Mar 2, 2009

Sailing with fame

for Fiji. The industry has had an average annual growth rate of 8.2% in the past few years. Similarly Fiji has seen port calls sky-rocket by more than 100%.

"The Tui Tai cruise ship was mainly created to introduce more relaxing ways to see some of Fiji's beautiful coasts and bays with guides who will help you explore both the stunning landscape and reefs underwater or lead you on adventures through the rainforests to hidden waterfalls on dry land," says Morika, the founder of Tui Tai Cruises.

Cruising has become a major part of the tourism industry, with millions of passengers each year.

The cruise tourism industry is now one of the most dynamic and fastest growing components of the leisure industry.

The name Tui Tai existed even before Morika was born. She's been a part of the family. The number of crew on board is 18. They're made up of the captain and the deck crew who sail the ship, navigating her through the dangerous reefs and finding the most beautiful dive and snorkel spots to anchor. And there is the hospitality crew, diving instructors and onboard photographer.

The cruise ship owner reckons it is important to find the right personalities to fit each job.

Some people have a natural ability to make guests feel at ease in their surroundings and this is incredibly important on a cruise ship.

Morika stresses that it is imperative for guests to be comfortable and relaxed or the cruise ship has failed them. All her crew understand that this isn't far from just a floating hotel. They all know that the Tui Tai is as much about helping the local communities and bringing humanitarian assistance as it is giving guests a beautiful holiday.

The Tui Tai was built in 1980, making her almost 30 years old, but she looks nothing like the modern day cruiseliners. She was modelled on a traditional schooner more from the 1800s than the late 20th century making her a romantic sight as she sails into the bay.

Originally Morika had her fitted out with dormitories for the backpacker market but she's since been completely rebuilt to more comfortable standards to meet the demand. And in every way environmentally friendly materials are used when maintaining the ship plus the interior is full of beautifully designed Fijian art and craft.

Sailing with fame - Fiji Times Online