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