The Isle of Smiles is about to get a new title as the Pacific’s best destination for luxury expedition cruising.
Captain Cook Cruises Fiji, whose name is synonymous with laid back diving and snorkelling in turquoise lagoons for the past 26 years, has taken over MS Caledonian Sky, APT’s luxury flagship sailing the Kimberley.
The vessel will move to Fiji in November and offer three-day and longer cruises to some of the world’s most beautiful but undiscovered areas like Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands, the Lau and Kadavu islands. Next year, itineraries include Tonga and Samoa.
As a luxury ship, Caledonian Sky represents a new era of cruising for Fiji. Her breathtakingly beautiful location will create a totally unique experience for Australian and New Zealand guests.
Captain Cook offer a complete Fijian experience
Their head chef has been recruited from one of the island’s five star resorts, and will be presenting his own unique local dining options. All food will be prepared with fresh produce, with an emphasis on local ingredients.
There will be Fijian art. The crew, including expedition leaders, will be from Fiji. So you won’t have to leave the ship to get into the famous Island Time mode of relaxation.
But there will also be a new element of exciting expedition, with marine biologists and leaders who really know the area. And there are islands to explore – some of which rarely see any visitors, let alone tourists.
New itineraries exploring Northern and Southern Lau offer Fijian attractions far away from the resorts and you might be used to. And Tonga and Samoa next year.
Captain Cook Cruises Fiji also has its own private island, Tivua, and a focus on whisking guests off to remote destinations, far-removed from other tourists. But now, it can offer a fleet of 10 Zodiacs.
Allison Haworth West, Executive Chairman of Captain Cook Cruises Fiji, says the level of service and overall guest experience will be completely elevated on the new ship.
MS Caledonian Sky has 57 suites, 114 guests and 70 crew members. That’s a six-star crew-to-guest ratio.
“Return guests will be able to come back and cruise with the Captain Cook Fiji family they know and love as well as meet some new faces,” Haworth West said.
Across the 57 cabins of the ship, all have a view of the ocean. In addition, suites have their own private balcony, offering a personal space to enjoy the remotest of destinations.
Haworth says it’s not just about creating a new luxury experience. It’s also about how the passengers will be able to enjoy exploring more remote locations, with an enriched experience thanks to a local expedition team.
“The arrival of MS Caledonian Sky will see an expansion in our small ship expedition cruise programs and allow us to share more exquisite and remote locations with our guests, who’ll travel in elegant comfort,” Haworth West said.
“Opening up new island locations never visited by tourists. And doing it in a sensitive and sustainable way as passengers are guided by a bigger galley team, an expedition team of multiple Marine Biologists and Cultural Experts.”
There are also additional expedition activities like snorkelling, glass-bottom boat tours, kayaking and stand-up paddleboards are all included.
The ship is set to start sailing Fiji on November 11, 2023, sailing out from Nadi. A three-night sailing begins from $3297 and a seven-night sailing begins from $7693.
From April 1, 2024, these itineraries will be complemented by additional seven-night Northern Lau and Southern Lau itineraries plus 14-night voyages through the Lau to Tonga and Samoa. Two sailings on August 17 and 31, 2024, following the Tonga humpback whale migration, offer a special chance to come face-to-face with the ocean’s gentle giants.
The three-night Mamanuca & Southern Yasawa Island sailings offer a streamlined, yet authentic taste of Fiji. Guests will visit the remote filming location of Tom Hanks’ Castaway, snorkel amongst corals and experience the Sevusevu (gift giving) ceremony.
The seven-night version of the same itinerary offers a similar experience but greater depth of exploration. Guests will experience the cruise line’s private island Tivua and its 2000 hectares of coral reef, bath in mud pools, swim in the limestone caves of Sawa-i-lau and experience a traditional Fijian feast and festivities in the village of Gunu.
The new sailings out to Southern and Northern Lau offer the chance to get out to some of Fiji and the Pacific’s tucked away sensations. Highlights of Northern Lau include the extraordinary history of Makogai Island, which once housed a leper colony, the scenery and wildlife of the isolated volcanic island of Vatu Vara and the marine oasis of Wailagilala.
Southern Lau is home to living and breathing tradition and beauty of Fulaga Island, heart-stopping shark diving in Beqa Island and the striking red prawns of Vatulele, considered sacred by locals.
- All meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner).
- Expedition team of Marine Biologists, cultural experts and Ocean Ambassador program.
- Guided island, village, school and shore excursions.
- Snorkelling (equipment provided) and glass bottom boat tours, kyaking and SUP.
- Kava (Yaqona) ceremony and tropical Lovo feast Transfers from the ship to most Nadi/Denarau hotels.
- Complimentary 24hr tea/coffee/filtered water.