 'fa'afetai' (fa-ah-feh-tie).


Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) Cruise Reviews
The people we met in Samoa were genuinely warm and friendly. Read More
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newmexone
Fantastic 7 hour private tour with Tropical Tours Samoa. Beautiful Island and great people.Read More
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Yehootu
On arrival into Apia the local youth group performed an amazing welcome which we appreciated. We did not use Celebrity excursions but did our own. The Cathedral in Apia is well worth a visit - it is amazing. AlsoRead More
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rosemaryandbill
Hot, humid… but interesting walking is possible but it was 99% hum and 98deg F hot I got sick from walking back. There are tons of taxis, but the cost I’d random they take only America money.Read More
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DuaneO

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