German cruise ship visits Samoa

Cruise tourism targeting Samoa is beginning to pick up in the new year with Apia playing host to German cruise ship Ms Europa.

The Bahamas-registered vessel arrived in Samoa two days after the departure of another cruise ship, the Florida-based Seven Seas Navigator.

Local firm Samoa Transam Ltd is the agent for Ms Europa. The company’s representative, Iosefo Vaifale, told the Samoa Observer that the Ms Europa docked at the Matautu wharf at 3.00pm yesterday. It has 286 crew members and 338 passengers from Austria, Spain, Germany, France and other European countries. 

The vessel’s passengers took the opportunity yesterday to discover Apia and took to the streets on sightseeing tours, checked out hotels and visited local shops.

Couple Klause Dobinsky and Belle Donbinsky, who are passengers on Ms Europa, were excited to be in Apia. Coincidentally, Klause last visited Samoa 40 years ago. 

“I was here for only two days for vacation and I stayed at the Sheraton Hotel in town, 40 years is a long time and I can already tell a lot has changed. Colonial influence has really shaped the city and that is why I really looked forward to visiting again,” he said. 

But for Belle, it was her first visit and she couldn’t wait to disembark. 

“My husband has told me stories about Samoa. Finally, I get to see and experience it for myself,” she said.

The couple stayed over at the Sheraton Hotel last night before their ship leaves Upolu for Fagamalu, Savai’i at 11.00pm tonight. The Ms Europa’s next destination is Fiji. 

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