Captain Cook Cruises Fiji Debuts its Southern Lau Expedition

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Aerial view of the Cresent reef on Fulaga island with the MS Caledonian Sky in the foreground, Aerial view of the Cresent reef on Fulaga island with the MS Caledonian Sky in the foreground, Lau Group Fiji Islands

Fiji’s expedition specialist Captain Cook Cruises Fiji has just returned from its inaugural seven-night voyage to the Southern Lau archipelago. The Southern Lau itineraries now feature on the cruise line’s program with departures each month for the remainder of the 2024 season.

On an extraordinary journey, expedition small ship MS Caledonian Sky’s inaugural Southern Lau voyage featured many ‘firsts’ with several stops visiting destinations tourists had never before visited. Each morning, the ship’s cultural delegation went ashore for the traditional sevu sevu with the village chiefs and elders, and the ship’s guests were then officially welcomed ashore.

Every land-stop along the voyage offered wonderful experiences, from the warm welcome at Buliya village and a discovery of the rich history at Matuku to Fulaga’s extraordinary aqua blue beauty and Totoya which delighted guests with its culture and thrilling dive spots. Beqa wowed with traditional ceremonies and firewalking while Vatulele captivated guests with its gorgeous lagoon, ancient rock paintings, caves and vibrant cultural encounters.

7N Southern Lau
Image: Route of the MS Caledonian Sky’s inaugural Southern Lau voyage

With generously inclusive rates from $7,693, the Southern Lau departures are detailed here and a summary follows:

Buliya


Buliya
Images: Manta Ray gliding through the crystal-clear waters of the Lau Group | Image: Supplied

Buliya: The journey began with a warm reception at Buliya village. This was the first ever visit of its kind to the village and the ship’s guests and crew were greeted with enthusiastic singing. It was Easter Sunday and the special church service with its incredible choir was followed by a village tour and a refreshing swim.

Matuku Island


Matuku Island: was the only island in Lau not to have been conquered by the Tongans. As the first organised tourism visit to the island, the ship’s guests discovered rich Fijian history, a significant cultural site and thrilling surf breaks. Despite its warlike past, the locals welcomed the visitors with vibrant dancing and cultural experiences.

Fulaga


Fulaga Exp Zodiac Mushroom 1
Image: The Magnificent geological and micro ecosystems that line the pristine coastline of Fulaga | Image: Supplied

Fulaga: Located halfway to Tonga, Fulaga revealed its heavenly beauty, with welcoming villagers showcasing their renowned wood carving craftsmanship and hospitality. Passengers basked in the island’s idyllic charm, dubbed “heaven on earth”. Fulaga’s aqua blue waters seem to go for on ever.

Yagasa

Yagasa: At Yagasa the ship’s guests enjoyed the picturesque scenery, with time to relax and swim or kayak.

Totoya


The ship arrived in Totoya to the news that they had no contact for a month as the supply barge that usually comes once every two weeks had not come for four. Despite this, Fijian happiness abounded and Totoya’s well organised village showcased its trade in copra and coconut, offering enriching experiences like copra demonstrations and a fabulous cultural performance by the school students. Passengers explored its underwater wonders and top dive spots, ending the day with excellent surfing adventures.

Beqa


Beqa
Image: Awe-inspiring Fijian Firewalking Display | Image: Supplied

Beqa: After the traditional welcome by the locals, Beqa Island treated passengers to an awe-inspiring firewalking display. Passengers immersed in village life, enjoying warm hospitality and sampling delicious local cuisine.

Vatulele


Vatulele DJI 0225 scaled
Image: The Pristine Untouched Beaches of Vatulele island | Image: Supplied

VATULELE: Hidden gem Vatulele revealed its beauty and vibrant cultural heritage. From its magnificent lagoon, white sandy beaches, caves and hidden canyons to an experience of 3000-year-old rock art, sacred red prawns and immersive cultural encounters, the island captivated all with its charm, a fitting wrap to a Southern Lau adventure.

About Captain Cook Cruises


The cutting of a flower garland that stretched from ship to shore to signify the ship’s launch and to welcome her to Fiji. of the Ms Caledonian Sky
Image: Captain Cook Cruises Fiji Launches Ms Caledonian Sky | Image: Supplied

Captain Cook Cruises was founded in 1970 by Trevor Haworth AM and his wife Geraldine with the family business growing from an original single boat with twice weekly departures to 30 departures a day. At its peak, the Captain Cook Cruises group included more than 29 ships in four destinations and carried over one million passengers a year.

In 1997 the family expanded into Fiji. In 2011 the Australian operation was sold. Today, the company’s cruises visit more than 90 of Fiji’s 333 islands. All cruises offer water and beach-based adventures with daily swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and glass bottom boat tours over pristine coral reefs. With a firm commitment to marine science and sustainability, the company’s onboard marine biologists provide expert knowledge through guided activities and lectures to help educate passengers on how to best protect and preserve Fiji’s natural environment.

For further information and bookings:

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