Australia and New Zealand Christmas holiday on Noordam


Wrapped in holiday festivities, your voyage from Auckland includes Sydney's marvelous opera house, Fiordland National Park's scenic vistas and Wellington's stunning architecture.

Members from: $2,569 P.P Twin ShareNon-members from: $2,599 P.P Twin Share

  • Type

    Ocean Cruising

  • Destination

    Australia

  • Cruise Line

    Holland America

  • Supplier

    Holland America

  • Booking Code

    P9H14G

  • Departs

    21 December 2019



Itinerary

Auckland, New Zealand

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 Zealand—and 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.

Tauranga (Rotorua), New Zealand

The curved shoreline of the Bay of Plenty—known in Maori as Te Moana-a-Toi—is 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 lakes—plus an incredible redwood forest.

For the best views, take the gondola up to Skyline Rotorua, a recreation complex atop Mount Ngongotaha. Other day trips you should consider are a boat ride through the incomparable glowworm caves of Waitomo or an unforgettable tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata—a must for all Tolkien fans.

Napier, New Zealand

The Southern Hemisphere's answer to Miami Beach—at least when it comes to Art Deco architecture—Napier has a perfect mix of natural and manmade beauty. The historic district, which was mostly constructed in the 1930s after a massive earthquake and subsequent fires destroyed the city in 1931, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. As a delicious bonus, there's a thriving food and wine scene, too. Surrounded by the rolling vineyards of the Hawke's Bay wine region and edged by pristine waters, Napier has attracted a host of culinary innovators that has put it on the foodie map over the past two decades. Nature lovers, too, are drawn by this North Island city's scenic splendor and abundant wildlife. Down the coast, colonies of Australasian gannets thrive at Cape Kidnappers. Within the city, Norfolk Island pines line the seafront Marine Parade, a half dozen parks and gardens bloom from September to March (spring and summer Down Under), there are forested hiking trails and active pursuits range from cycling to golf. It's easy to enjoy yourself while soaking up Hawke's Bay's spectacular landscape.

Napier, New Zealand

The Southern Hemisphere's answer to Miami Beach—at least when it comes to Art Deco architecture—Napier has a perfect mix of natural and manmade beauty. The historic district, which was mostly constructed in the 1930s after a massive earthquake and subsequent fires destroyed the city in 1931, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. As a delicious bonus, there's a thriving food and wine scene, too. Surrounded by the rolling vineyards of the Hawke's Bay wine region and edged by pristine waters, Napier has attracted a host of culinary innovators that has put it on the foodie map over the past two decades. Nature lovers, too, are drawn by this North Island city's scenic splendor and abundant wildlife. Down the coast, colonies of Australasian gannets thrive at Cape Kidnappers. Within the city, Norfolk Island pines line the seafront Marine Parade, a half dozen parks and gardens bloom from September to March (spring and summer Down Under), there are forested hiking trails and active pursuits range from cycling to golf. It's easy to enjoy yourself while soaking up Hawke's Bay's spectacular landscape.

Wellington, New Zealand

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, it’s 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 day—but visitors will soon discover that even if it's wet and windy, it's always a good day to be in Wellington.

Days at sea

Akaroa (Christchurch), New Zealand

With a distinctly continental flair, which stands out against the country's Maori roots and British colonial history, Akaroa is New Zealand's only town to have originally been established by the French and is the oldest European settlement on the South Island. French settlers first arrived in 1840 only to discover that the British had been granted dominion of the country after the Treaty of Waitangi, but the French remained and left their mark. The long harbor of Akaroa sits along the Banks Peninsula, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Christchurch, sheltered by the crater of an extinct volcano. The bays surrounding the village have an especially high degree of biodiversity, including the largest colony of little penguins on New Zealand's mainland and the only natural habitat of Hector's dolphin, the smallest and rarest of that mammal family. The region's volcanic history also makes for dramatic geological formations, bucolic high-country farms and dazzling blue waterfronts. Should you stay within the picturesque town, you can stroll the historic rues, marveling at the colonial architecture, enjoying the French-inspired and Kiwi-made cheeses and wine, and soaking up the stunning scenery.

Port Chalmers (Dunedin), New Zealand

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 challenging—for 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.

Cruising Fiordland National Park

Every year, visitors flock to New Zealand in search of landscapes straight out of Middle Earth. They find what they're looking for in Fiordland National Park, on the southwestern coast of the South Island. This stunning 12,000-square-kilometer (4,633-square-mile) park encompasses mountains, lakes, fjords and rain forests. The area was once the home of Maori hunters; later, European whalers established small settlements here. But mostly, this region has seen a notable lack of human activity—the steep peaks and wet landscape deterred all but the hardiest people. That changed around the end of the 19th century, when travelers discovered the beautiful scenery of Fiordland. The national park was formally established in 1952.

Countless plant and animal species find a haven here. Among the park's rare birds is the flightless takahe, thought for decades to be extinct until it was spotted in the area in 1948. The natural wonders continue offshore: Seals, dolphins and whales frequent these waters.

Days at sea, days 9 -10

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania, once the butt of many jokes, is finally cool. The little Australian island is home to stunning landscapes, old-growth forests and exceptional local produce. Lording over all this goodness is Hobart, the island’s creative capital. Although its remoteness might once have made it feel provincial, the city has truly come into its own in recent years. It’s got one of the world’s best museums of contemporary art, vibrant markets, a cosmopolitan dining scene and eclectic music festivals. It’s also achingly beautiful, with a natural harbor setting and rugged Mount Wellington looming in the background.

The city is compact enough to easily explore on foot. Start at the sandstone area of Salamanca Place with its hip galleries, artist studios and bustling cafés and bars, and then roam the quaint streets of Battery Point, one of Hobart’s oldest neighborhoods. Immerse yourself in nature at the gorgeous Botanical Gardens or head out of town to learn more about Tasmania’s dark—but fascinating—past. Fuel up on the freshest seafood straight from the Southern Ocean down at the waterfront, or feast on gourmet Tassie produce at one of the many excellent restaurants in town. Whatever you choose to do, we promise you won’t be bored.

Port Arthur, Australia

The very small town of Port Arthur offers a fascinating introduction into the history and culture of Tasmania—indeed, of Australia as a whole. About a 100-kilometer (62-mile) drive southeast of Hobart, Tasmania's capital, Port Arthur is best known for its past as a penal colony. The Port Arthur convict settlement, which spreads over 40 hectares (100 acres), operated from the 1830s until 1877. Today its stone buildings make up one of several UNESCO-designated Australian Convict Sites on Tasmania. The whalers, miners, farmers and bushrangers who once lived in this region have given way to artists, foodies and rock climbers. The dramatic landscape ties it all together, infusing the identity of the people as well as the incredible food, drink and culture scene, for which Tasmania has become renowned. From the towering sea cliffs around Port Arthur to Hobart's historic Salamanca Place, southeast Tasmania holds much appeal for adventurous travelers. Add in artisan wineries and distilleries—and possibly one of the world's strangest museums—and you have a destination that’s easy to fall in love with.

Days at sea

Eden, New South Wales, Australia

Straddling national parkland and sparkling estuaries on the unspoiled Sapphire Coast of New South Wales just an hour north of the Victoria border, Eden lives up to its name. From secluded beaches and striped red cliffs to the emerald waters of Twofold Bay—the third-deepest natural harbor in the world—the town is an inspiring immersion into wilderness, even if you just have one day. The original settlers thought so too, establishing a thriving baleen-whale-hunting industry that was assisted by pods of local orcas. Visitors can learn about this amazing mammalian partnership at the Eden Killer Whale Museum, and can learn about some of the shipwrecks at the Green Cape Lightstation. Outdoor enthusiasts have ample opportunities for swimming, hiking, snorkeling and spotting humpback and southern right whales (between May and November; unfortunately, orcas no longer call the area home). And when you think all is said and done, there’s still native wildlife to meet and local art to appreciate—not to mention some of the country’s most prized oysters just waiting to be plucked from the sea.

Sydney, Australia

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 cool—the 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 harbour is among the top sights—home 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.

Speaking of water, when you plan what to do in Sydney, you will want to include the iconic beaches, where surfers, office workers and tourists alike converge on some of the most gorgeous shoreline scenery anywhere. Bondi, Bronte and Clovelly are all within easy reach of the Central Business District, as is Manly, a charming seaside town located a short ferry ride from Circular Quay. Beyond the city you'll discover UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the chance to encounter Australia's cuddliest wildlife—a perfect way to round out your envy-inducing Sydney photo collection.


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Disclaimer


Fares are cruise only, per person in AUD, in complete twin room as specified, based on lead categories at publication date, inclusive of all taxes, fees and port expenses (which are subject to change). Offers are based on Promo(s) NF/DF. Onboard spending money is for guests 1 and 2 sharing a stateroom and is offered in the following amounts: cruises 7-11 nights: interior and ocean-view staterooms receive US$50 per person (US$100 per stateroom); lanai and verandah staterooms receive US$75 per person (US$150 per stateroom), and suites receive US$150 per person (US$300 per stateroom); cruises 12+ nights: interior and ocean-view staterooms receive US$100 per person (US$200 per stateroom); lanai and verandah staterooms receive US$150 per person (US$300 per stateroom), and suites receive US$300 per person (US$600 per stateroom). Onboard spending money is in U.S. dollars and is non-refundable, non-transferable, not for cash value, expires at the end of that cruise, and may not be used in the casino. Guests who book a suite category stateroom receive one complimentary Cannaletto dinner and one complimentary Pinnacle Grill dinner per person and a Beverage Card valued at US$50 per person (US$100 per stateroom). Offers apply only to guests 1 and 2 in the stateroom and are not transferable or refundable nor redeemable for cash. Participants may order beverages one at a time and must be 21 years or older for alcoholic beverages. No sharing is permitted. Beverage management reserves the right to revoke the card if misused and to refuse service for any reason, including service of alcoholic beverages to intoxicated guests. Reservations and dining times will be assigned and a confirmation card will be placed in your stateroom upon embarkation day. Offer excludes Specialty Dining Events in the Pinnacle Grill such as Sel De Mer, De Librije, Master Chef’s Table and Sommelier Dinner. A credit card surcharge of 1.1% will apply to direct bookings made through our website or call centre. Travel agents may charge additional fees - check with your travel agent. To be read in conjunction with the Holland America Line Passage contract www.hollandamerica.com which guests will be bound by. Whilst all information is correct at time of publication, offers are subject to change or withdrawal. Carnival plc trading as Carnival Australia ABN 23 107 998 443 as agent for Holland America Line. Offer ends 30 June 2019. Ships’ Registry: The Netherlands.