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5 BEST Day Cruises in Fiji for an Ideal Day on the Water (2024 Guide)

5 BEST Day Cruises in Fiji for an Ideal Day on the Water (2024 Guide)

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Fiji offers some truly incredible experiences for its visitors, and we’ve found that cruises are among the best things to do here. We have been to Fiji a multitude of times and every time we go we always do a few of them!

But why a day cruise you ask? Because they make for some of the best day trips in Fiji! Unlike water taxis (which are just boats to another island), these luxury tours let you get off and explore uninhabited islands and incredible beaches. You can enjoy world-class snorkeling, sunbathing, and other aquatic adventures. When you just take a boat to another island, you don’t get the chance to do any of that.

Also, you can pretend to be a pirate! Okay, maybe I just made that one up, but how can you not pretend to be a pirate when on an uninhabited island?

Don’t have time to read the full article? You can spend the day snorkeling, swimming, and exploring secluded sandbars on this full-day South Sea cruise. It’s an incredible experience on a catamaran and you get to have a gourmet meal while you’re soaking up the views.

Best Day Cruises in Fiji

1. South Sea Sailing Full-Day Cruise

A group of people relax on the seating on the South Sea Sailing Full Day Cruise in Fiji
Relaxing on Fiji’s only catamaran!
Daniel and Bailey take a selfie on the sandbar vistited on the South Sea Sailing Full Day Cruise in Fiji
Visiting secluded sandbars!

Imagine sailing on a catamaran through crystal clear blue waters to untouched coral reefs and snorkeling with exotic fish. Now imagine diving off the same boat and swimming to a small sandy island to soak up the sun before enjoying a freshly cooked meal and glass of wine. If this sounds too good to be true, it isn’t! This is just a fraction of what a day aboard this South Sea sailing cruise can offer and trust me, you don’t want to miss it.

I know I probably seem a little excited about this and that’s because I totally am! This is one of the best tours in Fiji – we loved it so much that when we got married, we rented the whole boat for our wedding party! Our review on the South Sea Sabre Cruise is here for more info!

If you need hotel pick-up and drop-off the tour provider will arrange to bring you from your accommodation to Port Denarau Marina by 9:45 am. Upon boarding, you are treated to a mimosa (one of my favorites) and given a tour of the wonderful catamaran you’ll be sailing around the Mamanuca Islands on. You can rest assured this South Sea cruise comes with an expert crew, so you’ll be well taken care of.

The South Sea Sailing Full Day Cruise boat anchored in the water
The South Sea cruise boat anchored in the water

As for the experience itself, in case I didn’t emphasize this enough already, it’s absolutely incredible. I especially loved that there is a waterslide you can take right down into the ocean! Complimentary water and soft drinks mean one less thing you have to worry about bringing. Not to mention a gourmet meal accompanied by either beer or wine that rounds off your day perfectly. 

Snorkeling through picturesque coral reefs is probably the closest I’ll ever get to being the little mermaid. However, I think the best part of this cruise is just how affordable it is. Everything we mentioned is included in the $120 USD price. The cruise itself lasts 5 to 6 hours, and you’ll be back at the dock by 4:45 pm. This is a cruise offered by South Sea Cruises (a great company in Fiji!) but the booking policy is better (and you avoid credit card fees) if you book with Viator below rather than booking directly with the company.

2. Authentic Fijian Day Cruise

People swim around a sandbar on the Cruisin Fiji - Authentic Fijian Day Cruise
The water is just stunning!

With an emphasis on world-class snorkeling accompanied by some of the most beautiful backdrops you can imagine, this Fijian day cruise provides a perfect balance of island hopping, snorkeling, and relaxing. We especially loved the traditional Lovo feast provided and the 5-star service from the crew. I mean, you’ll go where they filmed Cast Away, but unlike Tom Hanks, you won’t want to leave!

Your 8-hour excursion to the Mamanuca Islands will depart from Cruisin Fiji on Denarau Island at 9 am. If you require hotel pick-up and drop-off, please note they provide free service to hotels on Denarau Island and charge for the service if you are staying elsewhere.

Over the course of your day, you will travel to four iconic islands, Mana, Monu, Modriki, and Mounuriki. Each offers spectacular snorkeling and stunning views that we all think of when we dream of an “island getaway.” What I found most incredible about each of these islands was the amount of diversity in fish and plant life you see when underwater. If you have a waterproof camera, don’t forget to bring it!

As I mentioned earlier, the crew on this day cruise is what makes this experience special. We have all been on a tour where your guides are there because it’s just a paycheck, but not with this tour! You will smile your way through the whole day with some of the genuinely nicest people you have ever met. I loved asking them questions about Fijian culture, the islands we visited, and their own lives.

If you’re a fan of the Cast Away movie you will love your guided tour of Mounuriki Island. It’s completely uninhabited and makes for some great photo opportunities. There is also a fantastic Lovo traditional lunch, snacks, and water provided so you won’t go hungry or thirsty all day!

By now it’s probably pretty easy to see why this is one of our favorite tours in Fiji and one of the best day trips from Denarau. We honestly can’t wait for you to experience it yourself! It’s available almost every day of the week and only costs $149 USD a person for everything we mentioned.

Related Read: Castaway Island (locally named Qalito) is not the same as Mounuriki Island where the Tom Hanks movie was filmed – but there are plenty of great reasons to visit this spot, too!

3. Fijian Islands and Snorkel Full-Day Whales Tale Cruise

SUP on the Fijian Islands and Snorkel Full-Day Whales Tale Cruise
The waters are perfect for SUP!
Relaxing ont he island as part of the Fijian Islands and Snorkel Full-Day Whales Tale Cruise
The island paradise!

From start to finish, this Fijian Islands day tour was a blast and takes care of everything you would need to have an epic time. Delicious breakfast and lunch included? Check. All-day beverages and snorkeling gear provided? You betcha! The crew even serenaded us with some singing, and you’re more than likely to join them considering how much fun you’ll have during this 7-hour island adventure.

You will set sail aboard a 100-foot (30-meter) schooner at 10 am for the Mamanuca Islands. While en route, the crew will serve you a complimentary continental breakfast accompanied by coffee, tea, and juice – or if you’re ready to go full vacation mode – champagne! I’ll let you guess which I chose. 

We loved how friendly the crew was the entire day and particularly enjoyed their singing! Fijians love to share their culture through food, music, and conversation so be sure to get to know them. There were people from all over the world on board, and the staff did an amazing job welcoming everyone and helping to break the ice, laughing, and making new friends. I mean, with free drinks served all day, how can you not make new friends?

You will cruise around Malamala, Vunavadra, Bounty, and Treasure Island with an opportunity to snorkel pristine untouched coral reefs at each. There was no “X marks the spot” for hidden gold on Treasure Island, but it didn’t matter because the views and snorkeling were a treasure of their own! Before you make your way back, you are treated to a delicious Fijian BBQ buffet which rounds off the day perfectly.

This tour runs every day of the week making it super flexible and is great for groups, couples, and solo travelers. You’re picked up from your hotel, and prices vary depending on what area your hotel is in ranging from $108 USD to $138 USD per person. It’s a fantastic deal with how much you get to see, eat, and drink!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

4. Fiji Sunset Dinner Cruise and Cultural Show

Sunsets behind an island on a sunset and cultural cruise in Fiji
The sunsets in Fiji are unreal – especially on the water!

What could be better than watching the sunset over the incredible waters of Fiji while enjoying a gourmet dinner? Well, this romantic sunset dinner cruise takes it one step further and includes an amazing onboard culture show for an evening you’ll never forget. 

You leave Denarau Port between 5 pm and 5:30 pm and can expect to be back by 8:30 pm. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a shorter cruising experience. Plus, round-trip transportation is provided for hotels in both Denarau and Nadi for a completely hassle-free evening. 

You will be greeted onboard with a complimentary cocktail to kick things off. Any other beverages need to be purchased directly, so be sure to bring some extra cash. Personally, we think the local Mokusiga Pacific Lager is a great pairing for a sunset on the water!

You’ll definitely want to get dressed up for your night out since there will be some great photo opportunities. When we went, it was a little cloudy around sunset, but we still had some stunning views. We even got lucky and saw some bats from a nearby island! Overall, this cruise is an excellent choice if you’re planning a romantic honeymoon in Fiji.

I highly recommend that when you book this experience you upgrade to the lobster dinner. It was absolutely delicious, and if you enjoy seafood, it’s a must! It was so good that we both completely forgot to take a picture! The other barbeque buffet offerings also looked fantastic, and there are plenty of options for vegetarians as well. 

We have seen a lot of talented cultural performances in Fiji, and this one was so much fun. Even before dinner, one of the staff was on deck singing and playing guitar for us. However, I think the traditional dances stole the show. Fijians love to share their culture, and it’s easy to see why so many people visit – everyone is just so friendly! 

This tour is available every day except Monday, so it’s easy to fit into your schedule after a day out exploring. It costs $81 USD per person for the standard buffet or $138 USD per person for the lobster dinner upgrade. Note that there’s an extra cost if you’re being picked up from Doubletree Hilton or Momi Bay Marriot.

Related Read: Another fantastic getaway in Fiji from Denarau is Seventh Heaven Fiji. This floating oasis is one of our favorite spots!

5. Nadi Tivua Island Day Cruise

Two people walk on the beach at Nadi Tivua Island in Fiji
The beaches are beautiful!
Our boat arrives at Nadi Tivua Island in Fiji
Arriving at Tivua!

What makes this Tivua day cruise unique from the others on our list is that instead of spending your day island hopping, you visit only one spot and explore it to the fullest. With drinks, meals, and all activities included, this 7-hour experience is perfect for those who prefer to dig into one place and relax.

You’ll launch from Port Denarau Marina at 10 am aboard the Ra Marama, a 1957 two-masted sailing ship that is as fun to look at as it is to sail on! Enjoy a complimentary morning tea with coffee, tea, or juice, and if the crew hasn’t busted out the guitars yet, I’m sure they will soon. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins as you make your way across the beautiful waters to your island escape.

When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a traditional kava welcome ceremony. After that, how you spend your day is entirely up to you! Tivua Island is surrounded by white sands, turquoise blue waters, and 500 acres (about 202 hectares) of coral reefs. I promise you won’t be bored.

The shallow crystal clear waters of Tivua Island in Fiji
The shallow crystal clear waters of Tivua Island in Fiji

If you like water activities, you can take a guided snorkeling tour, paddle around on canoes, or watch the fish swim under you in a glass-bottomed boat. Of course, since you have multiple hours here you have time for not just water activities, but some relaxation too! Dig your toes into the sand and enjoy local beer or wine while you work on that tan. 

But what would an island getaway be without a delicious barbeque? The incredible staff are also amazing cooks and will serve up a delectable assortment of chicken, whole-baked fish, and fresh salad for you to enjoy. With a full tummy and hopefully that tan you wanted, it’s time to make your way back to port. 

This all-inclusive tour is available every day of the week and shockingly only costs $114 USD to $131 USD a person depending on the pick-up area you choose!

Where to Stay in Fiji

the private island of Beachcomber Island Resort
This place is just wow! Photo Credit: Beachcomber Island Resort

There are so many great areas to stay around Fiji. You can choose to stay on the main island of Viti Levu or venture out to the smaller surrounding islands. With so many choices, it can be hard to narrow it down. To help, these are my top picks for each area in Fiji that fit a range of budgets.

Nadi – The Ramada

Located right on Wailoaloa Beach, the Ramada Suites by Wyndham is the most luxurious hotel in this area. It features an exclusive pool and restaurant for guest use only. It is the tallest building in the area offering incredible views of the coastline and sunsets!

Because of its close proximity to the airport (only a 15-minute drive), many people stay here for a night before or after their flight. It’s a good place to spend some time before catching a ferry out to an island. A King Studio Room with a sea view goes for around $200 USD. Check availability and book a stay at the Ramada here!

Port Denarau – Radisson Blu Fiji Resort

The Radisson Blu Resort is just stunning, and for what you get, the price is very reasonable too. This resort is huge offering tons of activities for both families as well as couples. There is an adults-only pool as well as an area specifically for kids. It is beachfront and offers spa services as well.

Rooms here start from around $400 USD per night and range from standard hotel-style rooms with king beds or two queens, up to two-bedroom suites. Some rooms feature courtyard views while others have a view of the lagoon. All rooms have a balcony and minibar. Check availability and prices at the Radisson Blue Resort here!

Yasawa Islands – Barefoot Manta Island Resort

Barefoot Manta Island Resort is perfect for those wanting a real island getaway experience without paying huge amounts of money. Surrounded by a vibrant protected coral reef, this is the best place to go for ocean lovers. You can even swim with manta rays just off the shore from May-October!

You can easily get to Barefoot Manta Island Resort on the Yasawa Flyer ferry that departs Port Denarau regularly. The ride should take about 3 hours.

They offer dorm beds for only $29 USD a night. There are also private beachfront bungalows available starting at around $200 USD per night. Check prices and availability for Barefoot Manta Island Resort here!

Mamanuca Islands – Beachcomber Island Resort

Beachcomber Island Resort is one of the most popular island resorts to stay in Fiji. Its affordable pricing mixed with its close proximity to Viti Levu make it one of the best places to stay in Fiji. You can reach the Beachcomber Resort from Port Denarau by riding the Yasawa Flyer ferry. The ride should take about 2 hours.

There are many different rooms and bungalows to choose from – something for every budget! Remember all these prices also include ALL your meals. Dorm beds go for as little as $60 USD per night, whereas you can get a standard twin room for $225 USD. Check prices and availability at Beachcomber Island Resort here!

Coral Coast – Maui Palms

Mixing beach life and luxury, the Maui Palms is perfect for those wanting a bit of pampering on their holiday. There are lots of on-site activities and the snorkeling right in front of the resort is great. Expect an infinity pool, games room, bar, restaurant, and beautiful ocean-view villas with private balconies!

The location on the Coral Coast means you don’t need a boat to get there but can still experience some of the tranquility and beautiful beaches you might find on the smaller islands. There are also a few restaurants nearby, so you won’t be confined to the hotel. Rooms and villas here start at around $250 USD and up. Check prices and availability for the Maui Palms here!

If you’re looking for more info about where to stay in Fiji, be sure to read our blog. It includes detailed info on each area, the best things to do nearby, prices, getting to hotels, and so much more.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!

If you’re looking to save money on travel insurance, we currently use and recommend SafetyWing. We’ve been using their coverage since 2018 and they’ve had our backs when we needed emergency flights and got sick overseas.

SafetyWing is one of the cheapest providers out there and covers everything from medical costs to lost luggage, travel delays, and emergency flights. A huge difference we’ve found between them and other companies is that they let you take out a policy AFTER leaving your home country. We’ve also found it handy that it’s a monthly payment rather than a lump sum, and you can get a refund for unused time.

SafetyWing has helped us out in some scary situations before and their affordable coverage has given us peace of mind. You can read our honest review of SafetyWing for all the pros and cons.

Book your travel insurance with SafetyWing here!

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie as they arrive to Malamala Beach Club in Fiji
Thanks for reading!

There you have it – all the best day cruises in Fiji! Honestly, you have to take a cruise in Fiji because where else will you get to explore uninhabited beaches and such stunning waters?! Plus, we’ve vetted all the ones on this list to ensure you have an amazing time. I hope you found the perfect one for you, but truthfully, you can’t go wrong no matter which one you pick.

If you need more ideas on what to do, be sure to check out the rest of our Fiji guides. You can get started with one of the popular ones below:

13 BEST Things to do in Suva – A Guide to Exploring Fiji’s Capital City

Fiji Culture Village Experience and Tours – Know Before You Go!

10 Things to Know BEFORE Visiting the Fiji Mud Pools