Our first adventure finally began on June 4! We headed out to Denarau Port where we needed to check in our cruise with Captain Cook Cruises! I was feeling very excited as I had never been on a 7-day cruise before. We went on board the Reef Endeavor and did the Colonial Cruise. As I have never been to Fiji before, it was a perfect way to introduce Fiji to a first time visitor like me!

Protector of Paradise getting ready to board the Reef Endeavour.
Protector of Paradise getting ready to board the Reef Endeavour.

Here are my top 11 favorite moments with Captain Cook Cruises Reef Endeavor:

1. Visiting Tivua Island

Our first stop was Tivua Island- Captain Cook Cruises’ Private Island where we got to spend the afternoon, paddle boarding and snorkeling.

Tivua Island- Captain Cook Cruises' Private Island at Sunset
Tivua Island at Sunset

2. History lessons at Levuca on Ovalau Island

Traveled back in time to the town of Levuka. I spent some time getting to know a bit of Fiji’s past which was very helpful since I went on this trip without doing extensive research about Fiji.

Protector of Paradise exploring Levuca
Protector of Paradise exploring Levuca

Levuka on the island of Ovalau used to be the capital of Fiji. This was where the deed of cession was signed declaring it as a colony of Britain. Today it is a UNESCO world heritage site.

3. Learning about Giant Clams in Makogai Island

The beautiful island of Makogai used to be home of 4500 lepers from Fiji and other Pacific island groups from 1911 to 1969. Today there is no more colony of lepers… just a colony of clams. Owned by the Fijian Government, Makogai was declared as a Marine Protected Reserve in 1989.

The day was spent talking with the Fijian Ministry of Fisheries and learning about their marine conservation efforts around Fiji. I learned about the endangered giant clams and turtles being grown in Makogai Island.

4. Snorkeling! Snorkeling! Snorkeling!

Snorkeling was every day on board the Captain Cook Cruises. It was something to look forward to since the reefs we visit are lush and filled with marine life!

5. Touring a J.Hunter Pearl Farm in Savusavu

One can literally say that the island of Savusavu is precious as a pearl! We visited J. Hunter Pearls and learned the process of pearl farming.

J Hunter Fiji pearl farm tour
I learned that it takes 4-5 years to produce a quality pearl! It does take time to make something exquisite. 😍

But what I find most interesting is how this company runs their business sustainability! They make sure that the community benefits. 90% of their employees are Fijians. They pay a water lease and royalties to the local tribe. And they have even given 60 scholarships to tertiary students! 
Giving back to the community- now that’s priceless!

6. Jumping off Bouma Waterfalls

I must admit that I am not fond of treks to waterfalls but Bouma waterfalls in the Garden Island of Fiji, also known as Tavauni, was well worth the hike. We were met with rain while hiking but to be honest it just added to the fun! The waterfall was majestic and breathtaking. And luckily we got to go close and jump off a ledge from behind the falls! It was an exhilarating experience!

Protectors of paradise enjoying a refreshing dip at Bouma Waterfalls
Protectors of paradise enjoying a refreshing dip at Bouma Waterfalls

7. Interacting with the locals at Taveuni

While we were in Taveuni, we got to visit a local tribe and got to try several local dishes like palusami taro leaves saturated with coconut milk and some fish, pork, chicken cooked using lovo. Lovo is an earth oven fire in the ground that is lined with heat-resistant stones.

Group photo with Fijians are always chaotic fun! Big bula smiles from everyone.
Group photo with Fijians are always chaotic fun! Big bula smiles from everyone

After dinner, we got to see the children of the village perform traditional songs and dances. The best part was they asked us to dance with them! The Fijian children are so affectionate and gave me tons of hugs! I wish we had more interactions like this.

8. World Ocean’s Day Beach Clean Up

Every year, we celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8. As part of Protector of Paradise, it was important for us that we did something significant on this day. Thankfully, Captain Cook Reef Endeavor arranges beach cleans ups with their Ocean Ambassadors as part of their itinerary. We were able to celebrate World Oceans Day by doing a beach clean up in Taveuni!

9. Stepping foot on the meridian dateline in Taveuni

Wouldn’t have thought I’d set foot here! The 180-degree meridian dateline that runs through Taveuni. It was fun going back and forth in time. But, I must say that being in the present is so much better 😊

10. Scuba diving in Fish Factory

Finally did my first scuba dive in Fiji! We visited a dive spot called Fish Factory. I enjoyed the watching the fishes playfully swim with the current as we cruised through the dive site.

11. Climbing Nananu-i-ra Hill

Our last island activity with Captain Cook was to climb a hill in Nananu-i-ra. It was a challenging hike up but well worth it as we got an amazing view of the island from a vantage point.

Panoramic view from Nananu-i-ra Hill
Panoramic view from Nananu-i-ra Hill. We can spot Captain Cook Cruises ship from a far.

Over-all the Captain Cook Cruises was an amazing experience and would definitely recommend it to people wanting to get a taste of Fiji! It had a good mix of history, culture and activities suitable for all ages! The food was amazing and the crew were just outstanding!

Thank you so much, Captain Cook Cruises Reef Endeavour for having us!