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Sea

Travelling to Fiji by sea is difficult unless you’re on a cruise ship or a yacht.

Cargo Ship

Few of the shipping companies will take passengers on cargo ships and those that do will usually charge hefty rates. It is virtually impossible to leave Fiji by cargo ship unless passage has been prearranged. A useful American company is Freighter World Cruises, which can organise travel on a freighter ship around the South Pacific. You could also try asking your local shipping agents, or go to the docks and personally approach the captains.

Cruise Ships

Fiji doesn't feature in many cruising itineraries and few cruise ships call here. A notable exception is P&O Cruises, who call into Fiji as part of a larger South Pacific circuit from Brisbane or Sydney.

Yacht

Strict laws govern the entry of yachts into Fiji and skippers should immediately make for one of designated ports before exploring Fijian waters. Fiji's five designated Ports of Entry are: Suva, Lautoka, Levuka, Savusavu and Oinafa (Rotuma). Advance applications must be made to request Port Denarau as a port of entry.

The Pacific Puddle Jump (also sometimes known as the Coconut Milk Run) is a popular route cruising from California to French Polynesia (and sometimes on to New Zealand) via Hawaii, Tahiti, Rarotonga, Vava’u and Fiji. To make the most of the weather, most yachts depart California in February and reach Fiji in July or August.

Boats from New Zealand often time their departure to coincide with the Auckland-to-Fiji yacht race in June. By the end of October most yachts head south to Australia and New Zealand via New Caledonia to spend the summer there.

Yacht Help Fiji provides a useful online guide to sailing to and around Fiji.

Port Procedures

  • Vessels must be cleared by immigration and customs, and are prohibited from visiting any outer islands before doing so.
  • 48 hours' notice must be given in advance of arrival. Failure to do so attracts heavy fines. Download and complete an Advanced Notice of Arrival Form (C2C) from the FRCA.
  • Fees payable on arrival are $150 (quarantine) and $172.50 (health). There is no charge for immigration or customs.
  • Border facilities operate Monday to Friday 8am to 4.30pm. Arrival outside these hours incurs extra fees and must be arranged in advance.
  • To complete customs formalities when you arrive you will require a certificate of clearance from the previous port of call, a crew list and passports for everyone on board except children travelling on their parent’s passport.
  • If you wish to visit any place beside a port of entry, a cruising permit from the Ministry of Fijian Affairs is required. These are easily obtained and free of charge.
  • On arrival contact Port Control on VHF channel 16 to be directed to the quarantine area and await the arrival of customs officials.
  • Before departing you’ll need to complete clearance formalities (within 24 hours), providing inbound clearance papers, your vessel’s details and your next port of call.