Fiji Walking LITE Cruise
November 2023 • 8 Days • Approx $4000
Join us for a luxurious cruise on our 66 passenger ship, as we visit the intimate palm-covered Mamanuca Islands, sail to the majestic southern Yasawa Islands and relax in the idyllic Blue Lagoon, framed by picture-perfect beaches.
NOTE: Details presented below are from the most recent edition of this tour in 2022. Final details will be available soon, along with a priority invitation to register for those who JOIN THE LIST in advance. To get your name on the list to receive this advance invitation to register, click the blue JOIN THE LIST button to the right and enter your contact information and tour of choice.
Our first ever cruise in the islands of the South Pacific takes place in the magical archipelago of Fiji!
While the Fijian islands number well over 300, our adventure focuses on three island groups – the Mamanuca, Sacred, and Yasawa Islands – situated just northwest of the main island of Viti Levu.
We cruise aboard a small ship – only 68 berths – giving us optimal access to drop-dead-gorgeous coves and islands. Our ship is large enough to pack in luxurious amenities but small enough to tie off to a palm tree! Daily shore excursions take us to world famous beach sites seen on the Big Screen and the Small Screen; we see settings for three well-known shows – Blue Lagoon, with Brooke Shields, Castaway, with Tom Hanks, and the TV reality show, Survivor. The themes of our trip, however, are tasting paradise from our delightful little ship, connecting with the warm-hearted Fijian people, relishing the remote grandeur of a secluded set of South Sea islands, and participating in world class water and beach activities.
Our ship – the M.V. Fiji Princess
- Launched in 1997 and renovated in 2014 the Fiji Princess is ideal for cruising the magnificent Mamanuca Islands, Sacred Islands, and Yasawa Islands. Featuring 4 decks, she holds a maximum of only 66 passengers serviced by a warm and hospitable Fijian crew of 28.
- All cabins are outward facing with two twin or one queen-sized beds, small yacht style bathroom with separate shower, hair dryer, mini-safe, flat screen TV for in-house movies and closet space.
- Public areas are open-air, reflecting the tropical ambiance with a single-seating, open-air restaurant on the Main deck, a tropical themed bar on the Middle deck, and a second bar on the partially covered Sun deck. Plenty of lounge chairs complement the small dipping pool.
- A glass bottom boat makes coral viewing accessible to all. Kayaks are also available for the more adventurous.
- The Fiji Princess is committed to be free of single-use plastic as of April 2020. Each traveler receives a free reusable water bottle that is refillable at artisan filtered mineral water stations throughout the ship – water is free!
- As would be expected in the South Pacific, the on-board atmosphere is casual and informal.
- Two cabin categories are available on the ship, Hibiscus and Orchid, but our booking includes a complementary upgrade to the Orchid category (a value of over $400 per person).
- Orchid cabins are located on the Middle and Upper decks and average 14 sqm (150 sq ft).
- Cabin come with a premium stocked mini bar with soft drinks, French sparkling wine, premium Fijian chocolate, and snacks, restocked daily!
- Accommodation for 7 nights in all outside facing cabins aboard our 66-passenger ship, the M.V. Fiji Princess, small enough to tie off on a coconut tree!
- Complementary upgrade to Orchid Decks
- 21 meals – 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners as denoted (BLD)
- Daily mid-day and afternoon refreshments (tea/lemonade/snacks/cakes) while at sail
- Sailing through three island groups: Yasawa Islands, Sacred Islands, and Mamanuca Islands
- Fees for two IVV walking stamps for those collecting IVV walk credit (note: this is walking-lite trip – WAI guides have not conducted on site research and the ruggedness of the Fijian Islands we visit is not conducive to long walks – distances are likely to range between 1 and 3 km)
- WAI guide service throughout
- Tips for off-ship experiences (tips for on-ship personnel not included)
- Pricing is based on double occupancy only. Due to the limitation of cabins, no single accommodations are available. WAI provides a roommate matching service
- Kava ceremony with locals on Naviti Island with local history and legends presentation
- Fijian feast and kava ceremony with locals in Tamusua village
- Sunday church service in local church, a cultural experience in its own rite
- Fijian cooking, basket weaving, and wood carving lessons onboard ship or during island excursions
- Snorkeling opportunities throughout the tour
- Kayaking opportunities throughout the tour
- Coral viewing from the ship’s glass bottom boat
- A variety of South Pacific activities on private Blue Lagoon beach
- Southern Constellation star-gazing that is nearly 100% free of artificial light
- A visit to Sawa-i-Lau Caverns (the film setting for the 1980 movie, Blue Lagoon) with optional cave swimming possible.
Optional Flight & Pre-night Hotel Package:
Once the group is viable, we will negotiate a group flight from California that includes transfers from the airport and a night in a local beach-side luxury hotel. It will also include transfer from the hotel to the ship on Day 1, and a half day visit to Malamala Island while awaiting a late-in-the-day flight departure.
An optional Nadi Walking Tour with Fijian Dinner may also be offered for those on the Optional Flight & Pre-night Hotel Package.
Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5
Scott Isom is one of WAI’s busiest guides and on-site Adventure planners, and has led tours on all 7 continents! During his childhood, Scott developed a passion for the outdoors while exploring the waterfalls and outstanding hiking trails of the Columbia River with his family. He is excited to sharing the beautiful beaches and crystalline waters of Fiji with you!
Roger & Jana Dorway have always appreciated the experiential, paradigm-expanding value of travel, and have been privileged to explore destinations on 5 continents. Roger’s business background connecting buyers and sellers, and Jana’s career as a teacher provide this couple with a gift for connecting with people. Retirement has only increased their appetite for discovering more of the world, largely satiated by sharing international cultural and historical insights as part of the WAI guide team.
NOTE: Information below comes from the last edition of this tour and will be updated closer to the time of registration.
Click on each day to reveal more details. (BLD) refers to meals included – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Day 1-Nov 11: Set Sail for Modriki Island (B* D)
Anchorage: Modriki Island
Possible walk on Modriki Island
After your early morning arrival in Fiji, the first part of the day is free. Our floating hotel for the next 7 nights, the Fiji Princess, is available for boarding at Port Denarau between 1:30 and 2:30 pm. The taxi ride from Nadi Airport into town is about 10 minutes, and from Nadi to Port Denarau is about 15 minutes.
Travelers who join us for the Optional Flight & Pre-night Hotel Package have this morning free to enjoy a preview of Fijian paradise from our 5-star beach resort. Have a leisurely breakfast, stroll the beach, or relax by the pool before a short transfer to the ship in the early afternoon.
Mid-afternoon, we set sail for the outer Mamanucas. Enroute, settle into your cabin, enjoy a welcome cruise briefing along with English tea and snacks, meet fellow guests and admire the scenery that slides by as we cruise. Our first destination is gorgeous, secluded Modriki Island, filming location for Tom Hanks’ movie “Cast Away”. On arrival, we explore this little island and have our first chance to take a dip in the warm South Pacific waters. Back on board, cocktails are served with canapés on the sun deck. Mingle with fellow travelers and drink in views over tranquil waters as the sun sets. This evening, the Captain’s Welcome Dinner is an à la carte menu with entertainment provided by our crew! Don’t forget to wander up to the upper deck to see the magnificent array of stars of the Southern Constellations.
B* – Breakfast for early arrivals only.
Day 2-Nov 12: Naviti Island, Soso Bay (BLD)
Anchorage: Soso Bay
Possible walk on Naviti Island
Awake to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and consider a morning swim or stroll on the beach before we set sail for the southern Yasawa Islands during breakfast. Late morning, we take you on a bit of an adventure… we depart for a special reef location where you are invited to swim with reef sharks (sea conditions permitting)! While harmless to humans, reef sharks make for an amazing snorkel experience! Back on-board, we cruise into the waters around Naviti and Soso Bay. A tasty buffet lunch is served on-board before heading ashore for a visit to the chiefly village of Soso. We’ll be welcomed in traditional fashion with a “yaqona” kava ceremony, before exploring this typical Fijian island village with our hosts. Later this afternoon, a presentation on the local history and legends gives insight into early Yasawan life. Back on the Fiji Princess, ease into the evening with cocktails served on the sun deck, followed by a ‘Thali’ buffet dinner featuring exquisite Indian dishes. After dinner, those with energy remaining are welcome to take in a ‘Bollywood Dancing’ lesson on the sun deck!
Day 3-Nov 13: Naukacuvu and Narara Island (BLD)
Anchorage: Naukacuvu Island
Sunday is still a day of rest in Fiji and this morning we have the unique opportunity to attend a village church service, and learn more of the wonderful people of Fiji. Lunch is served on board as we cruise a short distance to our next slice of paradise. As we cruise, you are invited to join a Fijian cooking lesson and help prepare a tasty Fijian fish-dish, “Kokoda”.
This afternoon we anchor in the sheltered waters of Naukacuvu and Narara Islands, picture-perfect for a lazy afternoon. Sunbathe on the Fiji Princess or dive into the waters and discover the amazing colorful underwater world below. Tonight’s buffet dinner has a range of dishes from Fiji as well as a selection of European favorites.
Day 4-Nov 14: Sacred Islands – Yalobi Bay (BLD)
Anchorage: Yalobi Bay
In the morning, join the crew for a finger fishing trip or snorkel, swim or kayak before we depart to one of Fiji’s most beautiful and remote island groups – the Sacred Islands.* Filming location for the popular “Survivor” series, the Sacred Islands provide a breathtaking backdrop for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking, especially since we expect to be the only ones there! A beachside picnic lunch is provided by your crew along with afternoon scones and tea. Back on board it’s happy hour at the bar followed by another festive Captain’s dinner.
*Depending on seasonal weather conditions, an alternate stop may replace the Sacred Islands.
Day 5-Nov 15: Nanuya Lailai (BLD)
Anchorage: Blue Lagoon
Possible walk on Nanuya Lailai
Laze on the sun deck as we sail on to the famed Blue Lagoon. This superb stretch of water is circled by islands, creating a lagoon that is filled with fascinating coral reefs easily seen from the surface of the crystal-clear waters. One of those islands, Nanuya Lailai, is home to our private beach. Lunch is served on-board, whilst on shore our private ‘Fiji style beach club’ awaits, with sun loungers, onshore massage, a bar and beach volleyball.
You’ll have plenty of time for swimming, snorkeling, fish feeding, viewing coral from the glass bottom boat or just wandering along a secluded stretch of beach. Our ship’s crew will teach basket weaving and give a coconut demonstration – how to climb the palm tree, collect the coconuts and husk them, then enjoy fresh coconut milk straight from the coconut along with afternoon tea.
Diving for both novices and experienced divers can be pre-booked for this location or you can join our crew for a guided ‘reef safari’ snorkeling tour! Happy hour is served on shore from our beach bar along with canapes followed by the unveiling of a traditional Lovo meal where the food is cooked underground in a specially prepared pit. Our dining room tonight is on the beach beneath coconut palms and tropical stars from the southern constellations. The day ends with a “Meke” show featuring singing, dancing and story-telling by a group of local villagers.
Day 6-Nov 16: Tamusua Bay, Yasawa Island (BLD)
Anchorage: Sawa-i-Lau Island
Guided cross-island walk to Lo’s Tea Shop
Possible walk in Tamusua village
This morning is at leisure at our private Blue Lagoon beach. Dive, snorkel and swim, try your hand at basket weaving, or join our Cruise Manager for a leisurely hike along the beach and up over the hill to the other side of the island. We’ll marvel at panoramas across the Blue Lagoon before arriving to the ‘very local’ Lo’s Tea Shop on the beach! Enjoy Lo’s famous cakes and browse the shell market prior to returning to the ship via our water taxis. During lunch, we sail to our next destination, the island of Sawa-i-Lau, where the 1980 Blue Lagoon movie starring Brooke Shields was filmed. Here, we visit the subterranean pools of the Sawa-i-Lau Caverns. View the dramatic caverns from the stairs or take to the water on a short swim through an underwater passage to the second of these stunning limestone caves! This evening, cross the bay for a memorable visit to the village of Tamusua. A kava ceremony, a guided walk around the village, and an authentic Fijian village style ‘feast’ prepared and cooked by the locals awaits. The Fijian meal is served to us as we sit upon mats and listen to our hosts share more about their village culture.
Day 7-Nov 17: Drawaqa Island (BLD)
Anchorage: Drawaqa Island
Fiji Princess sails south out of the bay, this morning, bound for Drawaqa Island. On arrival, a marine biologist joins us to tell about local marine life and the conservation work of the Vinaka Fiji Volunteers. A guided ‘Reef Safari’ snorkeling tour is conducted to see the prolific corals, clams and marine life in this area. Non-swimmers are invited for a visit to a local village school (when in session) or, for a truly exhilarating experience, have a go at abseiling! Our farewell dinner this evening is a barbecue served on the upper deck dining under the stars, where a final feast is the perfect way to celebrate our time in the Yasawa Islands! The bar is open as our resident DJ, ‘Fiji Afro Jack’, spins the tunes on the upper deck. Try your hand at the “Bula Bula” dance, if you haven’t already, or simply enjoy the grandeur of the southern night sky one last time!
Day 8-Nov 18: Depart Fiji (B)
Enjoy a final breakfast on-board as the Fiji Princess cruises back toward her home port. We’ll be fare-welled with the traditional Isa Lei song from the crew as our exploration of the beautiful Mamanuca, Yasawa, and Sacred islands comes to an end.
Late morning, we disembark the Fiji Princess. Flights are typically later in the evening so the middle part of the day is free to explore more of Nadi before taking a taxi to the airport (included for those on the Flight & Pre-night package).
Malamala Beach Club Excursion: Malamala claims to be the world’s first island beach club, and offers a final opportunity to imbibe Fijian paradise on an almost perfectly circular island small enough to stroll the circumference in 20 minutes yet large enough to feel like your own slice of South Pacific bliss. Amenities include pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear snorkeling waters, beachside cabanas, a resort-style infinity pool, and non-motorized water sports equipment and snorkel gear (additional amenities are available for purchase onsite). Estimated price: $90 (included for travelers who purchased the Flight and Pre-night Hotel Package)
Later this evening, we transfer to the Nadi Airport for our return flight (included for those on the Flight & Pre-night package) across the International Date Line, arriving in Los Angeles on November 20th, (technically, before we even leave Nadi)!
How Do I lock In My Place On This Adventure?
To register, a non-refundable $300 deposit is required to hold your spot.
An Adventure Advice email with critical information on flight arrangements will be sent soon after registration, with important details about steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you review the Adventure Advice email.
Please follow this link to read our full General Tour Conditions.
Modified Payment Terms
Because of the ship’s payment terms, our standard payment and cancellation terms must be modified. A deposit of $300 is due at the time of registration to hold your spot. A second non-refundable deposit of $300 is due May 1, 2022. The final balance is due July 15, 2022. All payments are non-refundable at the time of payment.
How Is Airfare Arranged?
The official start and finish point for this adventure is Port Denarau, embarkation and disembarkation point for the M.V. Fiji Princess. Travelers booking their own air should arrive into Nadi, Fiji (airport code NAN).
We are currently working on a menu of pre-cruise services to help start our Fijian cruise well. These service may include: a group flight, a pre-night hotel in Fiji, and airport-hotel-ship transfers.
For those not participating in the pre-cruise services, more details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be provided by email after you register for the Adventure. Please do not book your airfare prior to receiving these flight details from us!
Our cruise in the Fijian islands is a new WAI concept that focuses on South Sea delights and cultural interactions with Fijians and deemphasizes the role of walking. This experience appeared on our tour planning radar as a late opportunity for the 2022 schedule and WAI planners have not crafted this trip with our normal on-the-ground scouting and walk-planning tour. While the emphasis is not as strongly on walking, WAI guides and planners have been and will continue to research walk opportunities with ship staff. We have possibilities in mind, but it is fair to say that individual walks will be fewer, and shorter than the typical 5-10 km, and we will not know for sure how much walking we will do until we are on the cruise. WAI will request two IVV walk stamps for those who track their walks in AVA/IVV books.
WAI believes strongly in the importance of travel insurance for financial and medical protection from any number of unforeseen circumstances that can arise before departure or during your Adventure. This is now especially true in the era of COVID-19, which is typically treated like any other illness for travel insurance purposes. Many travel insurance providers are available for you to consider. Laura Pfahler and Sharon Mitchell of World Travel Inc. are travel agents who provides air travel and insurance services to many WAI travelers.
Check out Insurance Tips from World Travel for a short introduction to travel insurance. (NOTE: WAI receives no commission or financial remuneration from World Travel Inc.).
As always, do some shopping to ensure you are getting the best value. Using the squaremouth.com website can be a good way to compare pricing.
Other options include:
- Travel Guard
- Travel Insured International
NOTE: We suggest purchasing from a reputable, well-established insurance company (avoid buying insurance from an unknown company found only online). Travelers interested in purchasing “cancel for any reason” insurance coverage should be careful to check pricing and terms BEFORE they register for a tour. Recent changes in the international travel landscape has caused changes in the policies of some insurance companies, and made the purchase of this particular type of policy even more time-sensitive.
Walking Adventures International reserves the right to cancel any tour departure with fewer than 15 participants, in which case registered participants will receive a 100% refund of payments received.
This refund policy contains one exclusion related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many suppliers require non-refundable deposits as a condition of booking services. Unforeseen circumstances linked to the virus can force us to cancel a tour. Due to these supplier’s non-refundable policies, WAI intends to retrieve as much of these deposits as possible, but cannot guarantee a 100% refund.
In cases where full refunds cannot be obtained for a cancelled tour, we will do our best to transfer unrefunded money as traveler credits to be applied to a future tour to that destination.
View our full General Tour Conditions for more details.
Immunizations And COVID-19 Testing
As Fiji is a developing country, please check with your doctor or visit a travel clinic (recommended) to inquire about immunizations recommended for travelers.
In terms of COVID-19, everyone traveling to Fiji must be fully vaccinated. In addition, a COVID test must be taken before we board the ship at a cost (not included) of about $20. Current restrictions require that time in Fiji before boarding the ship must be spent at a certified hotel or in the care of a certified tour operator. Prior to departure, travelers will need another COVID test to comply with USA entry requirements.
Masks are required indoors but most of our activities, including dining and public spaces, are outdoors on the ship.
Participation in this Fiji Cruise Adventure requires compliance with current vaccine requirements.
COVID-19 Policies And Procedures
The Our Approach to Fun but Prudent Travel document identifies and explains Covid-19 mitigation policies and procedures WAI is using as a starting point for 2022 tours. Because the knowledge base about COVID-19 changes daily, we review these policies and procedures on an ongoing basis, and will, of course, notify travelers on tour of updates as we approach the departure date of your tour.
COVID-19 Travel Waiver
What Happens Next?
Upon registering for this Adventure, you will receive a welcome letter and initial invoice.
An Adventure Advice email with critical information on booking your flights will be sent soon after registration, as well as important steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you review the Adventure Advice email.
Mid-April you will receive a statement reminder for the second deposit of $300 due May 1, 2022. By July 1, you will receive a statement reminder for the final balance due. All payments are non-refundable at the time of payment.
About 2-3 weeks before departure, you will receive a final packet with all the details of the program, including hotel name and contact information, a list of fellow travelers, and a more detailed daily schedule.