17863
Pacific Islands/Fiji
Below and Above Blue Waters – Snorkeling and Exploring in Fiji
Bula! Welcome to Fiji, home to 702-miles of coastline, crystal clear waters and some of the most diverse marine life on earth. Join local experts to snorkel this aquatic wonderland.
Rating (4.82)
Program No. 17863RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
5,699
Flights start at
FREE
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11 days
10 nights
27 meals
9 B 9 L 9 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
In Transit to Program, Cross International Date Line
In Flight

Activity note: A day is “lost” due to crossing the International Date Line.

DAY
3
Arrive Savusavu, Snorkel Refresher, Classes
Savusavu
B,L,D
Daku Resort

Activity note: Early morning arrival at Nadi Airport. Non-stop flight from Nadi to Savusavu approximately 1 hour. Breakfast upon arrival at Savusavu accommodations. Hotel check in from 1:00 p.m. Snorkeling refresher up to 1 hour swimming and snorkeling.

Breakfast: At the resort in the Big Bure, the daily tropical breakfast buffet includes a choice of cereals, fresh fruits, yogurt, hot toast, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Upon arrival in Nadi, go through immigration, reclaim your luggage and go through customs. You will be met by your group leader after customs then take the connecting domestic flight from Nadi to Savusavu Airport (SVU). Upon arrival in Savusavu and after reclaiming luggage, we will be transfer from Savusavu to the resort and have breakfast. The remainder of the morning is free to freshen up and relax.

Lunch: At the resort, we’ll have a plated meal with non-alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Please note that the snorkeling and swimming sites described are representative examples. The selection of sites for each field trip, subject to change, will be based on weather, tides, and other local conditions at the time. Safety is our first consideration. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Next, we will have a presentation by a local expert on 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 that stand out strongly against the white of the tapa. Late afternoon, we’ll be joined by a local marine expert for a lecture on fish identification followed shortly thereafter by a snorkeling refresher in the pool or off the nearby shore. Before dinner, we will observe a short cultural presentation, the Yaqona and Tabua ceremonies of welcome.

Dinner: At the resort, we’ll have a plated meal with non-alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
4
Snorkeling, Savusavu Town, Pearl Class, Live Music
Savusavu
B,L,D
Daku Resort

Activity note: Getting in/out of vans and boats. Approximately 1/2 hour to field trip site. Snorkeling and swimming up to 3 hours; non-snorkelers can observe from boat. Walking up to 2 miles. The selection of sites for each field trip, subject to change, will be based on weather, tide, and other local conditions at the time.

Breakfast: At the resort.

Morning: Led by a local expert, we’ll set out on a snorkeling field trip toward the edge of Savasavu Bay where there stands a lighthouse, warning ships of the reef edge. This snorkel site offers many large coral heads and the possibility of siting trumpet fish, damsel fish, and humpbacked wrasse as we familiarize ourselves with Fiji's underwater world.

Lunch: At the resort.

Afternoon: We’ll take vans for an excursion to Savusavu Town to exchange money, explore the local market and have a look around. Before dinner, we will have a presentation about the local pearl industry by a local expert from J. Hunter Pearl Farm.

Dinner: At the resort.

Evening: We’ll enjoy live music by a local band during dinner.

DAY
5
Snorkeling Field Trip, Village Visit, Coral Critters
Savusavu
B,L,D
Daku Resort

Activity note: Getting in/out of boats. Snorkeling and swimming up to 3 hours; non-snorkelers can observe from boat. Walking up to 2 miles. The selection of sites for each field trip, subject to change, will be based on weather, tide, and other local conditions at the time.

Breakfast: At the resort.

Morning: We’ll continue snorkeling and exploring below the waters of Fiji. Our destination is Turtle Alley, aptly named after its turtle inhabitants, soft corals, and interesting topography. We may also be able to see anemone, leaf fish, and box fish as we explore the communities of life unseen from above.

Lunch: At the resort.

Afternoon: There will be some free time after lunch. For a change of pace, in the late afternoon, we’ll take a field trip to a local village. We’ll learn about Fijian herbal medicine and handicrafts and watch a meke — a traditional Fijian dance typically performed during celebrations and festivals. Males and females each perform separately, never dancing together. The male dance is called the “meke moto” and usually involves long spears meant to symbolize the ancient warriors of the village. The female dance is called the “seasea” and involves the dancers making rapid motions with their hands and arms.

Dinner: At the resort.

Evening: We’ll gather for a class on how coral critters stay alive. Staying alive is the name of the game, and survival involves many means of protection. We will learn about defense mechanisms used by inhabitants of Fiji's coral reefs.

DAY
6
Morning & Afternoon Snorkeling Field Trips
Savusavu
B,L,D
Daku Resort

Activity note: Getting in/out of boats. Approximately 1 hour to field trip site. Snorkeling and swimming up to 5 hours; non-snorkelers can observe from boat. Walking up to 2 miles. The selection of sites for each field trip, subject to change, will be based on weather, tides, and other local conditions at the time.

Breakfast: At the resort.

Morning: Led by a local expert, we’ll set out on a snorkeling field trip to Namena Island, situated between the two main islands of Vanua Levu and Viti Levu. The island is within the Namena Marine Reserve, established in 1997 by local chiefs in response to a drastic increase in commercial fishing that threatened the livelihood of resident fishing communities. We will snorkel and swim in waters that support thousands of species of fishes and invertebrates, hundreds of species of corals and marine plants, and that attract multitudes of sea birds including the red-footed booby. The island provides seasonal nesting habitat for endangered sea turtles and sits astride a migratory pathway for cetaceans.

Lunch: Aboard the snorkeling boat, we’ll have boxed lunches.

Afternoon: Our snorkeling field trip will continue. Namena is a prime spot for world-class snorkeling. One of the most vibrant spots is known as Grand Central Station because it seems every fish in the South Pacific comes through here. We will return to the resort with time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: At the resort.

Evening: We’ll have a Q&A session with a local expert to discuss and learn about topics of interest such as Fijian culture and economy.

DAY
7
Pearl Farm, Snorkeling Field Trip, Lovo, About Coral Reefs
Savusavu
B,L,D
Daku Resort

Activity note: Getting in/out of boats. Snorkeling and swimming up to 4 hours; non-snorkelers can observe from boat. Walking up to 2 miles. The selection of sites for each field trip, subject to change, will be based on weather, tide, and other local conditions at the time.

Breakfast: At the resort.

Morning: Fiji has become a center of specialized pearl production. Unlike the primarily monochromatic gems of other places, Fiji pearls display a rainbow of hues. The scarce Fijian pearl oyster requires pristine waters to thrive. The handful of pearl farms in Fiji are required to follow stringent environmental guidelines to produce their results while also using sustainable practices and keeping Savasavu Bay clean. After tropical cyclone Winston hit in 2016, more than two million baby oysters were planted to restock oyster nurseries. Led by a local expert, we will begin our field trip at the offices of a pearl farm are on the edge of Savusavu town, where we’ll see a video on pearl production, the farm, and get to see some of the pearls. We’ll then walk across the road to the jetty and board a glass-bottomed boat that will take us out into the bay to observe floating platforms where various stages of pearl cultivation take place. We’ll then go snorkeling at the pearl farm to see suspended lines more than 600 feet long where the oysters grow.

Lunch: At the resort.

Afternoon: We’re off for another snorkeling field trip. Less than 500 feet from the beach in Savusavu Bay, Split Rock is considered one of the best snorkeling spots in Fiji. Swimming among its vibrant, colorful corals are reef species including clownfish, damsels, grouper, parrotfish, and sergeant fish along with occasional giant clams. Returning to the resort, we’ll have some time to freshen up and relax before dinner. We will be able to observe preparations for our lovo meal this evening. The lovo is a traditional Fijian oven that takes all day to prepare. After digging a large pit and lining it with dry coconut husks, they are set on fire and stones are heaped on top. When the flames subside, food is wrapped in banana leaves and lowered into the pit.

Dinner: At the resort, we’ll enjoy the authentic Fijian lovo meal.

Evening: A local expert will lead a class on coral reefs as cities under the sea. This illustrated presentation will provide a better understanding about coral reefs and their ecology, form, and function; their value to people; and how human actions threaten them. Then prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
8
Boat Transfer to Taveuni Island, Free Time
Taveuni
B,L,D
Paradise Taveuni

Activity note: Getting in/out of a van, on/off a boat. The drive to the boat dock at Buca Bay is approximately 2 hours. The boat ride to Taveuni is approximately 1 hour.

Breakfast: At the resort.

Morning: Checking out, we’ll transfer via van to Buca Bay, then travel via speedboat to Taveuni Island with great views of the Fijian islands along the way. Upon arrival, we’ll dock at the resort and check in with some time to freshen up and relax before lunch.

Lunch: At the resort, we’ll have a plated and served meal with non-alcoholic beverage included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Taveuni is known as Fiji’s “garden island” for its lush vegetation. You are welcome to go exploring and snorkeling on your own. Paradise Reef is right in front of the 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.

Dinner: At the resort, we’ll have a plated and served meal with non-alcoholic beverages included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Snorkeling Field Trips
Taveuni
B,L,D
Paradise Taveuni

Activity note: Getting in/out of boats. Snorkeling and swimming up to 6 hours; non-snorkelers can observe from boat. Walking up to 2 miles. The selection of sites for each field trip, subject to change, will be based on weather, tide, and other local conditions at the time.

Breakfast: At the resort, we’ll have a plated tropical breakfast with a choice of cereals, fresh fruits, yogurt, hot toast, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll set out on our first Taveuni Island snorkeling field trip. Rainbow Reef has been called the soft coral capital of the world. It is known for the colorful biodiversity of its sea fans, soft corals, and hard corals. We may encounter angelfish, triggerfish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, clownfish, wrasses, turtles, and stingrays.

Lunch: On the beach, we’ll have boxed lunches.

Afternoon: We’ll continuing our snorkeling field trip, then return to the hotel mid-afternoon with time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: At the resort.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Morning Snorkel, Farewell Dinner
Taveuni
B,L,D
Paradise Taveuni

Activity note: Getting in/out of boats. Snorkeling and swimming up to 3 hours; non-snorkelers can observe from boat. Walking up to 2 miles. The selection of sites for each field trip, subject to change, will be based on weather, tide, and other local conditions at the time.

Breakfast: At the resort.

Morning: We will return to Rainbow Reef for another snorkeling field trip and explore other beautiful sites along this 19-mile reef.

Lunch: At the resort.

Afternoon: Free time. You might like to go snorkeling or take part in resort activities such as a sulu (Fijian sarong) tying demonstration, frond weaving, learning to speak Fijian, walking through the garden, and more.

Dinner: At the resort, share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: We’ll observe a farewell Fijian meke (dance). Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow afternoon.

DAY
11
Snorkeling, Fly to Nadi, Program Concludes
In Flight
B,L,D

Activity note: Getting in/out of boats. Snorkeling and swimming up to 3 hours; non-snorkelers can observe from boat. Walking up to 2 miles. The selection of sites for each field trip, subject to change, will be based on weather, tide, and other local conditions at the time. The non-stop flight from Taveuni to Nadi is approximately 1.5 hours. Late evening flight departs Fiji for Los Angeles International Airport

Breakfast: At the resort.

Morning: This is our last opportunity for snorkeling as a group in Fiji. Dolphin Bay, just a bay over, is on the island wall. Resident eels and lionfish make it a popular location. Large fish like snapper and trevally make regular appearances adding to the underwater spectacle.

Lunch: At the resort.

Afternoon: We will check out of the resort and transfer to Taveuni Airport where we will board a non-stop flight to Nadi.

Dinner: At a Nadi restaurant close to the airport, we’ll have a plated meal.

Evening: Transferring back to the airport concludes our program. The late evening flight departs Fiji for Los Angeles International Airport. Crossing the International Dateline in the opposite direction, we will have gained the back the day we “lost” at the beginning and it will be the afternoon of the same day we left! If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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