Fiji is a large collection of islands that lies east of Australia in the wide blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. There are two main islands that are home to most Fijians, Vanua Levu and Vita Levu. Suva is the capital and business center for this island nation and located in Vita Levu, as is Nadi (pronounced Naandee), with the international airport.
Regency BVI recommends Fiji to clients with time and the desire to see a pristine environment and traditional Polynesian culture. Because of its location, flights are long and our brokers have found that it is best to make you charters at leas 10-14 days to allow time to recover from jetlag and unwind. Making a Fijian yacht charter one part of an extended holiday ‘down under’ is another good option.
Fiji has both large volcanic islands, with beautiful topography, and lush vegetation and outer islands that are small atolls with white sand beaches and surrounding reefs filled with fish, corals, sponges all in brilliant hues. The most popular time to visit Fiji is between May and November, later in the year begins the local storm season.
Fijian culture is tribal and it is common to see cloth wraps on the men & bare feet paired with business shirts in town. The atmosphere is relaxed and open to visitors, but visiting yachts in the outer islands will always stop first by the village chief to ask his permission to explore the island. Small gifts are exchanged – usually tea, or perhaps soft drinks, are given and local fruits & vegetables freshly picked are received.
As a sign of hospitality, Fiji’s national drink, Kava (or Yaqona – pronounced yangona) is then shared from a bowl while chatting to signify acceptance and friendly relations. Kava is made from the pulverized root of a plant in the pepper family. It is believed to have medicinal qualities, and, when drunk in quantity leaves you slightly mellow and with a numb mouth.
Fijians speak their dialect of Polynesian, although English and French are heard as well. When trying to decipher the written word to spoken, remember that all Polynesian languages have only 13 letters and that every letter is sounded and spoken.
There are parts of the large island which are home to high end resorts that make use of the beautiful flora, while other areas are completely uninhabited and make a great choice for getting away from the crowds. If you are lucky you might be invited to a village ‘meke’ which is a traditional song and dance that tells the legends, love stories and history of the ancestors & spirits of these islands. Depending on the story, the performance can vary from a blood curdling spear dance, retelling ancient battles, to a gentle & graceful fan dance.
The musicians, called ‘vakatara’, sit on the ground and establish the rhythm for the dancers (‘matana’) by singing and chanting, or by playing the bamboo flute or percussion instruments, a variety of hardwood gongs, drums and beating sticks. The dancers wear traditional dress (full warrior costumes for the men) and garlands of flowers (called ‘salusalu’) and all shine with the fragrant coconut oil.
Many yachts that are available for charter travel from Australia or New Zealand to be in Fiji part of the year only so planning is required. Other yachts transiting the Pacific will be available for short windows of time in this area as well. Because of the great distances of ocean that must be traveled to reach Fiji, the yachts that charter in this area tend to be larger and run from the middle to high end of the price spectrum.
We will be happy to help guests visit this little known part of the world.