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Small Ship Cruising New Zealand
with AdventureSmith

AdventureSmith’s New Zealand cruises let you experience this diverse country in an active, efficient way. From Auckland on the North Island all the way down to Milford Sound and the sub-Antarctic islands, let our experienced team guide you through the wide array of New Zealand small ship cruises and expedition ships. Why choose to book your New Zealand cruise with us?

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Personalized

Work with one dedicated U.S.-based specialist to purchase & prepare for your New Zealand cruise.

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Selection

We can match you with trusted New Zealand small cruise ships, all under 150 guests.

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Experience

Our relationships with reputable New Zealand operators result in tried & trusted cruises.

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Active

Our small ship cruises include guided hiking, skiff rides & even flightseeing.

An aerial view of Fiordland National Park near Milford Sound in New Zealand showing a small cruise ship in the green water fjord and towering mountains.

Find the Best Milford Sound Cruise

What makes the best Milford Sound cruise? Experiencing more of Fiordland National Park than this iconic fjord. Yep, that means actually leaving Milford Sound to explore the more remote reaches of the greater Fiordland National Park. All of our New Zealand-focused small ship cruises of course include this iconic hotspot with its towering Mitre Peak and Sirling and Bowen falls, but they quickly leave the day boats behind to explore in true AdventureSmith style—away from ports and into the wilderness. Fiordland National Park is more than 1.2 million hectares in size so there is a lot to explore! Look for Doubtful, Breaksea and Dusky Sounds as well as Preservation and Chalky Inlets added to Milford Sound cruise itineraries with AdventureSmith. 

Two hikers' silhouettes in the fog mist high up in the New Zealand mountains with snow covered peaks.

Include New Zealand with Your Antarctica Cruise

Another unique way to include cruising New Zealand in your travel plans is to embark or disembark here on an Antarctica cruise itinerary. You’ll explore a far less visited region of Antarctica including the Ross Sea and New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic Islands like the Auckland Islands and Campbell Island. On these routes you’ll spend way more time below the Polar Circle than an average Antarctica itinerary as well as be able to continue your travels in New Zealand. New Zealand Antarctica cruises embark from either Dunedin or Bluff, the country’s “most southerly” town. 

“Quickly leave the day boats behind to explore in true AdventureSmith style—into the wilderness.”

Climate

Small Ship Cruising New Zealand

Temperature & Rainfall

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg. High (F)717166595347465055606468
Avg. Low (F)494945393631303336394247
Avg. Rainfall (Inches)2.21.71.91.92.62.82.71.91.81.71.92.2

The New Zealand Cruising Season

The most popular cruise New Zealand is during November through April, when temperatures are warmer and rainfall is less. Since New Zealand is an island in the South Pacific, with miles of ocean in every direction, a maritime climate prevails bringing warm summer months (Dec-March) and mild winters. Weather patterns are strongly affected by the prevailing westerly breezes, which bring moisture from the Tasman Sea to the western side of both islands so you’ll find the longest New Zealand cruise routes along the sheltered eastern shore. Note that the climate data referenced above is for South Island’s Queenstown, a common gateway for accessing Milford Sound cruises. 

When to Plan Your New Zealand Cruise?