The earthquake that struck Napier at 10:46 am on February 3, 1931, was—at 7.8 on the Richter scale—the largest quake ever recorded in New Zealand. The coastline was wrenched upward several feet. Almost all the town's brick buildings collapsed; many people were killed on the footpaths as they rushed outside. The quake triggered fires throughout town, and with water mains shattered, little could be done to stop the blazes that devoured the remaining wooden structures. View more
The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.
Get a bird's eye view down on the Hawkes Bay region on this 30-minute flight.
Your experience begins with a transfer to the heliport, in keeping with the Art Deco Capital, Napier. From there you will rise above the Port of Napier in a Robinson R44 helicopter, to begin your 30 minute flight over the beautiful province. The flight will take you along the coast of Hawkes Bay, giving you time to take in the vista of the coastal area between Mahia Beach and Cape Kidnappers.
Following the coast, you will see the world class golf course perched on the Cape and then be astounded by one of the largest gannet colonies in the world. From here you will fly inland and over Te Mata Peak, Havelock North and Hastings, taking in the expanse of vineyards and orchards.
Finally, heading to Napier, around Bluff Hill, returning you via Westshore beach and Ahuriri Marina.
After landing, return to the pier.
Please note: This tour requires a minimal amount of activity and is suitable for guests with limited mobility. Guests utilising a wheelchair must be able to transfer from the chair to the car, and to board the plane. Helicopter type is dependent on aircraft availability but is generally a 3-seater heli. Seating is at the discretion of the pilot and is based on weight and balance requirements. All guests are asked to submit their weights in advance to the Shore Concierge onboard. All seats are utilised and seating adjacent to a window cannot be guaranteed. Price is per person. Flight is subject to weather conditions and may be cancelled or altered at pilot's discretion. Space is very limited; we suggest you book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Napier is blessed with a hinterland that is largely flat so cycle enthusiasts can cycle along the rotary pathway and discover the Napier area on this tour.
Depart the pier to your cycle tour start point in the Sunken Gardens on Napier's Marine Parade. After a short briefing on how to use the gears and brakes, mount your Scott touring bike and join your guide in cycling south on the wonderful water trail, a dedicated walking and cycling path that follows the coast and forms part of the Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail. Several stops will allow for time to enjoy the spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the cliffs of Cape Kidnappers in the distance.
After approximately 6 miles (10 kilometres), turn inland at Awatoto and cycle on a raised limestone trail through market gardening country following the Tutaekuri river to the suburb of Taradale.
From the trail you can view the vineyards, fruit trees and vegetable fields which represent an important part of the region's economy. On reaching Taradale, make a short comfort stop at before ending your cycle on the banks of the Tutaekuri River. From here you can see the remnants of the historic Otatara Maori Pa site high on the hill.
Cool your feet in the water and enjoy a light refreshment before being transported back to the port via minivan.
Please note: This tour is only recommended to those guests who are physically fit and able to cycle approximately 10 miles (16 kilometres) at a steady pace. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Flat-soled shoes and a windbreaker are recommended. Space is very limited; we suggest you reserve this tour in advance to avoid disappointment.
Hawke's Bay's history shares its early winemaking successes and stories as the oldest wine region in New Zealand and continues today with both classic wine styles and other experimental varieties. This picturesque drive takes you across the Heretaunga Plain to the Tuki Tuki Valley, visiting two boutique wineries, Abbey Cellars and Black Barn.
Depart the pier via coach and drive through the Art Deco district of downtown Napier before crossing the Heretaunga Plains to Abbey Cellars.
This striking Gothic abbey building was built by owner Warren Haworth whose focus is to make small volume Bordeaux-style red blends, notably their Cabernet and Merlot. Enjoy a wine-tasting with your hosts before re-boarding your coach for the next winery.
Black Barn's Riverside Retreat
Next visit the Black Barn's Riverside Retreat and enjoy a private tasting in a stunning setting, over-looking the Tuki Tuki Valley and river with Te Mata Peak as a backdrop. Although a small producer, Black Barn has an enviable reputation for its range of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Bordeaux style - red rose.
Return to Napier down the Tuki Tuki Valley where you follow the coastline back to the port.
Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. It is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Lightweight, comfortable clothing and sun protection are recommended. Minimum participant age is 21 years.
Established in 1851 by the French Marist religious order, Mission Estate Winery is New Zealand's oldest winemaker and home to one Hawke's Bay's finest restaurants. This tour for wine and food connoisseurs offers a true New Zealand gastronomy experience, with samples some of the finest local wines and produce, in a charming and elegant setting.
From the Port of Napier, drive through the historic Art Deco area of downtown Napier to Mission Estate which is beautifully sited on a small hill overlooking the Heretaunga Plain. Housed in an elegantly restored historic seminary building with sweeping views of Napier, Mission Estate is the most visited winery in the country.
Upon arrival, the Estate guide welcomes you and leads you on a historic tour of the elegantly restored seminary building and the adjoining chapel, with its high vaulted ceilings, arched windows and French doors. A visit to the cellar door provides an opportunity to try the extensive range of wines. Enjoy a wine tasting led by one of the wine-makers, where a flight of seven wines are available for you to sample. Listen as they divulge details of the wine making process that commenced back in 1851 by the French Marist religious order.
Your Mission Estate experience is complemented with a four-course set menu luncheon, with a selection of wines matched to each seasonal dish, in their award-winning restaurant. Contemporary cuisine using only the freshest local produce is served. Afterwards, some free time is available for you to peruse the shop or to explore the gardens and soak up the ambience of the estate.
Then, begin the 30-minute drive back to the ship via the port suburb of Ahuriri.
Please note: This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility and those who utilise a wheelchair; however, guests must be able to embark and disembark the mini-coach via the vehicle steps. Little walking is required. Participation is limited; however, a minimum number of guests is required to operate. We suggest you reserve this tour in advance to avoid disappointment.
Discover the rich traditions and history of the Maori family on this genuine culture and heritage tour held on ancestral lands, which have been set aside as a conservation reserve. Your Maori guide will enjoy sharing his/her rich and colourful heritage with you.
As you drive down picturesque Marine Parade, you will see Cape Kidnappers off in the distance. The scenic Hawke's Bay countryside will unfold as you travel through the Tuki Tuki Valley, passing farmland, orchards, and vineyards with iconic Te Mata Peak on the horizon. As you approach the coastal village of Waimarama, the dramatic coastal landscape appears with breath-taking views of Motu O Kura in the Pacific Ocean. During the hour long drive, your guide will entertain you with stories and legends of how their ancestors came to this land over 700 years ago.
Hakikino Ancestral Lands
Upon arrival at the Hakikino ancestral lands, a representative chosen by you will meet the warriors challenge and you will hear the welcome call echo across the hills and valleys. You'll be greeted in the outdoor arena of the 'Arch of the Ancestors' by the family and participate in the moving and powerful customs of the greeting ceremony.
After the traditional welcome, you will spend time with the family in small groups to be shown and to learn about their different crafts and customs. You will see demonstrations of some of the following various traditional activities; warrior fighting drills, the art and skill of poi, the importance of stones, ancient musical instruments, native eel in the natural wetland habitat, the history and others.
Water and a kiwiana confectionary will be offered and a craft shop offers local Maori items. The traditional farewell includes action songs and performances by the family.
This is an intimate, personal and spiritual way to discover the ways of Maori people. Finally re-board the coach with your guide and relax, ask questions and enjoy the countryside views as the coach returns you to the pier and your waiting ship.
Please note: This tour involves a panoramic drive with a moderate amount of walking, some of which may be over unpaved surfaces, with some steps to climb at the ancestral grounds. It is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and those who utilise a wheelchair. Participation is limited; however, a minimum number of guests is required to operate this tour. The drive to/from Waimarama is approximately one hour in each direction.
Cape Kidnappers, the site of the world's largest mainland gannet colony, lies about 18 miles (29 kilometres) southeast of Napier. Usually these large sea birds breed only on isolated islands; Cape Kidnappers provides a unique opportunity to see them up close.
Begin your excursion with a drive down Napier's beautiful Marine Parade, famous for its stand of Norfolk pines. Continue along the Hawke's Bay coast to Cape Kidnappers Sheep Station; from there, an unpaved road runs across rolling pastures, riverbeds and gullies.
Your adventure ride stops just a few yards (metres) from the gannet colony itself, affording a close-up look at the birds. The gannet is a member of the booby family, with a distinctive black eye marking and a pale gold crown. The birds arrive in the latter part of July; the chicks hatch in late November and December. Migration begins again in March. You may see gannets swooping and diving into the sea for food, while others preen themselves or perform the dance of the recognition ritual. Whilst viewing enjoy light refreshments.
Following your gannet-watching experience begin your journey back to Napier. An orientation drive takes you through the Art Deco district en route to the ship.
Please note: This tour requires a minimal amount of walking; however, guests must be able to climb in and out of the four-wheel-drive mini-coaches utilised on this tour. It is suitable for guests with limited mobility but is not wheelchair accessible. Driving is mainly on unpaved roads that are steep in some areas. Flat-soled shoes and a jacket or windbreaker are recommended. Space is very limited; we suggest you reserve this tour in advance to avoid
Experience this exclusive tour in a classic Packard celebrating the Art Deco and Spanish Mission styles of architecture in Napier which in 1931 was almost totally destroyed in a major earthquake. Napier was rebuilt in these eye-catching styles by group of young architects. Few cities in the world have such a collection of rich buildings that display all the styles of the Art Deco form.
From the pier, the classic car takes you through the suburbs of Ahuriri and Marewa where you pass by some fine examples of domestic art deco architecture. The highlight of the area is wonderfully ornate entrance to the National Tobacco Company building, where a brief stop for photos is made. The car continues to the Art Deco Trust centre.
After, enjoy a video presentation at the Art Deco Trust centre, designed to acquaint you with the devastating earthquake. Stop for high tea at Port O Call. Then, begin a one-hour guided walk of the Napier downtown Art Deco district, with its many wonderful art deco buildings including the ASB Bank, the Daily Telegraph, the Municipal Theatre and the Criterion Hotel. Your knowledgeable guide will explain the many different styles and forms of Art Deco architecture.
Re-board your classic car for the return drive to the pier.
Please note: This tour requires a walk of approximately one hour. Tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility. It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes. The order of sights varies and the itinerary may operate in reverse order. Tour participation is very limited and guests should reserve this tour well in advance to avoid disappointment.