Lady Samoa carrying full passenger loads


The new inter-island ferry, Lady Samoa, has been carrying full passenger loads between Samoa and American Samoa, with long waiting lists for each trip.

Last Thursday’s sailing, in addition to the 280 regular passengers, the vessel took 50 extra travellers with the approval of the US Coast Guard and still had to turn away many passengers on standby.

Vaitafao Laumau, Agency Manager at Polynesia Shipping, said high airfares charged by the two inter-island airlines are the main reason individuals, business people and groups opt to travel by ferry.

Samoa Airways charges over 600 tala round trip, and the cost of a round trip on Talofa Airways is over 300 tala, with departure tax included, while one way on the ferry is close to 100 tala.

Some passengers complained that even though they were confirmed, the ferry left them behind yesterday because the cargo was too heavy.

But according to Laumau, those affected were standbys and not on their confirmed list of passengers.

She said they had made clear to all standby travellers that the voyage was already full but to be put on the waiting list in case there were any cancellations.