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Below and Above Blue Waters – Snorkeling and Exploring in Fiji

Program Number: 17863RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/3/2012 - 11/13/2012; 1/30/2016 - 2/9/2016; 2/13/2016 - 2/23/2016; 10/22/2016 - 11/1/2016; 11/5/2016 - 11/15/2016;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Fiji
Price starting at: $5,068.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Water Sports
Meals: 28; 9 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners    

Through your snorkel mask you scan the gently swaying tentacles of a sea anemone. You see a fiery orange head poke out into the clear, warm water — a clownfish. You remember your classroom lesson about symbiosis, a kind of cooperation between species that the anemone and the clownfish perfectly exemplify. It is yet another hands-on lesson in marine biology here below the surface of Fiji’s waters, home to the largest variety of fish and coral anywhere in the world.


• Snorkel Fiji’s spectacular reefs including one of the top five soft coral dive sites in the world: the legendary Rainbow Reef.
• Learn from a marine biologist from the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort.
• Interact with the welcoming Fijian people and sample kava, their national drink.

Activity Particulars

Extensive swimming. Riding in small boats in varying ocean conditions. Entering water from a boat and from shore. No snorkeling experience required.

Round-trip airfare from Los Angeles is included in the program price. Need assistance getting from your hometown airport to Los Angeles? Just call an Advisor toll free at (877) 426-8056 for more information.
Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Nadi, Viti Levu; flight to Savusavu, Vanua Levu, 5 nights; ferry to Taveuni, 3 nights; flight to Nadi for departure.

Coordinated by Hawaii Pacific University.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Cross International Dateline
1 night
Arrival Nadi, Viti Levu (Fiji)
Flight to Savusavu, Vanua Levu
5 nights

Snorkel the waters around Savusavu, including the marine life hotspots of Split Rock, Golden Nuggets and Lighthouse. Search for beautiful soft coral and fish including anthias, damselfish, Maori wrasse, trumpetfish and turtles. Pre-excursion lectures give you a deep understanding of Fiji’s ocean ecosystem. On shore, experience the native Fijian culture in the village of Vivili, learn how to cook with a lovo cooking pit and take part in a traditional welcome ceremony.

Ferry to Taveuni
3 nights
Flight to Nadi, Viti Levu

Snorkel the waters around the island of Taveuni including Paradise Reef and world-renowned Rainbow Reef, the top soft coral site in the Pacific according to Jacques Cousteau. Discover Nadi and the main Fijian island of Viti Levu before departing on your flight home. Cross the International Dateline in flight, arriving in the U.S. earlier on the day of departure.


The 332 islands that today comprise the Republic of Fiji have been settled since 3,500 BC or even earlier, archaeologists believe. The archipelago’s ancient history is referred to by Fijians as “the time of the devil” because warfare between rival tribes was constant, with cannibalism by the victors a common practice. Today’s Fiji is an independent, highly developed island nation thanks to its sugar and fishing industries and its ever-growing popularity with foreign travelers.

Vanua Levu: Bures (Fijian huts) or cottages at waterfront resort. Taveuni: Village-style bures (Fijian huts) at seaside resort.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Ron Frystak

An avid traveler who has been to more than 50 countries on six continents, Ron Frystak has been leading Road Scholar programs in the Pacific for 25 years. He holds a doctorate from the University of Hawaii and has taught at Hawaii Loa College and Hawaii Pacific University. His knowledge of the South Pacific has been enhanced by spending time on several islands with former students who called them home. Ron’s interests include tennis, fishing, snorkeling and duplicate bridge.
Meals and Lodgings
   Daku Resort
  Savusavu, Fiji 5 nights
   Paradise Taveuni
  Taveuni, Fiji 3 nights
 Daku Resort
Type: Lodge
  Description: Daku Resort is a mile outside the town of Savusavu on Fiji’s northern island of Vanua Levu. It’s a scenic 55-minute plane trip from Nadi. Known as Fiji’s Hidden Paradise, Savusavu is well off the beaten track for tourists, and retains a magical charm and friendly atmosphere.
  Contact info: P.O.Box 208
Savusavu,   Fiji
phone: +6798850046
  Room amenities: Each room is equipped with a refrigerator, coffee and tea-making equipment, and ceiling fans.
  Facility amenities: Participants will be housed in bures (cottages) or villas in a family style resort converted from a copra plantation located on the shores of lovely Savusavu Bay. The resort has a swimming pool, bar and restaurant, Wi-Fi internet access, and a Yoga Shala – a lovely space high on the hill over-looking the bay.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: While we try to provide one bathroom for every two people, four people may need to share bathroom facilities while in Savusavu.
  Check in time: 10:00 AM

 Paradise Taveuni
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: Chosen as a Trip Advisor Travelers Choice award winner for 2012, Paradise Taveuni offers traditional Fijian bure style accommodations. This secluded, oceanfront boutique resort is nestled among lush green gardens with Rainforest Mountain as a back drop. Its unique deep water frontage allows guests to dive, snorkel and swim from the lava flow edge into pristine warm tropical waters any time of the day or night.
  Contact info: P.O. Box 69
Taveuni,   Fiji
phone: +6798880125
  Room amenities: Each Bure has been hand built with local coconut and rain tree woods. French glass doors open to a spacious deck completed with a Fiji daybed. Inside the bure finds a generous king bed, spacious lounge room and modern bathroom. The essential Fiji outdoor shower within a private garden awaits. Wifi internet access is available for a fee, throughout all rooms.
  Facility amenities: There is a comfortable open air restaurant and bar, tour desk, Pro Dive Taveuni on site, a horizon edge freshwater swimming pool, gift shop and Oceanfront Spa, as well as a plethora of activities including scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, fishing, boat trips, hiking tours, and cultural walks. There is also dry cleaning / laundry service, a game room, a golf course, on-site parking, and a tour desk available.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Late night group flight from LAX on November 3, 2012, arrives Savusavu, Fiji on Day 3 by 12 pm. Orientation at 1:45 pm. You will be staying at Daku Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Group flight from Nadi, Fiji arrives at LAX in the afternoon. You will be staying at Paradise Taveuni the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Participants are required to complete a Liability Release Form and to provide a clear copy of passport page with participant's photograph.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Savusavu
  Nearest airport:  Savusavu Airport
  Transportation to site: For those participants arriving independently at Daku Resort, the preferred airport is Savusavu (SVU) which is only 1.8 miles away. There is no public transportation available. For a surcharge, Daku Resort offers a roundtrip airport shuttle (available on request). Please call them directly to make a reservation. Taxis are available at the airport, or can be called upon arrival.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Taveuni
  Nearest airport:  Matei Airport (TVU)
  Transportation from site: For participants departing independently from Nadi, there is a free hotel shuttle from Raffles Hotel to Nadi International Airport.
Equipment Requirements: Snorkeling Equipment - Mask, snorkel, fins (best to bring own for optimal fit, but will be available in Fiji)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: International Flight from Los Angeles to Fiji
(Saturday, November 3)
 Afternoon: Evening departure with meal served in-flight
 Dinner: Aboard flight
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Cross International Date line
(Sunday, November 4)
 In Transit: In flight to Fiji from United States. Day is "lost" due to crossing of the International Dateline

Day 3: Arrival Savusavu/Welcome Ceremony/Introductory Class and Snorkeling Refresher
(Monday, November 5)
 Arrive To: Early morning arrival at Nadi International Airport, Fiji. Please Note: the flight schedules in the South Pacific are highly subject to change at any time, even once the program is in progress. A day room may be provided, based on the final flight timings.
 Breakfast: Tropical Breakfast at Daku Resort
 Morning: Morning flight from Nadi to Savusavu. Upon arrival, transfer to Daku Resort and check in. After breakfast, time to rest and relax after the long flight.
 Lunch: Lunch at Daku Resort
 Afternoon: Program Orientation. There will be some time after orientation to get settled and pick up snorkel gear (if you did not bring your own) before the snorkeling refresher. Before dinner there will be a Class: Introduction to Fiji's Marine Environment and a Snorkeling refresher in the pool or off the nearby shore.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner at Daku Resort
 Evening: Immediately before dinner, there will be a short cultural event: Yaqona and Tabua ceremonies of welcome. After dinner, there will be a Class: Fish Identification
Accommodations: Daku Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Morning Snorkel/Savusavu Town Visit/Class: Making of Masi/ Q&A
(Tuesday, November 6)

Note: The actual day we visit a particular snorkel site is dependent upon varying weather, tide, and other local conditions at the time and are subject to change.

 Breakfast: Tropical breakfast at Daku Resort.
 Morning: Snorkeling Field Trip to Split Rock - Split Rock is 200 metres off shore; a large coral head, it is named for the distinctive split down one side. At the bottom of the split you can see purple gorgonian fans and pale yellow soft corals. At the entrance to the split a fierce clown fish defends her anemone and the male takes refuge in its fronds. When a female clown fish dies, the male changes sex and becomes female, and the next male moves up the hierarchy. Split Rock is one of the most colourful and enchanting sites of the bay, and endlessly fascinating in visit after visit.
 Lunch: Lunch at Daku Resort
 Afternoon: Excursion: Savusavu Town - an excursion into town to exchange money, explore the local market and have a look around. There will also be an option to visit a pearl farm for those who are interested. Class: Masi - the Making of Traditional Fijian Tapa. Tapa is a bark cloth made in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, primarily in Tonga, Samoa and Fiji. Fijian tapa is somewhat stiffer than Samoan or Tongan tapa. The patterns are much busier and clean cut and the colors are usually black and dark brown which stands out strongly against the white of the tapa. Social hour before dinner
 Dinner: Dinner & Band at Daku Resort
Accommodations: Daku Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Morning Snorkel /Afternoon Snorkel /Class:Coral Critters Staying Alive
(Wednesday, November 7)

Note: The actual day we visit a particular snorkel site is dependent upon varying weather, tide, and other local conditions at the time and are subject to change.

 Breakfast: Tropical breakfast at Daku Resort.
 Morning: Snorkel Golden Nuggets - Approximately a mile past the point of the peninsula, the twin pinnacles of Golden Nuggets offer another magnificent display of smaller fish. The first pinnacle has purple and orange anthias, the beautiful iridescent blue sapphire damsels, Moorish idols with their lazy grace, and the bluejewel damsel fish, which guards his garden against intruders- human or fish. On the second pinnacle you will see schools of surgeon fish and snapper fish. You will also see magic coral which turns from bluey-brown to white when threatened and is hardly known outside Fiji. The deeper pinnacle hosts spectacular golden soft coral on the side facing the bay, although this is difficult to see from the surface, so you have to dive down 15-20 feet or so to see it.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch aboard the snorkeling boat.
 Afternoon: Snorkel Lesciaceva Lagoon - Sheltered behind the main reef wall is a lagoon, where stingrays and garden eels burrow into the sandy bottom. The occasional group of trevally finds its way in, and there are cruising wrasse, damsel fish and parrotfish. Some larger sea stars are to be seen, and frequent sea slugs as thick as a man's forearm.
 Dinner: Dinner at Daku Resort
 Evening: Class: Coral Critters: Staying Alive. Staying alive is the name of the game in any city and survival involves many ways of protecting oneself from danger. This class will introduce you to some of the defense mechanisms of the inhabitants of Fiji's coral reefs.
Accommodations: Daku Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Optional Bird-Watching/Morning Snorkel/Visit Fijian Village
(Thursday, November 8)

Note: The actual day we visit a particular snorkel site is dependent upon varying weather, tide, and other local conditions at the time and are subject to change.

 Breakfast: Tropical breakfast at Daku Resort.
 Morning: Optional Bird-watching Expedition before breakfast. Snorkeling Field Trip: Lepper's Wall - Lepper's Wall is so named as the colonial Lepper family own the land and island adjacent to the dive site. The area to be snorkeled extends from a shallow reef which is exposed at low tide to a 500ft plus almost vertical wall. While the wall is an interesting scuba dive, the coral heads which reach with 15 feet of the surface support a magnificent ecosystem and tell a story about the history of the reef.
 Lunch: Lunch at Daku Resort
 Afternoon: Field Trip to Waivunia Village - learn about Fijian herbal medicine and handicrafts - "meke" and entertainment by the villagers. A meke is a traditional Fijian dance typically performed during celebrations and festivals. Males and females each perform a separate dance never dancing together. The male dance is called the "meke moto" usually involving long spears. The dance is meant to symbolize the ancient warriors of the village. The female dance is called the "seasea" and involves the performers making rapid motions with their hands and arms. There will also be talks on Fijian cutoms and fishing methods. Social hour before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at Daku Resort
 Evening: Q&A on Fijian culture, economy and politics
Accommodations: Daku Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Morning Snorkel/ Fijian Food Preparation/Lovo Dinner/Class: Coral Reefs - Cities Under the Sea/Farewell Ceremony
(Friday, November 9)

Note: The actual day we visit a particular snorkel site is dependent upon varying weather, tide, and other local conditions at the time and are subject to change.

 Breakfast: Tropical breakfast at Daku Resort.
 Morning: Snorkeling Field Trip at Devodara (beach entry). We will have a picnic lunch on the beach, followed by time for swimming in The Lagoon.
 Lunch: Lunch at Daku Resort.
 Afternoon: Class: Fijian Food Preparation - Prepare the Lovo (Traditional Fijian Oven). The lovo is prepared by digging a large pit and then lining it with dry coconut husks. They are set on fire and the stones are heaped on top. When the flames subside, the food is wrapped in banana leaves and lowered in the pit. Free Time Open the Lovo
 Dinner: Lovo Dinner at Daku Resort.
 Evening: Class: Coral Reefs - Cities Under the Sea. This slide presentation will provide a better understanding about the coral reefs (ecology, form and function), their value to people, and how mankind's actions threaten them. Cultural Event: Farewell Ceremony -Bulu Yava (Burying the Footprints)
Accommodations: Daku Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Ferry to Taveuni/Afternoon Snorkel
(Saturday, November 10)
 Breakfast: Tropical breakfast at Daku Resort.
 Morning: Check out of Daku Resort and depart to Taveuni via the Princess Ferry. This comfortable ride takes approximately 3 hours, with great views. Arrive Taveuni dock and transfer to Paradise Taveuni. Check in to Paradise Taveuni.
 Lunch: Lunch at Paradise Taveuni
 Afternoon: Morning Snorkeling Excursion -Taveuni has an abundance of snorkeling sites on Vuna Reef, Rainbow Reef and directly in front of the resort. Where we go on our snorkeling excursion will be dependent upon local conditions at the time. Some examples of snorkeling sites near the resort : Snorkel Coral Gardens (Nicknamed Nirvana) Just a few minutes away by boat, three fingers of lava once streamed into the ocean and are now covered with a variety of hard and soft coral species. There are schools of trevally, snappers and tuna. Steve's Corner -This site reveals a huge variety of soft corals feeding in the current. Turn the corner and come up shallow to enjoy a large archway swim-through guarded by the resident Anemone Fish and filled with Ghost Coral. Tomasi's Delight - A steep slope of hard corals hides many small treasures - Dwarf Lionfish, Cowries and Nudibranchs have all made their homes here, as well as an array of Featherstars and Sea Cucumbers.
 Dinner: Social Hour followed by Dinner at Paradise Taveuni
Accommodations: Paradise Taveuni
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Morning and Afternoon Snorkeling in Taveuni
(Sunday, November 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet- Paradise Taveuni
 Morning: Morning Snorkeling Field Trip at Rainbow Reef. Where we go on our snorkeling excursion will be dependent upon local conditions at the time. The Great White Wall - The Soft Coral capital of the world offers an astounding wall of pure white soft coral. This site is definitely the world famous Rainbow Reef's top draw. A dazzling myriad of colour and life inhabits the reef top. If that's not enough, you will see Manta Rays glide past with ethereal grace. Jack's Place - Situated on the Rainbow Reef, this site offers an immense coral bommie covered with vibrant colours of soft coral and fish. The site is a haven for Spanish Dancers, Box Fish and White Tipped Reef Sharks. Nuku Reef - Drift along this gently sloping reef and marvel at the small critters that reside here - Christmas tree worms, clams and sea anemones are all in abundance, along with their resident clown fish and trigger fish
 Lunch: Picnic lunch
 Afternoon: Afternoon Snorkeling Excursion to Vuna Reef. Where we go on our snorkeling excursion will be dependent upon local conditions at the time. Some example snorkel sites for this excursion include: Incredible Reef - On the inner side of Vuna Reef, this site explores a large wedge-shaped area cutting into the Reef wall. Schools of pelagics glide past as smaller reef fish swarm in the shelter of the wedge. Fish Factory - Stunning hard plate corals, lots of ambient light, multicoloured patches of soft coral, giant clams and swarms of reef fish at a depth of less than 60f/18m make this a popular site for photographers, beginners and the experienced.
 Dinner: Dinner - Paradise Taveuni
Accommodations: Paradise Taveuni
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Morning Snorkel/Free Afternoon/Farewell Dinner
(Monday, November 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast - Paradise Taveuni
 Morning: Afternoon Snorkeling Expedition -one more snorkeling opportunity before departing Fiji. Paradise Reef is the reef located right in front of your hotel. In one direction, it is a labyrinth of lava flow covered in stunning hard and soft corals, swarming in tropical reef species, shallow and bright. In the other is a fantastic training site with a variety of terrain to make the most of your learning experience. All local species are represented here and the colors are stunning.
 Lunch: Lunch - Paradise Taveuni
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to relax and enjoy the property and activities offered.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner- Paradise Taveuni
 Evening: Farewell Fijian Meke (Dance) and Kava.
Accommodations: Paradise Taveuni
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Free Morning/Flight to Nadi/Farewell Dinner/Depart Fiji
(Tuesday, November 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast - Paradise Taveuni.
 Morning: Free morning for to rest, relax and enjoy the property or indulge yourself in one last snorkel.
 Lunch: Lunch at Paradise Taveuni
 Afternoon: Transfer to Taveuni Airport and afternoon flight to Nadi.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant
 Evening: Transfer to Nadi Airport after dinner. Depart on late night flight to Los Angeles.
 In Transit: Late evening flight departs Fiji for Los Angeles International Airport. Arrive Los Angeles, after crossing the International Dateline. You will have gained the back the lost day and it will be the afternoon of the same day you left.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Free Time Opportunities
  Savusavu Fiji Visitor's Bureau
Contact the Fiji Visitor's bureau's US office for details on activities and events in Fiji. Fiji Visitors Bureau 5777 West Century Boulevard Suite 220, Los Angeles, CA90045 Tel: (310) 568 1616 Fax: (310) 670 2318 Toll Free #: 1-800-YEA-FIJI (1-800-932-3454) EMail: For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Diving and Snorkeling Guide to Fiji

Author: Brown, W. Gregory

Description: Although some of the information is out of date now, these photographs will tell you why Fiji provides some of the world’s best diving. Experienced underwater photographer, W. Gregory Brown, takes you on an underwater journey to 21 of Fiji’s prime dive sites.

Fiji’s Natural Heritage

Author: Ryan, Paddy

Description: First published in 1988 to critical acclaim, the second edition is now out. You cannot get a better introduction to the breadth of Fiji’s wildlife. This comprehensive collection is an excellent guide for anyone who is curious of what natural beauty Fiji has to offer.

Deuba: A Study of Fijian Village

Author: Geddes, William R

Description: Originally published in 1945, this book is a simply told but highly informative account of life in three adjacent rural communities in Deuba district, not far from today’s Pacific Harbour complex.

Men from Under the Sky: The Arrival of Westerners in Fiji

Author: Brown, Stanley

Description: The story of famous foreigners who came to 19th century Fiji and changed it, such as David Whippy, Charles Savage, and many others. Long out of print, but available in libraries, it is a worthwhile background read before a trip to Fiji.

Oceania: The Native Cultures of Australia and the Pacific Islands

Author: Oliver, Douglas L.

Description: Two volume general survey of what is known or theorized about the traditional societies and cultures of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Provides summaries of the theories and interpretations of anthropologists who have studied Pacific cultures.

The Fijian Ethos

Author: Ravuvu, Asesela D

Description: This book is about traditional Fijian ceremonies which continue to exist as a model for life. They reflect Fijian world view, and define the social and political structures, religious beliefs, values and practices inherent in Fijian communities. Functioning as a framework within people which people continually evaluate their behavior in relation to others, these ceremonies also act as a focus of achieving and maintaining unity and a unique Fijian way of life.

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