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Levuka- Ovalau Island

colonial cruise

Levuka- Ovalau Island

Historic Levuka lies on the island of Ovalau, off the north-east coast of the main island. The town is famous for its stately backdrop of 19th Century colonial architecture and waterfront promenades. A quiet and tranquil place, Levuka was once the bustling and unruly first permanent European settlement in Fiji. Originally chosen as the capital of Fiji because of it’s safe anchorage, it’s central location, and it’s proximity to the chiefly island of Bau, Levuka became the first seat of power of the Vunivalu or “King” of Fiji, Ratu Seru Cakabau in 1871. However Levuka was unable to develop as a capital as the lush green hills that rise behind the town restricted the amount of available land needed for expansion and eight years after Cession of Fiji to Britain on October 10, 1894, the decision was made to move the capital to Suva, the present day capital.

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The town’s heyday was in the mid to late 19th century as the cotton and copra booms of the 1860’s brought a flood of planters and other settlers to Fiji and it is hard to imagine that 120 years ago Levuka supported a resident European population of approximately 3,500. Early residents were a lawless and motley collection of fugitives, whalers, traders, pioneers and missionaries and ships, it was said, could find their way through the reef passage and safely into port by following the line of bobbing gin bottles drifting on the outgoing tide! Over 50 pubs, hotels and lodging houses catered for the early residents and traders, many of which were swept away by cyclones in 1888 & 1895, but The Royal Hotel at the north end of town remains and is the oldest hotel in Fiji – dating back some 150 years.

The department of Town & Country Planning declared Levuka a historic town in 1989 and it has been nominated for listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Access to Levuka is by local air operators from Suva or on special Northern Fiji Cruises departing from Denarau, or explore the town on our 7 night Colonial Fiji Cruise.



Day 1 - Saturday

NUKU-I-MANA Welcome Aboard!  Set sail over lunch through the beautiful Mamanuca islands past many famous resorts collecting some additional passengers, before arriving for a snorkel from a sand cay and discover the vista of a South Pacific sunset.  Tonight book your preferred time early for our a-la-carte Dinner.

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Day 2 - Sunday

MONURIKI – MONU BAY Reef Endeavour cruises to idyllic Monoriki where Tom Hanks’ Castaway was filmed. Explore this natural film set on a guided kayak tour and explore idyllic Monu Island for snorkelling before a special village choral service.  The beautiful harmonies of the village choir will simply delight you.  This evening join the entertainment of our Sunday Show.

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Day 3 - Monday

SACRED ISLANDS - WAYA ISLANDS The Sacred Island is a place beautiful beyond belief.  Legends tell of the great war canoe `Rogoboka' which landed here with the first Fijians.  On arrival the ship's crew pay tribute to the forefathers of Fijian culture and perform the Sevusevu (gift giving) ceremony.  Spend a magical morning swimming in the aquamarine lagoons, snorkelling in spectacular coral gardens, beach combing or coral viewing from the glass bottom boat. Over lunch cruise to the Southern Yasawa islands.  Enclosed by towering volcanic peaks and palm fringed beaches, Waya Island is a tropical paradise.  Visit a local school this afternoon and a village and shell market. The fit will also have a chance to climb to the peak of Waya for amazing views.  Don your favourite island attire for Pacific Island night tonight!

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Day 4 - Tuesday

WAYA ISLANDS - DENARAU MARINA After Breakfast, Reef Endeavour sets sail and returns to Denarau Marina at 07:30am for a 9:00am disembarkation.

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Immerse Yourself in Adventure

We know Fiji.  Join us on a multi night stay on the MS Caledonian Sky or one of our gorgeous sailing vessels for private island day excursion or a dinner cruise. Snorkel, dive, hike, paddle, visit a village or just laze around and read a book. Be as active or relaxed as you like, the choice is yours.

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Hear what our past guests have to say

It was a privilege to visit a local community and enjoy their local foods

4 Night Yasawa Island Cruise
5th March 2024
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The staff are what makes these cruises so fabulous. The Fijians are amazing!

Small Ship Cruises
11 Night Lau Discovery Cruise
19th March 2024
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Captain Cook Fiji is a Multi-Award Winner in the Industry