Small Ship Cruising
New Zealand South Pacific
12 December 2019
APT's MS Caledonian Sky offers the ultimate expedition cruising experience with exclusive access to remote locations
Relax in the luxury and comfort of the stunning Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, overlooking the tranquil Lake Wakatipu
Immerse yourself in Maori culture with a visit to a local Maori Marae and take in a traditional welcome ceremony
All-inclusive sightseeing in 11 destinations
Nine night cruise aboard the elegant MS Caledonian Sky
Expert eight-member APT Expedition Team and Leader
All meals and beverages on board your ship
Use of Zodiac vessels for greater exploration
Transfers, port charges, sightseeing and park fees
Cruise the stunning and remote Doubtful and Dusky Sounds, taking in majestic scenery while looking out for wildlife
Explore the remote and volcanic White Island, identifiable by the plume of steaming vents, glittering yellow sulphur crystals and bubbling mud pots.
Enjoy a guided walk through Stewart Island, a sanctuary completely predator free for rare and endangered native birds.
DAY 1 Arrive Auckland, Embark Cruise
Arrive in Auckland today, New Zealand’s thriving multi-cultural hub located in the North Island. On arrival, be transferred to your elegant small ship, the MS Caledonian Sky, your home for the next nine nights. Set sail on your journey as you enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Drinks and a dinner on board tonight.
DAY 2 Tauranga, Rotorua
Visit a local Maori Marae where you will enjoy a traditional Maori welcome. Visitors to a Maori Marae must both be formally welcomed by the people of that place and partake in a welcoming ceremony before entering. Lunch will follow.
From our berth in Tauranga, you’ll travel inland to the thermal springs at Rotorua. Discover Wai-O-Tapu, an active geothermal area with hot springs, steaming ground and boiling mud pools. Marvel at the incredible palette of vibrant hues displayed in the pools, lakes and craters, and enjoy the melodic sounds of birds singing in the native forest. After witnessing the magical landscapes and geothermal activity, a Signature Experience is guaranteed to delight before returning to the ship in the late afternoon.
DAY 3 White Island
This morning, arrive at the remote and volcanic White Island. Weather permitting, you’ll board a Zodiac and take a guided tour to explore New Zealand’s most active volcano, identifiable by the plume of steam continually spouting from its crater. The sights are surreal; the main crater with towering walls, steaming vents, glittering yellow sulphur crystals, bubbling mud pots and a spectacular steaming lake. Later, enjoy an afternoon at sea as we make our way to Napier.
DAY 4 Napier
By the morning, your ship will have arrived in the beautiful, sunny town of Napier. Here, you’ll join a sightseeing tour of this affluent coastal city. Rebuilt after the devastating 1931 Hawkes Bay earthquake in the popular architectural style of the time, Napier’s amazing Art Deco facades and streetscapes are truly unique. You’ll also visit a regional local vineyard to sample the renowned local wines. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore the charismatic town, or join an excursion to Gannetry at Cape Kidnappers (own expense). Tonight, enjoy a delicious dinner on board.
DAY 5 Wellington
Situated at the southern stretch of New Zealand’s North Island, Wellington is often celebrated as the country’s creative, culinary and cultural capital. Regarded as ‘the coolest little capital in the world’, this harbour city is also infamous for its frequent and barrelling gales. From our central berth, you’ll explore Wellington on a guided afternoon walk, passing St Paul’s Cathedral, the parliament buildings, and the Botanical Gardens before spending time in the innovative Te Papa National Museum of New Zealand. Here, you’ll admire the wide range of interactive displays and the marvellous Maori collection. Later, enjoy time to explore this compact city at your own pace. Perhaps stroll down to the craggy shorelines, admire the sweeping views from one of the many hilltop lookouts or take to the vibrant city centre and wander through the plethora of galleries, boutiques and museums.
DAY 6 Akaroa
FREEDOM OF CHOICE™ - Sightseeing
In Akaroa today, you may choose to select from various excursions including a dolphin watching trip along the panoramic coastline or a guided historic walk in Akaroa, which continues through to the native bush of the Garden of Tane. You may also like to visit a historical working farm in the countryside before enjoying tea in the farm grounds after a tour. Or alternatively, you may simply wander the town and enjoy the local atmosphere.
On the south east of the Banks Peninsula, savour a full day of exploring the only French settlement in New Zealand – Akaroa.
DAY 7 Dunedin
FREEDOM OF CHOICE™ - Sightseeing
Join a guided tour of Dunedin’s 19th century buildings and the beautiful botanical gardens, which contain over 6,800 plant species. Alternatively, you may choose to drive to the Otago Peninsula to visit Penguin Place, where you will learn about the breeding and conservation program of the rare Yellow-eyed penguin that inhabit the coastal waters. You’ll also visit the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head.
This morning, you’ll dock in Dunedin. Known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, Dunedin both boasts Victorian and Edwardian architecture, as well as picturesque landscapes that are surrounded by dramatic hills and rugged beaches. After your Freedom of Choice Sightseeing activity, the afternoon is at your leisure to explore this wonderful city.
DAY 8 Stewart Island
After breakfast this morning, discover Stewart Island, New Zealand’s third-largest island and a wonderfully tranquil destination abundant with wildlife. Board a Zodiac and take in a morning on Ulva Island, enjoying a guided walk through dense vegetation of the open island sanctuary with your Expedition Team. Known as Stewart Island’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’, the island is completely predator free for rare and endangered native birds. Land at Oban with the chance to wander amongst the shops and see the Rakiura Museum. Alternatively, join a drive to Observation Rock, which boasts views over Iona and Ulva Island and the pristine beaches of the east coast.