Snorkelling abpve Fuji's coral reefs.
Snorkelling above Fiji’s colourful coral reefs is always a favourite activity of  cruise passengers.

AFTER slumbering on the cruise scene for a few years, Fiji’s laid-back tropical islands – there are over 300 tucked away amid thousands of alluring coral reefs – are firmly back on the South Pacific cruise map.

Captain Cook Cruises, (,  and Blue Lagoon Cruises ( have been year-round stalwarts cruising Fiji’s sun-kissed islands, while other cruise lines have tended to sail from Australia to the closer tropical islands of Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

All that changed this summer as international cruise lines added Fiji to their wide-ranging itineraries.

Carnival ( and Princess Cruises ( followed the lead of P&O Cruises ( by adding Fiji to their South Pacific island itineraries. Also cruising to the Fijian islands in April  is Holland America Line’s Oosterdam ( while on her re-positioning cruise from Australia to Alaska (USA).

True, the latest arrivals tend to visit well-known ports such as Denarau (out of Nadi) and Suva (Fiji’s capital) that are both on the main island of Viti Levu, but at least these ports offer tours that give cruise ship guests a taste of the islands’ rich cultural attractions.

Nonetheless, is sure those who want to explore Fiji in-depth will still opt to sail to less-visited islands with one of the Fiji-based cruise lines.

With this in mind Captain Cook Cruises has added the remote Lau Islands to its wide-ranging cruise programme of grass-roots experiences. This necklace of unspoilt volcanic islands are east of Fiji and on a clear day visitors cruising there can see the islands of Tonga.

The inaugural voyage to Lau last October sold out in no time and a second departure, scheduled for April 22 this year, is almost sold out. There will be extra departures in November this year, and in April, August and November next year.

While cruising the beautiful untouched islands of Lau,  guests snorkel and dive in pristine coral atolls, visit remote villages, watch traditional meke dances and enjoy traditional lovo feasting. There is also time to see craftsmen skilled in wood-turning and artists producing unique designs.


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