Cruising Fiji’s Outer Islands
One of the best ways to see Fiji’s outer islands is on a small ship cruise such as those offered by Captain Cook Cruises Fiji on the Reef Endeavour to Vanua Levu, Taveuni and the Lomaiviti and Lau island groups.
Captain Cook Cruises Fiji visit Fiji’s northern islands 10 times each year on the Colonial Discovery and Four Cultures Discovery Cruises, and twice a year they visit the remote Lau group of islands on the Lau and Kadavu Discovery Cruise.
On the Colonial Discovery Cruise, the Reef Endeavour sails first to the remote town of Levuka on the island of Ovalau, Fiji’s first colonial capital. Steeped in history, this time capsule to colonial rule boasts a stately backdrop of 19th century architecture and waterfront promenades, including the historic Royal Hotel, the oldest continuously operating hotel in the South Pacific. Other cruise highlights include a traditional Fijian ceremony at former leper colony Makogai Island, a visit to the hot springs, pearl farms and markets of Savusavu on the island of Vanua Levu, and a swim in the beautiful Bouma Waterfall Lagoon on the garden island of Taveuni.
The Fiji Islands are rich with culture, with influence ranging from the country’s Polynesian neighbours to colonial British rule. The Four Cultures Discovery Cruise explores the islands, rainforests, reefs – and people – of Fiji’s remote north, introducing visitors to Ellice (Tuvalu) Islanders, Barnabas, Indian and Fijian people. On Vanua Levu, experience the diverse cultures of Labasa with a visit to the Hindu snake temple, a trip to the bustling markets and a Bollywood show at a local hotel. The cruise also visits Kioa Island, settled by the Polynesian people of Tuvalu Island who were displaced by rising sea levels, and Rabi Island, home to the Banabas people who moved here from Ocean Island, Kiribati, when displaced by the British Phosphate Commission to Fiji in 1945.
Fiji’s Lau Group is a chain of islands covering a vast area that arcs from Taveuni in Fiji’s north, down to the east of Kadavu in the far south. The island group consists of 57 islets, of which only 30 are inhabited, and these with no public transport or restaurants to be found. Further south, the Kadavu Group is made up of four main islands, and home to the Great Astrolabe Reef, a renowned site for premier diving. Cruise highlights include a swim at a waterfall, exploring old ruins and snorkelling untouched reefs. Passengers can also explore the caves, reefs and lagoons of Qilaqila renowned for its mushroom-shaped islands, uninhabited Vuaqava island and best of all, you’ll be welcomed and entertained by the locals and experience a traditional Meke (traditional Fijian dance) and Lovo (a traditional form of cooking using an underground earth-oven).
HOW TO GET THERE:
The Reef Endeavour departs Port Denarau every week, however the northern itineraries are only offered 10 times a year, and the Lau Kadavu cruise operates only twice per year.
WHEN TO GO:
7-night Colonial Fiji Discovery Cruise to Savusavu, Taveuni and Levuka departs four times per year.
7-night Fijian 4 Cultures Discovery Cruise which circumnavigates Vanua Levu departs four times per year.
11-night Lau & Kadavu Cruise Discovery Cruise departs twice each year.
Visit the Captain Cook Cruises Fiji website for detailed itineraries and information on how to book.