One of the main reasons we chose to stay at Denarau for our recent trip to Fiji was that I was super keen to do a day trip to an island. This was our first trip to Fiji since Hamish (4) dropped his day sleep, so we were all ready for a full day of fun and adventure.
After some intense TripAdvisor research, I booked the Oolala Cruise to Savala Island Fiji.
Oh yes. This is EXACTLY what I was looking for.
Now maybe every cruise is this good. I don’t know. I’ve only been on one. But we could not fault it. We – the hubster, me, Alannah (6) and Hamish (4) – had the most wonderful day!
Click here for an introduction to all aspects of a Fiji family holiday.
Oolala cruise to Savala Island Fiji
You can do some snorkelling off the back of the boat when they anchor a little way from the island. Most people did a guided snorkelling tour, but we stayed right by the boat. The kids tried snorkelling for the first time holding onto a noodle. Having the staff in the water with you helping the kids was brilliant – such a great opportunity to try snorkelling. And the kids absolutely loved watching the fish feeding in the water!
If you were keen to do loads of snorkelling then they have a different trip which would be more suited (although there is much better quality reef on the Barrier Reef), but this was perfect for us. I think I might buy the kids a mask & snorkel set for their birthdays, so that they can practice using it in the pool this summer.
Facilities on Savala Island
Although Savala is a tiny uninhabited island, it is used exclusively by the cruise and is very well set up. From left to right in the photo above you have the massage hut (extra cost), shade provided by sails and little umbrella structures, the main covered area used for the BBQ lunch, grass weaving and coconut husking demonstrations, and lastly the toilets.
So many activities!
You can see here that the tide is low, but it came in while we were having lunch, so in the afternoon you can snorkel off the beach or try kayaking or stand-up paddle-boarding.
Most people on our trip did not have kids, but it is absolutely perfect for families. The staff go out of their way to entertain the kids, playing with them, singing songs. They minded a couple of the younger kids so that both parents could go snorkelling. The glass bottom boat is fairly basic, but it was ideal for the kids to have a better look at the reef after they were not so keen on the snorkelling. We even spotted Nemo!
Practical information for a wonderful Fiji day trip
- It is about an hour each way on the boat from Denarau Marina. Departs 10am. Returns 4.30pm. We had a very calm day and no-one got sea sick (we took no precautions).
- There are beautifully maintained toilets on the boat and on the island.
- There is plenty of shade on the boat and on the island.
- Wear shoes that you can keep on, because although the island is mostly sand, there is quite a bit of coral mixed in with it which can be a bit rough underfoot.
- Wear your bathers and a coverup. You don’t want to have to bother with getting changed. What we have on in the photo above is what we wore from our hotel that morning (although Alannah wore a dress over the top). I took a rashie for snorkelling.
- You will probably want to be in the sun for a lot of the day doing all the activities, so slip, slop, slap.
- Cost – Adult FJD 199.00 (about AUD 115), Child FJD 96.00 (6-15 yrs) (about AUD 56), Children under 5 yrs free of charge
More information – Oolala Day Cruise to Savala Island