Fiji: Volivoli Beach Resort to Volivoli Beach Resort
10 night duration
Qualification required: PADI Open water or equivalent - no minimum number of logged dives required
This 10 night liveaboard adventure allows up to 34 dives including up to 5 night dives and offers the chance to explore the finest diving in Fiji. As with all diving trips, the choice of dive sites visited during the itinerary will be affected by a number of factors including weather, tidal movement, moon phase, experience of divers and number of vessels. The Captain & Cruise Director will give a detailed briefing each evening for the following day’s dive schedule.The safety of all on board is paramount. The Cruise Director is always pleased to listen to requests from guests to visit or remain at certain sites and providing it is possible and the schedule allows, then guest’s requests are respected.
Departing from the Darling family's Volivoli Beach Resort on Viti Levu, this 10 night itinerary takes you through dives at Bligh Waters with stunning coral pinnacles which attract schooling pelagics including barracuda & tuna. We cruise onwards through the Vatu-I-Ra Passage to dive at the Namena Marine Reserve, where hard coral gardens support a myriad of marine species and schools of colourful reef fish. The S/Y Fiji Siren then moves south into the the Lomaiviti Island Group for dives at the islands of Gau and Wakaya. A mix of drift dives, coral gardens and pinnacles is to be expected, keeping on the look out for manta rays and hammerheads but also we see ribbon eels, leaf fish and numerous other smaller creatures. Grey reef sharks can be seen in schools at the mouth of the Nigali Passage.
This 10 night cruise will continue north-east to Taveuni Island and the Somosomo Strait, aka Rainbow Reef, so named for the swathes of colourful soft corals which adorn the reefs. Exhilarating drift dives are the norm. We also have the option to dive at Savusavu where there are numerous dive sites, with hard corals, reef sharks and plentiful fish life.
Fiji Diving Highlights
Bligh Waters & Vatu-I Ra Passage
E6: Starting from just 1m below the surface, this large pinnacle drops to over 900m providing a wealth of hard and soft corals along with a cathedral like overhang adorned with gorgonian fans. Eagle rays and hammerheads are known to make an appearance. Meanwhile amidst the colourful corals, numerous crustaceans and molluscs are spotted.
Mellow Yellow: Divers can expect to see grey reef sharks, schools of barracuda and plenty of turtles. Whilst at night the lionfish, flatworms and shrimps are a delight.
High -8: All manner of marine life from green turtles and titan trigger fish to whitetip reef sharks can be spotted here.
Coral Corner: White tips and grey reef sharks dart between the schooling fusiliers, triggerfish and wrasse, meanwhile on the corals octopus can be found along with flat worms, moray eels and scorpion fish.
Chimneys: Consists of 3 large coral bommies extending downwards from just 3m (10ft) and covered with soft corals and crinoids. Tuna, barracuda, white tips and occasional silver tip sharks are seen here as you drift around the bommies. Currents can be strong.
Namena Marine Reserve
The dives you will make will be based on the currents and conditions but you can expect to see plenty of macro species including ribbon eels, garden eels and fire gobies. You are also likely to see several species of shark and schools of tuna and trevally jacks. Manta rays have been known to visit also whilst the shallow waters of the nature reserve are the epitome of healthy hard coral gardens.
North Save a Tack: This site offers a diverse reef structure and steep reef wall. You will descend to 30m (100ft) to watch for large pelagics. Schools of big eye jacks congregate here as do hundreds of unicorn fish and red tooth trigger fish. Continuing along the reef southwards we come to a pinnacle known as "Kansas" named for the likeness to the wheat fields of the US State, due to an abundance of golden leather corals. A wide variety of reef fish, anthias and gobies can be seen along with octopus and garden eels.
Grand Central Station: A delectable fish soup with schools of barracuda, trevally, parrotfish and trigger fish. Colourful damsel fish hover over the corals in clusters whilst dog tooth tuna, Spanish mackerel, white tip and grey reef sharks patrol the reef edge. Other sites within the reserve include "Two Thumbs Up","Magic Mushrooms", "Ned's Heads" and "Keenans".
Lion's Den: Dive out into the blue to look for patrolling hammerhead sharks and manta rays. White tips, grey reef sharks, schooling barracuda, batfish and hawksbill turtles are also commonly seen.
Wakaya Passage: A wall dive with swim-throughs and overhangs covered with soft corals - another great spot to look out for manta rays and hammerhead sharks.
Blue Ribbon Eel Ridge: This sloping coral wall develops into plateaus at 18m (60ft) and 30m (100ft) coral bommies on the plateaus hide leaf fish, dart gobies and blue ribbon eels.
Nigali Passage: A deep channel with an incoming current that attracts schools of pelagic fish. Barracuda and trevally jacks are a common sight at the channel mouth whilst grey reef sharks form schools at just 18m / 60ft. Hang out in the channel for most of the dive and watch the action then end your dive in the shallow lagoon as the channel ends. Also of note are the huge groupers that cruise about.
Jim's Alley: Typically a more relaxed paced dive than the Nigali passage, Jim's Alley offers swathes of garden eels and anemone fish, black snapper and clown triggerfish, nudibranchs and banded sea snakes.
The dives you will make at Taveuni Island are largely dependent on the currents and tidal conditions. Timing is crucial to your enjoyment of the diving in the region. High slack tide is often the best to enjoy the soft corals when they are open and bright without the ripping currents. Your cruise director will assess conditions and choose from the many sites the island has to offer. You will make a total of 8 dives choosing from dive sites which include:-
Great White Wall: A steep wall covered with white soft corals. The incoming water encourages the coral polyps to open and feed creating a "bushy" effect and take on a purplish tinge. Stunning scenery on their own, the corals also shelter square spot anthias and gobies.
Rainbow's End: A submerged pinnacle prone to currents, we make a negative descent and find shelter from where we can watch white tip reef sharks being cleaned, blue runners, triggerfish and unicorn fish. Gardens of soft corals and healthy hard coral bommies attract may other species.
Purple Wall: Steep wall with purple soft corals and numerous banded sea snakes.
Qamea Freeway: Sloping reef wall with sandy patches, the current takes you over the sand to admire the hard coral bommies attracting large schools of banner fish & unicorn fish. White tip reef sharks can also be seen before finishing your dive drifting gently up the reef slope.
Coral Gardens: Numerous gorgonian sea fans and hard corals shelter anemone fish and damsel fish, alongside regular sightings of white tip reef sharks and the occasional manta ray.
Swirling Coconut: Exhilarating fish-filled drift dive with lush corals and schools of colourful reef fish. Two central pinnacles allow the currents to swirl around feeding the purple soft corals and their attendant orange anthias. White tip sharks and juveniles can be seen. Other sites include Barracuda Hole, Jerry's Jelly, Annie's Bommie, Fish Factory and the Zoo.
Diving in the Savusavu Bay offers the opportunity for sightings of superb hard corals along the steep reef walls and pelagic spotting.
Barracuda Point: Offers a slope and wall to 25m / 80ft that is covered with corals and numerous gorgonian fans. At the wall's point a large school of barracuda congregate in the current and you may also see long-fin batfish lining up to be cleaned by the tiny wrasse.
Dreadocks: Two large coral bommies peeking up to 5m / 15ft adorned with hard corals and a plethora soft corals in many shades and colours. Search for flatworms and other molluscs lurking amongst the coral branches and see sweetlips, butterfly fish and plenty of lionfish.
Nasonisoni Passage: Not for the faint of heart, this is a truly speedy drift dive! The steep wall, dropping well beyond 50m, is adorned with purple soft corals, which will seem as a blur as you hurtle along spotting sharks, jacks and a whole host of other pelagic fish. Your express ride ends in a small bay with pretty corals and plenty of reef fish to keep you amused on your safety stop.
Dreamhouse: Healthy corals of many varieties provide a haven for the small and medium sized fish that seek shelter on this large reef pinnacle. And it is easy to see why they would need to when the currents are running! Reef sharks, hammerheads and even tiger sharks can be seen cruising about, along with schooling jacks and tuna. Other sites include "Hole in the Wall", "Fingers", "Goldilocks"and"Shark Alley"
Shark Fin Point: Best dived when the tide is running to ensure sightings of reef sharks, barracuda and eagle rays. The reef also supports angel and butterfly fish species and plenty of crustaceans. Whale sharks can also be spotted around the island so we take some time after the dive to lookout for them.
Koro Gardens: Full of hard corals, these shallow gardens make a pleasant change to the soft corals at other dive locations.
Seven Peaks: Coral heads formed by a combination of hard and soft corals where scorpion fish can be seen resting, and occasional white tip reef sharks and barracuda cruise by. There is a superb swim-through with whip corals and sea fans.
Three Heads: As the name suggests this site consists of three pinnacles dropping to 15m, where we search for a variety of nudibranchs, flat worms and pleurobranchs.