After being stuck in the rather chilly New Zealand autumn and winter during the lockdown there from March till July 2020, I was finally allowed to clear out on July 23 after being Covid tested.
Arrived at the designated quarantine anchorage outside Port Denarau Marina on July 29. Nine other yachts were anchored there with their Q flags up. I had used almost exactly six days from Whangarei in NZ and was therefore required to wait another eight days in quarantine at anchor. Dinghy had to stay onboard and no swimming to any other boat – so no socializing except on the VHF. Friendly Fiji Navy personell in a RIB came by twice a day. They even accepted some NZ cash I had and bought me a bottle of local rum to help me pass the time. Change came back in Fiji Dollars.
As the yachts that had fulfilled their quarantine time disappeared into Denarau Marina and were cleared in they were steadily replaced with new arrivals, nearly all coming directly from either French Polynesia or New Zealand.
One requirement for entry to Fiji in these covid times is to work through an agent. I chose Yacht Partners Fiji and have NOT regretted that decision. Jo (Josephine) and her staff have been exceptional! All clearance procedures were taken care of, cruising permit included. I wasn’t even visited by any authorities during the process. Technicians I needed for some issues on the boat were quickly provided. Anything can be arranged with a smile.
Carol, their Auckland representative has skippered yachts in Fiji for 44 years and gladly provided firsthand knowledge when I asked. She is the author of all the “Cruising The Fiji Group” articles in the free annual booklet “A Mariners Guide To Fiji”, also online at www.fijimarinas.com
excerpt from https://www.noonsite.com/place/fiji/related-user-comments/
Coeur de Lion
Denize II is in Vuda Marina in Fiji. We worked with a very competent and pleasant agent, Josephine Morris of Yacht Partners Fiji. She orchestrated the entry process with expertise and we were processed in a very short time. She is also a wealth of information on everything Fiji. I highly recommend her to any yachts seeking entry into Fiji.
S/V DENIZE II
Medical Evac 200 miles south of Fiji.
My Name is Simon Lucas. I am a MCA Master 200t Unlimited with 20,000 miles sea time. On 12 May 2018, Myself, crew Amelie Josse and Owner Peter Watson were attempting a crossing from NZ to Fiji in a 24m Steve Dashew Designed FPB 78. Its a custom built world wide cruising motor vessel with 6000 mile range, 2x 235hp engines, and an average cruising speed of 10knots. Weather was 2-3m SE swell with 30knots SE and expecting to ease over the course of the passage.
At 0700 on the 12 May, 200 miles south of Denarau, Peter came up to the Pilot bridge with serious suspected Internal bleeding; high blood loss and further examination confirmed this. Heart rate elevated to over 110 bpm when standing. We immediately turned for Fiji. Peter was stable but weak and nauseous. This was my first emergency at sea. My biggest concerns were the time to safety, where the best location to go was, how to get there, what to do once we got there. This is where Yacht Partners Fiji were essential and in my opinion the hero’s of the day.
Note: We had been in contact with Carol Dunlop for several weeks. Peter is a friend of her husband Colin and Carol had supplied her super helpful charts and waypoints for three weeks of cruising in Fiji. We had thoroughly enjoyed our time in Fiji and had safely navigated some very tight reef passages while following her waypoints. Even when the charts suggested we were aground. I knew from this, I could trust her directions explicitly.
After contacting Carol things moved very quickly. We were communicating via Iridium Go and Sailmail. Within a couple of hours we had a helicopter and ICU nurse on standby, and detailed waypoints to a resort with full medical facilities. It took away all the stress of passage planning and allowed me to focus on the patient, my crew and the boat. This was essential for the 15 hours it took to get back. I was working on 3 hours sleep and the constant communication and reassurance was pivotal.
Also behind the scenes her Fijian co-worker Josephine Morris had organized customs clearance, a berth at Denarau Marina, a rental car if needed on arrival and an extra crew member to assist berthing when we arrived.
We got exceptional service when we needed it most and all of this on a Sunday, from a 1000 miles away. I highly recommend YPF for everything and anything you may need while in Fiji. Peter is recovering well and just returned to the boat. Vinaka vakalevu!
I can not thank the team at Helipro and Fiji Yacht Partners enough for the fantastic help they gave me to get to hospital quickly. Working with Yacht Partners they came up with a workable landing site that the boat could anchor in at Kokomo flew there with the Pilot , Engineer and Em Bee a highly experienced nurse meet me at 1.00am in the morning along with the island staff they stabilised me. We set off a dawn and arrived at the MIOT hospital where I have been receiving great care.
Captain Peter Watson
Please allow this letter to serve as a very high recommendation for Yacht Partners Fiji. Our recent 3-month visit to Fiji would not have been anywhere near as easy or enjoyable if it were not for the dedication, hard-work, knowledge, and skill of their entire team.
Carol’s bespoke advance-itinerary/route planning was invaluable, and really took us to some areas that we may not have otherwise explored. Adding to this, Nigel’s onboard guide services truly made the experience memorable (he’s also very handy with a hose and chamois when he’s not needed elsewhere), and he has become a trusted friend to EVVIVA’s crew and owners.
Uri and Jo’s contacts throughout the country were invaluable in opening doors for us whenever we were in need of services throughout Fiji. Additionally, their team in Nadi were always available and willing to help with whatever odd request we could conjure up at any given time of
the day. They always delivered, and we were never disappointed.
On the business side of things; accounting was transparent, honest, and hassle-free.
If you are considering a trip to Fiji, Yacht Partners Fiji are surely the smart choice of agents.
Captain Ken Bracewell
September 25, 2016
Fortunately the clearing agent we use, Yacht Partners Fiji, who incidentally have been recently voted the second best clearing agency in the world, were incredibly organised and had me pre complete all forms before I had even departed Australia (other than the vegetable and alcohol forms). Not that we have a great deal of experience entering foreign ports as yet, I can’t speak highly enough of this company and in particular our main contact Josephine Morris (email:firstname.lastname@example.org). On arrival and within two minutes of shutting down our main engine we had six officials board Pendana and paperwork was passed from one to the other as Jo called the shots and made sure we were cleared as soon as possible. Twenty minutes later, job done and we were free to set foot on terra firma.
In all honesty, I rarely wax lyrical about terribly much but when a company performs above all expectation then it’s worth doing so. In this case Jo and Yacht Partners Fiji were brilliant.
It is a very easy decision when choosing a yacht agent in Fiji. YPF are the best.
Thanks for assisting us during our stay. The owners loved Fiji so much that we will be back sooner than originally planned.
Captain Carl Brandes
M.Y. G L A Z E (Cayman Islands)
“To all at Yacht Partners Fiji a big thanks and warm regards from M/Y Belle Aimeé.
Yacht Partners Fiji were introduced to me in Auckland prior to our trip to Fiji and in meeting Carol Dunlop I felt we would be in the right hands while traveling through the Fijian Island chains. Carols extensive exploration through out Fiji was diligently documented and she produced a detailed and specific reference book for us including reef passages, dive sites, fishing and custom formalities for island culture. All prerequisite formalities were cordially attended to and Yacht Partners Fiji went out of there way to ensure the safe and smooth arrival of the vessels dog in Fiji. From our arrival to our departure Yacht Partners Fiji attended to all our needs promptly and diligently, most importantly working outside of island time and available weekends and nights.
Assistance was always offered with a smile, from offloading provisions to securing the impossible for us while in Fiji. Being a very active vessel either on charter or with owner, rarely on the dock and traveling extensively M/Y Belle Aimee asks a lot from her agents with regards to scheduling and prompt service, Yacht Partners Fiji always provided and have even continued to assist us while traveling further afield and into Papua New Guinea.”
Capt. M/Y Belle Aimee
“What may not be commonly known about these “new agents” is that they have a tremendous advantage in their offered services from their own experience working together for many years while operating a high-end charter yacht program of their own. In short, doing exactly what we’re doing.
Most of us have all hired many yachting agents that are quite professional and thorough, but this is the first time I’ve ever received waypoints and routes from an agent, complete with bearing and ranges for the areas we wished to cruise.” (Read More…)
Captain Ethan Lee
“Yacht Partners Fiji has been very efficient and professional. They have been handling all official procedures and were our very reliable and highly effective support during our cruising operations.
I personally have found the whole Yachting Partners Fiji group very helpful and professional people that have excellent knowledge of Fiji and it’s possibilities for Yachts. They will make your stay in Fiji trouble free and a pleasurable experience.” (Read More…)
Captain Johannes Rijs