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New Zealand Aotearoa Cruise

12 Nights

Price from £5493 per person

Oceanic Discoverer has been purpose built for comfort and safety and is large enough to provide the luxury and convenience of larger cruise ships yet with just 72 passengers is small enough to enable access to sites beyond the reach of larger vessels. Oceanic Discoverer excursions are aboard the specially designed excursion vessel 'Xplorer', and a fleet of inflatable Zodiacs.

Oceanic Discoverer operates two 12 night cruises between Auckland and Milford Sound in February. On this journey of discovery, you will follow the east coast of both the North and South islands with opportunities to explore the land, meet the people and interact with some of the unique native wildlife. Whether your interest is natural history, wildlife, geology, early exploration, culture or just relaxing, you’ll enjoy discovering New Zealand aboard this cruise.

Schedule 2013
Auckland - Milford Sound 12 Nights      Mon, 4 Feb 2013     Sat, 16 Feb 2013
Milford Sound - Auckland 12 Nights       Sat, 16 Feb 2013    Thurs, 28 Feb 2013

Onboard Facilities

All meals are included and are served in the dining room at one sitting – breakfast and lunch are buffet style and dinner is table d’hote, coffee and tea is available 24 hours, there is a large sundeck, spa pool, internet booth, comprehensive reference library, phone and fax facilities, lecture lounge with large plasma screen, limited laundry facilities, 2 cocktail bars, air-conditioned public areas, boutique, dive shop, inflatable zodiacs for expedition work and an “Xplorer” aluminium excursion vehicle which accommodates all passengers at the one time and is equipped with an awning and toilet

Room facilities

36 spacious, elegantly appointed modern staterooms on Bridge, Promenade or Main Deck with a choice of twin through to junior king-size doubles. Triple share and family room options are available. All staterooms have an ocean view, en-suite facilities, settee, large wardrobe, desk, luggage storage, individual air-conditioning control, and are serviced daily

Price Shown Above

Per person share twin on Main Deck B including accommodation charges on board, services of expedition staff including lectures, briefings, slide/film presentations, and other group activities, group transfers during the cruise, all meals, 24 hour tea/coffee station and landing fees

Excludes: Pre and Post flights; transfers, fuel surcharges where applicable, personal items such as telephone, facsimile charges, laundry, bar charges, travel insurances, Optional Shore Excursions (Dunedin, Napier, Akaroa, Gisborne and Stewart Island)


Main Deck A; Promenade Deck B; Promenade Deck A and Bridge Deck.


Day 1: Queenstown and Milford Sound This morning join our 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 Homer Tunnel before emerging to unforgettable views of Milford Sound's towering Mitre Peak. After boarding Oceanic Discoverer at 2:00pm we cruise the 22 kilometres of Milford Sound, the calm waters mirroring the sheer peaks that rise all around. This evening meet your fellow travellers, the Captain and his crew at our Welcome Cocktails.

Day 2: Doubtful and Dusky Sounds Awaken this morning to the stunning scenery of Doubtful Sound. The deepest of the sounds, Doubtful was names by Captain Cook in 1770 and is often described as Fiordland's most spectacular waterway. Our Guest Lecturer will detail the fiord's unique flora and fauna, including Bottlenose and Dusky dolphins. Later, enjoy a late afternoon cruise through rarely visited Dusky Sound.

Day 3: Stewart Island Wilderness Discover the natural delights and scenic beauty of Stewart Island, New Zealand's third largest and southern-most island. Landing ashore at Paterson Inlet, join a nature walk through the wilderness to encounter native birds including the Weka, Karikari and New Zealand's shy 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.

Day 4: Discover Dunedin The Otago Harbour welcomes us as we pass the world's largest mainland Albatross colony at Tairoa Heads. Of Scottish heritage, Dunedin offers a great diversity of experiences, from the historic Edwardian and Victorian architecture and the Otakou Maori Marae to Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Settlers Museum and New Zealand's oldest botanical gardens. Enjoy a full day to explore ashore at your own pace.

Day 5: Explore Akaroa Cruise into secluded Akaroa Harbour, a very scenic village nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. Stroll through the village, discovering its French history, cosy cafes and excellent craft stores. Enjoy optional shore excursions, perhaps swim with one of the smallest and rarest dolphins - the Hector's or New Zealand Dolphin.

Day 6: Kaikoura Whale Watching 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. We join a special cruise to discover these majestic mammals along with Fur Seals, Dolphins and other migratory whales, an experience never to be forgotten.

Day 7: Marlborough Sound Our arrival to the blue-green waters of breathtaking Marlborough Sound is highlighted by a cruise through the scenic Tory Channel. Retracing the history of Captain Cook we visit the impressive monument at Ships Cove, commemorating Cook's regular visits to the region during his voyages of discovery aboard Endeavour between 1770 and 1777. Later, join a guided visit to Motuara Island where we enjoy a nature walk.

Day 8: Cook Strait Coastal Cruise Enjoy a day of leisure at sea as we cross Cook Strait, separating New Zealand's North and South islands. Take in the scenic North Island coast, read or join informative presentations in preparation of our visit to Whangara - a small Maori settlement, and Gisborne which was the location of the first European landing.

Day 9: Art Deco Napier In 1931 a devastating earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale virtually destroyed Napier. The city's rebuild followed the flourishing art deco trend in America and Europe at that time, and offers a wonderful heritage of art deco architecture. Enjoy the day exploring 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.

Day 10: Gisborne and Maori Culture It was in Gisborne on 9 October 1769 that Captain Cook became the first European to make landfall in New Zealand. Whether your interest is history, the region's renowned wines and vineyards, or walks in beautiful gardens, Gisborne offers a multitude of guided or self-discovery options. Later, we land at Whangara Beach for an evening of Maori culture including a traditional welcome, a Kapa Haka cultural show and a tour of the Marae.

Day 11: White Island Volcano Following breakfast we embark on a unique excursion to explore White Island's active volcano, identifiable by the plume of steam continually spouting from its crater. Travelling ashore aboard Xplorer, join the Expedition Leader on a guided walk to the crater.

Day 12: Mercury Islands Join our experienced Guest Lecturer and Expedition Leader as we search and explore the beaches and caves in the remote Mercury Islands. This evening savour the Captain's Farewell Cocktails as we enjoy our last evening amongst the beautiful islands of the Hauraki Gulf.

Day 13: Auckland 'City of Sails' Awaken to breathtaking views of Auckland, the 'City of Sails' as we cruise into the city's world-famous harbour. Farewell new friends before disembarking at 8:00am. 
Auckland to Milford Sound, reverse itinerary, boarding Auckland at approximately 9:00am for a 10:00am departure. Arrive in Milford Sound at approximately 8:00am on Day 13. A complimentary coach transfer from Milford Sound to Queenstown is available. The itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Whilst every effort will be made to follow the itinerary we do reserve the right to vary this itinerary to make allowances for weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.