The best of New Zealand 2019-2020 (Auckland - Dunedin)
10 days with Ponant Rating:
Day 1 – AUCKLAND
Embarkation from 16H00 to 17H00. Departure at 18H00.
Auckland is New Zealand's largest, most populated and busiest city. Located on an isthmus linking the peninsula of Northland to the expansive North Island, it seems to float between land and sea. It is one of the few cities in the world to have two separate harbours, Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. You'll understand why Auckland is known as "the city of sails" when you see the forest of masts in the marina. The 328 metre-high Sky Tower offers splendid views of the city. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes such as Mt Eden, Auckland is noted for its abundant nature and magnificent black-sand beaches. A blend of Maori, European and Asian cultures give the city a vibrant atmosphere.
Day 2 – TAURANGA
Located to the north of Rotorua, Tauranga stretches the length of the Bay of Plenty, sheltered from the ocean by the island of Matakana. This coastal city boasts a flourishing economy thanks to its port, and is a pleasant and pretty town with a peaceful, relaxed feel. The seafront area is contemporary and lively, dotted with cafés and restaurants. The town centre reveals more picturesque charms, while the surrounding area is packed full of natural delights. Travel on to the town of Rotorua to visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland: a fantastic opportunity to experience an absolutely exceptional geothermal phenomenon.
Day 3 – WHITE ISLAND
Located in the Bay of Plenty, White Island is an active volcano which has been built up by continuous volcanic activity over the past 150,000 years. It is possible to walk inside the main crater and experience nature's immense power, as gas and steam burst up from far below the Earth's crust. The smell of sulphur and the noise of steam emanating from the many fumaroles makes for an amazing sensory experience. The island has also been identified as an important bird area because of its breeding colony of Australasian Gannets. Depending on the level of volcanic activity and sea state, guests will have the opportunity to land on White Island and take a guided walking tour through the crater and around the ruins of the old sulphur mine.
Day 4 – NAPIER
On the east coast of North Island, south of Hawke’s Bay, you’ll find Napier. Mostly destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, reviving from its ashes in less than two years, it grew into a magnificent Art Deco style city, very in-vogue at the time. With its pure lines mixed with traditional Maori designs, the singular New Zealand character of this city will intrigue you. You’ll discover all this extraordinary architectural heritage as you take a stroll the city. Wine lovers will be able to taste some of the best wines from the region, which is famous for its vineyards.
Day 5 – WELLINGTON
Crowned with gentle green hills, Wellington harbour is located in the far south of North Island. This city offers a charming pell-mell of traditional and modern cultures, bestowing on the New Zealand capital, a unique atmosphere, at once friendly and avant-guard. Where some sites, like the large National Te Papa Tongarewa museum, reflect the city’s Maori past, others, like the many cafés and restaurants, affirm the inhabitants’ incredible lust for life.
Day 6 – PICTON
A must-see entry point to South Island, Picton is a little coastal town girded by gentle hills, located on the south side of the Queen Charlotte inlet. The cafés and restaurants which border the charming waterfront give a very lovely view of the fjord. You can also decide to get some height above sea level, and walk in the surrounding areas. However, Picton is above all an opportunity to explore the unique Marlborough fjords. This interweave of submerged valleys, making numerous different navigable routes, are among the most beautiful natural wonders of New Zealand.
Day 7 – AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 8 – SAILING MILFORD SOUND
Milford Sound fjord is among one of the most beautiful natural sites in New Zealand. So much beauty will quite simply take your breath away. Located on the south-west coast of South Island, in the Fiorldland National Park, this sumptuous inlet carved out by glaciers advances over at least 15 kilometres inland, in the Southern Alps. Majestic cliffs seem to surge out of the dark waters, rising several hundred metres high: an abrupt relief from where impressive waterfalls cascade.
Day 9 – SAILING DOUBTFUL SOUND AND SAILING DUSKY SOUND
Referred to as the Sound of Silence, there is a secluded serenity that surrounds Doubtful Sound in contrast with the better-known Milford Sound. Lieutenant James Cook named 'Doubtful Harbour' in 1770 as he was uncertain if it was navigable under sail. Doubtful Sound is the deepest of the fiords with a maximum depth of 421 m. It contains three distinct 'arms' and several outstanding waterfalls in the area from Deep Cove to the open ocean. Your ship will spend time navigating around Secretary Island through both Thompson and Doubtful Sounds. You will enjoy the spectacular scenery from the outer decks.
Dusky Sound is one of the most isolated fjords in Fiordland National Park. This huge, protected natural zone situated in the south-west quarter of New Zealand’s South Island is listed as UNESCO World Heritage. The sheer cliffs, waterfalls, shimmering lakes and primitive forests here are each more beautiful than the next. These spectacular landscapes sculpted by successive glaciations are a source of endless wonder. In 1773, the British navigator James Cook spent a few weeks at Dusky Sound, as demonstrated by a plaque that can be seen at Astronomer’s Point. During your visit, observe the richness of the local wildlife: cormorants, seagulls, New Zealand fur seals, but also Fiordland crested penguins, a rare and endemic species.
Day 10 – DUNEDIN
Disembarkation at 08H30.
Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest city and is often referred to as the Edinburgh of New Zealand. This city of the south, wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The city contains some of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. The picturesque Silverpeaks hinterland to the North West provides a picturesque backdrop and The Otago Peninsula, which lies within the city boundaries, has internationally renowned wildlife reserves, including the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross.
All This Included
On this cruise, PONANT invites you to discover New Zealand, a unique destination with a multitude of natural treasures.
Set sail aboard Le Lapérouse for a 10-day cruise from Auckland to Dunedin.
From Tauranga, you will be able to explore many treasures: volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, rivers and gorges, and lakes that range in colour from deep blue to orange-tinged.
You will also sail to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. This ancient site of the Maori people, as demonstrated by the Te Papa Tongarewa museum, perfectly combines local traditions and bustling nightlife.
In New Zealand’s south-west, on the South Island, Le Lapérouse will cruise to the heart of a park with landscapes shaped by successive glaciations. You will discover Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound and the well-known Milford Sound − three fiords bordered by majestic cliffs.
Surrounded by the blue waters of the Pacific, the twin islands of New Zealand are the promise of an incredible mosaic of contrasting panoramas.
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard Le Laperouse
Terms and Conditions
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* 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.