Over 70 years sailing Fiji's waters

In 2020 we celebrated 70 years of cruising the Yasawa Islands. In this time we have we've figured out the winning formula for taking guests to the most beautiful places in Fiji, showcasing the most rewarding activities and giving our guests the best possible experience in the untouched South Pacific!

History of Blue Lagoon Cruises

The history of Blue Lagoon tells the story of a love affair with the islands of Fiji – and of a man who dared to dream about creating one of the most enchanting cruise experiences in the world.

The Beginning

Captain Trevor Withers, a young New Zealand stockbroker with a passion for the sea, founded Blue Lagoon Cruises in 1950. Withers and his friend, Harold Gatty, a renowned Australian aviator, came to Fiji at a time when tourism to the pacific nation was virtually unknown. Visitors to Fiji, for the most part, were in transit at Nadi Airport or were shipped passengers enroute between North America and New Zealand or Australia.

Withers and Gatty had a vision to establish a fishing industry in Fiji. To start the venture, the duo visited the islands to pay respects to the Chiefs. It was at the magnificent Yasawa Island, Waya Lailai, where they enlisted the help of a young villager, Epeli Voli, as an interpreter. With Epeli’s help, Captain Withers obtained the full support of the Yasawa people for his fishing venture and established firm friendships with the chiefs and the people of the Yasawa Islands.

After four years of effort, Withers and Gatty concluded that their hopes of establishing a tuna fishing industry in Fiji were not viable. However, both men had fallen in love with Fiji and wished to remain in the islands. Gatty went on to establish Air Pacific, the forerunner to Fiji's national airline, Fiji Airways. However, the future for Withers was not so clear. He still had his mind on the sea and began to dream of taking visitors on a cruise through the idyllic Yasawa Islands: 

a dream that became Blue Lagoon Cruises

By 1966, Blue Lagoon Cruises had established an international reputation and Withers, now suffering from poor health, was ready to retire to his beloved Waya Island. After much deliberation, he sold the venture to Captain Claude Millar, a well-known New Zealand ship owner, so completing the first chapter of the Blue Lagoon Cruise history.

Blue Lagoon Cruises today

Blue Lagoon Cruises is managed by the successful South Sea Cruises, who have worked to bring the cruise experience up to a whole new level for visitors to Fiji’s wonderful islands

Blue Lagoon Cruises still retain its important link and special relationship with the Yasawa village locals with the company supporting the Yasawa Islands community through association with the Vinaka Fiji Volunteer Progammes, run by the Yasawa Trust Foundation. Blue Lagoon Cruises also remains an important factor in the Yasawa Islands' economy, providing the opportunity for the people of the islands to earn revenue through the company's payments to access beaches and visit villages, for performances of traditional Fijian entertainment, and for the sale of village market crafts to guests.

Moving forward

2020 saw Blue Lagoon Cruises hit a massive milestone of 70 years in the business. We are proud to continue to operate and look forward to the next 70 years!


We are proud to confirm that M.V. Fiji Princess is single-use plastic-free. To aid in these efforts, we gift all guests a reusable water bottle on arrival and have artisan-filtered mineral water stations installed throughout the ship so drinking water on board is FREE. Blue Lagoon Cruises is committed to protecting the environment we operate within and this plastic-free initiative extends throughout the ship.