New Zealand - Aotearoa: Auckland-Milford Sound Cruise

Adventure Life
Experience the local culture of New Zealand.
Adventure Life
A beautiful view of Milford Sound.
Explore the active volcano on White Island
Adventure Life
A group fo people enjoying a fire on the coast of New Zealand.
Looking at wildlife between the trees
Relax in the Oceanic Discoverer's lounge.
Enjoying a drink on the deck of the Oceanic Discoverer.


  • Experience traditional Maori culture at the Kapa Haka Cutlural show.
  • Explore the Marlborough Sounds by land and sea.
  • Discover the scenic beauty of wild Stewart Island.
  • Cruise Doubtful Sound, Fiordland National Park's most spectacular waterway.

Join the Coral Discoverer on a once-in-a-lifetime New Zealand adventure to discover the dramatic scenery, fascinating Maori culture and iconic wildlife of the 'Land of the Long White Cloud.' For 12 unforgettable nights this small ship cruise from Auckland, the 'City of Sails,' to Milford Sound, experiencing the country’s outstanding iconic sights and the genuine warm welcome for which New Zealanders are renowned.

Day 1

  • Dinner

Auckland, New Zealand – Embark

Board the ship at 4:00pm and depart the "City of Sails" at 5:00pm. Enjoy the views of the city and Hauraki Gulf as you begin your 13 day New Zealand expedition cruise. Spend the late afternoon cruising through Hauraki Gulf and its many islands before joining the Captain and his crew for Welcome Cocktails. Then, enjoy the first of many delicious dinners aboard Coral Discoverer.

Day 2

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

White Island

Depending on the weather, embark on an excursion to White Island and its active volcano, identifiable by the constant plume of steam spouting from its crater. Following a landing with the "Xplorer," spend approximately three hours on a guided walk to the crater, then return to the Coral Discoverer for lunch. Cruise southwards along the coast to Whangara, a small Maori settlement best known for its use in the movie 'Whale Rider.'

Day 3

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


This morning, depending on the weather, land on Whangara Beach for an traditional Maori cultural experience. Learn about the Hongi, attend a Kapa Haka cultural show, and take a tour of the Marae by the elder of the Ngati Konohi people.

Following your visit with the Maori, cruise to Gisborne, the first European landing place in New Zealand. Captain Cook's first landing took place in 1769 and a European settlement was established in 1831. Enjoy the opportunity to explore the region. Whether your interest is the history, the renowned wines and vineyards, short or long walks or beautiful gardens, this region offers you a multitude of guided or self-discovery options.

Day 4

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Sail for Napier, a unique city which was rebuilt in 1931 following a large earthquake. The rebuild followed the flourishing art deco trend in America and Europe, and offers a wonderful heritage of art deco architecture. Spend the morning enjoying the sights of the city, or embark on an optional adventure tour to Cape Kidnappers Gannet Sanctuary, the world's largest mainland gannet colony.

Days 5-6

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Marlborough Sounds

Spend two days exploring an array of spectacular waterways, including the fjord-like Queen Charlotte Sound. Retrace the history of Captain Cook and visit Ships Cove, a regular stop for Captain Cook on his voyage of discovery and the place where he careened his vessel the Endeavour. Days five and six offer a multitude of explorations aboard the Xplorer and inflatable Zodiacs under the guidance of your Expedition Leader. Subject to timing, spend time ashore in Picton. Guided visits to Moturoa Island are offered where you can enjoy an abundance of bird life. Bid farewell to the dark green hills and blue-green waters of the Sounds with an evening cruise through the scenic Tory Channel. In the evening, continue the journey southwards.

Day 7

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day seven is dedicated to the ultimate marine experience of whale watching along the Kaikoura coastline. Kaikoura is one of the few places in the world where you can view the giant sperm whale in its natural environment. Joined by dusky dolphins, seabirds, fur seals and other migratory whale species, a whale-watching opportunity in New Zealand promises to be an experience you will never forget.

Day 8

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Cruise to the secluded Akaroa Harbor, a picturesque bay which hosts a myriad of wildlife including penguins and dolphins. Hope to swim with one of the smallest and rarest dolphins in the world - the Hector's or New Zealand Dolphin. Originally settled by the French in the early 19th century, Akaroa retains its Gallic heritage and ambiance.

Day 9

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Cruise past the world's largest mainland albatross colony at Tairoa Heads. The area is also the home of the world's rarest penguin, the Yellowed Eyed Penguin. Dunedin offers a great diversity of experiences, ranging from the abundant wildlife to the historic Edwardian and Victorian architecture, the Otakou Maori marae, the famous Speights brewery, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Settlers Museum, and New Zealand's oldest botanical gardens. Spend a full day in port exploring the area at your leisure.

Day 10

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Stewart Island

Cruise to Stewart Island, a large island which is almost totally wilderness and home to a vast number of seals, birds and other wildlife. Spend a day of discovery and exploration throughout the Paterson Inlet and surrounding areas. Either encounter includes guided "Xplorer" and/or Zodiac excursions to maximize the experience to it fullest. Walk ashore with an experienced naturalists to encounter native birds such as the Weka, Tui, Bellbird, Kaka, and Karikari.

Day 11

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Dusky Fiord

Begin your experience of the deep Fiordland waterways as you enter Dusky Fiord. Spend the day in awe of the spectacular and dramatic natural wilderness while cruising past the sheer cliffs and tumbling waterfalls of this beautiful landscape. Enjoy the view from the Coral Discoverer or choose to explore the inlets on the "Xplorer" or Zodiacs. Rejoin the Coral Discoverer and head north to Doubtful Fiord to anchor for the evening.

Day 12

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Doubtful Sound

Sail into Doubtful Sound, the deepest of the fiords. Join the "Xplorer" or one of the inflatable Zodiacs with your informative Guest Lecturers and take a guided excursion through the maze of spectacular waterways. In the evening, enjoy the Captain's Farewell Cocktails while engulfed by the dramatic scenery.

Day 13

  • Breakfast

Milford Sound

Savor your breakfast as you cruise the dramatic 14 miles of Milford Sound. The calm waters of the sound mirror the sheer peaks that rise all around, including the instantly recognizable Mitre Peak, towering some 5250 feet above the water. Disembark in Milford Sound and bid farewell to the Captain and crew. Join your chartered coach for the drive through Fiordland National Park and along the shores of beautiful Lake Te Anau before arriving in the alpine town of Queenstown. During the drive, enjoy breathtaking mountain scenery and pass through the remarkable 3,940 foot Homer Tunnel, a fantastic way to conclude your journey of 'the land of the long white cloud.'

 Main Deck BMain Deck APromenade Deck BPromenade Deck ABridge Deck
* Itinerary operates in reverse.
Solo Travelers:
A 50% single supplement is charged or select the “twin share” program. Book a cabin at the posted fare and the Coral Discoverer will attempt to match you with another solo traveler of the same gender. If not possible, enjoy the sole use of the cabin at the twin share price.

Important Fare Information:
Rates are posted based off of the current exchange rates from Australian or New Zealand Dollars. Please contact us for current exchange rates.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations hoped to visit and activities on offer. Whilst every effort will be made to follow this itinerary the Coral Discoverer reserves the right to vary this itinerary to make allowances for weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may effect the operation of the vessel.

Cruise fare includes:
- Coach transfers from Queenstown Hotels to to Coral Discoverer on Day 1 of the Queenstown to Auckland cruise and also from Coral Discoverer to Queenstown Hotels on Day 13 of the Auckland to Queenstown cruise
- 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
- Landing fees

Cruise fare excludes: Pre and Post flights; fuel surcharges where applicable, personal items such as telephone, internet, facsimile charges, laundry, bar charges, travel insurance, optional shore excursions in Dunedin, Napier, Akaroa, Gisborne and Stewart Island. Optional shore excursions are booked on board the ship.

Important Fare Information:
Fares are posted off of current exchange rates from the Australian Dollar. Please contact us for current exchange rates.