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Melbourne to Auckland (13 Day, Itinerary B)

13 days with Silversea   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices
DAY 1-2 Melbourne
Consistently rated among the "world's most livable cities" in quality-of-life surveys, Melbourne is built on a coastal plain at the top of the giant horseshoe of Port Phillip Bay. The city center is an orderly grid of streets where the state parliament, banks, multinational corporations, and splendid Victorian buildings that sprang up in the wake of the gold rush now stand. This is Melbourne's heart, which you can explore at a leisurely pace in a couple of days. In Southbank, one of the newer precincts south of the city center, the Southgate development of bars, restaurants, and shops has refocused Melbourne's vision on the Yarra River. Once a blighted stretch of factories and run-down warehouses, the southern bank of the river is now a vibrant, exciting part of the city, and the river itself is finally taking its rightful place in Melbourne's psyche. 
 
Just a hop away, Federation Square—with its host of galleries—has become a civic landmark for Melburnians. Stroll along the Esplanade in the suburb of St. Kilda, amble past the elegant houses of East Melbourne, enjoy the shops and cafés in Fitzroy or Carlton, rub shoulders with locals at the Victoria Market, nip into the Windsor for afternoon tea, or rent a canoe at Studley Park to paddle along one of the prettiest stretches of the Yarra—and you may discover Melbourne's soul as well as its heart.
 
DAY 3 Burnie
Burnie overlooks Emu Bay, on the north-west coast. This proudly industrial city is Australia’s fifth largest container port and a vibrant place to visit. Burnie was once surrounded by dense rainforest, but this has slowly disappeared, while fortunes were made felling and milling timber. The paper and pulp mill on the city’s outskirts operated from 1938 to 1998. Burnie was first explored by Bass and Flinders and was known as Emu Bay when it was settled by the Van Diemen’s Land Company in 1827. Today, Burnie has a population of almost 19,000. Burnie experiences temperate conditions, with an average maximum of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) in January and 56.5 degrees Fahrenheit (13.5) degrees Celsius in June.
 
DAY 4 Hobart (Tasmania)
Straddling the Derwent River at the foot of Mt. Wellington's forested slopes, Hobart was founded as a penal settlement in 1803. It's the second-oldest city in the country after Sydney, and it certainly rivals its mainland counterpart as Australia's most beautiful state capital. Close-set colonial brick-and-sandstone shops and homes line the narrow, quiet streets, creating a genteel setting for this historic city of 215,000. Life revolves around the broad Derwent River port, one of the deepest harbors in the world. Here warehouses that once stored Hobart's major exports of fruit, wool, and corn and products from the city's former whaling fleet still stand alongside the wharf today.Hobart sparkles between Christmas and New Year's—summer Down Under—during the annual Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race. The event dominates conversations among Hobart's citizens, who descend on Constitution Dock to welcome the yachts and join in the boisterous festivities of the crews. The New Year also coincides with the Tastes of Tasmania Festival, when the dockside area comes alive with the best of Tasmanian food and wine on offer in numerous cafés, bars, and waterfront stalls. Otherwise, Hobart is a placid city whose nightlife is largely confined to excellent restaurants, jazz clubs, and the action at the Wrest Point Casino in Sandy Bay.The Hobart Tasmanian Travel and Information Centre hours are weekdays 8:30–5:30 and Saturday 9–5.
 
DAY 5-6 Day At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
 
DAY 7 Cruising Milford Sound / Cruising Doubtful Sound / Cruising Dusky Sound
New Zealand fiord country along with Fiordland National Park is one of New Zealand's premier attractions. Incredibly beautiful, wild and remote, the region is an intriguing combination of rugged mountain ranges, dense rainforest, solitary alpine lakes, sparkling rivers and splashing waterfalls. Much of Fiordland is virtually unexplored wilderness and still the habitat of rare birds. As the ship cruises the beautiful Doubtful, Dusky and Milford Sounds, experience the majestic fiordland of South Island's western coast. Captain James Cook sailed along this coast in 1770 and again in 1773, when he anchored at Dusky Sound for a rest and ship repair. Doubtful Sound is one of the region's most majestic fiords. It is ten times larger than Milford Sound. As the ship cruises into Hall Arm, gaze at vertical cliffs and mighty waterfalls plunging over sheer rock faces. In fine weather, mountains and greenery are reflected in the protected waters of the fiord. 
 
Farther north lies Milford Sound. Far from any populated area, Milford Sound is famous for its grandeur and spectacular beauty. It is perhaps the best example of New Zealand's renowned classic landscape of steep granite peaks framing glacier-carved inlets with mirrored reflections on dark waters. Dominating the scene is Milford's landmark, the triangular pinnacle of Mitre Peak. Along the sheer cliffs, several waterfalls tumble more than 500 feet (154 metres) into the sheltered Sound. Only a few moored boats and a scattering of buildings at the head of the Sound break the unity of mountains, forest and water. This spectacular beauty and unspoiled setting is yours to enjoy as the ship cruises Milford Sound.
 
Despite being discovered by Cook more than 240 years ago, Dusky Sound is one of the few truly untouched destinations left on earth. Found on the southwest corner of New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, Dusky Sound has the auspicious title of “titanic mason” given to it by the Maoris, as no other explanation seems to fit; it is almost impossible to comprehend the sheer breadth of geological events that created this seemingly perfect sculpture, as the sheer cliffs that rise vertically upward from the ocean dwarf the ship. This incredibly beautiful fiord offers many magical wildernesses and stunning scenery that bathe in “Lord of the Rings” grandeur. A breeding site for Fiordland Penguins, Dusky Sound is an important ornithological area too, with a wealth of birdlife to be found here. This remote, untouched region is also home to a wide range of sea life, as the fresh and salt water combine to create an extraordinary aquatic environment. 
 
An unforgettable journey for both the experienced and the uninitiated, anyone looking to visit a place unmarked by the passage of time will be spoilt its breathtaking beauty.
 
DAY 8 Day At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
 
DAY 9 Dunedin (Port Chalmers)
European whaling ships first called at Otago Province during the early decades of the 1800s, yielding a mixed response from the native Maori. In 1848 Dunedin was settled, and by the mid-1860s the city was the economic hub of the Otago gold rush. Dunedin's historical wealth endures in such institutions as the University of Otago, the oldest in the country. But if any region can bring out the bird-watcher in you, this is it; the area is home to the Royal Albatross and yellow-eyed penguins.
 
DAY 10 Lyttelton (Christchurch)
Your initial impression of Christchurch will likely be one of a genteel, green city. Joggers loop through shady Hagley Park, and punters ply the narrow Avon River, which bubbles between banks lined with willows and oaks. With a population approaching 350,000, Christchurch is the largest South Island city, and the second-largest in the country. It is also the forward supply depot for the main U.S. Antarctic base at McMurdo Sound. The face of Christchurch is changing rapidly, fueled by both internal and international immigration. The Maori community, although still below the national average in size, is growing. Ngai Tahu, the main South Island Maori tribe, settled Treaty of Waitangi claims in 1997 and have been investing in tourism ventures. Old wooden bungalows are making way for town houses, the arts scene is flourishing, and the city's university attracts cutting-edge technology companies. In short, there's plenty of fresh energy percolating underneath the English veneer.
 
DAY 11 Picton
The maritime township of Picton (population 4,000) lies at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound and is the arrival point for ferries from the North Island, as well as a growing number of international cruise ships. It plays a major role in providing services and transport by water taxi to a multitude of remote communities in the vast area of islands, peninsulas, and waterways that make up the Marlborough Sounds Maritime Park. There's plenty to do in town, with crafts markets in summer, historical sights to see, and walking tracks to scenic lookouts over the sounds. The main foreshore is lined by London Quay, which looks up Queen Charlotte Sound to the bays beyond. High Street runs down to London Quay from the hills, and between them these two streets make up the center of town.
 
DAY 12 Day At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
 
DAY 13 Auckland
Auckland is called the City of Sails, and visitors flying in will see why. On the East Coast is the Waitemata Harbour—a Maori word meaning sparkling waters—which is bordered by the Hauraki Gulf, an aquatic playground peppered with small islands where many Aucklanders can be found "mucking around in boats."Not surprisingly, Auckland has some 70,000 boats. About one in four households in Auckland has a seacraft of some kind, and there are 102 beaches within an hour's drive; during the week many are quite empty. Even the airport is by the water; it borders the Manukau Harbour, which also takes its name from the Maori language and means solitary bird.According to Maori tradition, the Auckland isthmus was originally peopled by a race of giants and fairy folk. When Europeans arrived in the early 19th century, however, the Ngati-Whatua tribe was firmly in control of the region. 
 
The British began negotiations with the Ngati-Whatua in 1840 to purchase the isthmus and establish the colony's first capital. In September of that year the British flag was hoisted to mark the township's foundation, and Auckland remained the capital until 1865, when the seat of government was moved to Wellington. Aucklanders expected to suffer from the shift; it hurt their pride but not their pockets. As the terminal for the South Sea shipping routes, Auckland was already an established commercial center. Since then the urban sprawl has made this city of approximately 1.3 million people one of the world's largest geographically.A couple of days in the city will reveal just how developed and sophisticated Auckland is—the Mercer City Survey 2012 saw it ranked as the third-highest city for quality of life—though those seeking a New York in the South Pacific will be disappointed. Auckland is more get-up and go-outside than get-dressed-up and go-out. That said, most shops are open daily, central bars and a few nightclubs buzz well into the wee hours, especially Thursday through Saturday, and a mix of Maori, Pacific people, Asians, and Europeans contributes to the cultural milieu. Auckland has the world's largest single population of Pacific Islanders living outside their home countries, though many of them live outside the central parts of the city and in Manukau to the south. The Samoan language is the second most spoken in New Zealand. Most Pacific people came to New Zealand seeking a better life. When the plentiful, low-skilled work that attracted them dried up, the dream soured, and the population has suffered with poor health and education. Luckily, policies are now addressing that, and change is slowly coming. The Pacifica Festival in March is the region's biggest cultural event, attracting thousands to Western Springs. The annual Pacific Island Secondary Schools’ Competition, also in March, sees young Pacific Islander and Asian students compete in traditional dance, drumming, and singing. This event is open to the public.At the geographical center of Auckland city is the 1,082-foot Sky Tower, a convenient landmark for those exploring on foot. The Waitemata Harbour has become better known since New Zealand staged its first defense of the America's Cup in 2000 and the successful Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in early 2009. The first regatta saw major redevelopment of the waterfront. The area, where many of the city's most popular bars, cafés, and restaurants are located, is now known as Viaduct Basin or, more commonly, the Viaduct. A recent expansion has created another area, Wynyard Quarter, which is slowly adding restaurants.These days, Auckland is still considered too bold and brash for its own good by many Kiwis who live "south of the Bombay Hills," the geographical divide between Auckland and the rest of New Zealand (barring Northland). You can enjoy a well-made coffee in almost any café, or take a walk on a beach—knowing that within 30 minutes' driving time you could be cruising the spectacular harbor, playing a round at a public golf course, or even walking in subtropical forest while listening to the song of a native tûî bird.
Map
All This Included
Consistently rated among the "world's most liveable cities", spend an overnight in Melbourne to see what all the fuss is about. Venture onward to Tasmania, Australia’s cuter, sexier, little sister before arriving in the Land of the Long White Cloud as it is known in Maori. Drenched in stunning scenery the imposing fiords, the volcanic landscapes and the plethora of wildlife espousing the shores are simply stunning.
  • Spacious suites – over 85% with private verandas
  • Butler service in every suite
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Personalised service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  • Multiple restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits
  • 24-hour dining service
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Complimentary transportation into town in most ports
  • Onboard gratuities
Accommodations
Cruising: Cabin onboard Silver Muse
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • 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.
  • Please ask your Vacations to Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Silversea terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.