Unless you’re staying in Port Denarau, island day trips can be time-consuming and exhausting. Transfers from Fiji’s most popular resorts can take up to 2 hours requiring an early start and a late return. At the end of the day you’ve seen some amazing sights and had a wonderful time, but the thought of doing it all again can be incredibly draining – and costly!
Captain Cook small ship cruising provides the perfect contrast of seaside relaxation with jam-packed sight-seeing adventures. I experienced the 4 Night Northern Yasawa Island itinerary first-hand and was introduced to a way of exploring Fiji I had never considered in my previous ventures.
Less than 3 hours after boarding you’re presented with your first opportunity to snorkel. Didn’t want to bulk up your luggage with snorkel gear? Don’t stress, it’s provided free of charge - and it’s yours for the rest of the trip! Not overly confident with your swimming skills? They provide foam noodles! Of course if you wanted to avoid swimming altogether you can just hang out on the beach of Captain Cook’s privately owned island. At that time of day the standard daytrippers have already departed, so it’s all yours!Worst case scenario, you’ve already had a few big days and just don’t have it in you to leave the ship. Enjoy the view with an icy cold beverage and let the gentle rocking of the waves revive you for the next 4 days of adventure!
Day Two provides snorkelling trips at different locations, morning and afternoon with optional beach hang-out. The majority of beaches allow snorkeling from the beach, so as you’re given a couple of hours in each spot, you can always go for round two before heading back home – a whole 4 minutes away! If snorkeling and excessive sun isn’t your top priority and you’ve stayed on the ship for most of the day, you can rejoice in a change of scenery in the evening as you enter a local village for a lovo feast, accompanied by traditional Kava ceremony and dancing.
You’re probably sunburnt and/or sick of snorkeling by Day Three. Change things up by embarking on an hour or so return trip hiking up a mini mountain with views to die for. Even on our rainy morning the sunrise was a sight to behold, and a welcome cooldown from the steep trek. After rejoining your well rested ship mates you have the honour of visiting a local school, nestled between two villages. The kids treat you to a few songs and then show you around their classrooms. The fantasy of trading in your hectic job and chaotic schedule turns to serious consideration as the view from the kids’ playground makes you yearn for the island life.
The day is not over, with a stop by the swimmable Sawa-i-lau Cave – home of the serpent god, and a nostalgic visit to the famous “Blue Lagoon” Beach. Did I mention more snorkeling?!
Day Four starts to wind down as you near the end of the trip. I mean, only 2 snorkelling trips?! Your Fijian hosts are humble and keep to themselves while you relax, but if you show an interest they are keen to get you foraging for seagrapes for the lunch buffet and crabs for the race later on that evening. Just FYI seagrapes = the funnest thing to eat. Salty as hell, but fun! The crew have been providing after dinner entertainment and now let their hair down and party with you, inclusive of Kava and plenty of laughs.
Your hosts bid you farewell the next day with some beautiful island songs, an abundance of hugs and a treasure trove of memories. Although it feels good to be on land, the idea of sneaking your way back on board doesn’t seem so ridiculous.