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A group fo people enjoying a fire on the coast of New Zealand.

New Zealand - Aotearoa: Wellington - Milford Sound

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Coral Discoverer
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Join the Coral Discover on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to discover the dramatic scenery, fascinating Maori culture and iconic wildlife of New Zealand’s beautiful South Island. Over 8 unforgettable nights cruise from the country’s charming and cosmopolitan capital Wellington to Milford Sound, experiencing the country’s iconic sights and the genuine warm welcome for which New Zealanders are renowned.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Wellington
Day 2 : Marlborough Sound
Day 3 : Kaikoura Whalewatching
Day 4 : Akaroa
Day 5 : Dunedin
Day 6 : Stewart Island
Day 7 : Dusky Fiord
Day 8 : Doubtful Sound
Day 9 : Milfornd Sound and Queenstown


  • Visit Moturoa Island and enjoy an abundance of birdlife.
  • Go whale watching around the town of Kaikoura.
  • Discover the scenic beauty of wild Stewart Island.
  • Cruise Doubtful Sound, Fiordland National Park's most spectacular waterway.


Coral Discoverer

Places Visited

  • New Zealand
  • South Pacific
  • Akaroa
  • Doubtful Sound
  • Dunedin
  • Dusky Sound
  • Kaikoura
  • Marlorough Sounds
  • Milford Sound
  • Queenstown
  • Stewart Island
  • Wellington


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

A group fo people enjoying a fire on the coast of New Zealand. A beautiful view of Milford Sound. On shore in New Zealand Looking at wildlife between the trees Experience the local culture of New Zealand.

Day 1 Embark in Wellington

  • 1 Dinner
Board the Coral Discoverer in Wellington this evening. As you depart, enjoy spectacular views of New Zealand’s scenic capital city as you your way along the islands of the Cook Strait. Meet your fellow travelers, the Captain, and his crew at the Captain’s Welcome cocktail hour.

Day 2 Marlborough Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore 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 on his voyage of discovery. The day offers a multitude of explorations aboard the Xplorer and inflatable Zodiacs under the guidance of your Expedition Leader. Visit Moturoa Island and enjoy an abundance of birdlife. Bid farewell to the dark hills and blue-green waters of the Sounds with an evening cruise through the scenic Tory Channel.

Day 3 Kaikoura Whalewatching

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The scenic coastal town of Kaikoura, renowned as one of the world’s best destinations for whalewatching, is one of few places where it is possible to view the giant Sperm Whale in its natural environment. Join a special cruise to discover these majestic mammals, along with Fur Seals, dolphins and other migratory whales, an experience never to be forgotten. Stroll around the pretty coastal town before reboarding Coral Discoverer and continuing your journey south.

Day 4 Akaroa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise into secluded Akaroa Harbour, a very scenic village nestled in the heart of an active volcano. Stroll through the village to discover its French history, cozy cafes and excellent craft stores. Enjoy optional shore excursions and hope to swim with one of the smallest and rarest dolphins in the world: the Hector’s or New Zealand Dolphin.

Day 5 Dunedin

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruising past the world’s largest mainland albatross colony at Tairoa Heads, which is also the home of the world’s rarest penguin, the Yellow Eyed Penguin. Dunedin offers a great diversity of experiences, varying from its 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. Enjoy a full day ashore and explore at your own pace.

Day 6 Stewart Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Discover the natural delights and scenic beauty of Stewart Island, a large island which is almost entirely wilderness. The island is home to a vast number of seals, birds and other wildlife. Land at Paterson Inlet and join a guided walk to encounter native birds such as the Weka, Tui, Bellbird, Kaka, and New Zealand’s iconic 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 7 Dusky Fiord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Experience Fiordland National Park as you enter Dusky Sound. Spend the day in awe of the spectacular and dramatic wilderness as you cruise amongst the sheer cliffs and tumbling waterfalls of this beautiful landscape. Enjoy the view from the Coral Discoverer or choose to explore the inlets from Xplorer or zodiacs. Continuing northward, anchor for the evening at the entrance to spectacular Doubtful Sound.

Day 8 Doubtful Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Awaken to the magnificent scenery of Doubtful Sound. The deepest of the sounds, Doubtful Sound was named by Captain Cook in 1770 and is often described as Fiordland’s most spectacular waterway. Join guest lecturers aboard Xplorer as you cruise amongst the towering peaks and explore a maze of hidden waterways, home to myriad marine and bird life. This evening, enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail as you make your way to world-famous Milford Sound, your final stop on this memorable journey.

Day 9 Milfornd Sound and Queenstown

  • 1 Breakfast
Savor breakfast as your ship cruises the dramatic 14 mile length 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 5,250 feet above the water. At 8:00 AM, 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 Lake Te Anau before arriving in Queenstown. Enjoy breathtaking mountain scenery and pass through the remarkable 3,940 foot long Homer Tunnel, a fantastic way to conclude your journey exploring 'the land of the long white cloud.'

Coral Discoverer

Per person starting at
Coral Discoverer Main Category B Stateroom
Select a Date
Main Deck B
Main Deck, 17.5-18.5 sqm, with either junior king or twin bedding.
Oceanic Discoverer's Main Deck Category A.
Select a Date
Main Deck A
Main Deck, 18 sqm, with either junior king or twin bedding.
Oceanic Discoverer's Promenade Deck Category B.
Select a Date
Promenade Deck B
Promenade Deck, 14-16 sqm, junior king bedding.
Oceanic Discoverer's Promenade Deck Category A.
Select a Date
Promenade Deck A
Promenade Deck, 16-17.5 sqm, junior king bedding.
Coral Discoverer Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom
Select a Date
Bridge Deck
Bridge Deck, 17-18 sqm, junior king or twin bedding.


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.

Your cruise price includes:
- 8 nights accommodation in selected room grade
- All meals, morning and afternoon teas
- 24 hour tea/coffee and soda fountain soft drinks
- Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Drinks
- Use of onboard facilities
- Access to islands, marine and national parks
- Guided tours on Xplorer expedition vessel and Zodiacs
- Touring as described in the itinerary
- Services of expedition staff and lecturers including briefings
- Port taxes and government charges imposed by government authorities
- One way scheduled coach transfer between Queenstown and Milford Sound or vice versa.

Your cruise price does not include:
- Pre and post flights, transfers and hotels
- Travel Insurance
- Personal items such as communications and bar charges
- Optional shore excursions in selected locations.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations visited and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition changes to the itinerary may be made as necessary to maximize your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.

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


  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners
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Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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