Cruise Blue Fiji
A Lite Walking Tour
November 13-20, 2020 • 8 Days • $3690*
Join us for a luxurious cruise on our 68 passenger ship, as we visit the intimate palm-covered Mamanucas, sail to the majestic southern Yasawa Islands and relax in the idyllic Blue Lagoon, framed by picture-perfect beaches.
*Upgrades Available! See below for ship details.
Reserve your spot on this tour with a $500 Registration deposit!
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 68 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 this adventure: Hibiscus and Orchid.
- Hibiscus cabins are located on the Main deck and are approximately 11 sqm (120 sq ft). The Adventure price includes Hibiscus category cabins. Three Hibiscus cabins are available.
- Orchid cabins are located on the Middle and Upper decks and average 14sqm (150 sq ft). Orchid cabins are available for an upgrade fee of $425 per person.
- Both cabin types come with a premium stocked mini bar with soft drinks, French sparkling wine, premium Fijian chocolate, and snacks. Orchid cabin mini bars are restocked daily!
- Accommodation for 7 nights in all outside facing cabins aboard our 68-passenger ship, the M.V. Fiji Princess, small enough to tie off on a coconut tree!
- Choice of 2 cabin categories, Hibiscus Deck and Orchid Deck
- 20 meals – 7 breakfasts, 6 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 Fijian Islands we visit are not conducive to long walks – distances are likely to range between 1 and 3 km)
- WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
- Tips for off-ship experiences (tips for on-ship personnel not included)
- Pricing is based on double occupancy. Single accommodations aboard ship are very limited. Call for availability and pricing. WAI also 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.
- Nadi Walking Tour with Fijian Dinner (Day 0)
- Malamala Beach Club (Day 8) (already included for those purchasing the Optional Flight and Pre-night Hotel Package)
Flight & Hotel Package:
$1,150 per person
- Roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles International Airport
- Transfer from airport to hotel with 2-3 hours free time in town with a local Fujian guide
- One night in a double/twin room at the 5-star, beachside hotel
- A half day visit to Malamala Island to enjoy the amenities at Malamala Beach Club while awaiting our late-in-the-day flight departure (drinks at Malamala Beach Club not included).
- Transfer from dock to Malamala Island, then on to the Nadi Airport in time for group flight departure
- Pricing is based on double occupancy. Single accommodations are available for a supplement. Single supplement for Hilton Denarau for one night: $132.
Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5
Scott and Ruth Burk have been leading travelers on Walking Adventures for the past several years, sharing highlights of European and American destinations with fellow Adventurers! Always on the lookout for the best viewpoint or hole-in-the-wall café, they enjoy finding the hidden treasures along those paths less traveled. While at home in the Pacific Northwest, they are passionate about their family, enjoy hosting soirees, and for several years now have helped to raise guide dogs for the blind. They look forward to sharing the beautiful beaches of Fiji with you!
Click on each day to reveal more details. (BLD) refers to meals included – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Day 0-Nov 12: Arrive Nadi, Fiji
Because we cross that mystical International Date Line somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, magically transporting us one day into the future, travelers who opt for the Flight and Pre-night Hotel package depart from Los Angeles International Airport on November 10 in order to arrive in Fiji on November 12 (Don’t worry, we get that day back on our return, technically arriving home before we even leave Fiji!).
The Flight and Pre-Night Hotel package includes several services rolled into one: the roundtrip flight from LAX to Nadi, Fiji; transfers to and from the airport to our hotel; one night in the 5-star, beachside resort; and a half-day visit to the Malamala Beach Club on the last day.
Since we arrive early in the morning, our hotel rooms will likely not be ready yet, so we’ll take the 10-minute ride into Nadi town for time to stroll, maybe get a cup of coffee, and get our first glimpses into life in Fiji. Late morning, we head to our resort hotel on Denarau Island. The balance of the day is free to relax, explore this lovely beachside 5-star resort, or join us for a guided walking expedition through Nadi.
Neighborhoods of Nadi Walking Tour with Fijian Dinner: This guided stroll through Nadi town connects us to the life of the locals with opportunities to engage Fijian people as we wander off the tourist route. We break into smaller groups, each with a local guide, and walk past markets, small shops, and local cafes. This three-hour experience includes riding a local bus to Wailoaloa Beach and finishes with a delightful and filling Fijian dinner. Includes round trip transfers from hotel to Nadi, local guide for each small group, public bus ride, and Fijian dinner. Estimated price: $120 per person. Minimum group size – 15 travelers.
Day 1-Nov 13: Set Sail for Modriki Island (B* D)
Anchorage: Modriki Island
Possible walk on Modriki Island
Because we cross that mystical International Date Line somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, magically transporting us one day into the future, travelers depart North America on November 11 in order to arrive in Fiji on November 13 (Don’t worry, we get that day back on our return, arriving home technically before we even leave Fiji!).
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 flight and 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 14: 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 15: 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 16: 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 17: 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 18: 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 19: 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 20: 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.
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 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 save yourself a spot on this Adventure, contact us to register with a $500 deposit as soon as possible! Because this is a small ship-based experience (68 berths total) with no off-ship bus travel, we are accepting more than our usual maximum of 28 travelers.
Modified Payment Terms
Because of the ship’s payment terms, our standard payment and cancellation terms must be modified. A deposit of $500 is due at the time of registration to hold your spot. The final balance is due September 4, 2020. All payments are non-refundable at the time of payment.
Optional Flight and Pre-night Hotel Package
Fiji is part of the Melanesian Islands, a flight from Los Angeles of about eleven hours. Our tour partner has offered us a bundle of services that we feel is attractive and maximizes both our start and finish. Included in this package are:
- roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles International Airport to Nadi, Fiji
- transfer from airport to hotel with 2-3 hours free time in Nadi town with a local Fujian guide
- one night at the 5-star, beachside Hilton Denarau, including breakfast
- transfer from dock to airport on the last day with a half day visit to Malamala Island to enjoy the amenities at Malamala Beach Club while awaiting our late-in-the-day flight departure (drinks at Malamala Beach Club not included)
The flight for this trip will depart Los Angeles on November 10 and arrive in Fiji on November 12 (due to crossing of the International Date Line), one day before the trip officially begins. For this reason, it includes hotel accommodations for the night of November 12 in Nadi.
Cost of this package is $1,150 per person.
No Traveler Discounts
No Traveler Discounts are available for this tour.
General Tour Conditions and Registration Forms
How is airfare arranged?
The official start and finish point for this adventure is Nadi, Fiji (Airport code: NAN). For those not participating in the optional Flight and Pre-night Hotel Package, 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. The experience appeared on our tour planning radar as a late opportunity for the 2020 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 be researching walk opportunities with ship staff. We know of a few possibilities, but it is fair to say that individual walks will be 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.
Neighborhoods of Nadi Walking Tour with Fijian Dinner: Travelers who arrive a day early (November 12) are invited to join us for an afternoon walking tour in Nadi. This guided stroll through Nadi town connects us to lives of the locals with opportunities to engage Fijian people as we wander off the tourist route. We break into smaller groups, each with a local guide, and walk past markets, small shops, and local cafes. This three-hour experience includes riding a local bus to Wailoaloa Beach and finishes with a delightful and filling Fijian dinner. Includes round trip transfers from hotel to Nadi, local guide for each small group, public bus ride, and Fijian dinner. Estimated price: $120 per person. Minimum group size – 15 travelers.
Malamala Beach Club Excursion: With free time after docking and before departure flights, join us for a final opportunity to imbibe Fijian paradise at Malamala Beach Club, 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)
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. Many travel insurance providers are available for you to consider. Laura Pfahler of World Travel Inc., a travel agent who provides air travel services to many WAI travelers, can provide travel insurance options for your WAI tour as well as your airfare (phone: 503-434-6401 -OR- email: [email protected]).
You may wish to consider insurance which allows you to cancel for any reason. This is a time-sensitive benefit, generally only available if you purchase within 2-3 weeks of your tour registration. Travelers interested in this type of insurance should start researching their options right away.
As always, do some shopping to ensure you are getting the best value. Using the website SquareMouth.com 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). In addition, be aware that some travel insurance policies contain time-sensitive provisions—i.e. some benefits are available only if the policy is purchased within a certain number of days of the purchase of the travel package.
Other Planning Considerations
More information to help you plan will be included in the much longer Tips & Tidbits factsheet that is mailed out about four months before the trip.
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 Coronavirus FAQ for more details.
What Happens Next?
Upon registering for this Adventure, you will receive a welcome letter and initial invoice. An email with critical information on flight arrangements and the Adventure Advice flyer will be sent soon after with important information about steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you review the Flight Arrangements email. Final payment for the program is due July 15, 2020, and you will receive a final billing about 3 weeks prior to that point, along with a factsheet of additional information about the Adventure to help you get prepared! Then, about 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.