Opened in 2013, a floating bar flows gently in the turquoise waters about 45 minutes adrift of the west coast of Fiji.
The boat, named Cloud 9, hovers above the Roro Reef in the Mamanuca archipelago and was designed by Fiji-based architect Lisa Philp. Equipped with kayaks, jet skis, surfboards, and snorkelling gear, Cloud 9 has a wood-burning pizza oven and cold beers at the ready.
In what started as a pipe dream for co-founder Bar’el Wachtel, the company set about keeping Cloud 9 as close to their roots as possible and built the structure predominantly with the use of local wood: mahogany, raintree and treated pine. “Prior to Cloud 9, Fiji was famous for family getaways and swaying palms, but it was really, really quiet,” Wachtel told CNN. “There’s still not a lot to do, but Cloud 9 offers a gathering spot for people to come from all the hotels and experience a different kind of place.”
“Here in Fiji, there is the government and then there are the landowners, the indigenous custodians of any area. Gaining their support is crucial to being able to operate everywhere in Fiji,” explains Wachtel.
“It allows guests to access the reef in a way that’s not possible if we were to have just set up on land.”
The boat can hold 92 people and the organisers plan day trips. The vessel continues to float out at sea and, once you’ve bought a ticket, you’ll be given a lift to Cloud 9. Tickets cost around £82 and it includes vouchers for food.