Island Dancer II

Want a non-traditional resort vacation? Welcome aboard Island Dancer II, the Dancer Fleet’s intimate liveaboard dive boat, as you travel on a week-long scuba diving adventure to the paradise islands of Fiji. Located in the South Pacific Ocean, the Republic of Fiji lies approximately 1,100 nautical miles (1,265 miles / 2,035 km.) to the northeast of North Island, New Zealand. Tuvalu to the north, Tonga to the east, and Vanuatu to the west are Fiji’s closest neighbors. This archipelago is comprised of more than 330 islands and 500 islets, and occupies a land area totaling 7,100 square miles (18,300 square km.). Vanua Levu and Viti Levu are this nation’s two main islands. Suva on the island of Vanua Levu is the capital of Fiji and the departing point for this amazing trip.

Photographers and videographers will want to bring their cameras to capture the brilliantly colored corals of Fiji, considered the soft coral capital of the world. The Island Dancer II itinerary will take you to Nigali Pass, Wakaya, Koro, and Namenalala Islands, for scuba diving along spectacular reefs, bommies, and walls. Imagine the possibility of drift diving with large animals such as Eagle Rays, Manta Rays, Turtles, Sharks, and Giant Groupers. You also may see Ghost Pipefish, Pygmy Seahorses, Clownfish, and multitudes of Nudibranchs. Your excursion to Fiji includes a visit to a local Fijian village where you will dress in traditional garb and have the opportunity to observe a kava ceremony and warrior dance.

Fiji generally has a warm climate with both wet and dry seasons. In most areas of Fiji the wettest months are from mid-December to mid-April, but the rain showers typically occur during the evening hours. In Fiji, summer occurs from November through April. At this time of year, air temperatures can get as high as 88°F (31°C) and water temperatures range between 80°-84°F (27°-29°C). From May through October there are sunny skies, less rain, and water temperatures are between 76°-79°F (25°-27°C) while air temperatures cool down a bit to average about 84°F (29°C). Because of the number of dives you will be making each day, it is recommended that you wear a light wetsuit in the summer months. During the winter, some people prefer a 3-5mm. suit for added thermal protection.

Fiji’s prime diving season is during their winter season, April-October. Visibility often reaches 150 feet (45 m.) during these months. Depending on the weather and the current conditions present, diving will be conducted either from the Island Dancer II’s dive deck or from its tender. All dives should be planned as no-decompression dives. Before making your first dive, you will be required to present your c-card or proof of diving certification to the divemaster.

Island Dancer II will take your scuba diving adventure to some of the top dive sites among the islands of Gau, Koro, Makongi, Namenalala, and Wakaya. At Jim’s Alley on Gau Island you will see three large bommies starting at approximately 15 feet (4.5 m.) from the surface and dropping to the ocean floor at between 60 to 70 feet (18-21 m.). Here you may see White-tipped Sharks, Barracudas, Turtles, and Rays. Soft and hard corals, Sea Fans, Whips, and Anemones cover the bommies. Also on Gau is Ningali Pass which is a small cut in the reef. Time your dives here according to the tides and currents, otherwise visibility may be very limited. At this dive site you may see Hammerhead Sharks, Grey Reef Sharks, large Grouper, Barracuda, Big-eyed Jacks, Eagle Rays, and Mantas.

At the Island of Koro, you may visit Black Rock Caverns, Koro Gardens, and Shark Fin Point. There are numerous swim-throughs, caverns, and caves at Black Rock Caverns. Visibility here is limited to about 60 feet (18 m.) This site, with its large school of Barracuda, is also a favorite night dive location as you will spot large Filefish, Decorator Crabs, Flashlight Fish, White-tipped Sharks, Eels, and sometimes Squid. At Koro Gardens you will find a large bommie within 15 feet (4.5 m.) of the surface. The area around the bommie drops off to depths of 95 feet (29 m.) in some places. Koro Gardens is replete with reef fish and the entire area is covered with hard corals, all of which makes for a spectacular dive. And, an abundance of fish and sharks can be found at Shark Fin Point.

The north end of Makongi Island is protected by a barrier reef with some very good dive sights, including White Rock, Rustic Arch, Makongi Channel, and Coral Gardens. The dive sites known as E-6 and Hi-8 are so-named for the amount of film and video shot at each location. Both sites are pinnacles that rise to the surface from depths of 3,000 feet (914 m.). A horseshoe shaped grotto at E-6 houses large Clams, Anemones, Lionfish, and beautiful Red Sea Fans. Both sites are replete with soft corals, Sea Fans, Octicoral, and small fish as well as Sweet Lips, Hammerhead and White-tipped Sharks, and an occasional Silver-tipped Shark.

At Namenalala Island the barrier reef stretches more than 10 miles (16 km.). While there are many dive sites here, they are in open waters where there is a high probability of swift currents, making this area suitable for advanced dives. Due to the currents there is abundant and very active marine life here, including Grey Reef Sharks, White- and Silver-tipped Sharks, Barracuda, and Dogtooth Tuna. Popular dive sites in this area include Chimneys, Magic Mound, and North Save-a-Tack.

The popular dive sites at Wakaya Island include Gem Stone, Golden Rock, Sand Point, and Wakaya Pass. The Pass starts at a sandy bottom at a depth of about 35 feet (10.5 m.). You will swim out over a wall and bear left, where you come over the wall’s drop off. Visibility straight down is to 140 feet (43 m.). As you move along the wall you will see White-tipped and Nurse Sharks, Blue Ribbon Eels, Hammerhead Sharks, Turtles, Marble and Eagle Rays, Mantas, and Barracudas. The diving at Gem Stone has been compared to that in the Red Sea.

The Dancer Fleet strives to provide scuba divers and vacationers with the highest quality and most innovative liveaboard experience possible. Fiji, with its varied terrain and diverse marine life offers something for everyone. In addition to unmatched scuba diving, guests aboard the Island Dancer II will enjoy excellent accommodations and delicious meals as part of their vacation package. The Dancer Fleet’s dive boats afford guests both safety and comfort as they travel to the best diving locations around the world.