Tourism:

South Sea cruises to launch brand new fer­ries next year

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Denarau-based South Sea Cruises will be in­tro­duc­ing two brand new ves­sels next year. This was con­firmed by Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Chris Ja­cobs who said the in­vest­ment is val­ued around $NZ 4mil­lion ($F5,629,600) each.

“The Board has agreed to build­ing two new fer­ries for us to ser­vice the Ma­manu­cas and the Ya­sawa,” said Mr Ja­cobs. He added the ves­sels that are in op­er­a­tion from their fleet have been work­ing ev­ery day and it is time to up­grade. “The de­ci­sion hasn’t been made where the ves­sel to be built,” Mr Ja­cobs said.

“The main ves­sel is ex­pected to be ready in mid 2017 while the sec­ond ves­sel can be ex­pected ready at the year end.” South Sea Cruises op­er­ates fast cata­ma­ran ferry ser­vices from Port Denarau to Ma­manuca and Ya­sawa re­sorts, as well as day cruises and the fa­mous 83ft schooner Sea­spray.

Back­ground of Mr Ja­cobs

Mr Ja­cobs is orig­i­nally from New Zealand and with his busi­ness part­ner , they was heav­ily in­volved in marine tourism op­er­a­tions and de­vel­op­ment. Later, they moved to Fiji to form South Sea Cruises and op­er­ated from Port Denarau Ma­rina. “We in­vented Awe­some Ad­ven­tures and opened up the Ya­sawas and then Fi­jian Hold­ings Lim­ited (FHL) pur­chased our busi­ness. “FHL owns the busi­ness and we have our man­age­ment con­tract,” he said. This in­cludes Blue La­goon Cruises, South Sea Cruises and Awe­some Ad­ven­tures.

Post Cy­clone Win­ston

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Ja­cobs the busi­ness has picked up af­ter Cy­lone Win­ston on Fe­bru­ary 20. “Ob­vi­ously there’s some slow down af­ter cy­clone but Fiji was re­silient there­fore it’s time to get up on your feet and re­build faster,” he said.

Re­cent events

He com­mended the for­ma­tion of the Fiji Tourism Ac­tion Group. “The Gov­ern­ment has a very good recog­ni­tion of the im­por­tance of tourism in Fiji so that’s the best the in­dus­try can ask for.” He said there were an amaz­ing group of over­seas whole­salers in the coun­try for the Fi­jian Tourism Expo 2016. “Th­ese are pri­mar­ily from Europe, Aus­tralia and New Zealand. Europe is a ter­rific mar­ket right now for Fiji, it has been a lot stronger in the past and this is just a part of ef­forts to re­build it.”

Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

San­jeshni Nand, Leigh Ja­cobs, South Sea Cruises Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Chris Ja­cobs and Eu­nice Moila at Port Denarau Ma­rina

Chris Ja­cobs.

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