Have questions? We're here.
Beautiful view of Akaroa

Fiordland, Hautere and the South Coast

Wellington to Bluff - Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Coral Geographer
Talk with an expert
Build your ideal New Zealand trip. Call 1.406.541.2677
Start Planning My Trip
Join Coral Geographer on an 11-day expedition cruise from New Zealand's South Island to the deep and secluded Murihiku fiords. Observe the vast variety of aquatic life that calls the area home (Southland). This voyage takes you through New Zealand's picturesque east coast towns, where you can see wildlife in its native habitat, including legions of bird species. Enjoy access to remote and hard-to-reach wilderness areas in the Marlborough Sounds and Fiordland, as well as sheltered coves and islands where you can see fur seals, kakapos, and pods of friendly dolphins.

 
A quiet morning near DunedinBeautiful view of Akaroa
Highlights
  • Taste the world-renowned wines produced in the Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough regions.
  • Explore four of Fiordland's most stunning and seldom-visited sounds.
  • Discover the history and wildlife of Southland.
  • Stroll around Rakiura (Stewart Island).
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Wellington | Embark

After a pre-cruise SailSafe check-in, board Coral Geographer in Wellington at 4:00 pm. Depart at 5:00 pm and cruise towards the Marlborough Sound while you settle into your stateroom and relax. Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard before meeting your fellow travelers, the Captain, and crew for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.

Day 2-10: Exploring New Zealand's South Coast

  • Ship
  • 9 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners
strong>MARLBOROUGH SOUNDS
The ancient river valleys that form the Marlborough Sounds make up 20% of New Zealand’s coastline. The webs of sunken channels are surrounded by forest-cloaked peaks and vineyards, all of which present a breathtaking view from any perspective.
This lush region produces much of New Zealand’s seafood, and 80% of its wine. The fertile soil in this region supported the country’s first known Polynesian settlement in the late 1200s AD at Wairau Bar.

This evening, enjoy Captain’s Farewell Drinks in the beautiful surrounds of Marlborough, before crossing the Cook Strait overnight.

KAIKOURA
Ringed by the breathtaking snow-dusted Seaward Kaikoura Ranges, the picturesque town of Kaikoura is 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 Sperm whales. Aboard a small, specialized vessel, we will explore the ocean in search of these amazing mammals, as well as fur seals, dusky and Hector’s dolphins, and other migratory whales.



AKAROA
This morning, sail into the long harbour of Akaroa, formed by the breached volcanic crater that makes up the Banks Peninsula. The village of Akaroa has the unique identity of being the only French settlement in New Zealand, and its charming cottages and French street names still carry that identity today.


DUNEDIN
Dunedin, settled in and around an ancient volcanic crater, is known for its Scottish and Maori heritage. Named after the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the city’s heritage buildings, cathedrals, and charming atmosphere share an old-world atmosphere. Dunedin City is regarded as New Zealand’s architectural heritage capital. 
You will have time to explore the city at your own leisure: perhaps visit the famous Speight’s Brewery, art gallery, museum, and New Zealand’s oldest botanic gardens. There will also be a choice of included excursions with local operators – choose between a coach tour of the Otago Peninsula’s most scenic beaches and Dunedin’s highlights, or a railway journey through the rugged and spectacular Taieri River Gorge.


STEWART & ULVA ISLANDS​
Known in Maori mythology as Te Punga o Te Waka – The Anchor Stone of Maui’s Canoe’ – Stewart Island (Rakiura) is New Zealand’s little known ‘third island’.  Apart from the communities on the island, many people never venture to remote Stewart Island.  Nearby Ulva Island is also found within the Rakiura National Park, offering a predator-free environment for rare and endangered birds including South Island Saddleback, Stewart Island Weka, New Zealand Pigeon/Kereru, South Island Kaka, Yellow- and Red-crowned Parakeet (Kakariki), Morepork, Rifleman (New Zealand’s smallest bird), New Zealand Fantail, South Island Tomtit, Stewart Island Robin, Yellowhead (Mohoua), Brown Creeper, Grey Warbler, New Zealand Bellbird and Tui.


FIORDLAND - DUSKY, DOUBTFUL & THOMPSON SOUNDS
Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage site once described as the Eighth Wonder of the World, is characterised by 14 fiords carving through just 215km of coastline.  These fiords were carved by glaciers over thousands of years, and you will see waterfalls cascading down the sheer cliffs, rainforest cloaking the steep ridges, and granite peaks reflected in the deep shimmering waters.

Enter Fiordland National Park at dramatic Tamatea / Dusky Sound, and cruise among towering cliffs and sheer granite walls of Facile Harbour, cascading waterfalls, pass some of the 365 small islands and explore the depths of the inlets in the zodiacs.  Inaccessible by road, Tamatea / Dusky Sound is the largest and most complex of the Fiordland Sounds.  It is also a designated Important Bird Area for the Fiordland Penguins that breed here.

In the afternoon, trace Acheron Passage to Breaksea Sound, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes on all sides as we retrace Cook’s journey. It is easy to imagine the small wooden Endeavour being dwarfed by the steep-sided fiords and encircled by the blanketing silence of the fog-cloaked peaks.

Doubtful Sound / Patea is the deepest and widest fiord, flanked by towering cliffs and adorned by cascading waterfalls.  The stillness and silence of this Fiord is compelling and unforgettable.  We will cruise into Doubtful Sound / Patea, and past the outer Seal Islands, Nee Islets and through ‘the Gut’, before cruising by Blanket Bay. You may spot fur seals lounging on the rocks, pods of dolphins, and the Fiordland penguin. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Drinks.


SOLANDER ISLANDS (HAUTERE)​
The Solander Islands, with the Maori name Hautere translating to ‘flying wind’, are a trio of uninhabited volcanic islets that lie just beyond New Zealand’s South Island. Aboard the Endeavour, Captain James Cook spotted the islands in early 1770, and was named after a Swedish scientific crew member on board, Daniel Solander. The islands have only been known to be inhabited briefly due to marooning or shipwreck.
With one third of the wildlife on the islands being incredibly rare, the bulk of the species include ferns and orchids. Birds known to call the islands home include fernbirds, snipe and white-fronted terns with the islands being declared an Important Bird Area as it is a breeding site for common diving petrels and Buller’s albatrosses amassing some 5000 pairs. The area is well-known whale migration with sightings of extraordinarily large sperm whales.
 

Day 11: Bluff | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning, arrive at Bluff to disembark at 8:00am. Complimentary post-cruise transfers to Queenstown is available.

Ship/Hotel

Coral Geographer

Coral Geographer
Coral Geographer Deck

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$6,010
Coral Deck Stateroom
Select a Date
Coral Deck Stateroom
Located on the Coral Deck, these 17 Sq m staterooms are furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. Twin porthole windows give you views of the world outside.
Promenade Deck Stateroom
Select a Date
Promenade Deck Stateroom
Located on the Promenade Deck, these 17 Sq m staterooms are furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. A large picture window gives you wide views of the world outside.
Coral Geographer
Select a Date
Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom
These 21.4 Sq m staterooms are comfortably furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. Your private balcony has seating for two from which to view the passing coastal vistas. These staterooms are located on the Explorer deck.
Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
Select a Date
Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
Bridge Deck Balcony Suites are equipped with a lounge area, minibar and personal coffee machine. Along with special King sized beds which can be separated into two singles. An 3.5 sq m private balcony has an outdoor daybed and lounge chair for two.
Included
  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 1 Night Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Gear Rental - Snorkeling equipment
  • All entrance fees to National Parks and Ports
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Lectures, workshops and demonstrations onboard
  • Selected beers, wines and house spirits and soft drinks with lunch and dinner service.
  • 24-hour soft drinks, tea, and barista-style coffee
  • Captain's welcome and farewell drinks 
  • Expert Expedition Team and Guest Lecturers
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and kayaks
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Scuba Diving
  • Laundry Service
  • Entry visas/Travel permits
  • Alcoholic drinks including beer and wine outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Internet 

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

Inquire

Travel Agents
headshot Kevin Moore
Kevin M

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
or
Chat Now
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney
More Reasons

Why Travel With Adventure Life

All News

Recognized By