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New Zealand - Aotearoa - The Natural Elements

From: $5990
9 days • Level 1 (Details)New Zealand - Aotearoa - The Natural Elements
The New Zealand - Aotearoa small ship cruise explores the coastline between Milford Sound and Auckland over 13 or 9 days. The pristine landscapes and stunning natural features of the Land of the Long White Cloud are timeless attractions. Spouting geysers, bubbling thermal pools, fjords, glaciers, snow-capped mountains, rivers and sweeping stretches of white sandy beaches enshrine the cou ntry's natural heritage, forever protected in 14 national parks.

New Zealand’s spectacular landscapes, lush forests, amazing wildlife and pleasant climate make it a haven for many outdoor activities, and a great place to unwind. Its society is diverse, sophisticated and multicultural. The honesty, friendliness and openness of Kiwis will impress you, as the Maori people (Pacific Islanders) are happy to share their living culture with like-minded visitors. The great advantage of New Zealand is that all of its diverse physical, cultural and artistic landscapes are so close to each other. New Zealand is a country that will welcome you gladly!
read more The New Zealand - Aotearoa small ship cruise explores the coastline between Milford Sound and Auckland over 13 or 9 days. The pristine landscapes and stunning natural features of the Land of the Long White Cloud are timeless attractions. Spouting geysers, bubbling thermal pools, fjords, glaciers, snow-capped mountains, rivers and sweeping stretches of white sandy beaches enshrine the country's natural heritage, forever protected in 14 national parks.

New Zealand’s spectacular landscapes, lush forests, amazing wildlife and pleasant climate make it a haven for many outdoor activities, and a great place to unwind. Its society is diverse, sophisticated and multicultural. The honesty, friendliness and openness of Kiwis will impress you, as the Maori people (Pacific Islanders) are happy to share their living culture with like-minded visitors. The great advantage of New Zealand is that all of its diverse physical, cultural and artistic landscapes are so close to each other. New Zealand is a country that will welcome you gladly!
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Day 1 - Queenstown & Milford Sound

Day 2 - Doubtful Sound

Day 3 - Dusky Sound

Day 4 - Stewart Island

Day 5 - Discover Dunedin

Day 6 - Gallic Akaroa

Day 7 - Kaikoura Whalewatching

Day 8 - Marlborough Sounds

Day 9 - Coastal Cruise

Day 10 - Art Deco Napier

Day 11 - Gisborne & Maori Culture

Day 12 - White Island Volcano

Day 13 - Disembark Auckland


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Day 1 - Queenstown & Milford Sound

This morning join a chartered coach in Queenstown for the scenic drive along the shores of beautiful Lake Te Anau before entering World Heritage-listed Fiordland National Park. Enjoy breathtaking alpine scenery and pass through the remarkable 1,200 metre Homer Tunnel before emerging to unforgettable views of Milford Sound’s Mitre Peak. After boarding Oceanic Discoverer, depart Milford Sound at 2:00pm and enjoy your first experience of the spectacular deep Fiordland waterways. This evening enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Drinks while absorbing Milford Sound’s natural beauty before the first of many delicious dinners.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Oceanic Discoverer
MEALS:
lunch and dinner

Day 2 - Doubtful Sound

Awaken this morning to the magnificent scenery of Doubtful Sound. The deepest of the sounds, Doubtful was named by Captain Cook in 1770 and is often described as Fiordland’s most spectacular waterway. Aboard Xplorer and the Zodiacs join informative guest lecturers on guided excursions through the maze of cliffs and waterways. Keep an eye out for penguins, seals and a myriad of marine and bird life as you explore what is considered to be the most strikingly beautiful of the national park's fiords.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Oceanic Discoverer
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3 - Dusky Sound

Join the expedition crew on an exploratory cruise through rarely visited Dusky Sound, among an array of islands, marine and bird life. Land at historic Astronomer’s Point, where Captain Cook anchored his ship Resolution using a tree as a gangway, a tree that still exists today. Rejoin Oceanic Discoverer to cruise the spectacular passages through the fiord before a further expedition around the coastline of Pidgeon Island and Facile Harbor where you are sure to encounter New Zealand fur seals, penguins, dolphins and other wildlife.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Oceanic Discoverer
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4 - Stewart Island

Discover the natural delights and scenic beauty of Stewart Island, a large island that is almost totally wilderness and home to a vast number of seals, birds and other wildlife. Landing ashore at Paterson Inlet, join a guided walk to encounter native birds such as the Weka, Tui, Bellbird, Kaka and New Zealand’s iconic national bird, the kiwi. Unlike other species of kiwis, the Stewart Island kiwi is active both during the day and night and is often seen foraging on the beach for sandhoppers and other insects.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Oceanic Discoverer
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5 - Discover Dunedin

The Otago Harbour welcomes you as the Oceanic Discoverer cruises past the world’s largest mainland albatross colony at Tairoa Heads, also home to the world rarest penguin, the yellowed-eyed penguin. Of Scottish heritage, Dunedin offers a great diversity of experiences from abundant wildlife to the historic Edwardian and Victorian architecture, the Otakou Maori Marae, the famous Speights Brewery, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Settlers Museum and New Zealand’s oldest botanical gardens. A full day in port provides you the option to explore areas of interest at your leisure.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Oceanic Discoverer
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6 - Gallic Akaroa

This morning cruise into secluded Akaroa Harbor, a very scenic village nestled in the heart of an active volcano. Stroll through the village, discovering its French history, cosy cafes and excellent craft stores. Enjoy optional shore excursions, perhaps swimming with one of the smallest and rarest dolphins – the Hector’s or New Zealand dolphin (additional expense).
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Oceanic Discoverer
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7 - Kaikoura Whalewatching

The scenic coastal town of Kaikoura is renowned as possibly the world’s best destination for whale watching and one of the few places in the world where it is possible to view the giant sperm whale in its natural environment. Join a special cruise to discover these majestic mammals along with fur seals, dolphins and other migratory whales, an experience never to be forgotten. Enjoy time for a stroll around the pretty coastal town before reboarding Oceanic Discoverer.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Oceanic Discoverer
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8 - Marlborough Sounds

Your arrival to the dark green hills and blue-green waters of the Sounds is highlighted with a cruise through the scenic Tory Channel. Spend the day exploring an array of spectacular waterways including the fiord-like Queen Charlotte Sound. Retracing the history of Captain Cook, visit Ships Cove, a regular stop for Captain Cook on his voyage of discovery and the place where he careened the Endeavor. The day offers a multitude of explorations aboard Xplorer and inflatable Zodiacs under the guidance of your Expedition Leader and with interpretation from experienced guest lecturers. We offer guided visits to Moturoa Island where it’s possible to view a variety of New Zealand’s iconic native birdlife.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Oceanic Discoverer
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 9 - Coastal Cruise

A day of leisure at sea. Take in the scenic coast, read or join informative presentations from qualified guest lecturers detailing the early settlers and Maori culture in preparation of your visit to a small Maori Marae and Gisborne the location of the first European landing.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Oceanic Discoverer
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 10 - Art Deco Napier

In 1931 Napier was all but destroyed by an earthquake measuring some 7.9 on the Richter Scale. The city’s rebuild followed the flourishing art deco trend in America and Europe of that time, and as such, Napier features a wonderful heritage of art deco architecture. Explore the sights of the city. Perhaps stroll Marine Parade, the city’s delightful seaside boulevard which retains its air of an old-fashioned English seaside resort, complete with a pebble beach.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Oceanic Discoverer
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 11 - Gisborne & Maori Culture

This morning arrive in historic Gisborne, the first European landing place in New Zealand. Captain Cook first arrived here in 1769 and a European settlement was established in 1831. Your exploration begins with a visit to a small Marae for an exclusive Maori cultural experience including a traditional welcome, guided tour and Kapa Haka cultural show. This afternoon explore Gisborne at your own pace, with the opportunity to discover the historic city at your leisure or join an optional guided tour exploring the city’s beautiful gardens and renowned vineyards.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Oceanic Discoverer
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 12 - White Island Volcano

Following breakfast, embark on an excursion to explore the active White Island volcano, identifiable by the plume of steam continually spouting from its crater. Traveling ashore aboard Xplorer and a fleet of Zodiacs, join the expedition staff on a guided walk to the crater, which resembles a moonscape. Enjoy the rare opportunity to view the heart of an active volcano and see a build up of gas and steam escaping from the earth. This evening, enjoy the Captain’s farewell cocktails as you make our way to Auckland while reminiscing about this wonderful one-in-a-lifetime journey.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Oceanic Discoverer
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 13 - Disembark Auckland

Your arrival into Auckland, the City of Sails, signals the end of your voyage of discovery in New Zealand. Farewell your travelling companions, the Captain and his crew before disembarkation at 8:00am.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
n/a
MEALS:
breakfast

Alternative Itinerary

In addition to the 13-day main itinerary, there are two 9-day departures traveling between Wellington and Milford Sound.

9 Day Wellington to Milford Sound (or Reverse)
Day 1 - Wellington
Day 2 - Marlborough Sound
Day 3 - Kaikoura Whalewatching
Day 4 - Gallic Akaroa
Day 5 - Discover Dunedin
Day 6 - Stewart Island
Day 7 - Dusky Sound
Day 8 - Doubtful Sound Day 9 - Milford Sound & Queenstown

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain's discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Arrival & Departure

The New Zealand - Aotearoa 13-day cruise begins in and ends in either Auckland or Queenstown/Milford Sound. Boarding commences at 4:00pm in Auckland for a 5:00pm departure; you will need to organize a taxi or hotel transfer to the dock. For the Milford Sound departures, join the chartered coach in Queenstown at approximately 7:00am for the scenic drive to Milford Sound and board Oceanic Discoverer in Milford Sound at 2:00pm for a 3:00pm departure. In Auckland, Oceanic Discoverer departs from either Princes Wharf or Queens Wharf; notification will be provided of the exact wharf on guest documentation. Oceanic Discoverer departs from the Milford Sound Wharf in Milford Sound. A complimentary coach transfer from Queenstown to Milford Sound is available on departure day for the itinerary departing from Milford Sound. Disembarkation is after breakfast on final day at 8:00am. Please schedule flights accordingly.
Book This TripAsk an ExpertNew Zealand - Aotearoa - The Natural Elements Route Map

New Zealand - Aotearoa - The Natural Elements Route Map


Start/End DateShipPrice 
1  Alternate Itinerary Available  Jan 11 - Jan 23, 2015Oceanic Discoverer$8490 - $10990View Details
  Alternative Itinerary

Reverse

  Reverse itinerary begins in Auckland and ends in Queenstown.

Main Deck B - $8490

Located close to the Dining Room, 6 spacious Main Deck (Cat. B) staterooms are 195 square feet in size and feature twin portholes for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
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Main Deck A - $8990

Located close to the Dining Room, 6 spacious Main Deck (Cat. A) staterooms are 195 square feet in size and feature large, twin porthole windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
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Promenade Deck B - $9990

Located in the bow of the ship and encircled by a full-ship promenade, two Promenade Deck (Cat. B) staterooms are 160 square feet in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, telephone and Junior King bedding.
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Promenade Deck A

Promenade Deck A - $10490

Encircled by a full-ship promenade, 20 spacious Promenade Deck (Cat. A) staterooms are 195 square feet in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
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Bridge Deck

Bridge Deck - $10990

Located on the exclusive Bridge Deck close to the Lounge and Bridge, 5 spacious Bridge Deck staterooms are 195 square feet in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
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2  Alternate Itinerary Available  Jan 23 - Jan 31, 2015Oceanic Discoverer$5990 - $7490View Details
  Alternative Itinerary

Alternative Itinerary

  This departure follows a shortened 9-day itinerary from Milford Sound to Wellington.
Day 1 - Queenstown & Milford Sound
Day 2 - Doubtful Sound
Day 3 - Dusky Sound & Astronomer's Point
Day 4 - Stewart Island
Day 5 - Discover Dunedin
Day 6 - Gallic Akaroa
Day 7 - Kaikoura Whalewatching
Day 8 - Marlborough Sounds
Day 9 - Wellington

Main Deck B - $5990

Located close to the Dining Room, 6 spacious Main Deck (Cat. B) staterooms are 195 square feet in size and feature twin portholes for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Book This Cabin

Main Deck A - $6290

Located close to the Dining Room, 6 spacious Main Deck (Cat. A) staterooms are 195 square feet in size and feature large, twin porthole windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Book This Cabin

Promenade Deck B - $6690

Located in the bow of the ship and encircled by a full-ship promenade, two Promenade Deck (Cat. B) staterooms are 160 square feet in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, telephone and Junior King bedding.
Book This Cabin
Promenade Deck A

Promenade Deck A - $7190

Encircled by a full-ship promenade, 20 spacious Promenade Deck (Cat. A) staterooms are 195 square feet in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Book This Cabin
Bridge Deck

Bridge Deck - $7490

Located on the exclusive Bridge Deck close to the Lounge and Bridge, 5 spacious Bridge Deck staterooms are 195 square feet in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Book This Cabin


 
3  Alternate Itinerary Available  Jan 31 - Feb 08, 2015Oceanic Discoverer$5990 - $7490View Details
  Alternative Itinerary

Alternative Itinerary

  This departure follows a shortened 9-day itinerary from Wellington to Milford Sound.
Day 1 - Wellington
Day 2 - Marlborough Sound
Day 3 - Kaikoura Whalewatching
Day 4 - Gallic Akaroa
Day 5 - Discover Dunedin
Day 6 - Stewart Island
Day 7 - Dusky Sound
Day 8 - Doubtful Sound
Day 9 - Milford Sound & Queenstown

Main Deck B - $5990

Located close to the Dining Room, 6 spacious Main Deck (Cat. B) staterooms are 195 square feet in size and feature twin portholes for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Book This Cabin

Main Deck A - $6290

Located close to the Dining Room, 6 spacious Main Deck (Cat. A) staterooms are 195 square feet in size and feature large, twin porthole windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Book This Cabin

Promenade Deck B - $6690

Located in the bow of the ship and encircled by a full-ship promenade, two Promenade Deck (Cat. B) staterooms are 160 square feet in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, telephone and Junior King bedding.
Book This Cabin
Promenade Deck A

Promenade Deck A - $7190

Encircled by a full-ship promenade, 20 spacious Promenade Deck (Cat. A) staterooms are 195 square feet in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Book This Cabin
Bridge Deck

Bridge Deck - $7490

Located on the exclusive Bridge Deck close to the Lounge and Bridge, 5 spacious Bridge Deck staterooms are 195 square feet in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Book This Cabin


 
  Alternative Itinerary alternative itinerary

Included

Accommodations on board; all meals onboard; 24-hour tea/coffee station; services of expedition staff including lectures; briefings, slide/film presentations, and other group activities; group transfers during the cruise; landing fees. Included coach transfers are from Queenstown Hotels to to Oceanic Discoverer on Day 1 of the Queenstown to Auckland cruise and Day 1 of the Queenstown to Wellington cruise and also from Oceanic Discoverer to Queenstown Hotels on Day 13 of the Auckland to Queenstown cruise and Day 9 of the Wellington to Queenstown cruise.

Exclusions

Pre and post flights; fuel surcharges where applicable; travel insurance; personal items such as communications and bar charges, laundry; optional shore excursions in Dunedin, Napier, Akaroa, Gisborne and Stewart Island. Optional shore excursions are booked on board the ship. Tipping is not required and is completely optional.

Room Configuration

Single rates available upon request.

Families & Children

Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Coral Princess Cruises does not provide services of entertainment, supervision or care of children. This New Zealand itinerary is quite adventurous and therefore children aged above 12 years of age will enjoy the experience the most. Child rates available on application. For families of three onboard Oceanic Discoverer, the third person (child only) can be accommodated on the settee as there are not Pullman bunks in any staterooms. This is applicable in a Main Deck A or Main Deck B stateroom only.

Payment & Cancellation

Prices for the New Zealand - Aotearoa Cruise aboard the Oceanic Discoverer are in Australian dollars. We will accept payment in U.S. dollars based on the exchange rate the day you make your payment. For today's exchange rate visit USD to AUD. To secure your reservation, a deposit of 10% of the fare is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. A $200 per person fee may be charged by Coral Princess Cruises for any amendments not requiring a date change after booking is confirmed. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 60 days - forfeit your deposit
30 to 59 days - forfeit 50% of the fare
1 to 29 days - forfeit 100% of the fare

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 21 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.
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Trip Reviews

OVERALL: 5 stars ACCOMMODATIONS: 4.5 stars MEALS: 4.5 stars

Overall Trip Review

Overall, we loved the trip - “a boat from which you have many adventures.” Our favorite excursions were the lamb shearing tour and the bird sanctuary. We also loved Dunedin.  Transfers all went smoothly. Overall a memorable 80th birthday present.

Accommodations Review

The vessel was not luxurious, more on the utilitarian side, and in fact, did not have heat.  This was an issue in the fjords because the temperature was around 40 degrees and we were cold. That was our biggest complaint because nowhere in the documentation did it mention to bring heavy jackets, etc. We had checked the weather for Queenstown, but it was quite different when we got out of the area. Cabins were clean and comfortable, beds were good, blankets sufficient, even in the cold. The seas were a bit on the rough side, but the crew had remedies if needed. Nothing too bad. We also had a very favorable experience at the Copthorne Hotel in Queensland.

Meals Review

The food was good, especially the lamb. Steak was a bit overcooked for our taste, but not to the point of dissatisfaction. 

Crew & Guides Review

The crew were wonderful, and we loved the open bridge policy. High marks for Steve, the tour/cruise director. Our fellow passengers were mostly New Zealanders, Aussies and just a few Americans.  

Traveler Advice

This trip is only for those who are fully able to walk, climb in and out of the zodiac, etc. It is an active adventure trip, not a sit on the deck and sip cocktails trip. 

M. Metz - Alameda, CA
OVERALL: 5 stars ACCOMMODATIONS: 5 stars MEALS: 5 stars

Overall Trip Review

The ship was well designed, itinerary pretty good, crew terrific, fellow passengers wonderful - overall a fun trip. All nature hikes were great! Gannet Colony optional tour was superb. Gisborne stop was least interesting; Taleri Gorge train ride overcrowded with small seats. Stops were for shopping, not photos.

Accommodations Review

Superb arrangements in cabin. Wonderful space for toiletries in bathroom.

Meals Review

We appreciated the variety and quality of meals - not just gourmet. Loved the amazing coffee machine! 

Crew & Guides Review

Our guides did a terrific job of making all of our walks delightful, fun and educational. Good recaps and humor! We appreciated the daily bulletins but would have preferred that extensive information on the localities be provided before and not after the day's activities. Trip leader Jamie Anderson had a good grip on the entire trip and had wonderful photos!

AdventureSmith Explorations Review

There was little or no information about the activities led by the naturalists. We enjoyed what we did, but missed out on some things because we chose the optional off-ship activities not knowing about the walks.

Traveler Advice

Great trip! If possible plan to add more time to explore New Zealand beforehand.

M. & L. Roberts - Darnestown, MD