Getting Here: How to Get to Samoa 🗺️ [2023]
Getting Here: How to Get to Samoa 🗺️ [2023]

Getting Here: How to Get to Samoa 🗺️ [2024]


A Complete Guide to Sailing, Cruising and Flying to Samoa

You’ve seen the stunning pictures of the jungle-clad volcanic peaks scattered with waterfalls or white-sand beaches sloping into azure lagoons; now you just need to figure out how to get to paradise…

Samoa is a tightly-knit cluster of around 10 islands located in the South Pacific between French Polynesia and the Cook Islands to the east and Fiji and Wallis and Futuna to the west. To go more into the details, check out Where is Samoa Located?

Needless to say, the location of Samoa is remote so you can be forgiven for asking: “How the hell do you get there!?” We’re here to lay out all of your options in this complete guide on how to get to Samoa.

5 Quick Tips for Getting to Samoa

  1. Do you need a visa for Samoa? Find out in our visa guide
  2. Be aware of the biosecurity restrictions – see Airport Customs, Biosecurity & the Arrival Process
  3. Make sure you stick to the duty-free allowances
  4. If sailing to Samoa, be aware of the customs clearance process
  5. Wise up on the one and only port of call in Samoa, Apia, if travelling on a cruise ship.

And enjoy a smooth arrival following the steps in Arriving at Faleolo Airport, Samoa: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Getting Here: How to Get to Samoa 🗺️ [2023]©

International Flights to Samoa

Direct international flights to Samoa come from New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Hawaii and American Samoa. Most connecting flights can be made in New Zealand, Australia or Fiji.

Airlines, Routes and Duration of Flights to Samoa

The following airlines fly to Samoa on the following routes:

  • Air New Zealand – Auckland to Apia (3h40mins)
  • Virgin Australia – Sydney to Apia (6 hours), Brisbane to Apia (4h40mins)
  • Qantas – Sydney to Apia (6 hours)
  • Fiji Airways – Nadi to Apia (2 hours), Honolulu to Apia (5h35mins)
  • Talofa Airways – Pago Pago to Apia (30 minutes)
  • Samoa Airways – Pago Pago to Apia (30 minutes)

Learn more about flights to Samoa in Which Airlines Fly Directly to Samoa?

The International Airport in Samoa

There is only one international airport in Samoa, Faleolo International Airport (APW) based on the island of Upolu. Learn about its facilities and location in Samoa Arrival Airport: Which Airport to Fly into Samoa. There are currently no domestic flights to the outer islands of Samoa.

Those landing from an international flight at Faleolo Airport need to go through an arrivals process, including customs, immigration and biosecurity. Learn more about the formalities in our guide, Arriving in Samoa: Airport Customs, Biosecurity & the Arrival Process.

Airport transfers await arriving international flights outside of the arrivals area of Faleolo Airport. It’s best to have airport transfers pre-booked. Otherwise, there are plenty of taxis eagerly awaiting your business. Check out the 10 Best Airport Transfers in Samoa for all of your options.

Getting Here: How to Get to Samoa 🗺️ [2023]© Samoa Tourism Authority

Cruises to Samoa

Samoa is on the itinerary of several South Pacific cruises from New Zealand, Australia and the US, as well as round-the-world cruises from Europe and the UK. There is just one port of call in Samoa, its capital Apia.

Cruises to Samoa

The following cruise companies offer cruises to Samoa:

  • Silversea Cruises
  • Seabourn
  • Holland America Line
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Princess Cruises
  • P&O Cruises
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Cunard

Find out more about these cruises and where they depart in the 10 Best Cruises that Go to Samoa.

Ports of Call in Samoa

The one and only port of call in Samoa is the Apia Harbour on the island of Upolu. Cruise ships dock at the port so there’s no need for zodiac transfers like elsewhere in the South Pacific. Tours, taxi drivers and rental vehicles meet passengers at the harbour, giving you plenty of options for getting around and discovering some of the 50 Best Things to Do on Upolu or at least 25 Best Things to Do in Apia should you not want to venture too far.

Learn more about planning your visit to Samoa off a cruise ship with The Complete Guide to the Ports of Call in Samoa.

Getting Here: How to Get to Samoa 🗺️ [2023]© Pxhere

Sailing to Samoa

Finally, another way you can get to Samoa is on a sailing yacht. Samoa is ideally situated at the centre of a Transpacific journey between the US and New Zealand. The yachting season is between May and October.

Samoa Sailing Formalities

All yachts arriving from overseas need to inform the Samoa Port Authority of their arrival at least 48 hours prior to their ETA. The Apia Harbour on Upolu is the only port of entry in Samoa and is where all of the clearing-in and clearing-out formalities must take place. Although anchorage is permitted at Asau Bay on Savai’i, a Cruising Permit must be obtained.

For more details on sailing formalities, see our Sailing Guide to Samoa: Tips for Yachting.

Getting Here: How to Get to Samoa 🗺️ [2023]©

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting to Samoa

What are the most asked questions on the internet about travelling to Samoa? Find out below and see if your question is answered!

What is the Best Way to Get to Samoa?

For most, the best way to get to Samoa is by taking an international flight, connecting to Auckland (New Zealand), Sydney (Australia), Nadi (Fiji) or Honolulu (Hawaii, US). Check Which Airlines Fly Directly to Samoa? and How to Book a Cheap Flight to Samoa for tips on planning a route.

How Do You Get to the Samoan Islands?

For most, the best way to get to the Samoan Islands is by taking an international flight, connecting to Auckland (New Zealand), Sydney (Australia), Nadi (Fiji) or Honolulu (Hawaii, US). There are also daily flights between Samoa and American Samoa.

How Do I Get to Samoa from NZ?

You can get to Samoa from New Zealand by taking one of the daily flights from Auckland Airport. Alternatively, some cruise ships visiting Samoa depart from Auckland.

Can I Fly to Samoa from Auckland?

Yes, you can fly to Samoa from Auckland. In fact, Auckland Airport is the largest international airport with the most departures for Samoa.

How Do You Get to Samoa from the US?

The best way to get to Samoa from the US is to take a flight to either Honolulu (Hawaii) or Nadi (Fiji) and make your flight connection to Samoa from there.

How Long Does it Take to Get to Samoa?

It takes approximately 4 hours to get to Samoa from New Zealand, 6 hours to get to Samoa from Australia and 2-3 hours to get to Samoa from Fiji. For more travel durations for getting to Samoa from all over the world, take a look at What are the Flight Times to Samoa?

More About How to Get to Samoa

That’s it for our complete guide on how to get to Samoa! If you didn’t find what you’re looking for, discover more ways to get to specific islands in Samoa or the capital with these guides:

Finally, see how to get around all of the islands once you’ve arrived with our Samoa Transport Guide: 10 Best Ways to Get Around Samoa.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Samoa Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Samoa. She knows the islands inside out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Upolu and Savai’i’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also the editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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