Large cruise ships frequently visit Suva and Lautoka, usually from Sydney, Australia, but the country has three fine small-vessel operations based here all the time. Captain Cook Cruises sails in the Mamanuca and Yasawa islands, while my favorite, the excellent Blue Lagoon Cruises, primarily plies the Yasawas. Based at Savusavu, Active Fiji sends the luxurious schooner Tui Tai on soft-adventure cruises through the seldom-explored islands of northern Fiji. This 2-week itinerary allows you to make cruises on both sides of the country, but I based it on their usual operations. Needless to say, check their sailing schedules to see when they're going during the time you want to be here.

Day 1: Savusavu

Arrive at Nadi and take a flight to Active Fiji's homeport in Savusavu. Kill the morning shopping for black pearls.

Days 2-8: Adventure Cruise on the Tui Tai

The typical 1-week cruise on the 42m (140-ft.) schooner Tui Tai will take you to Taveuni for a visit to Bouma Falls, and then to the seldom visited islands of Kioa and Rabi. The boat carries dive equipment, snorkeling gear, and kayaks for exploring the reefs and shoreline.

Days 9-10: Relaxing in the Mamanuca Islands

After the Tui Tai cruise, fly back to Nadi and catch a ferry from Denarau Island to a resort in the Mamanuca Islands, where you can relax for 2 days prior to being picked up by Blue Lagoon Cruises. I normally would suggest finishing your visit in an overwater bungalow at Likuliku Lagoon Resort, but Blue Lagoon Cruises will pick you up there at the start but not at the end of your voyage; plan for your own transportation if you stay at the resort.

Days 11-13: A Blue Lagoon Cruise

Blue Lagoon's 3-night Gold Club Cruise will take you through the gorgeous Yasawa Islands, stopping during the day for snorkeling, beach picnics, and visits to Fijian villages. This is the best way to see several of the islands in a minimum amount of time.

Day 14: Departing from Nadi

Blue Lagoon Cruises will drop you at Lautoka in time to catch a flight back to Australia or New Zealand. The rest of us can kill the wait for our night flight by shopping in Nadi Town or lounging by the pool at Raffle's Gateway Hotel opposite the airport.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.