Get ready for jaw-dropping scenery, vibrant Maori culture and mellow beaches during a tour of New Zealand. This dynamic destination is divided up into two halves, the North and South islands. You’ll find a cosmopolitan sensibility in the North Island’s cities like Wellington and Auckland, while the South features spectacular fjords, lakes and vistas. Have a wander along the epic Milford Track or take in a Maori haka dance. Spend your days surfing, mountain biking or wine tasting in this beautifully pristine pocket of the world.
Auckland, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Tauranga, New Zealand
Dunedin, New Zealand
Auckland enjoys a scenic setting with its two spacious harbours. Viaduct Harbour is a favourite of superyachts, lined with glittering cafes and upscale bars. Head up to the top of the Sky Tower for panoramic city views – you can give bungee jumping a try if you’re feeling brave! Get out into the Hauraki Gulf to explore nearby islands, or stay in the city to relax in Auckland Domain park with its lush winter gardens.
New Zealand’s capital city is compact and colourful, with a working harbour surrounded by traditional timber homes. The city is surrounded by nature, so you can soak in the sun at Oriental Bay beach or go sea-water kayaking. Take a ride in the iconic red cable car up to Kelburn to admire the view, see native wildlife at the Wellington Zoo, or stay on the waterfront to visit the national Te Papa Tongarewa Museum.
This gorgeous fiord was named the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ by Rudyard Kipling for its striking natural beauty, a landscape of towering mountain peaks, rainforests, and crashing waterfalls. This natural setting is home to many creatures, allowing you to see colonies of fur seals, pods of dolphins and nesting penguins. Visit the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory to get a glimpse under the seas.
Swiftly-growing Tauranga is a vibrant city in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty region. Stroll around The Strand waterfront area to watch the world go by in a restaurant or pub. It’s also the place to book a diving trip or arrange a dolphin tour! The city is connected by bridge to popular beach town Mount Maunganui with its warm saltwater pools, or you can explore the geothermal activity at Waiotapu nature reserve.
Dunedin offers a truly unique blend of traditional Maori and Scottish culture, with a scenic South Island location along Otago Harbour. There’s a sizeable student population in this charming Victorian university town, and it offers gateway access to the beautiful Otago Peninsula with its native yellow-eyed penguins and sea lions. Take a journey on Dunedin Railways, or stroll through the gardens at Larnach Castle.
There’s something to be said for visiting New Zealand at any time of year, but the primary cruising season is during the peak summer months between December and February. You’ll find some good deals on the outer edges of this peak season, particularly November and March. The weather’s generally sunny and mild during this time period, although you should always be prepared for a sudden rain spell with plenty of layers! The farther north you travel, the higher the temperature you can expect, with areas of the far north qualifying as downright tropical.
Whether you’re after a sophisticated urban adventure or rugged outdoor excursion, New Zealand won’t disappoint. Auckland is its most populous city, with a thriving art scene and maritime heritage. Wellington is New Zealand’s capital, where you can ride cable cars, visit cultural museums like Te Papa and take a day trip into the Tararua Mountains. Dunedin boasts a decidedly Scottish feel, with Victorian buildings and the country’s sole whisky distillery. And if you want to get out and explore the countryside, sail around the picturesque Bay of Islands or cruise through the dramatic Fiordland with its peaks and lush forests.
If you’re travelling with a British passport, you can visit New Zealand for up to six months without arranging a separate visa. Your passport should be valid for at least one month past your arranged departure date, and you might need to provide adequate proof of funds (a credit card will usually suffice). New Zealand’s also quite strict about their biosecurity to protect the natural environment, which means you can’t bring any food into the country, particularly meat, honey, fruit or dairy produce. You’ll need to keep these on the ship or bin them before you venture onshore!
There’s a British slant to New Zealand cuisine, so you’ll find fish and chips in the cafes of Dunedin or Wellington. However, these islands are also influenced by Western European South Pacific and local Maori culinary traditions, making fine use of locally sourced seafood, lamb and produce. Give traditional Maori dishes like hangi, a slow-cooked blend of meat and vegetables, a try, or dine in succulent grilled crayfish and honeycomb-flavoured ‘Hokey pokey’ ice cream. Kiwis put their own spin on the basic burger by adding beetroot and a fried egg, and you’ll find tender roast lamb on the menu just about everywhere.
Smith, Wirral on 5th Jun 2018
My highlight was going to a Maori village and seeing the Haka and rubbing noses with the villagers . I will never ever forget it
Libecans, Nottinghamshire on 30th Apr 2018
What an amazing way to see this absolutely fabulous country especially onboard the fantastic Golden Princess, food delicious, staff amazing, very friendly and cocktails to die for!