A cruise ship that has crew also made up of Samoans is due to hit our shores next month in a first for the country.
The vessel MSC Magnifica – which is a Musica-class cruise ship operated by MSC Cruises based in Geneva – arrives in Samoa on March 4.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said it is the first time for the cruise ship to visit Samoa and 14 similar vessels are scheduled to visit Samoa this year.
“It will be the first time Samoa will host such a cruise ship and that 14 similar ships will be coming our way this year. This cruise ship has 20 Samoans working on board,” he said during his weekly media programme.
The Prime Minister said the recruitment of the Samoan crew by the European cruise ship company, is a demonstration of the success of the National University of Samoa’s Maritime School.
He said the Maritime School’s facilities, which was funded by the Chinese government, has enabled its graduates to find employment abroad.
“These are some of the projects the Samoa Government, Cabinet and the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) are pushing for – to ensure our children attained well paid jobs.”
“To date we have 426 Samoan Sailors scattered all over the world, and 140 plus that have recently graduated and they are now waiting for employment opportunities – which is facilitated by the Samoa Shipping Services,” Tuilaepa said.
The Prime Minister said the Maritime school will be adding more courses to their program to ensure their students become certified officers, engineers and captains.
Currently, the Maritime School training program offers students training in nautical skills, navigational science and marine engineering, coupled with an emphasis on safety at sea.
According to Tuilaepa some of the students are working on fishing boats in American Samoa.