What is the Best Way to Book a Cruise in Fiji?
Sailing across the turquoise waters between beautiful islands of sand and palms can be done through small-ship cruises, hop-on hop-off ferries and day cruises in Fiji. But how do you make this dream a bookable reality? Check out this guide on how to book a cruise around the Fiji islands for advice.
What are the Cruises Around Fiji?
In Fiji, there are three different types of cruises: small-ship cruises, hop-on hop-off ferries and day cruises.
Small-ship cruises are cruise ships with cabins, restaurant and other facilities that embark on multi-day voyages around Fiji. Most small-ship cruises occur in the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, with the occasional sailings to Vanua Levu, Lomaiviti Islands, Taveuni and the Lau Islands. Learn more about these cruises in The Guide to Cruises Around Fiji.
Hop-on Hop-off Ferry
Travelling along the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands each day and back from Port Denarau, the hop-on hop-off ferry is a flexible way to get between island resorts. There are one-off resort connections available, as well as multi-day ferry passes. Find out more in The Guide to Travelling in Fiji by Ferry.
Mostly departing Port Denarau, there are island-hopping/snorkelling cruises taking you to multiple islands in the Mamanucas for a day, which we list in the 9 Best Island-Hopping Cruises in Fiji. Alternatively, there are island day trips where boats take you out to spend the day at an island resort, which you can check out in the 10 Best Island Day Trips in Fiji.
Booking a Cruise Through a Travel Agent
If you’re the sort of person who likes to be prepared but would rather get the experts to sort out the logistics, then through a travel agent is a good way to book a Fiji cruise. Travel agents like Flight Centre, STA, House of Travel, Fiji Vacations and Travel Express can plan and book cruises for you before you land in Fiji.
The Pros of Booking a Cruise with a Travel Agent
- Relieves the stress of planning and booking a cruise independently
- You have one point of contact should you need to change your plans
- Travel agents may be able to offer you a good deal, such as discounted flights plus the cruise
- They can help you with some of the logistics, like visas, ground transfers and more.
The Cons of Booking a Cruise with a Travel Agent
- Travel agents tend to be more expensive than booking direct
- Travel agents will only push the cruises that they sell, meaning that you might not be able to compare all possible options with them
- They don’t tend to offer price matching
- Overseas travel agents sell tours for a higher price than what you often see once you’re in Fiji.
For advice on using a travel agent for your Fiji trip, check out the 10 Things to Ask Your Travel Agent When Booking Your Holiday to Fiji.
Booking a Cruise Through an Online Travel Agent
Online travel agents (OTAs) are comparison websites for activities, accommodations, flights and more. Some OTAs for comparing day cruises, hop-on hop-off passes and small-ship cruises is Viator and Tripadvisor, while OTAs for small-ship cruises only include Cruiseabout and LiveAboard.
The Pros of Booking a Cruise with an Online Travel Agent
- They are convenient to use anywhere that you have an internet connection
- They making comparing cruises easily with filters for price, ratings and more
- They have more relaxed cancellation policies than booking direct or with a travel agent, allowing you to be more flexible.
The Cons of Booking a Cruise with an Online Travel Agent
- Some cruise companies use these booking websites to fill up spaces on less popular cruise dates, which is not always convenient
- The price is often a little more expensive on OTAs
- Some OTAs charge extra fees, which you don’t see until you go through the online booking process.
Booking a Cruise Directly with the Cruise Company
All of Fiji’s cruise companies have websites, email addresses and phone numbers in order to book tours directly (Ok, so that might not seem like it needed to be said, but that’s quite a feat for tourism companies in the South Pacific). Many of the cruises, ferries and day cruises have offices/kiosks in Denarau where you can also book direct face-to-face. Finding out who the cruise companies are is easy with websites like Fiji Pocket Guide (that’s us!) showing you hundreds of Fiji tourism companies across the website.
The Pros of Booking a Cruise Direct
- You can usually get the best price for the tour with the cruise company
- Cruise companies will usually only have deals on their own websites
- If you find cheaper elsewhere, cruise companies will usually match the price
- Booking direct means you have the opportunity to book onto any cruise they have.
The Cons of Booking a Cruise Direct
- It’s often more time-consuming a stressful to book a cruise yourself rather than using a travel agent
- Many cruise companies have strict cancellation policies where you’re unlikely to get a full refund if you have to cancel your trip.
Booking a Cruise Through Accommodation
Finally, a popular, easy and cheap way to book just about any tour or transport in Fiji is through your accommodation. Accommodations like resorts and hotels can book day cruises and ferry passes on your behalf and organise the transfers for you, making it an easy process. You usually pay to the cruise provider rather than the accommodation.
The Pros of Booking a Cruise with an Accommodation
- It’s convenient, as the reception at many major resorts in Fiji is open 24 hours
- Relieve the stress of organising a cruise for yourself
- It allows you to be more spontaneous
- Accommodations can usually get better prices for cruises than what is charged to overseas.
The Cons of Booking a Cruise with an Accommodation
- Accommodation will often only show you day cruises that they work with.