Explore Fiji with Jean-Michel Cousteau
New series of one-off tours offers luxury adventure with a personal touch
Jean-Michel Cousteau, the oceanographer and environmental film-maker, will host a week-long undersea adventure in Fiji next year, combining luxury accommodation with a unique introduction to a fragile and fascinating ecosystem.
The programme is organised by ThirdHome Adventures, an offshoot of the luxury house-swapping platform ThirdHome. While the Exchange programme is open only to the owners of “qualifying homes” - ie property on a par with their existing roster of suites, mansions, castles and yachts - the Adventures are open to all.
After an inaugural voyage along the Amazon, the company persuaded Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter, Mariel, to host an expedition to Cuba. Earlier this year she guided guests through Havana and the seaside village of Cojimar, reminiscing about the locations and experiences that had inspired her father.
“Mariel was so gracious and fun,” said Marilyn and John Connelly, who joined the Adventure. “It was like touring with royalty.”
The Fiji itinerary promises a similar personal touch. Jean-Michel Cousteau will share the knowledge and expertise he has built up in seven decades of diving - he first donned a mask at the age of seven with his father Jacques.
The programme can be tailored according to the diving ability of individual guests, ranging from beginner to advanced. Full tuition and certification are available. Snorkelling excursions led by Cousteau and his resident marine biologist, Johnny Singh, will provide an alternative perspective, as will cultural visits to surrounding islands.
“Our members don’t want to go and sit on a beach for a week,” says Wade Shealy, founder and chief executive of ThirdHome. “They want to learn and see and taste and do.”
For members of the Exchange Club looking for some post-Adventure R&R, the secluded Raiwsa Private Retreat (below) offers unparallelled luxury and privacy, set in three acres of gardens and tended by a staff of 12.
Future Adventures include a two-week luxury safari in eastern and southern Africa, starting with a gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda, and ending up with a cruise along the Chobe river in Botswana and a visit to Victoria Falls.
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Fiji Island Hideaway Adventure, £5,080 per person at today’s exchange rate, based on two sharing, including seven nights accommodation, full board, excursions and some watersports. International flights not included