Samoa’s pristine waters welcomed a returning friend , the Japan-based international N.G.O, Peace Boat, yesterday.
Docked at the Matautu Wharf in the wee hours of daybreak, the vessel brought close to a thousand visitors to Samoa.
The visitors were greeted on arrival with a fiery welcome by a handsome group of Siva Afi (Fire Dancers) who showcased some of Samoa’s best talent.
The excited visitors were then hurried off into a fleet of buses to be taken on a tour of the island.
Eight different tours are planned to be taken place while Peace Boat calls to the port of Apia. Oceania Travel & Tours Apia is the Shores Excursion Agent for 3 calls in a row.
With the vessel docked in Samoa for less than 24 hours, visitors were doing their best to see as much as possible of Samoa.
A mini flea market full of Samoan handicrafts, clothing and more was set up on the dock for visitors wanting to take home a souvenir of their visit to the beautiful island of Samoa.
The short stay in Apia is significant because it will be the last stop before returning to its home in Yokohama, Japan.
The current 93rd Global Voyage for Peace, departed from Japan in December and has visited over 15 ports of call around the world including ports in the China, Singapore, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Tahiti.
This unique non-profit organization was founded over 33 years ago by university students in Tokyo and since then, Peace Boat has developed into an international NGO with United Nations consultative status with an influential presence in Japanese civil society and the global peace movement.
It organizes 3 global voyages and 2 regional voyages each year, and to date is responsible for having carried more than 60,000 participants to over 100 countries onboard a total of 92 voyages.
As a committed campaigner for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Peace Boat’s ship has since 2016 been sailing with the Global Goals logo on its hull, and conducting activities related to the SDGs in each of the ports it visits.
Through its voyages spanning the world’s oceans and seas, Peace Boat is particularly aware of the urgency for action relating to ocean protection and climate change.
Since 2016 Peace Boat has working in collaboration with the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS), in which Samoa is an active member, to help spread the voices from island communities around the world. During its exchange and study programmes in Apia, activities in relation to the SDGs will also be held together with local partner organization, Women in Business (WIBDI).
Peace Boat Director and Founder Mr Yoshioka Tatsuya said, “I strongly believe that climate action is the issue for our times, and in particular the impact that the changing climate is already having on people due to rising sea-levels and an increase in extreme weather events.
We are using our ship to raise awareness of the problems Small Islands States like Samoa are facing, as well as the importance of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”