Embark your ship this afternoon between 4 and 5 PM. Settle in to your cabin and familiarize yourself with the ship and her crew.
Continue to get to know your ship, her crew, and your fellow travelers as your ship sails southward to Tasmania.
Explore the diverse beauty and topography of Australia during an optional orientation tour of Hobart, the Jewel of the South. Join a coach tour to gain a panoramic, introductory view of the city. Pass by the historic warehouse complex of Salamanca Place, which now houses charming shops and restaurants. Make a brief visit to the spectacular Royal Botanical Gardens, considered to be among Australia's finest. Continue on to Bonorong Wildlife Park where Tasmania's endemic species, including the famous Tasmanian devil, are sure to fascinate you. You may also see spotted quolls, pademelon, pottoroos, wombats and echidna. Alternatively, join an excursion to the summit of either Mount Wellington or Mount Nelson (depending on weather conditions), where you can take in panoramic views and photo opportunities of Hobart and southeast Tasmania. Then stop off at Salamanca Place to soak up the local atmosphere and colors, explore the area or relax with a drink in one of the local cafes or bars.
You have two days to spend at your leisure as your ship crosses the Tasman Sea. Take advantage of your ship's luxurious amenities, spend time in the library, enjoy the sea breeze on deck, and prepare for your arrival in New Zealand.
Located at the southern end of New Zealand, off the crystal-clear waters of the Tasman Sea, Milford Sound is an ancient glacial valley of remarkable pristine beauty. With its landscapes of rugged rocks, mirror lakes and virgin forests, the British author Rudyard Kipling described it as a "wonder of the world," full of a surprising variety of wildlife: penguin and seal colonies soaking up the sun on the surrounding shorelines, dolphins and whales playing on the water's surface. On your stop here, do not miss your chance to discover this Southern Hemisphere paradise where numerous scenes from the famous "Lord of the Rings" trilogy were filmed.
Spend the day on deck and keep an eye out for marine and birdlife which may be following in your ship's wake.
Nestled between the sea and mountains, Nelson is a special place where the sun shines year round. Located at the entrance to Cook Strait, its urban bohemian style is truly unique. Dotted with lakes, fertile land, and a seafront offering uninterrupted views over the region and its undulating hinterland, this coastal town is a small piece of heaven. Attracting artists on a quest for inspiration and young travelers seeking a gentle lifestyle, Nelson is sure to seduce you and it is a must-see destination on the way to the west coast glaciers. Take an optional scenic helicopter flight over the surrounding region. Board a local boat from port to reach the Spit Apple Rock, most famous in the world. You can also choose to enjoy a walk along beautiful bays lined with beaches of golden sand and crystal clear waters, lined with native tree covered hills.
This morning, spend the day on board as your ship navigates Ship's Cove. This afternoon, arrive in Picton. From here choose from two optional excursions to explore the area in greater depth. Choose the Queen Charlotte Sound Cruise, which brings you by catamaran to the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island. The easternmost of the main sounds, Queen Charlotte is, like the other sounds, a drowned river valley. Alternatively, stay on land to learn about the area's history and culture. Marlborough is known as New Zealand's Gourmet Province and is the nation's leading producer of fine wines, garlic, olives, cherries, salmon and mussels. Start with a visit to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Center, a stunning complex best described as a movie set with amazing exhibits of World War I aircraft skilfully brought to life. Then visit a French Winery and the township of Blenheim and have a walk through Pollard Park Gardens. The winding pathways lead you through trees and gardens of the contoured grounds, through which meanders a spring-fed creek full of ducks. Return to Picton via Spring Creek and Tuamarina. Head through to Rarangi beach and enjoy a slow walk along the rugged coast of Cloudy Bay. Take an easy 10 minute walk to Monkey Bay where you have fantastic sweeping views down the coastline.
Capital of New Zealand since the 19th century and ancestral homes to generations of Maori tribes, as confirmed by the many historical sites in the city, Wellington perfectly combines local traditions and a bustling nightlife. Avant-garde and friendly, skilfully blending history and modernity, the city is as startling as it is nonconformist. Its climate adds to its charm, giving it a unique atmosphere that is bound to surprise you during your stop here. Close by, the Zealandia Nature Reserve gives you the opportunity to visit several hundred hectares that are home to some of the country's rarest animals, such as the kiwi, the famous little wingless bird with a long bill that is emblematic of New Zealand.
Spend your last day at sea on deck, enjoying the sea breeze, Maybe even crack open that book you haven't had time to read, or reflect on your adventure so far while you prepare for the last leg of your trip.
Today arrive on the North Island, known as "the smoking island." From your port of call in Tauranga to the edges of Rotorua, set out to discover the protected forests, whose thick mantle conceals an astonishing landscape: volcanoes, hot springs, spouting geysers, rivers and gorges, and lakes that are sometimes deep blue, sometimes tinged in orange. Wonder at this land of a thousand and one colors, birthplace of the Maori culture. Rotorua is nestled on the shores of the lake bearing the same name. In the heart of a majestic volcanic setting, Rotorua is considered to be home to New Zealand's most atypical forests and cultivated lands, a chain of fifteen lakes dots the landscape like pearls on a dazzling necklace. Details of your excursions today are forthcoming.
If Paris is considered to be the City of Love, Auckland is surely the city of lovers - if you are to believe its Maori name "Tamaki Makaurau," Long coveted, envied, and fought over for its riches, the city offers visitors a combination of natural beauty and sophistication. Disembark following breakfast and transfer to the airport for your homeward flights, or spend time exploring this exciting city independently.