Port of Pago Pago
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The capital of American Samoa, Pago Pago is located some 2,300 miles from New Zealand, 1,600 miles from Hawaii and 14 degrees south of the equator. American Samoa is home for some 65,000 people, of whom around 9,000 live in Pago Pago. The Samoan islands have been inhabited since about 800 BC, when early Polynesians first landed near the current day village of Tula. Europeans didn't get even a glimpse of these tropical shores until 1722. Today the islands are divided into the independent Kingdom of Samoa and American Samoa, which is a non-incorporated territory under U.S. sovereignty.
American Samoa retains much of its traditional way of life, called the Fa'a Samoa, in which the head of the extended family enjoys great respect. Villages have fale, guest houses that look like large gazebos, where people entertain visitors. The higher the fale, the higher the status of its owner. Religion also plays a major role in the life on the islands, and you will see many churches on Tutuila.
More a cruise destination that's limited to genuinely exotic itineraries, such as world cruises or repositionings between Australia/New Zealand and the North American West Coast; although there is an airport with regular flights to Hawaii, Pago Pago is truly an off-the-beaten-track destination with a limited number of restaurants and other tourist services. The town itself is small and quiet. Houses have been built on the steep hills not far from the seafront, and most of the shops line the street that runs in front of the dock itself. One plus is you'll never have to venture even that far to start shopping -- locals will come in strength to the dock to present their merchandise and crafts. If you want to see more of the island's natural beauty or experience some unique local customs, it's best to take a tour.
And don't think your day exploring Pago Pago's natural wonders ends when you board your ship. The waters off the island are a mecca for marine life. Southern humpback whales winter here between August and November, and porpoises and sperm whales visit regularly. Various species of marine turtles call these waters home. If you stay on deck as your ship departs, you may see several whales swimming in a group alongside the ship. And that might just be the most fitting farewell to this beautiful yet remote destination.
Top Pago Pago Itineraries
Seabourn Sojourn16-day Isles Of the Southern CrossTahiti , Raiatea, Rarotonga, Pago Pago, Suva, AucklandNow
Amsterdam48-day Grand Asia & Pacific VoyageHong Kong, Hong Kong, Nha Trang, Singapore, Singapore, Bali, Komodo Island, Darwin, Cairns, Mooloolaba, Sydney , Sydney , Noumea, Isle of Pines , Mystery Island, Port Denarau, Suva, Pago Pago, Honolulu, Maui, Los AngelesNow
Regatta31 Night World CruiseLos Angeles, Maui, Honolulu, Hilo, Moorea, Tahiti , Tahiti , Bora Bora, Pago Pago, Lautoka, Suva, Noumea, Brisbane, SydneyNow
Seven Seas Mariner15 Night South Pacific CruiseTahiti , Raiatea, Bora Bora, Pago Pago, Suva, Lautoka, Norfolk Island, AucklandNow
Amsterdam25-day Grand Asia & Pacific VoyageSydney , Sydney , Noumea, Isle of Pines , Mystery Island, Port Denarau, Suva, Pago Pago, Honolulu, Maui, Los AngelesNow
Where You're Docked
Cruise ships dock right in the center of the town, next to a busy container dock.
Good to Know
It rains an awful lot here, so bear this in mind when venturing ashore. Although it's a warm rain, a true downpour may soak you with little advance warning. Also, due to the strong role of religion in the community, women are advised not to wear shorts when visiting the countryside.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money
The U.S. dollar. The nearest ATM is at the ANZ American Samoa Bank at Pago Plaza in the town center.
English. Locals also speak Samoan, which is a Polynesian language
Local handicrafts and textiles, such as wood carvings or handbags made by weaving together leaves of the Pandanus plant.
More Cruise Itineraries
- Seven Seas Navigator Cruises to the South Pacific
- Celebrity Solstice Cruises to Australia & New Zealand
- Seven Seas Mariner Cruises to the South Pacific
- Regatta Cruises to the South Pacific
- Insignia Cruises to Around the World
- Seabourn Sojourn Cruises to the South Pacific
- Noordam Cruises to the South Pacific