Ferry service meets demand during festive season
The Samoa Shipping Corporation was able to meet the high demand for its Savai’i to Upolu ferry service during the festive season, despite cancellations brought on by bad weather.
The Samoa Shipping Corporation General Manager, Leiataua Samuel Decca Phineas, told the Samoa Observer on Tuesday that bad weather conditions during the festive season led to the cancellation of a number of ferry services but they were still able to meet customer demand.
He said the cancellations led to a backlog of vehicles that were booked for the festive season – as bad weather continued to wreak havoc with the plans of those who planned their trips to spend Christmas on either Upolu or Savai’i – though they were able to clear the backlog.
The G.M. said that on the last trip on the eve of Christmas all cars made it through and additional trips were also made available.
The vessels MV Lady Samoa III, MV Fotu o Samoa II and the S.S.C Fasefulu provided the service and were also used during the New Year, on top of additional trips being made available, with the last ferry leaving Mulifanua around 6:30pm to arrive at Salelologa around 7:30pm.
There was also one additional trip made by the MV Fotu o Samoa II on Sunday to enable delivery trucks to take supplies to Savai’i.
On Monday, the three ferries returned to the big island to cater for the travelling public.
The Salelologa wharf was packed before 5am with a long line of passengers in front of the ticket counter and an even longer queue of waiting time to board. The MV Lady Samoa III and MV Fotu o Samoa II both made trips from Savai’i while the S.S.C Fasefulu departed Mulifanua for its first trip.
Leiataua said that the normal schedule for MV Lady Samoa III is that normally on Monday there are three trips and other days such as Tuesday and Wednesday when not busy would only make two trips.
He added that the reason for the special trips are to avoid a backlog of vehicles and for everyone to be able to travel between the islands.
The corporation has not had any complaints from customers during the festive season, which Leiataua says is an indication that the passengers are happy with their service.