The high, volcanic islands of American Samoa sit along the Pacific Ring of Fire; their cone-shaped mountains rise with abrupt steepness. These islands are stunningly green, the windward hillsides carpeted thickly with coconut palms, breadfruit and mango, while the leeward side is punctuated by steep cliffs.
Pago Pago (pronounced Pahngo Pahngo), on the island of Tutuila, boasts one of the world's most beautiful natural harbors that thrusts as a fjordlike arm deep into the land. The harbor was formed when the seaward wall of a volcano collapsed, allowing the sea to rush in. The bay and encircling mountain peaks present spectacular evidence of nature's force and astounding beauty. Introduced to the world in 1722 by a Dutchman, these islands were then visited by English missionaries in 1831; the islanders took to Christianity with enthusiasm. In 1900, in spite of the Germans who controlled Western Samoa, the United States took possession and the U.S. Navy ran American Samoa until 1951. Since then it has been administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior as an Incorporated Territory and thus is a unique part of the United States. Its 50,000 residents are U.S. citizens with equal rights, except for voting in national elections.
Pago Pago, along with Fagatogo, is called the Bay Area. It is here where Somerset Maugham's story in his famous novel Rain was set. The story, which was made into a movie with Joan Crawford, was so popular that a hotel was named for the heroine, Sadie Thompson. Today, the former hotel houses a restaurant. The lookout over the harbor and out to sea is stunning, and you can hike up to Mount Alava on what is now National Park Trail. On a clear day, the Manu'a Group and Western Samoa are visible. Back in Pago Pago just below Solo Hill is Maugaoalii, the hill of chiefs, where Government House is located; you may walk around the beautiful grounds or visit the courthouse past the village green. There are a number of good things to do here in the combined town of Pago Pago-Fagatogo; as the island is compressed, it won't take long to accomplish them at a leisurely pace.
The ship is scheduled to dock in Pago Pago, located near the centre of town and next to a busy container port. The local town is very compact and can be reached within a short walk. Taxis are available; we suggest you negotiate the rate before departing. Due to the strong role of religion in the community, women are advised not to wear shorts when visiting the countryside.
Shopping is not particularly exciting in American Samoa. There are small Korean, Samoan and American stores that carry items residents need on a daily basis. A limited selection of handicrafts and Samoan T-shirts are also available. The local currency is the U.S. dollar.
Stone hearth baked foods such as breadfruit, pork, chicken and bananas are available in most villages, while more international fare is available at restaurants in Pago Pago.
Fono Building Home of the territory's legislature, its architecture combines traditional "fale" construction with modern materials. Naval Guns Hill. Located a short distance from the Rainmaker Hotel and requiring a short hike, two guns remain as relics from World War II.
Silver Shore Privato: Pago Pago by Private SUV & Guide
Explore Pago Pago at your leisure during your half-day sightseeing tour via private SUV, for either up to 2 or 4 guests. Customise your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights. Driver/Guides are able to assist with itinerary planning and provide some commentary. Guests who desire detailed commentary should reserve the services of a guide to accompany them. This may be requested on board the ship.
Depart the pier with your English-speaking guide in an air-conditioned island SUV vehicle and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.
Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 48 hours prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability; guests should anticipate an older SUV model that is the best available. Locals acts as guides and provide basic commentary. Participation is limited to either up to 2 guests or up to 4 guests per SUV. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this programme. Charges may be split between suites on board. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary. Service is based on minimal mileage between the pier and the city of Pago Pago and its surrounds. Guests wishing to travel further afield will be quoted for the additional mileage surcharge onboard. There is a very limited number of SUVs available. We thank you for your understanding.
Other private arrangements for independent sightseeing may be arranged by emailing