South Sea cruises to launch brand new ferries next year
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.
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.”
Sanjeshni Nand, Leigh Jacobs, South Sea Cruises Executive Director Chris Jacobs and Eunice Moila at Port Denarau Marina