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A beautiful view of Milford Sound.

New Zealand: Milford Sound to Wellington

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Coral Discoverer
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With its stunning coastal landscapes, small seaside townships and an abundance of marine life, New Zealand is uniquely suited to be explored on a small ship expedition.

Board the Coral Discoverer as we cruise to the less accessible and remote locations the South Island has to offer. Visit the magnificent Marlborough Sound, the glassy waters of Fiordland, and the little-known Stewart Island. Get up close to wildlife with our Expedition Team, take guided bush walks, and explore by kayak. Wake up to new vistas each day and relax in the comfort of life on board.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Queenstown | Milford Sound | Embark
Day 2 : Doubtful Sound | Thompson Sound
Day 3 : Dusky Sound | Pigeon Island
Day 4 : Stewart Island | Ulva Island
Day 5 : Dunedin
Day 6 : Akaroa
Day 7 : Kaikoura
Day 8 : Marlborough Sound
Day 9 : Tasman Bay | Golden Bay
Day 10 : Marlborough Sound
Day 11 : Wellington | Disembark

Highlights

  • Experience the grandeur and remote beauty of Fiordland National Park
  • Kayak and bush-walk in National Parks, including Abel Tasman National Park
  • Visit Stewart Island and encounter some of New Zealand’s iconic wildlife
  • Explore some of the beautiful and historic east coast cities like Dunedin

Ship

Coral Discoverer

Places Visited

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

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A beautiful view of Milford Sound. Explore New Zealand's stunning Milford Sound Clear Water and Tropical Island Experience the local culture of New Zealand. Sheep and landscape A group fo people enjoying a fire on the coast of New Zealand. Observe beautiful fur seals

Day 1 Queenstown | Milford Sound | Embark

Transfer from Queenstown to Milford Sound via the morning coach to board Coral Discoverer at 2:00 pm for departure at 3. Sail through the iconic Milford Sound with its spectacular mirror images of the towering Mitre Peak. Take in the sites while enjoying the Captain’s Welcome Drinks and meeting the crew and your fellow passengers.

Day 2 Doubtful Sound | Thompson Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up to the magnificent scenery of Doubtful Sound. This morning, explore the most spectacular and deepest waterway in Fiordland. Join guest lecturers aboard the Xplorer and cruise through a maze of hidden channels home to a myriad of wildlife including dolphins, seals and penguins. The ship sails from Doubtful Sound into Thompson Sound to discover more isolated scenes of breathtaking wilderness in these ancient glacial fiords.

Day 3 Dusky Sound | Pigeon Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Depart Fiordland National Park via the dramatic Dusky Sound, stopping at Pigeon Island. You will be in awe of the sheer rugged beauty of Fiordland. The ship cruises among towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, pass some of the 365 small islands and explore the depths of the inlets in the zodiacs.

Day 4 Stewart Island | Ulva Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Stewart Island (Rakiura) is New Zealand’s little-known third island. There is a very small settlement of people on the island, but most "mainland" New Zealanders have never ventured to the curious wild land. Ulva Island is also found within the Rakiura National Park, offering a predator-free environment for rare and endangered birds including South Island Saddleback, Yellowhead, Rifleman, Stewart Island Robin, and the iconic Kiwi; the Stewart Island Brown Kiwi birds are known to venture out in daylight. On Ulva Island, take a guided walk to encounter this vast array of bird life and hopefully spot a few fur seals lazing on the shore during the tour.

An optional tour can be taken ashore Stewart Island at additional cost.

Day 5 Dunedin

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Before docking in Dunedin, you are welcomed to Otago Peninsula with sights of the world’s only mainland breeding colony of northern royal albatross. You may also see a colony of the world’s rarest penguin, the yellow-eyed penguin and various other unique species. Dunedin City is regarded as New Zealand’s architectural heritage capital. There is a time to explore all that the city has to offer including the Victorian and Edwardian structures, art galleries and botanical gardens.

Day 6 Akaroa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, the ship sails into the Banks Peninsula, named for "first fleet" botanist Joseph Banks, and discover the history of Akaroa. This scenic village, built on the edge of a sunken volcanic crater, was once a bustling French colonized whaling community. A leisurely walk through the village to discover its obscure French history, friendly cafes and great craft stores. Optional shore excursions are offered at Akaroa, such as swimming with the smallest and rarest dolphin – the Hectors Dolphin.

Day 7 Kaikoura

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The picturesque town of Kaikoura is located between rugged mountain ranges and the Pacific Ocean. Renowned as possibly the best whale watching destination in the world, Kaikoura is one of the very few places it is possible to observe the Giant Sperm Whale. Aboard a small specialized boat, explore the ocean in search of the Giant Sperm Whale.

Day 8 Marlborough Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, explore the spectacular waterways of Marlborough Sounds including the fjord-like Queen Charlotte Sound. Retrace the path of Captain Cook’s three exploratory voyages, including a stop at Ships Cove.

Day 9 Tasman Bay | Golden Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Disembark onto Golden Bay with its inviting golden sand beach between the crystalline blue waters and native Manuka and fern forests. Venture out with expedition leaders to kayak around the coastline and joining an informative bush walk in Abel Tasman National Park.

Day 10 Marlborough Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy a multitude of interpreted explorations on the Xplorer and zodiac vessels today, all guided by the expedition team and guest lecturers. Visit Moturoa Island with its abundant native bird life and visit remote coastal towns and location often only accessible by boat.

Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Drinks while reflecting on a refreshing journey exploring New Zealand’s remote coast.

Day 11 Wellington | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Bid your farewell and disembark at 8:00 am in New Zealand’s capital city Wellington.

Coral Discoverer

Per person starting at
$6,265
Select a Date
Main Deck B
Averaging 195 sq. ft. Three cabins located on the Main Deck, equipped with twin portholes, desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Select a Date
Main Deck A
Averaging 195 sq. ft. Six cabins located on the Main Deck, equipped with twin porthole windows, desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Select a Date
Promenade Deck B
Averaging 160 sq. ft. Four cabins located on the Promenade Deck, equipped with picture windows, desk, telephone and Junior King bedding.
Select a Date
Promenade Deck A
Averaging 195 sq. ft. Eighteen cabins located on the Promenade Deck, equipped with picture windows, sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Select a Date
Bridge Deck
Averaging 195 sq. ft. Five cabins located on the Bridge Deck, equipped with picture windows, sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.

Notes

Solo Travelers:
Solo cabin occupancy is limited and based on availability in Promenade Deck B cabins only. Single supplement is an additional 50%.

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.

Included

› Expedition Voyage aboard Coral Discoverer as described in itinerary
› Expert Expedition Team
› Daily guided excursions on the Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels, and kayaks where conditions allow
› All meals, prepared fresh by our chefs
› Showcase wines, selected beers and soft drinks with lunch and dinner service
› 24 hour coffee and selection of teas
› Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events, and Open Bridge Access with the Captain
› Guided sightseeing in each destination
› All entrance fees to National Parks and Ports
› Pre-cruise transfers from Queenstown to Milford Sound

Excluded

› Travel insurance
› Flights
› Post-cruise transfers
› Various optional extra activities at some destinations
› Alcoholic drinks including beer and wine outside of lunch and dinner service
› Internet services (available at a cost)
› Laundry service (available at a cost)
› Entry visas or travel permits
› Items of a personal nature including but not limited to phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of the included drinks package as highlighted) laundry charges and souvenir purchases.

Tipping not required
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Jess H

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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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