Sabre - Day Cruise from Denarau

Published on 18 December 2022 at 18:00

Cruise on a magnificent vessel for a day of swimming and snorkeling in turquoise water.

One of our favourite activities in Fiji is to take a day cruise out to one of the islands to swim and snorkel in turquoise water, relax on sandy beaches, and listen to the wind-chime sounds of coral being rolled in the waves.  Unlike other tropical destinations around the world where your boat is going to the same island as another 20 vessels, tours in Fiji are almost guaranteed to have your boat as the only one to visit your own piece of paradise that day.  The closest group of islands from Denarau are the Mamanuca Islands.

For the first week of our month-long holiday my Uncle was visiting from Australia and he is happiest when he’s on a boat, so we took the opportunity to set sail on a luxury day trip designed to impress.  South Sea Sailing has a new catamaran called the Sabre, which does a full day tour.

Our day started at 8am when we were collected from our hotel by the dedicated South Seas tour bus that stops at the various resorts in Denarau to collect anyone who is doing one of the many tours on offer, and we were taken to check in at the Marina.  Once we received the “all clear” from the captain, we were able to embark for a day onboard this magnificent vessel. 

We were greeted with a mimosa cocktail and a big “Bula”, and we just knew we were in for an amazing day on the ocean. The catamaran is brand new, has a fun crew who are keen to serve and to entertain, and has a fun social vibe. It has plenty of seating around tables in the main cabin area, and several bean bags upon the “trampolines” that make up the front of the boat, if you like to feel the sun on your face and the sea breeze in your hair. 

The trip out of the bay was incredible, with views back to Denarau followed by the open ocean.  They served a fine spread for morning tea which included small chicken pies, bacon and egg pies, and a selection of fresh fruit.

After an hour or more of sailing, our first stop was a reef a few hundred metres away from one of the islands, so we donned our snorkel gear and took the plunge.  The reefs in Fiji have been quite damaged over the years from the numerous cyclones that come through the region, but on this trip, it was pleasing to see that a number of man-made reefs (cages they have weighted to the sea floor) had fresh stems of colourful coral and, of course, plenty of colourful fishes and big blue starfish to photograph with the GoPro.

The next stop is usually a large sandbank that pokes up out of the sea which is large enough to host the whole group for the day and surrounded by another reef.  However, on our day the wind came up and, because there is little shelter, the captain adjusted the itinerary and instead took us to a sheltered cove of Malolo Island where there was lots of sun and no wind.

The Sabre team offer activities such as paddleboarding and snorkeling, and the gear is provided.  There is also a slide off the back of the boat, which made for a lot of fun and a few laughs. Jumping off the boat into crystal clear warm water (around 28 degrees), seeing colourful coral and exquisite sea life made for a once in a lifetime opportunity not to be missed. They served us a BBQ lunch with sausages, chicken and fresh fish, along with salads and sweet treats.  At this point the bar is open, and local beers and wines are free until the boat leaves for home. 

After a day swimming, snorkeling, eating and drinking, making new friends, the music was turned up and we enjoyed having a dance on the way back to port (Macarena anyone?).  We came away knowing we’ve made lasting memories, and we thoroughly enjoyed the day.

We highly recommend this day trip and would do it again next time we visit Fiji.  Whilst the trip is not the cheapest option for a day tour from the Marina, it is definitely very good value for money when you take into consideration everything that is included in the package.  Vinaka!

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