A Captain’s Insight into Fiji’s Blue Lanes Initiative
Fiji’s Blue Lanes Initiative has given superyacht owners, guests and charterers a safe passage to once again enjoy the thrilling cruising grounds of this quintessential South Pacific destination. Guests have been able to arrive on private jets and rendezvous with their yacht, where they are then taken away to cruise, swim, surf, dive and fall in love with the dreamy islands of Fiji. Captain Trent Jones of 67m M/Y Maria shares his recent experiences in Fiji…
Owners, charterers and guests can fly into the Nadi International Airport on a private jet, where they are then taken straight to the iconic Port Denarau Marina. Whilst completing the mandatory 14-day quarantine period, guests will still be able to cruise the Fijian waters without disembarking. At present, a naval boat will still be in place to shadow superyachts during quarantine, but once cleared they can then follow their submitted itinerary.
67m Amels superyacht Maria (ex Aquarius) is one yacht to have taken advantage of the Blue Lanes initiative. “The guest arrival at the airport and transport to the yacht was a painless experience,” says Captain Trent Jones, “and from there the trip was the same as if it were any other year.
“We also submitted a broad, pre-planned itinerary prior to the trip which gave us plenty of scope and we were allowed to adjust this for the weather. The idea (of monitoring the cruise with a chase boat or AIS) is good and it worked well in practice to ensure that no yachts, while cruising in quarantine, have any accidental interactions with locals during the 14-day quarantine period, while still ensuring the guests have the best possible trip with flexibility.”
Restrictions do apply however these can be easily navigated with the help of a South Pacific agent. Eligibility for the VIP Blue Lanes is as follows:
- Engage a Fiji Yacht agent
- Provide a negative RT-PCR test <72hrs from departure.
- Provide an itinerary for where they intend to cruise within Fijian waters.
- Bear the cost of a shadow boat during their quarantine cruising period.
- Adhere to all conditions as per the Blue Lane initiative under the Fijian COVID Safe Economic Recovery Framework.
Cynthia Rasch, CEO of Port Denarau Marina, comments that “Port Denarau Marina has worked tirelessly with the Fijian Government to ensure that our maritime borders remain open and that superyachts continue to enjoy the wonders of the region. Fiji is Covid contained and open to superyachts, and we are eager to welcome you to our sun-drenched shores.
“With great diving – our coral reefs are teeming with colour and life – it is no wonder that we are known as the soft coral capital of the world, and arguably have one of the top surfing spots. As a VIP Guest under our Blue Lanes initiative, you can also enjoy cruising our turquoise blue waters while in quarantine. Where else would you rather be?”
A sprawling chain of over 300 rugged islands covered in a haze of the deepest emerald, Fiji’s offers an eclectic mix of sugary white sand beaches and cerulean waters teeming with diverse marine wildlife. For superyacht owners and charters, the Blue Lanes initiative offers a rare opportunity for adventure and a return to life on the water.
"Port Denarau Marina has worked tirelessly with the Fijian Government to ensure that our maritime borders remain open and that superyachts continue to enjoy the wonders of the region."