Cruises to the South Pacific and Samoa: When is the Best Time to Go?
The South Pacific is an incredible cruising ground, where passengers experience diverse cultures and islands from day to day. Here at Samoa Pocket Guide, we’re a little biased in saying that Samoa is one of the best Pacific destinations to hit on the cruise itinerary, boasting a cultural capital and volcanic islands awash in Jurrassic-like jungles. Before you start packing your bags, however, it’s worth considering when is the best time to take a cruise to Samoa. We answer that very question in this guide, covering the climate, seasons and activities that are only available at certain times of the year.
For more cruise talk, open up the 10 Best Cruises that Go to Samoa.
5 Tips for Taking a Cruise to Samoa
- Look for cruises that depart from Papeete (Tahiti), Auckland (New Zealand), Sydney (Australia), San Diego (US), Los Angeles (US) and even Southampton (UK) – these are the departure ports for most cruises that visit Samoa
- Get familiar with Samoa’s port of call: Apia. All the details and tips can be found in The Complete Guide to the Ports of Call in Samoa
- Book island tours independently to save money on shore excursions – tours will pick you up from port. See 5 Best Shore Excursions in Samoa for ideas
- If you’d rather explore independently, car rentals are available or taxis will wait at port and act as your private driver for the day to transport you to your desired destinations
- Bring snorkelling gear, swimwear and reef-safe sunscreen to port; Samoa has some amazing swimming spots you’ll not want to miss.
For tips that are more generic for travellers visiting Samoa for the first time, head to the 30 Tips for Travelling in Samoa.
The Seasons in Samoa and the South Pacific: What is the Climate Like for Cruising?
Dry Season – May to October
The average temperature in the dry season in Samoa is a high of 29°C (84°F) during the day. The sea temperature is approximately 28°C (82°F), while the average rainfall per month is 133 to 257 mm (5.2 to 10.1″).
About the Dry Season
- Less rainfall
- Less risk of cyclones
- Lower humidity
- High season for tourists – more crowded
The dry season is when you’re less likely to have rain and tropical depressions, which can be the biggest weather factors affecting your cruise. If you only have one day to explore your port of call in Samoa, then most prefer it to be sunny rather than rainy. While Samoa has high humidity all year round, the humidity in the dry season is a little more bearable than in the wet season.
On the downside, the dry season is the most popular time to visit Samoa, so you’re less likely to have entire attractions for yourself or your group. But in comparison to more populated regions like Europe, Asia or North America, you’ll hardly feel that Samoa is “crowded” no matter the time of year.
Wet Season – November to April
The average high temperature during the wet season in Samoa is 30°C (86°F) during the day. The average sea temperature is around 29°C (85°F), while the average rainfall is around 270 to 419 mm (10.6 to 16.5″) per month.
About the Wet Season
- More rainfall
- Risk of cyclones
- High humidity
- Low season – fewer crowds, more discounts
The wet season is the warmest and most humid season to cruise the South Pacific, which are aspects that many travellers want from their tropical cruise! On the downside, there are more rainy days during the wet season, which may coincide with the one day you’re visiting Samoa. At least, in many instances, rainy showers pass quickly.
Another downside for your South Pacific cruise is that the wet season is also the cyclone season where tropical depressions can build up in the South Pacific from November to April – some can become a cyclone. This makes for occasional stormy weather and is not much fun for those who suffer from seasickness. Learn more about the cyclone season in our guide, Cyclone Safety in Samoa.
Have more questions about the seasons in Samoa? Check out our complete guide about yearly climate, as well as the climate month-by-month, Samoa Weather, Seasons & Climate + Samoa Weather by Month.
Seasonal Activities That Might Affect Your Cruise
Other than the weather, what other seasonal occurrences are there that might affect your trip? If you’re coming to Samoa with a particular activity in mind, the season is important to keep in mind.
If you’re coming to Samoa or the South Pacific in hope of seeing humpback whales, which is more of a possibility from your ship than from shore, aim for a South Pacific cruise between August and November. Find out more about the season in our guide, Can You See Whales in Samoa?
There isn’t really a bad time to scuba dive in Samoa, but it tends to be better between May and October when it’s the dry season and there’s less surface run-off affecting water visibility and prevailing winds tend to not affect most of Samoa’s dive sites. Find out more in The Best Time to Dive in Samoa.
Again, fishing is great in Samoa no matter what time of year it is. If you’re targeting a specific species, however, some seasons are better than others. All of that is covered in The Best Time of Year for Fishing in Samoa.
Samoa is a destination for advanced surfers, offering awesome reef and point breaks. The biggest swells come during the dry season between May and October, while favourable winds are best between February and April. Find out more in The Best Time to Surf in Samoa.
Conclusion: The Best Time to Cruise to Samoa and the South Pacific
If you haven’t concluded yourself on the best time to cruise the South Pacific and Samoa with the information already provided in this guide, no worries!
The general consensus for the best time to take a cruise to Samoa is either May, September or October. These months are also known as the shoulder seasons of Samoa, benefitting from a little bit of both the dryer climate of the dry season and the warm temperatures that are experienced all year round. By not being right in the middle of the high tourist season, you also may benefit from more availability on cruises, as well as the potential for discounts.
Still not sure about the best time to cruise to Samoa? Luckily, we have even more on the subject in our complete guide to The Best Time to Visit Samoa: A Month-by-Month Guide.
More About Cruising in Samoa
That’s it for our guide on the best time to take a cruise to Samoa. Need more cruising advice? Check out our other cruise guides:
- 10 Best Cruises that Go to Samoa
- The Complete Guide to the Ports of Call in Samoa
- 5 Best Shore Excursions in Samoa
Finally, discover more ways to get to Samoa with our guide, Getting Here: How to Get to Samoa.