Have questions? We're here.
Explore the stunning Milford Sound

Coastal New Zealand: Auckland to Milford Sound

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Orion
Talk with an expert
Customize any aspect of your New Zealand trip. 1.406.541.2677
Help Me Plan My Trip
Board the National Geographic Orion on this unforgettable 14-day expedition. New Zealand’s unparalleled natural beauty beckons with soaring peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and swathes of white-sand beaches. Travel through scenic fjords, bays, and sounds, witness plunging waterfalls and an abundance of whales, dolphins, and fur seals drawn by sparkling waters rich with marine life. New Zealand boasts flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world. On guided walks through a rainforest, botanical gardens, and arboretums, learn about the country’s fascinating plant life. Visit sites important to Maori history and culture, Napier’s well-preserved Art Deco city center, and cosmopolitan Auckland, “The City of Sails.” New Zealand’s celebrated wines and culinary specialties add to the many pleasures of this inspiring expedition.
Visit beautiful AucklandSheep and landscapeObserve beautiful fur sealsExperience the local culture of New Zealand.Lupines on the shore of Lake TekapoCoastal beauty of DunedinExplore the stunning Milford SoundExplore the stunning Milford Sound
Highlights
  • Explore the diverse highlights of New Zealand's coast
  • Enjoy guided walks to learn about the unique flora and fauna
  • Learn about the vibrant Maori history and culture
  • Stroll through Napier's distinctive Art Deco city center
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Auckland, New Zealand

Arrive in Auckland, where we check in to our hotel. Join us for a welcome briefing this evening to meet your fellow travelers.

Day 2: Auckland | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Have breakfast at the hotel before joining a tour of this vibrant city center. We’ll stop for lunch midday before embarking National Geographic Orion in the late afternoon

Day 3: Bay of Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Bay of Islands is an area encompassing more than 140 subtropical islands, boasting an abundance of wildlife and fascinating history. Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, a place of immeasurable cultural, spiritual, and historical significance, and learn of the historical events for which these grounds are remembered.

Day 4-5: Great Barrier Island | Exploring Coastal NZ

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Stretch your legs today as we explore Great Barrier Island on exploratory walks and hikes. As we continue south along the North Island’s verdant coast, we let nature guide us as your Captain and Expedition Leader choose our next site for exploration. 

Day 6: Gisborne

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we delve into the cultural riches of Gisborne – the site of the first European landing place in New Zealand in 1769. The city’s warm, sun-filled climate reflects its disposition and complements its rich soils, bountiful islands, miles of sandy beaches and resource-rich oceans. Visit a local Marae and gain insight into the history and culture of the people of this region. In the afternoon, discover the greenery of a local arboretum, and cap the day off with a wine tour and tasting.

Day 7: Napier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the morning getting to know Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand. Choose to discover the city’s unique architecture on an art tour or leave the city behind and join us on a Gannet Safari Tour where we’ll have close encounters at a large Australasian gannet colony.

Day 8: Exploring New Zealand’s South Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today will be exploratory in nature as we discover the many hidden islands and treasures on the northern side of New Zealand’s South Island.

Day 9: Kaikoura

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In Maori, Kaikoura translates to ‘meal of crayfish.’ The region’s abundance of crayfish and nutrient-rich marine system draw impressive quantities of whales, dolphins, and fur seals to its waters. Today we’ll venture out in search of various resident and migratory marine mammals as well as the impressive albatross.

Day 10: Dunedin

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Known for its Victorian and Edwardian architecture and boasting the world’s only mainland albatross colony, Dunedin sits on the verdant southeast coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Discover the world’s smallest penguin, the little blue penguin, and its endangered cousin, the yellow-eyed penguin, on an excursion to the beaches of the Otago Peninsula. Visit the fragrant Dunedin Botanic Gardens, and explore the Otago Museum’s exhibits on nature, culture and science.

Day 11: Stewart Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Stewart Island, known in Maori as Te Punga o Te Waka a Maui, is positioned firmly at the heart of Maori mythology. Today we’ll explore the island’s rare native birdlife as well as it’s well preserved podocarp forest. In the afternoon, discover Stewart Island’s nearby neighbor, Ulva Island, where we’ll hike with naturalists to discover its unspoiled rainforest.

Day 12-13: Dusky Sound | Doubtful Sound

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Over the course of two days we will explore Fiordland National Park, home to fourteen individual fiords. Here we’ll discover hundreds-meter high waterfalls, snowcapped peaks, and we’ll hope for a glimpse of Doubtful Sound’s resident bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, and penguins.

Day 14: Milford Sound | Disembark | Queenstown

Have lunch aboard the ship before disembarking and transferring to Queenstown for flights home.

Ship/Hotel

National Geographic Orion

Keep in shape in the exercise room aboard the National Geographic Orion
The National Geographic Orion is sleek and at your service
The lovely National Geographic Orion

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$19,310
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
Select a Date
Category 1
Cat 1 #316, 318-321. Cabins feature a luminous oval window and configurable beds: two single beds, two beds converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed. An armchair, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities. Marble bathrooms are generously sized and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
Your  Category B Stateroom on the National Geographic Orion
Select a Date
Category 1 Single
Cat 1S #301, 322, 323. These solo cabins feature a window or two portholes, a queen-size bed, except for #301 which has a double bed, writing desk and chair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. Marble bathrooms are generously sized and include a roomy shower stall with a glass door.
A Category A Stateroom on the National Geographic Orion
Select a Date
Category 2
Cat 2 #302-312, 314, 315, 317. Cabins feature a luminous oval window and configurable beds: two single beds, two beds converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed. An armchair, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities. Marble bathrooms are generously sized, and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
A lovely category 3 suite on the National Geographic Oion
Select a Date
Category 3
Cat 3 Suite with Window #401-412, 414-419. These suites feature a sitting area with a large window, a sofa–except slightly smaller #401 & #402–an armchair or two, writing/laptop desk, reading lamps, flat screen TV, & climate controls. Beds are configurable (call for details). Marble bathrooms include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
Select a Date
Category 3 Single
Cat 3S Suite with Window #512. This solo suite features two beds and two large windows, plus two armchairs and small table, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls. The marble bathroom is generously sized and includes a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
National Geographic Orion's Category 4 Cabin.
Select a Date
Category 4
Cat 4 Deluxe Suite with Window #511, 515. These two suites feature separate sleeping and sitting areas, with a chair and armchair and a two-cushion sofa facing an expansive window. Beds are configurable (call for details). Ample storage, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities.
National Geographic Orion's Category 5 Cabin.
Select a Date
Category 5
Cat 5 Suite with French Balcony #501, 503-506, 508. These spacious suites feature open living areas and sliding glass doors opening to a shared French balcony. Beds are configurable (call for details.) A sitting area with arm chairs and a sofa, a writing/laptop desk, well-placed reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the decor.
National Geographic Orion's Category 6 Cabin.
Select a Date
Category 6
Cat 6 Owner’s Suite with French Balcony #502, 507, 509*, 510. These large, elegant suites feature a French balcony, with the exception of #509 which has double windows. Each provides a separate living area with a sofa and two arm chairs, except for #502, which uniquely offers a 'soaking tub with a view' in addition to a shower stall and expansive vanity.

Notes

What's Included:

Aboard ship
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages*
  • Your bar tab and all crew gratuities are included in the voyage price on all National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endurance, and National Geographic Orion voyages. Please call for details.
  • Your bar tab and WiFi** are included in the voyage price on all National Geographic Islander or National Geographic Endeavour II voyages. Please call for details.
  • Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
  • 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand (soda not included on Lord of the Glens)
  • Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during Recap
  • Fitness center or exercise equipment, depending on the ship
  • Fully stocked library, and other gracious public spaces
  • The guidance and company of our expedition staff
  • The services of a physician on certain ships/destinations
Ashore
  • Hotels ashore as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals on land, as indicated in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing & entrance fees
  • Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
  • Transfers to and from group flights
  • The expertise of our expedition staff
Activities
  • All excursions
  • Zodiac & kayak explorations
  • Snorkeling, including wetsuits, masks, fins & snorkel where relevant
  • Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge
*Alcoholic beverages are included on the National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Orion, National Geographic Endurance, Sea Cloud, and Lord of the Glens; certain super-premium brands are not included.


What's Not Included:
Airfare
  • International and internal airfare
Pre- and post-expedition
  • Additional hotel nights
  • Private transfers
  • Travel Protection Plan
  • Passport, visa, and immigration fees
  • Expedition extensions
  • Gratuities
Aboard ship
  • Alcoholic beverages (except aboard Sea Cloud, Lord of the Glens, National Geographic Orion, National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endurance, National Geographic Islander and National Geographic Endeavour II); certain super-premium brands not included
  • Spa treatments
  • Gratuities (except aboard Sea Cloud, National Geographic Orion,  National Geographic Endurance & National Geographic Explorer)
  • Scuba diving
  • Laundry
  • Internet and phone
  • Gift shop items and any other items of personal nature

Map

Inquire

Travel Agents
Christina Mayo employee head shot
Christina M

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
or
Chat Now
This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
Karen Snider
More Reasons

Why Travel With Adventure Life

All News

Recognized By