VESSEL REVIEW | Lady Samoa IV – Japanese-built versatile inter-island ferry for Samoan government

Photo: Naikai Zosen Corporation
Photo: Naikai Zosen Corporation

The Samoan government has taken delivery of a new inter-island Ro-Pax ferry built by Japanese shipbuilder Naikai Zosen Corporation. Named Lady Samoa IV, the NK-classed vessel was purchased by the Japan International Cooperation System (JICS) on behalf of the Samoan government. Funding for the purchase was provided by the Japanese government as part of a development grant program benefiting Pacific island nations.

The new ferry has a length of 48 metres, a beam of 12 metres, a draught of 2.45 metres, a gross tonnage of 1,130, and space for 280 passengers and 17 crewmembers plus up to 225 square metres of vehicles and other freight such as containers and bulk cargo. Loading and unloading of cargo is accomplished via a stern vehicle ramp and a port side deck crane.


The accommodation spaces are distributed across three decks and include air-conditioned cabins, a VIP room, a mess, and a galley. The interiors were designed with wide passages to allow passengers to seek refuge more effectively in the event of an emergency. Many of the compartments and doors are made of fireproof material while heat-resistant elements are placed at key locations throughout the vessel.

There is also freezer hold space for the transport of frozen goods during long voyages.

Two Yanmar 6EY17W 837kW diesel engines propel the ferry to a service speed of approximately 11.5 knots while a bow thruster provides additional lateral manoeuvrability. An array of solar panels fitted atop one of the economy seating areas supplies some of the electrical power requirements of the passenger spaces. The vessel also boasts a backup generator and batteries for use in the event of power loss.

Lady Samoa IV replaces the ferry Lady Naomi, which was in service for nearly 25 years. The new ferry will be operated by Samoa Shipping Corporation on the route between the Samoan capital city of Apia and Pago Pago, the capital of the neighbouring US territory of American Samoa. Since the ferry will also sail through the waters of American Samoa, its design is also compliant to US Coast Guard regulations.

Lady Samoa IV
Type of vessel:Ro-Pax ferry
Classification:ClassNK; USCG
Owner:Samoan Government
Operator:Samoa Shipping Corporation
Builder:Naikai Zosen Corporation, Japan
Length overall:48 metres
Beam:12 metres
Draught:2.45 metres
Gross tonnage:1,130
Capacity:225 square metres
Main engines:2 x Yanmar 6EY17W, each 837 kW
Cruising speed:11.5 knots
Other equipment installed:Vehicle ramp; solar panels
Type of fuel:Diesel
Accommodation:Cabins; VIP room; mess; galley
Operational areas:Samoa; American Samoa

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World