If you’re looking for the perfect day trip to the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji then South Sea Sailing could be just what you’re after!
Enjoy a unique day sailing in luxury, passing lots of tiny islands along the way until you get to the stunning Malolo Sand Bar. Check out the picture below – doesn’t it look like absolute paradise?!
You’ll spend 3 hours at the sand cay where you’ll have the chance to snorkel along the lively reef, go paddle boarding, jump off the side of the boat or go down the slide straight into the sea (yes there’s a slide on the boat!).
Swim over to the sandbar to sit in one of the deck chairs under the beach umbrellas, where the staff will be there to greet you with a nice Fiji Gold beer, or just chill on the trampolines on the boat under the sun and watch the world go by whilst the complimentary drinks keep flowing.
However you choose to spend the day, you’re bound to have a great time on Fiji’s newest day trip!
Where Do You Visit On The South Sea Sailing Trip?
The usual itinerary for South Sea Sailing is to take guests out to Malolo Sand Bar for 3 hours (just one stop on the itinerary). Malolo Sand Bar is incredibly picturesque and at low tide the sand bar is about 100 metres long!
The water is crystal clear here, and what’s great is that for the majority of the time you’re at the sandbank there won’t be anyone else there – just the South Sea Sailing gang!
What Is There To Do At Malolo Sandbar?
Despite being a sandbar in the middle of the ocean, there is lots to do at Malolo Sandbar when you arrive with South Sea Sailing!
You can go for a swim, snorkel at the nearby reef, paddle board, relax under the sun and of course enjoy your delicious lunch onboard overlooking the sandbar.
What’s really great about the South Sea Sailing day trip is that the South Sea Sailing team bring sun umbrellas and beach chairs for you to sit and relax on at the sand bank!
Other day trips won’t do this, which is one reason why I really wanted to visit with South Sea Sailing.
Seeing the beach umbrellas and deck chairs parked up on a deserted sand bank looks like my idea of heaven – and it is those kinds of images that spring to mind when you think of Fiji!
You can swim over the the sand bank from the boat in a couple of minutes, or you can take the speedboat tender over to the sand bank if you don’t want to get wet!
The staff will bring an esky of cold drinks over to the sandbar too, so you can sit and relax with a Fiji Gold in hand whilst in the deck chair – perfect!
Where Is Malolo Sandbar?
The Malolo Sandbar is located just off Malolo Island and Malolo Lailai Island in Fiji’s Mamanuca group of islands. The Mamanuca Islands are the closest island group to Denarau and Nadi.
When you’re at the Malolo Sandbar you’ll be able to see the nearby resorts on the island of Malolo Lailai a couple of kilometres away – including Lomani Island Resort, Plantation Island Resort and Musket Cove Island Resort.
Unless you’re staying in one of the nearby resorts on Malolo Lailai or Malolo Island, the South Sea Sailing trip is the most convenient way to visit the Malolo Sandbar.
What Is The South Sea Sailing SABRE Catamaran Sailing Boat Like?
South Sea Sailing’s 78 foot sailing catamaran is brand new, super modern and surprisingly spacious!
Aboard Sabre there are plenty of seats and tables under the shade, as well as many comfortable beanbags on the giant trampolines if you prefer to relax under the sun. The seating area is very relaxed, with several day beds to relax on!
There is also a slide on the boat that drops down once the boat is anchored at the sand bar. Sliding down is honestly so fun, I must have done it about 5 times!
There are also steps to climb back up onto the boat easily once you’re ready to get back onto the boat.
Why Should You Do The South Sea Sailing Fiji Day Trip?
In addition to the brand new spanking boat and all the complimentary water activities, you get a mimosa on arrival, morning tea, a delicious healthy buffet lunch, unlimited soft drinks and an open bar for two hours all included in the price of your ticket!
A speed boat will take you to the nearby reef for some snorkelling if you wish.
The snorkelling spot is really good as it is right next to the Sunflower Reef, with plenty varieties of fish and lots of big blue starfish! From the reef you can snorkel back to the sand bank!
South Sea Sailing also bring three paddle boards out for the day which is great. Both the paddle boarding equipment and the snorkelling equipment is very well maintained.
One or two other companies also do day trips to Malolo Sand Bar, however South Sea Sailing is definitely the company you want to go with as they bring sun umbrellas and deck chairs and set them out on the sand cay for you – perfect for you to get that Instagrammable Fiji photo you’ve been after!
South Sea Sailing also provides complimentary hotel transfers which takes the hassle out of getting a taxi and makes the day run smooth.
The South Sea Sailing trip is from 9.45am until 4.45pm in the evening – that’s 7 hours of free drinks and fun! It takes just over 1.5 hours to sail each way leisurely.
How To Get To South Sea Sailing
The South Sea Sailing catamaran, known as Sabre, departs from Denarau Port like all the other island day trips.
As mentioned above, South Sea Sailing provides complimentary return coach transfers to most hotels within the Denarau and Nadi area all the way down to Natadola and The Coral Coast!
Many other companies operating out of Port Denarau don’t provide complimentary transfers all the way down to The Coral Coast, so it’s really great South Sea Cruises (the company who un South Sea Sailing) do as it just makes your day easier!
Resorts In Denarau:
Nearby resorts in Denarau that are convenient to stay in for your South Sea Sailing trip are:
Hostels In Wailoaloa:
If you are looking for more budget accommodation, head to nearby Wailoaloa. Not only does Wailoaloa Beach have a great vibe, but you’ll meet lots of locals here – plus there are hostel dorms so perfect for backpackers!
What Is Included On The South Sea Sailing Day Trip?
The moment you get onboard South Sea Sailing, you’ll have a mimosa cocktail in hand. What better way to start the day!
Complimentary soft drinks are available for the entire day, plus over lunch there is an open bar for 2 hours whilst the boat is anchored at the sand bank where you can get wine and local beers for free!
Outside of those two hours you can purchase alcoholic drinks. Cocktails are available to purchase all day – they all looked very impressive and tasted yummy!
Morning tea and a buffet lunch are included on the South Sea Sailing trip. The food onboard was delicious and there was plenty of it. I really loved how healthy yet filling the lunch was!
Snorkelling gear and paddle boards are available to use free of charge!
When Is The Best Time To Go On The South Sea Sailing Trip?
The tides in Fiji vary quite a lot and really make a different to the landscape. During high tides, most sand cays in Fiji are submerged under the water (which is pretty cool)!
Only during mid to low tide do some of them become exposed.
Regardless of whether the tide is high or low, excursions of course go ahead each day.
If you specifically want to visit Malolo Sand Cay when it is possible to put the deck chairs and sun umbrellas up, you’ll need to visit at mid to low tide (when the tide is going down) or at low tide.
It’s not possible to put the deck chairs and sun umbrellas up during high tide or when the tide is coming up as they would get washed away!
I use the Tide Forecast website – with location set as ‘Lautoka’ so I can work out in advance what times high and low tide are on any given day. Tide times change by roughly an hour each day so tide timings are therefore different every day.
As South Sea Sailing stay at the Malolo Sandbar from roughly 12-3pm, you’ll want to plan your trip for when low tide is in the early afternoon.
Mid to low tide, or low tide, is the perfect time to visit the Malolo Sand Bar. However whatever the tide is doing and whether the Malolo sandbank is exposed or not – you’re bound to have a great time!
We were lucky to visit at both high and low tide. Low tide was great as the beach umbrellas were up, but visiting at high tide was also really fun as you got to stand and chill on the sandbar with the water coming up to your hips!
We used the paddle boards as a table to put our beers on, and saw so many sand-coloured starfish on the sandbank!
I don’t want to place too much importance on the tides as it’s not always practical to work around them, plus it shouldn’t really take away from the whole experience.
I visited South Sea Sailing once during low tide and once during high tide and had a great time both times!
What Kind Of People Go On The South Sea Sailing Day Trip?
On both trips there were a real variety of people onboard, from groups of friends to young couples, older couples and some families visiting Fiji with older children.
The staff onboard South Sea Sailing are so lovely and relaxed, so there is a great laid-back vibe on the boat.
Everyone on the boat seemed up for having a great time, and the staff managed to get all the passengers up and dancing on the journey back to Denarau!
What Should I Bring On The South Sea Sailing Trip?
The essentials such as swimsuit, towel, suncream, a hat, and some cash or credit/debit card for any additional drinks.
It’s definitely wise to arrive with your swimwear on underneath your clothes, so you can get straight in the water once the boat reaches the sandbar!
There’s also only one female toilet and one male toilet, so it’s just easier to arrive in your swimsuit to avoid creating a big queue to get changed in the toilets!
How Much Is South Sea Sailing Day Trip?
The South Sea Sailing day trip costs $239 FJD for adults and $179 FJD for children aged 10-15 years. The South Sea Sailing day trip isn’t suitable for Under 10’s.
What Amenities Are There At South Sea Sailing?
Toilets and an outdoor shower are onboard – perfect so you can wash the salt water off you before the ride back!
Is South Sea Sailing Fiji Day Trip Worth It?
We did the South Sea Sailing trip twice during our 3 months in Fiji, that’s how much we loved it! It was a really fun day and everyone onboard seemed to have a great time.
I would say South Sea Sailing is definitely one day trip in Fiji that is worth doing whilst you are in Fiji!
Of course you’ll want to get some great photos at Malamala Beach Club and upload them to your Instagram, so why not check out these Instagram quotes & captions!
Looking for more day trips from Denarau? Check out:
All pictures in this article are taken by Dronecean & 24 Hours Layover and may not be used without our prior permission.
This post is sponsored by South Sea Sailing. All views however are my own.