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Below and Above Blue Waters – Snorkeling and Exploring in Fiji

Program Number: 17863RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/9/2013 - 11/19/2013; 10/18/2014 - 10/28/2014; 11/1/2014 - 11/11/2014; 1/31/2015 - 2/10/2015; 2/14/2015 - 2/24/2015; 3/7/2015 - 3/17/2015; 10/31/2015 - 11/10/2015; 11/14/2015 - 11/24/2015;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Fiji
Price starting at: $4,999.00 - 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.




Highlights

• 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.




Date Specific Information

11-9-2013

Due to airline space restrictions on internal Fiji flights, the maximum is 13. We are unable to accommodate any additional people



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
Departure

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.




Fiji

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.



Accommodations
Vanua Levu: Bures (Fijian huts) or cottages at waterfront resort. Taveuni: Village-style bures (Fijian huts) at seaside resort.
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
web: www.dakuresort.com
  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
  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
Waiyevo
Taveuni,   Fiji
phone: +6798880125
web: www.paradisetaveuni.com
  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 departing from LAX on November 9, 2013, arrives Savusavu, Fiji on Day 3 (November 11, 2013) by 12 pm (after crossing Int'l Dateline & losing a day). Orientation at 1:45 pm. You will be staying at Daku Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Late night group flight from Nadi, Fiji arrives at LAX mid-morning the same day you departed- November 19, 2013. (You will have regained the lost day). You will be staying at Paradise Taveuni the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. The Snorkeling Equipment/General Health Questionnaire & Risk Release Form must be signed and returned to Pacific Islands Institute.
  Parking availability:
Free
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: For participants departing independently from Nadi, there is a free hotel shuttle from Raffles Hotel to Nadi International Airport.
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: The entire group will transfer from Paradise Taveuni to Taveuni Airport. They will then take a flight from Taveuni to Nadi (NAN). For participants departing independently from Nadi and are staying at a hotel in the Nadi area, there are generally shuttles provided from your hotel to Nadi International Airport. Please check with your specific hotel for information.
Equipment Requirements: It is strongly recommended that you bring your own snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, fins) for optimal fit, comfort, and experience; however, snorkeling equipment will be available available for use at no additional charge.
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 9)
   
 Afternoon: Evening departure with meal served in-flight
 Dinner: Aboard flight
   
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Cross International Date line
(Sunday, November 10)
   
 In Transit: In flight to Fiji from United States. Day is "lost" due to crossing of the International Dateline

Day 3: Arrival Savusavu/Class: Making of Masi/ Snorkeling Refresher/Class: Fish Identification
(Monday, November 11)
   
 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 in Nadi may be provided if required and is dependent on final flight schedule.
 Breakfast: Tropical breakfast at Daku Resort
 Morning: Early morning flight from Nadi to Savusavu, with a possible connection through Suva. Morning arrival and check in to Daku Resort followed by breakfast. There will be time after breakfast to get settled in your rooms rest after the long flight.
 Lunch: Lunch at Daku Resort
 Afternoon: Program Orientation followed by 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. 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/Afternoon Snorkel
(Tuesday, November 12)

Note: The snorkel site is an example of a place we may snorkel. 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: Morning Snorkeling: Namena Island. This small island 20 miles to the south of Savusavu is surrounded by mile after mile of unexplored reefs. Seemingly bottomless drop-offs, multi-colored soft corals and perfect coral gardens support an abundance of marine life. This is the place to see the big fish cruising in from the depths of the Koro Sea. Barracuda, spanish mackerel, dog-tooth tuna, mantas and large sharks regularly patrol these reefs.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch aboard the snorkeling boat
 Afternoon: Afternoon Snorkeling- Continuation of Namena snorkeling sites. Namena has recently been voted one of the top ten dive sites in the world by "Sport Diver" magazine and it also provides unforgettable, world class snorkeling. The area known as 'Grand Central Station', where we will snorkel, is so-called because every fish in the South Pacific seems to come through.
 Dinner: Dinner at Daku Resort
 Evening: Band during dinner
   
Accommodations: Daku Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Savusavu Town/Afternoon Snorkel /Class:Coral Critters- Staying Alive
(Wednesday, November 13)

Note: The snorkel site is an example of a place we may snorkel. 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: Excursion: Savusavu Town - an unguided visit to town to exchange money, explore the local market and have a look around at your leisure.
 Lunch: Lunch at Daku Resort
 Afternoon: Snorkel Turtle Alley – Named as such because turtle sitings are reasonably frequent. If you are lucky, black spotted eagle rays. The coral heads are in pristine condition; the water here is too deep for fishing so they remain virtually untouched by humans. There is a profusion of hard corals of the acropoa family: When the sun is out their colours spring to life and you can see the blue tips of the acropora, and the green, mustard yellow and mauve hues of the pocillopora. There is some soft coral: clumps of Wire coral, a relative of sea fans; groups of Wrinkled Soft Coral (sarcophyton trocheliophorum); small growths of red soft corals. There is plenty of fish life: clouds of anthias and seargeant majors hover above the coral heads; parrot fish glide below; cleaner wrasse set up their stations and groom their clients; there are butterfly fish, batfish, surgeon fish and soldier fish.
 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 14)

Note: The snorkel site is an example of a place we may snorkel. 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: 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: Field Trip to Waivunia Village - learn about Fijian herbal medicine and handicrafts - "meke" and choir entertainment by 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.
 Dinner: Dinner at Daku Resort
 Evening: Q&A on Fijian culture, economy and politics
   
Accommodations: Daku Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Pearl Farm Visit/ Afternoon Snorkel/ Fijian Food Preparation/Lovo Dinner/Class: Coral Reefs - Cities Under the Sea/Farewell Ceremony
(Friday, November 15)

Note: The snorkel site is an example of a place we may snorkel. 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: Field Trip: Pearl Farm Visit. The J.Hunter Pearl farm in Savusavu produces premium quality pearls: it started out with black pearls, but now produces a range of magnificent colours – gold, chocolate, pistachio and cobalt. The offices of the farm are on the edge of Savusavu town. We start our visit there, where we will be shown a video about the farm and pearl production. We then walk across the road to the jetty and board the glass bottomed boat which will take us out into the bay to visit the floating platforms where various stages of the cultivation take place. There will be a chance to snorkel at the Pearl Farm.
 Lunch: Lunch at Daku Resort
 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. 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/Snorkel
(Saturday, November 16)

Note: Please Note: the ferry schedules in the South Pacific are highly subject to change at any time, even once the program is in progress.



   
 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- 4 hours, with great views of the islands from the ocean.
 Lunch: Lunch at Paradise Taveuni
 Afternoon: Arrive Taveuni dock and transfer to Paradise Taveuni. Check in to Paradise Taveuni. Optional Snorkeling Excursion - 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.
 Dinner: Dinner at Paradise Taveuni
   
Accommodations: Paradise Taveuni
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Morning and Afternoon Snorkeling in Taveuni
(Sunday, November 17)

Note: The snorkel site is an example of a place we may snorkel. 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: Breakfast - Paradise Taveuni
 Morning: Snorkeling Field Trip to Korolevu Island: Korolevu Island is a small, unpopulated islet located about ˝ way down the west coast of Taveuni Island. There is a nice sandy beach on the south side of the island, great for a picnic or snorkeling. Just off shore from the beach, there are mounding porites coral and staghorn thickets.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch on the beach
 Afternoon: Continuation of snorkeling. Return to the hotel mid-afternoon. Time to relax before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner - Paradise Taveuni
   
Accommodations: Paradise Taveuni
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Morning Snorkel/Farewell Dinner
(Monday, November 18)

Note: The snorkel site is an example of a place we may snorkel. 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: Breakfast - Paradise Taveuni
 Morning: Morning Snorkeling Field Trip at Rainbow Reef. 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: 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: Morning Snorkel/Flight to Nadi/Depart Fiji
(Tuesday, November 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast - Paradise Taveuni
 Morning: Morning Snorkel- one last opportunity to snorkel in Fiji. Afternoon Snorkeling Field Trip 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.
 Lunch: Lunch- Paradise Taveuni
 Afternoon: Check out of hotel and transfer to Taveuni Airport. Flight to Nadi.
 Dinner: In local Nadi restaurant
 In Transit: Late evening flight departs Fiji for Los Angeles International Airport. Arrive Los Angeles, after crossing the International Dateline. You will have gained 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: infodesk@bulafiji-americas.com For additional information, visit www.fijime.com
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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