Join us for an exciting journey around New Zealand, seeing natural marvels such as geysers, hot springs, volcanoes, fjords and mountains. During our semi-circumnavigation we will meet Maori and see the traditional and modern face of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Native wildlife and architectural jewels will round up our experiences.
Throughout the voyage, learn about the geology, wildlife and history of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.
Tauranga (for Lake Rotorua), New Zealand –
We drive inland to Lake Rotorua and Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Valley through kiwi-growing country of the aptly named Bay of Plenty. Wai-o-Tapu is a geothermal active area south of Rotorua with many hot springs, mud pools and famous Lady Knox Geyser. The area is also a Maori stronghold and there will be a welcome ceremony and a guided walk through a Maori village to introduce the Maori way of life.
White Island, New Zealand –
Depending on permits and conditions we plan to use our Zodiacs to land on White Island and set off on foot across the crater floor of New Zealand’s only active volcano. The sights are surreal: the main crater with towering walls, steaming vents, and hissing fumaroles, glittering yellow sulphur crystals, bubbling mud pots and a spectacular steaming lake. Near the landing site are the remains of an old sulphur‐mining factory, abandoned because of a devastating explosion in 1914. About 70% of the volcano remains under the sea, making this massive volcanic structure the largest in New Zealand.
Napier, New Zealand –
Napier is the starting point to reach the iconic Cape Kidnappers, home to the world’s largest mainland gannet colony. Hawke’s Bay’s vineyards are home to some of New Zealand’s ultra-premium wines. Some of the most sought-after wines New Zealand has to offer are produced here and the country’s oldest winemaking region is renowned for its award-winning red wines, fresh produce and artisan food producers.
Since Napier claims to be the “Art Deco Capital of the World”, a visit to the art deco district to admire the world‐class collection of architecture is a must.
Ship Cove and Motuara, New Zealand –
Captain Cook visited Ships Cove on many occasions during his three voyages into the Pacific, and a memorial has been set up here. A landing will permit to walk to a small waterfall or hike the first metres of the famous Queen Charlotte Track –which has its northern starting point here.
Nearby Motuara, an Island Bird Sanctuary free of predators, shows Yellow-crowned Parakeets, South Island Saddlebacks, South Island Robbins, bellbirds, and sometimes even Little Blue Penguins can be seen with a little luck. For better viewing group sizes on Motuara are restricted.
Fiordland, New Zealand –
We will explore Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage Site that includes among others Milford and Doubtful Sounds. The breath-taking views of Milford Sound (Piopiotahi in Māori) and the majestic carved peaks and dramatic waterfalls are awe-inspiring as one marvels at Mitre Peak’s striking figure. Using Zodiacs and the ship to explore, the Captain and Expedition Leader will work together to create the perfect schedule for the visit in Fiordland National Park and to see the resident pod of dolphins, penguins and seals.
Stewart Island and Ulva Island, New Zealand –
To gain an insight into New Zealand’s southernmost community one can explore Oban and the surrounding bays at one’s own pace. Neighbouring Ulva Island is a world renowned open bird sanctuary looked after by the Department of Conservation. Small groups of not more than 12 guests will be led by professional local guides to ensure a maximum experience of natural history. As Ulva has no invasive species, the walk through the natural forest will be a wonderful opportunity to see the endemic plants and birdlife.
- Learn about the Maori and Aotearoa
- Explore the Art Deco capital of the world
Wildlife Watch List:
- Fiordland and Little Blue Penguins
- Humpback whales, Minke whales, sei whales, fin whales, pilot whales
- Birds of note: Albatross, mollymawks, prions, petrels, Australasian Gannets, Yellow-crowned Parakeets, Kakariki (Red-crowned Parakeets), South Island Saddlebacks, South Island Robbins, Tui, Kaka, tomtits, Grey Warblers, New Zealand Wood Pigeons, bellbirds
Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
Not sure what to wear while onboard? Visit our shop and gear up. We've got layers to keep you dry and warm, breezy wear to keep you covered and cool, and accessories to keep everything packed up and ready to go. So, no matter the weather, you'll be better prepared for your expedition.
Our Gear Shop has an expert outfitting staff and features all the essentials: