Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.
Day Sydney, AustraliaDeparts 07:00 PM "If you want a snapshot of Australia's appeal, look no further than Sydney: The idyllic lifestyle, friendly locals and drop-dead natural beauty of this approachable metropolis and its attractions explain why the country tops so many travelers' wish lists. But Sydney is more than just the embodiment of classic antipodean coolthe city is in a constant state of evolution. A list of what to do in Sydney might start with the white-hot nightlife, with its new cocktail bars and idiosyncratic mixology dens. Inventive restaurants helmed by high-caliber chefs are dishing up everything from posh pan-Asian to Argentine street food, while the famous dining temples that put Sydney on the gastronomic map are still going strong too.
The famed harbor is among the top sightshome to twin icons the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it is the stepping-off point for some of the city's best cultural attractions and sightseeing. In one day you can sail around the harbor, get a behind-the-scenes tour of the opera house and climb the bridge, with time to spare for people-watching over a flat white at a waterfront café."
Day Eden, New South Wales, AustraliaArrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM This picturesque town near the border of New South Wales and Victoria was the site of a thriving shore-based whaling industry that depended on the cooperation of orcas, which herded baleen whales into Twofold Bay. Learn about it at the small but informative Killer Whale Museum. The Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre concentrates on smaller sea-life. Ben Boyds Tower looms over Disaster Bay in the scenic national park named after the eccentric 19th-century magnate. The towns name is unrelated to the biblical garden. It was named for George Eden, first Earl of Auckland.
Day At Sea
Day At Sea
Day Milford Sound, New Zealand / Cruising Fiordland Natl ParkArrives 07:00 AM Departs 11:00 AM / Cruising "Milford Sound, or Piopiotahi (its name in Maori), sits on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island and was first called the Eighth Wonder of the World by none other than Rudyard Kipling, who had seen some pretty wonderful places. As you sail up the 15-kilometer-long (nine-mile-long) sound, with soaring snow-topped peaks looming abovethe tallest reaches an altitude of 1,517 meters (4,977 feet)you'll understand Kipling's enthusiasm.
Although it is called a sound, it is technically a fjorda narrow inlet created by glacial erosion over thousands of years. While its geological history is long, its human history is not. It is believed that the Maori first explored the sound, and the rest of the area that is now part of Fiordland National Park, around 1,000 years ago; Captain Cook followed in 1770. But neither Maori nor Europeans created permanent settlements of any significance, and the land was pristine when Fiordland National Park, New Zealand's largest national park, was established in 1952. While many walking trails cross the park, the most breathtaking views are arguably those from the water, with the sheer rock faces looming above your ship as you sail through this majestic landscape."
Cruising Fiordland Natl Park
Day Port Chalmers (Dunedin), New ZealandArrives 10:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM "Much of New Zealand feels like England, by way of Polynesia. There are a few exceptions, though, such as the town of Akaroa, a former French settlement, and the distinctly Scottish city of Dunedin, named after the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh. After Dunedin was founded in 1848, city surveyor Charles Kettle attempted to impose Edinburgh's New Town grid plan on the growing city. But the Otago Peninsula's hilly landscape proved challengingfor evidence, note that Dunedin has one of the world's steepest streets (Baldwin Street). The volcanic remnants around the harbor make for a dramatic backdrop.
Dunedin's prominence during the gold rush in the late 19th century resulted in many grand Victorian and Edwardian buildings. Thanks to the beautiful University of Otago (the country's oldest), there's a large student population to keep the city vibrant and modern. But Dunedin's heritage is always proudly on display: The magnificent Dunedin Railway Station and Larnach Castle have been restored to their full glory, and the fascinating Toitu Otago Settlers Museum provides a glimpse into the lives of early residents. Outside the city, the Otago Peninsula is lined with scenic beaches and home to rare birdlife like the royal albatross and yellow-eyed penguin.
Day Lyttelton (Christchurch), New ZealandArrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM Known as the "Garden City" because of its beautiful parks and world-renowned gardens, Christchurch is also a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with exciting festivals, theatre, modern art galleries, great shopping and award-winning attractions. Named after the college at the University of Oxford in London, Christchurch is often described as the most English of New Zealand's cities. Located in the city center is Christchurch Cathedral, an outstanding example of Gothic Revival architecture. Other grey-stone nineteenth century buildings, tree-lined avenues and extensive leafy parks give the city its elegant, English atmosphere.
Day Kaikoura, New ZealandArrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM Backed by a range of the Southern Alps and fronted by a magnificent stretch of sea coast, Kaikoura on the eastern shore of New Zealands South Island is a wonderful place in which to contemplate nature. It is famous for whale- and Dolphin-watching, and for the large colony of Southern Fur Seals found nearby. The coastal areas also draw many pelagic seabirds such as albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters close to shore.
Day Wellington, New ZealandArrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM "New Zealand's cool little capital is located at the southern tip of the North Island, meaning it's blessed with a beautiful waterfront, fresh seafood and unpredictable weather. So famously tempestuous is Windy Welly that visitors quickly learn not to go outside without an umbrella and will spend more time than usual talking about the weather. Politics is a hot topic too, with government workers buzzing about the Beehive, as the distinctive Parliament building is colloquially known.
Wellington is also known for culture and cuisine. Learn about Maori history and Kiwiana at Te Papa, the national museum; go behind the scenes of the Lord of the Rings movies made in Wellywood; and wash down a plate of chilled bluff oysters with a crisp sauvignon blanc at a Cuba Street restaurant.
Gourmands are spoiled for choice with the city's many coffee microroasteries, craft breweries, innovative chefs and artisanal markets. Fortunately for your waistline, its also a terrific city for walking, hiking and cycling, with a compact historic core hugged by green hills and dotted with impossibly perched houses. They say you can't beat Wellington on a good daybut visitors will soon discover that even if it's wet and windy, it's always a good day to be in Wellington.
Day Gisborne, New ZealandArrives 11:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM "Gisborne district lies on the northeastern corner of the central North Island. The only city is Gisborne (population 35,000). Gisborne is about six or seven hours drive from Auckland, three hours from Napier to the south and a little longer from Tauranga and Rotorua in the west.
Gisborne District offers some of New Zealands best coastal scenery and beaches in uncrowded, often remote settings. The interior is rugged and mountainous bush country which is largely inaccessible except for around beautiful Lake Waikaremoana to the south west. Freedom camping up and down the coast is popular in summer, as are exploring the vineyards, fishing, surfing and generally enjoying the safe and sandy beaches."
Day Tauranga (Rotorua), New ZealandArrives 08:15 AM Departs 06:45 PM "The curved shoreline of the Bay of Plentyknown in Maori as Te Moana-a-Toiis home to incredible surfing, white-sand beaches and New Zealand's only active marine volcano. Tauranga, with 130,000 residents, is the largest city on the Bay of Plenty and fifth largest in New Zealand. The city offers visitors a number of water-focused activities, like sailing and kayaking, as well as drier alternatives such as shopping and people-watching at a café in the Historic Village.
Tauranga is also a great jumping-off point for exploring nearby beaches and Te Puke, the kiwifruit capital of the world, as well as a wealth of Maori cultural sites. The world-famous geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, nicknamed Sulfur City, has been a major Polynesian spa resort town since visitors first arrived in the late 1800s. In Maori, roto means lake and rua means two, but Rotorua actually comprises 18 lakesplus an incredible redwood forest."
Day Auckland, New ZealandArrives 08:00 AM "New Zealand's biggest city deserves more than a layover. Auckland is multicultural and cosmopolitan, with sizeable Polynesian, Asian and Maori populations enriching its history and broadening the palate. Internationally known chefs and fashion designers have made neighborhoods like Ponsonby, Newmarket and Parnell world-class destinations for shopping and dining.
You're never far from water attractions in New Zealandand this is especially true in Auckland where it's not unheard of for downtown workers to go kayaking on their lunch break. The once-gritty port has been transformed into inviting public spaces and buzzing nightclubs, with sailboat charters and regular ferry connections waiting to whisk visitors around the harbor for sightseeing.
Start your day sipping a flat white while you plan your explorations: art gallery crawl, winery tour or volcano hike? It's possible to do all three without losing sight of the Sky Tower, one of Auckland's top tourist attractions, from which you can get a bird's-eye view of the gateway to Aotearoa.