Captain Cook Cruises Fiji Caledonian Sky 7 Nights Northern Lau Islands review

Come with us on an inaugural expedition passenger cruise to the most remote islands in Fiji – where cruise ships have never visited before!

Captain Cook Fiji Northern Lau Fiji Cruise

Captain Cook Fiji Northern Lau Fiji Cruise

When we were invited to join Captain Cook Cruises Fiji for their very first Northern Lau Islands cruise, we jumped at the opportunity! This was no ordinary passenger cruise, but an expedition cruise to the furthest reaches of the Fijian islands. What followed was seven days and nights of full-on adventure, fun and indulgent luxury, all whilst cruising the stunning blue waters of Fiji’s most untouched areas.

A cruise packed full of adventure and fun!

A cruise packed full of adventure and fun!

This page may contain affiliate links. If you book a stay or an attraction through one of them, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

The M S Caledonian Sky

Whilst the M S Caledonian Sky cruise ship is small in comparison to her larger cruise ship cousins, she’s big on style and comfort. A luxury small ship, the Caledonian Sky is small enough to reach the most remote areas of the Fijian Northern Lau Islands.

The ship’s compact size allows it to navigate the reefs and channels between the islands, anchoring or drifting in the shallow waters nearby. This enables its passengers to access the islands using the ship’s small zodiac boats – something larger cruise ships could never achieve. The Caledonian Sky is indeed, built for exploring!

What’s it like cruising on Caledonian Sky?

Captain Cook Fiji M S Caledonian Sky cruise ship

Captain Cook Fiji M S Caledonian Sky cruise ship

Built for both speed and comfort, places to kick back and relax on board the Caledonian Sky are numerous, including two main lounges complete with bars, a spacious indoor dining room, an outdoor Lido deck for alfresco dining as well as a front sun deck area to work on your tan.

If you’re wanting to keep up in the gym while you’re on holiday you’ll find a small but well equipped gym on board too. There’s even a Spa available for a massage or other treatment appointments.

Reception and expedition desks are located on Deck 3, as well as a hospital equipped with a Doctor on Deck 2.

The Bridge control room for the ship is located on Deck 6, and is even accessible for tours from time to time. This can be arranged with management in advance, however I took a look around during a Captain’s Cocktail event. The Bridge looks very high-tech to my untrained eye!

An all-suite small cruise ship

The Caledonian Sky boasts four main decks of guest accommodation featuring 57 ocean-view suites, capable of hosting over one hundred guests.

A variety of Suite options are available to suit every traveller’s need, from families to solo travellers. But no matter what the choice of Suite, passengers can expect a much higher standard of comfort and luxury than from a stateroom on a standard cruise ship.

Caledonian Sky’s Suites offer a much more spacious private area throughout including an elegant en-suite bathroom. Several of the larger Suites, including ours, even feature a walk-in wardrobe and outside balcony with the ability to interconnect neighbouring suites.

Our Premium Balcony Suites

My Premium Balcony Suite

My Premium Balcony Suite

Second only to the Owner’s Suite, our two Premium Balcony Suites were located side-by-side on the fourth floor, and really were luxury personified.

Rooms are accessed with a slot card key, which is separate to your cruise identification cards that are issued to you at check in. Those are scanned to register when you get on and off the ship during the cruise.

Our cruise identity cards

Our cruise identity cards

My suite featured a queen bed, whilst my teenage daughters’ suite next door had twin beds. Both suite’s beds were agreed to be supremely comfortable with soft mattresses and good quality linen.

Both suites featured the same decadent décor with mirrors, classic wood panelling, heavy drapes and matching bed linen. The ceiling light was a unique inset panel design reminiscent of a skylight and there were plenty of lamps.

Walk-in wardrobes

Our suites featured large walk-in wardrobes. There was plenty of room to hang and store a generous amount of clothes, plus stack our suitcases. A safe was located on the dresser drawers within the wardrobe. In the drawers were robes, slippers and a laundry service list. There were also spare beach towels, life jackets and a hair dryer. Zodiac life jackets were hung on hooks in the entryway.

Floor to ceiling windows and sliding glass balcony doors gave the suites plenty of light and an “open to the ocean” feel.

The suites were classically furnished with bedside tables, and a large dressing table and stool combo along the wall next to the bed. Along the wall opposite the bed was a desk with chair alongside two upholstered arm chairs. A small fridge was located underneath the desk and a flat-screen TV was mounted on the wall above it. The TV channels featured a live camera pointed at the front of the ship, a live navigation course channel and entertainment channels.

Adjustable heating and air conditioning climate control meant that we could change the room temperature to suit our needs.

A large, elegant en-suite bathroom

My ensuite bathroom

My ensuite bathroom

The modern bathrooms were double the size of your average cabin ensuite, and very elegant. Ours featured corner walk-in showers (some suites had baths) and country-style vanities. There was an additional makeup and shaving mirror, and plenty of well-stocked amenities. A heated towel rail behind the door was very handy to dry off damp swimsuits at the end of the day, and there were plenty of fluffy bath towels supplied. Using the bathroom was a pleasure rather than a cramped affair!

A bedtime turn-down service

On our beds each night our cabin attendant placed a newsletter outlining the schedule of events for the next day. They also performed the traditional turn-down service complete with a chocolate on the pillow. We could barely use a towel without our cabin attendant replacing it – they were that attentive!

My balcony was a lovely place to enjoy the ocean

My balcony was a lovely place to enjoy the ocean

Our suites were connected via the outside balcony, which also had outdoor settings to sit at and take in the glorious sunrises over islands in the mornings and golden sunsets at sea in the evenings. Bliss!

 

Authentic Fiji untouched by tourism

Our expedition cruise brought new adventures every day!

Our expedition cruise brought new adventures every day!

Every day means a new island destination on the Captain Cook Northern Lau Islands cruise. Even being ferried to the islands was adventurous, as the Caledonian Sky is serviced with Zodiacs instead of big tender boats. Our trusty crew ensured everyone was safely and securely boarded, and off we would go. Riding Zodiacs is so much fun!

Zodiac boats are used instead of large Tender boats

Zodiac boats are used instead of large Tender boats

Caledonian Sky did it all during our Fiji cruise with ease – and speed! Watching her cut through the water towards us when waiting to be picked up in our zodiacs, I marvelled at both her versatility and manoeuvrability. She really is a modern wonder.

Discover real deserted islands

There was always a new island to greet us in the mornings

There was always a new island to greet us in the mornings

Several islands we visited during the cruise were private – our very first stop on the day of departure was Tivua Island, which is actually a private island owned by Captain Cook Cruises! Elegantly draped pagodas awaited us there – already we were swimming and snorkeling!

Captain Cook Fiji's private island -Tivua Island jetty in Fiji -Photo source - official Captain Cook Cruises photographer

Tivua Island was our first stop on the day of departure! Photo source – official Captain Cook Cruises photographer

Seeking adventure? There’s plenty of opportunity when you’re on a Captain Cook Fiji cruise! This was no ordinary snorkeling. Every day we were taken to new and amazing spot. Day by day we grew in confidence to snorkel in deep water and see the most beautiful fish and coral.

Snorkeling in the Northern Lau islands of Fiji - Photo source - official Captain Cook Cruises photographer

Snorkeling in the Northern Lau islands of Fiji -Photo source – official Captain Cook Cruises photographer

Often, we jumped straight out of the Zodiac at the drop off point and snorkeled in deep water several hundred metres along beautiful coral reefs teeming with amazing fish. Eventually we would arrive at a nearby beach. Here we would find the rest of the cruisers sunning themselves with a drink! If adventure isn’t your thing, then you can just hit the morning or afternoon’s beach or relax onboard!

Captain Cook Cruises Tivua Island

Captain Cook Cruises Tivua Island

On the day we visited Bay of Islands we were astounded that no tourists had ever had access before – it was just stunning, and we explored and snorkeled in it’s azure-blue waters, spotting turtles along the way.

Bay of Islands was incredibly beautiful

Bay of Islands was incredibly beautiful

Deserted, beautiful jungle clad islands fringed with pristine sandy beaches awaited us everywhere, and were all-ours to enjoy – with not another ship or tourist in sight.

We loved our morning exploring the Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands was incredibly beautiful

Wildlife both on land and in the ocean, abundant. One island was full of bird life and nesting areas. Another introduced us to Coconut Crabs, who were enormous – but more scared of us than we were of them!

Coconut Crabs were huge!

Coconut Crabs were huge!

We saw several turtles surfacing during island and snorkelling explorations. Turtles native to the area include Green, Leatherback and Hawksbill turtles.

Rare bird nesting sites

Rare bird nesting sites

Visit remote Fijian Villages

The Fijian Islanders are incredibly welcoming and friendly

The Fijian Islanders are incredibly welcoming and friendly

Several of the islands we visited held small villages populated with the friendliest, most gorgeous local islanders. They welcomed us all with open arms and incredible song and dance. As we were the very first cruise ship passengers – and tourists – to visit, it felt like they were just as pleased to see us as we were them!

A village welcome dance

A village welcome dance

The village children were a delight – I’ll never forget when they saw a photographic drone being flown over them by the ship’s photographer for the very first time – they were so excited! The joy on their faces really was something to see – we truly felt like daring explorers who had stumbled upon a beautiful lost world.

We passengers felt incredibly privileged to experience this rare window into their untouched world of seemingly simple yet hard-working lifestyle, rich culture and intricate customs. We had been pre-informed to wear respectful clothes that covered knees and shoulders – both men and women. Prior to the cruise we had been told that we could take school supplies or cash to donate to the village schools and they certainly were very happy to see the new presents.

It was such an honour to witness their formal welcome ceremonies and be allowed to visit their villages and schools. We listened to their stories and they to ours. We petted their dogs, admired their chickens, wondered at their conservation contributions and programs, ate their carefully prepared feasts, purchased their wares and just soaked it all in – no other cruise gives this incredible access to such true, authentic Fiji.

Welcomed by warriors

Welcomed by warriors

A huge range of activities – or nothing at all!

Clear bottom kayaking

Clear bottom kayaking

Snorkelling, touring, diving, kayaking, swimming, hiking – even exploring water caves! One things for sure – you won’t get bored on the 7 night Northern Lau expedition cruise!

We loved the dedicated snorkelling excursions each day where you could snorkel straight off the zodiacs in all kinds of environments including deep water reefs, shallow lagoons and bays of islands.

Dedicated snorkelling is so much fun for confident swimmers!

Dedicated snorkelling is so much fun for confident swimmers!

One day there was even the opportunity to swim off the back of the cruise ship – the Pacific Plunge! It felt slightly scary to jump straight into the ocean from the ship, but it was also incredibly exciting!

The Ocean Plunge was scary but also very exciting!

The Pacific Plunge was scary but also very exciting!

But if you’re not into the activities on offer you can always just relax onboard or head across on the island excursions to lay on stunning, palm-lined beaches, read a book and make use of the portable bar – hydration is important, after all!

Relaxing on deserted beaches is a great way to unwind

Relaxing on deserted beaches is a great way to unwind

A la carte cruise food galore

Sunny breakfasts on the Lido Deck

Sunny breakfasts on the Lido Deck

Three dining services a day plus snacks, canapes, afternoon teas…breakfast had a huge range of fresh and hot food, plus an egg chef. Lunch would be held on the Lido Deck too.

Dinner on the Lido Deck

Dinner on the Lido Deck

Dinner was usually held in the dining room, however there was also a candlelit dinner on the Lido deck one night, and even a farewell dinner on an island with the locals. Dining with Captain Cook Fiji Cruises means your palate will never be bored! There is an endless stream of delicious food on board Caledonian Sky that is above and beyond cruise expectations.

We looked forward to each meal because there were so many choices – and it was all so good! Even the fussiest connoisseur would be well satisfied with the Caledonian Sky’s menu – often accompanied with live entertainment and included beer, wine and soft drinks.

Special cruise events

Captain's cocktails on the Bridge with Captain Peter Martin

Captain’s cocktails on the Bridge with Captain Peter Martin

There are lots of different events on board throughout the 7 night cruise to keep you busy – if you choose!

We loved the Island night which encouraged wearing tropical attire including the local Bula Shirts. Another night was the White Night, where passengers were encouraged to wear white – the ships’s events were a lot of fun!

All dressed up for our cruise's White Night!

All dressed up for our cruise’s White Night!

Lots to do on board

Marine Biologist and History talks, Trivia, Crew shows, Cocktails and Canapes in the lounges or on the Bridge with the Captain, Afternoon Teas every day or just spend time in the ships library to pore over the many local interest books. Then there’s the gym and even a spa for a massage – the choice is yours!

The Precap and Recap talk

The Precap and Recap talk

Every day a Precap and Recap talk goes over what you’ve done and what you will do the next day – with a drink or two from the bar of course! It was a great opportunity to catch up with fellow passengers and compare activities, amazing moments and funny stories from the day!

The Amazing Ship’s Crew

The crew put on an amazing island dance show

The crew put on an amazing island dance show

The Caledonian Sky ship’s cruise was simply incredible. Led by Captain Peter Martin, the majority of crew members were kind and patient islanders. They were constantly helping and supporting the passengers, and performed their duties with an infectious enthusiasm and joy in everything they did.

The official photographer Lucy was amazing – she took lots of candid photos of everyone that were put up in the lounge each evening to wonder over. I provided her with a hard drive and she copied them over for no extra charge, and so we have lots of lovely family photographs of our cruise, and even some candid shots of myself I would normally never have! It was a lovely and unexpected extra bonus.

The official crew photographer Lucy took some wonderful candid shots I would normally never get

The official crew photographer Lucy took some wonderful candid shots I would normally never get!

You always knew you were in safe hands with the crew. Whether they were expertly ferrying you across a shallow reef on the way to an island, handing you onto the ship from the zodiacs or helping you sort something out at the reception desk. They always had everything in hand.

The crew were experts at their craft

The crew were experts at their craft

They were also incredibly multi skilled and very talented! All the crew members starring in several evening shows throughout the cruise. Each show was different. One showcasing historical island fashions, another skilful island tribal dancing and even the most beautiful harmonised singing – they really did it all!

What should I take with me on our Fiji cruise?

A cruise with Captain Cook Fiji really isn’t that different to pack for than any other cruise holiday, but there are some bits and pieces that are great to know about in advance! You can read my special FAQs feature all about what to take – and know – about the Captain Cook Fiji Northern Lau islands cruise here.

How do I book with Captain Cook Cruises?

Book your own Captain Cook Fiji cruises Norther Lau expedition on their official website here – cruise prices start from $7,693, and they have regular specials too.

A sad goodbye to the crew at the end of the cruise

A sad goodbye to the crew at the end of the cruise

We made the most beautiful memories together on our Caledonian Sky Fiji Cruise to the Northern Lau Islands. This is an incredibly unique cruise you’ll never forget!

We made beautiful memories together on our Captain Cook Fiji cruise

We made beautiful memories together on our Captain Cook Fiji cruise

What is a good Nadi hotel to stay at the night before the cruise?

The Fiji Gateway Hotel is right across the road from the Nadi International Airport, and it’s a simple matter to take a Taxi to Port Denarau to connect with the Caledonian Sky. There are more Nadi hotel options including Crowne Plaza Fiji Nadi Bay Resort & Spa, and in the Port Denarau area there is the Sheraton Denarau Villas and Sheraton Fiji Golf & Beach Resort.

What’s the best airline to get from Australia to Fiji?

Fly Jetstar to Tokyo

We partnered with Jetstar Australia to fly from Australia to Fiji to cruise with Captain Cook Fiji.  See Jetstar Australia’s cheap Fiji flights here

Jetstar Australia offer cheap fares to Fiji every day – check their website for their low Fiji fares and frequent sales.

If you enjoyed reading this article, please consider giving it a Facebook “Like”, share, plus I’d love to hear all about your own Cruising experiences in the comments below – I love answering questions, so please don’t hesitate to ask the smallest thing!


The Let’s Go Mum family were invited guests of Captain Cook Cruises Fiji for this cruise and partnered with Jetstar Australia airlines to fly to Fiji.  As always, all opinions are our own.
All prices and facts mentioned were correct as at April 2024. Please always re-check the source for current prices.
This page may contain affiliate links. If you book a stay or an attraction through one of them, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

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Northern Lau Islanders - Captain Cook Fiji Northern Lau Expedition Cruise

Bay of Islands - Captain Cook Fiji Northern Lau Expedition Cruise

 

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About LetsGoMum

Hi, I'm Barbara, mum of the Let's Go Mum blog. We'd love to hear from you! You can contact me anytime with ideas on where you think we should go or what you think we should try...just drop me a line at barbara@letsgomum.com.au!
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