New Zealand’s 27 regions stretch more than 1,600 kilometres across two main islands and offers the traveller a journey of breathtaking natural wonder. Aboard our nimble small ship the MS Caledonian Sky, we will start our coastal-hugging exploration on the North Island learning of Maori culture, exploring volcanic and geothermal terrains, calling into tranquil bays and visiting its iconic cities. The South Island is a sweeping, vast area of unparalleled landscape; towering Alps tumbling into azure waters, rolling green hills cradling rugged coastline and sweeping plains dotted by world-renowned vineyards. New Zealand is a nature lover’s paradise and rewards the traveller with unique marine, bird and wildlife.
Our voyage around the North and South Islands will allow us to drop anchor in the remote bays, navigate channels, fjords and rivers and call into harbours both large and small. With our Zodiac landing craft we will be able to land in otherwise inaccessible places making the most of New Zealand’s extraordinary natural attractions.
This cruise is not classified as an expedition cruise, however Zodiac landing crafts will be used on some days to explore coastlines and to transport passengers ashore. On some days we will be visiting remote destinations which are only accessible by Zodiacs.
Please note price includes return flights to/from London. For non-use of these flights there is a reduction in price. Contact us for more information.
New Zealand Coastal Voyage itinerary:
Day 1 - LONDON TO HONG KONG.
Fly by scheduled flight.
Day 2 - HONG KONG.
Day 2 - HONG KONG
Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the Harbour Grand Kowloon Hotel (or similar) for an overnight night stay. Remainder of day at leisure.
Day 3 - HONG KONG TO AUCKLAND
Morning Hong Kong tour including Victoria Peak and Stanley Market. After lunch in a local restaurant we transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Auckland.
Day 4 - AUCKLAND
Arrive this morning and transfer to the Crowne Plaza Hotel (or similar) for an overnight stay. The remainder of the day is free for individual exploration in this city famous for its wonderful diversity of landscape, two sparkling harbours and the attractions associated with a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city.
Day 5 - AUCKLAND
A morning tour will include the city’s highlights and the Auckland Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of Polynesian artefacts. After lunch in a local restaurant we will transfer to the MS Caledonian Sky which is moored in the city.
Day 6 - TAURANGA FOR ROTORUA
This morning we will drive to the famous thermal springs Wai-O-Tapu at Rotorua to see the geysers and pools of bubbling mud. We also visit a local Maori Marae where we will enjoy a traditional Maori welcome and lunch.
Day 7 - WHITE ISLAND
Arrive this morning at White Island. Weather permitting, there will be an excursion to explore the active volcano on White Island, identifiable by the plume of steam continually spouting from its crater. We will use the Zodiacs to reach the island and then spend approximately three hours on a guided walk to the crater. Afternoon cruising.
Day 8 - NAPIER
Arrive this morning in Napier and join a tour of the town which will include its charming Art Deco buildings. Totally rebuilt after the 1931 Hawkes Bay earthquake, it has enormous style. Nowhere else can you see such a variety of buildings in the styles of the 1930s - Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission, and above all Art Deco, the style of the 20th century. Napier’s Art Deco is unique, with Maori motifs and the buildings of Louis Hay, admirer of the great Frank Lloyd Wright. Walk along Marine Parade, see the Botanical Gardens and take in the view from Bluff Hill Lookout before visiting a local vineyard to sample the local wines. This afternoon is free for independent exploration of the town or alternatively join the optional excursion to the gannetry at Cape Kidnappers where you are able to get amazingly close to the birds. The 13 hectare reserve includes the Saddle and Black Reef gannet colonies.
Day 9 - WELLINGTON
Enjoy a relaxing Christmas morning at sea and lunch onboard. We have the afternoon in the nation’s capital. An excursion will include the Parliament buildings, Old St Paul’s Cathedral, a lovely all-wood structure which was erected in 1866, and the superb Botanic Gardens.
Day 10 - SHIP COVE, MARLBOROUGH SOUNDS AND PICTON
Morning expedition cruising in Ship Cove where Captain James Cook spent much of his time in New Zealand. We will look out for playful dolphins and a variety of seabirds. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon in Picton including a tour to the famous Marlborough wine producing region. See some of the 3000 hectares of vineyards and taste some of the Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon for which the area is justly famous.
Day 11 - KAIKOURA.
Today we are in Kaikoura, a famous whale watching area due to its nutrient rich waters. The combination of very deep waters and the mixing of cold and warm waters brings the nutrients to the top. After breakfast there will be opportunities to join a whale watching cruises looking out for sperm whales, pods of dusky and common seals and the wandering albatross. Spend the afternoon exploring the town independently or join one of the nature walks or maybe take an optional trip on one of the bird watching cruises. There is an abundance of birdlife in the area including Great Albatross, Shearwater, Petrels, Prions and Shag.
Day 12 - CHRISTCHURCH.
Today enjoy a morning city tour of this most British of cities. The tour will include an overview of the city and we will see how it has recovered from the devastating earthquake. We will view the Southern Alps from the Port Hills and a tour of the International Antarctic Centre. Alternatively, join an optional full day tour on the Tranz Alpine Express Train to Arthurs Pass in the heart of the Southern Alps.
Day 13 - DUNEDIN
Morning cruising. This afternoon we will explore Dunedin on a guided tour. See the gracious 19th century buildings including the magnificent railway station and the beautiful botanical gardens, the oldest in New Zealand and containing over 6800 plant species.
Day 14 - STEWART ISLAND
New Zealand’s third island is well off the usual beaten tourist track. It is a wonderfully tranquil place, the scenery of untouched bushland is stunning. We will visit Oban, see the fascinating Rakiura Museum and drive along some of the 15 miles of sealed road to some of the beauty spots. We also hope to use our Zodiacs around Half Moon Bay and the Paterson Inlet. The bird life here is amazing, red crowned parakeets, black oyster catchers, sooty shearwaters, tuis, bellbirds, kakas and fearless wekas.
Days 15 & 16 - FJORDLAND
We have two days to explore the incredible wilderness of fjords to the south of Milford Sound. This is an area of majestic scenery, rich in wildlife, which is only accessible by sea, making it the most remote region of New Zealand. Our schedule may include Resolution Bay, Dusky Sound and Deep Cove, but final itinerary decisions will be made by the Captain and Expedition Leader based on weather conditions.
Day 17 - MILFORD SOUND TO QUEENSTOWN.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Queenstown for a two night stay at the Novotel Queenstown (or similar). Remainder of day at leisure.
Day 18 - QUEENSTOWN
Today you have the choice of exploring Queenstown independently or joining an optional Dart River Wilderness Safari.
Day 19 - QUEENSTOWN TO LONDON
Morning free before an early afternoon transfer to the airport for the flight to Auckland and onward flight to London
Day 20 - LONDON.
Arrive this afternoon.
The MS Caledonian Sky accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in 57 spacious outside suites. Many have walk-in wardrobes and some feature tub baths. There will be seven categories of suites and sixteen suites will have private balconies. For those familiar with the MS Island Sky she will feel like a second home, although there are some differences. The dining room, lounge, Lido Deck and bar are all similar. However, the ‘Club’ on the MS Caledonian Sky has been transported to the very top deck. Here, there is a library and bar which leads out on to a lovely forward deck. The ‘Club’ has wonderful views with ceiling to floor windows.
If you like the MS Island Sky, we are sure you will also approve of her sister. And, of course it is important that we offer the very best of facilities. However, equally as important are the staff on board whether they are the vessel’s crew or our own expedition staff. Noble Caledonia’s reputation has been built on providing the very best in all areas. Their crew of 74 not only offer an excellent service they are also noted for their kindness and attention to detail. A well run ship with a warm atmosphere is what we are known for, and it is because most of our crew have been with us for many years that we are able to engender such an atmosphere.
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. The passenger accommodation is arranged over four decks and all suites have outside views. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, hot towel rack and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or bath tub.
Facilities in the suites also include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, mini-fridge, flat screen television, telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort.
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. In addition there is the Club Lounge on the Panoramic Deck which features a bar. The onboard travel library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. Outside there is a rear Lido deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. On the top deck there is a further observation and sun deck with bar service and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. There is also a small gymnasium onboard and hairdressers with appointments made on request.
With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the quality of cuisine will be of a consistent superior quality. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, our accomplished chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order and lunch and dinner is à la carte. When weather permits, breakfast, a buffet-style lunch and dinner are also served on deck. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and tea and coffee are available 24 hours. With sufficient notice, most diets can be catered for on board.
For your comfort, safety and security
The vessel is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilisers to minimise the ship’s motion. The Captain and officers operate an open-bridge policy that allows passengers onto the bridge at most times with the exception of arrival and departure from port and during times of complicated navigation. Here you can check the ship’s progress by charts and learn more from the officers about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to outside decks only.
Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included them in your holiday price. In addition we tip all their guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you.
- Travel the length of New Zealand's two main islands, and Stewart Island
- Breathtaking natural scenery, iconic cities and friendly people
- Experience Maori culture
- Explore volcanic and geothermal terrain - mudpools, geysers
- View vast landscapes, high mountains, stunning fjord, rivers and harbours
- Unique marine life, birdlife, wildlife