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Caledonian Sky Review

4.0 / 5.0
5 reviews
See all photos
Editor Rating
4.0
Very Good
Overall
Fiona Harper
Contributor

The all-suite Caledonian Sky emerged from an Italian shipyard in the 1990s. The ship passed through various hands, most recently cruising under the APT banner in the Kimberley before Captain Cook Cruises took the helm of the 90m-long expedition ship in late 2023.

Outside-facing guest suites and public areas across five decks include two restaurants (one indoors, one alfresco), two lounges with bars and a sun deck with sun lounges and umbrellas. The aft marina deck platform is used for embarkation into zodiacs for shore excursions.

Caledonian Sky's Italian heritage and 30-year-plus vintage is evident in its spacious suites lined with timber paneling, polished brass fittings and plush soft furnishings. Fijian artworks by local artisans are gradually replacing bland generic prints adorning walls throughout the ship.

A collection of historic Fijian photographs lining the corridor outside the Panorama Lounge gives the area a museum-like feel. The near-circular Panorama Lounge is bathed in natural light from a bank of windows along with an overhead leadlight dome replicating a compass rose.

There's a small gym, an even smaller massage room and a clinic where medical facilities include an onboard Doctor available 24-hours (fees apply).

Caledonian Sky Deck Plan Covers Five Decks

Caledonian Sky has six decks with five accessible to guests. Castle Deck (Deck 2) has cabins at front and the main dining room at the back. The Caledonian Deck (Deck 3) has cabins, the Pursers and Expedition Team desks and the Caledonian Lounge with its bar, piano, tea and coffee station and plenty of comfy chairs and sofas. 

The Promenade Deck (Deck 4) is entirely given over to cabin accommodation with balconies, with the exception of the massage and gym rooms, and there's a smoking area at the aft. The Bridge Deck (Deck 5) is taken up with the Bridge and Officers accommodation, Deluxe Balcony Suites midships and a large alfesco dining and lounge area. The Panorama Deck (Deck 6) has a light-filled lounge bar with tea and coffee station, library, board games and sofas indoors, with a sun deck is furnished with sun lounges and umbrellas.

Guests gather in the Caledonian Lounge for daily briefings, recaps and shore excursions before descending to Deck 2 to board Zodiacs. With two dining areas, buffet breakfast and lunch take place on the alfresco Lido Deck dining area (Deck 5), while dinners are slightly more formal in the air-conditioned dining room (Deck 2). There is one central lift along with a wrap-around stairwell connecting decks two to six. External stairs aft link decks two to five.

Guests are welcome to visit the Bridge during daylight when the doors are open.

Cabins on Caledonian Sky are Generously Sized

Fifty-seven spacious suites across four decks are all outward facing with ocean views through either sliding glass doors, panoramic windows or portholes. Twenty-three suites on the Bridge and Promenade decks have small private balconies with hinged doors which can be opened up if guests are travelling together in adjoining cabins. Two Owner's Balcony Suites each have a massive forward-facing outdoor area large enough for a pair of sun lounges. Ensuite bathrooms are fitted out in marble and some have bathtubs with shower overhead.

There are seven room categories with price variations mostly determined by position (forward or aft), deck level and whether they have a balcony or not. Suites are generously sized and are furnished with ample storage space (some have walk-in wardrobes), twin or queen beds, sitting area and desk with mini-fridge. Suites are equipped with hairdryer, electronic safe, wall-mounted TV and individual air-conditioning controls.

Suites are serviced daily and a nightly turndown service includes a chocolate and printed program for the following day. A laundry service is available (fees apply) on 24-hour turnaround.

Food on Caledonian Sky is Plentiful and Locally Influenced

Food on Caledonian Sky is plentiful with buffet style breakfast and lunch and a-la-carte dinner service. Special dining events are held during each voyage such as island lovo feasts, where villagers prepare food cooked in a traditional fire pit.

Other nights there might be a BBQ buffet on the Lido Deck particularly when the ship is anchored in a picturesque anchorage. Locally caught seafood and fresh topical fruits feature along with local specialties such as kokoda (pronounced ko-kon-da), where fresh fish is marinated in coconut milk, lime and spices.

Pros

Intimate local knowledge, a predominantly Fijian crew and long held relationships with villages means an authentic Fijian experience from a (soon-to-be) Fijian-flagged ship built for expedition cruising

Cons

Crew are still familiarising themselves with a new-to-Fiji ship, so don’t be surprised if things are less-than-polished as the expedition program is fine-tuned

Bottom Line

Spacious, outward facing suites evoke a timeless elegance while an expedition focus is underpinned by Fijian people’s renowned friendliness and exceptional hospitality

About

Passengers: 114
Crew: 71
Passenger to Crew: 1.61:1
Launched: 1991

Fellow Passengers

Who Is Onboard Caledonian Sky?

Captain Cook Cruises has a loyal following of repeat travelers who are lured by a broad range of cruise itineraries visiting different parts of Fiji. The Fijian-based cruise company has typically attracted guests predominantly from Australia and New Zealand along with Americans and Canadians.

With the arrival of Caledonian Sky and the expansion of voyage itineraries to Tonga and Samoa the cruise company anticipates interest from a broader passenger demographic. On our Ultimate Lau and Kadavu and Remote North cruises, guests varied from twenty-something groups, a family with young children, retired couples and solo travelers.

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Caledonian Sky Cruiser Reviews

Caledonian Sky Kimberley Coastal Cruise

All the staff were friendly and Captain Mike was good fun and we enjoyed him singing a few numbers on party night on deck.We ate all our meals outdoors on the Lido deck as the weather was perfect every day.Read More
SuziOz

few6-10 Cruises

Age 60s

Not as good as it should be

The nature of these excursions off the beaten track does mean that things can go awry but I have travelled with Noble Caledonia on similar cruises in this region before and I thought these trips had been better organised, maybe because the NC staff seemed more hands-on rather than leaving a lot of the arrangements to local agents.This cruise was operated by Noble Caledonia who have chartered the ship for several years from APT who apparently have a share in NC.Read More
allesca

few6-10 Cruises

Age 70s

Adventure Cruising the Kinberley

On borad entertainment was terrific - Thanks Fran and Gus (Amazon Blue) There were no children on Board and to my knowledge no facilities for them.We loaded the zodiacs everyday to places many have never heard of much less travelled to - Lacepede Islands for turtles and boobies, Montgomery reef - a unique natural wonder, Talbot Bay and the Horizontal Waterfall, the Hunter River to crocodile spot, Raft point for ancient Gwion Gwion rock art, Vansittart Bay to cross the salt flats to see the remains of US Air Force DC3 (WWII)- still in remarkable condition, the King George Falls, and a flight from Wyndam to the Argyle Diamond Mine - no folks they did not give samples.Read More
Goingagin

many10+ Cruises

Age 70s

Noble Caledonia Fleet
Island Sky

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