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A quiet morning near Dunedin

New Zealand Coastal Odyssey: The Ultimate Expedition Cruise of the New Zealand Coast

Queenstown to Auckland - Example 14 Day Cruise aboard Heritage Adventurer
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Embark on a 14-day expedition aboard the Heritage Adventurer. Begin with an overnight stay at a designated hotel, enjoy a welcome dinner, and meet fellow adventurers. Heading towards Fiordland, enjoy two days exploring its rich history and abundant wildlife. From Doubtful Sound to Acheron Passage, experience the rugged terrain and misty veils that create a captivating backdrop. Next, visit Ulva Island, known for its predator-free wildlife and historic sites. Continue to Dunedin and Akaroa; encounters with albatross and French heritage await. Explore Wellington's vibrant city scene before sailing through Marlborough Sounds and reaching Napier's Art Deco charm. The journey concludes in Auckland after a visit to Rotorua's geothermal wonders, promising an unforgettable exploration of New Zealand's hidden gems.
Unique landscape of Auckland Islands.Tree cover on the islands of New Zealand.QueenstownQueenstown, New Zealandcruising at Doubtful SoundAmazing Doubtful SoundStewart Island, New ZealandCoastal beauty of DunedinCoastal beauty of DunedinBeautiful view of AkaroaVisit AucklandVisit beautiful AucklandA quiet morning near Dunedin
Highlights
  • Enjoy a morning exploring Queenstown before departing for Port of Bluff
  • See Fiordland's remote region rich in history, wildlife, & stunning landscapes
  • Explore the predator-free Ulva Island, rich in birdlife and history
  • Sail into Otago Harbour and explore Dunedin's rich history
  • Admire the French-inspired town, cheese factory, and vineyard of Akaroa
  • Discover the vibrant city of Wellington on foot & visit museums & gardens
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Queenstown

  • 1 Dinner
Start your adventure at the hotel with a delightful dinner at the designated hotel. Connect over dinner with fellow adventurers and our expedition team, building friendships for the journey ahead.

Day 2: Port of Bluff | Embark

Today, start your day with breakfast at the hotel restaurant and then take the morning to explore Queenstown at your leisure. Return to the hotel for lunch before departing for the Port of Bluff to board the Heritage Adventurer. Upon arrival, settle into your accommodation on the ship and acquaint yourself with the surroundings. Join the expedition team in the Observation Lounge or on the Observation Deck as we set sail towards Fiordland, marking the beginning of our adventure.

Day 3-4: Fiordland

We have two days to explore the incredible wilderness of Fiordland in the south-west corner of the South Island. This is an area rich in history, majestic scenery, and abundant wildlife. Fiordland was well known to local Māori, with the demi-god Tu-teraki-whanoa being said to have used his adze, Te Hamo, to carve out the region’s fiords. Captain Cook and his crew landed here on HMS Resolution in 1773; they were the first Europeans to visit Fiordland, subsequently spending five weeks in Dusky Sound. Cook’s records of his discovery and maps attracted sealers and whalers. Historically, this region has been very important and has shaped the future of the country. Fiordland’s coast is only accessible by sea, making it the most remote region of New Zealand’s mainland. Waterfalls, streams, rivers, and fiords are enveloped with misty veils that come and go, revealing steep gradients of mountain peaks and sheltered valleys. In rugged terrain, the thickly forested floors are covered with ferns, lichens, and mosses. Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins, and Little Blue Penguins are all residents of the fiords; during our time here, we will look for them. Our schedule gives us the flexibility to visit as much as possible. Areas we plan to explore include Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound, Acheron Passage, Astronomer’s Point, and Pickersgill Harbour. During our time in Dusky Sound, there will be the optional opportunity to experience an unforgettable helicopter flight through the Sound, swooping down alongside Cooper Island and Cook Channel, with a landing on Mt. Pender, where spectacular vistas across constellations of islands stretching into the horizon and dotting the winding fiords can be enjoyed. Our final plan will be determined by the weather. The captain and Expedition Leader will work hard to make the best use of our time in this incredible region of New Zealand, including areas that a few New Zealanders have visited.

Day 5: Stewart Island

New Zealand’s third island is well off the usual beaten tourist track. It is a wonderfully tranquil place; the scenery of untouched bushland is stunning. We will enjoy a morning exploring Ulva Island which is rich in history and wildlife. being a predator-free island since 1997, the bird song and wildlife are some of the best. In Paterson Inlet, you will have time to explore the sandy beaches of Boulder Bay and West End Beach, or just enjoy some time around Post Office Bay and Sydney Cove. Some of the wildlife you may get to see while walking the tracks on Ulva Island include Stewart Island Robin, Stewart Island Weka, South Island Kaka, Kereru (Wood Pigeon), Mohua (Yellowhead), Red-crowned Parakeet, Fantail, Bellbird, and Tui. There are many more species that may also be seen, and our knowledgeable expedition guides will be listening for bird calls and keeping a close watch on the overhead canopies and the surrounding shrubs to identify further species. During our time in Paterson Inlet, there will also be the opportunity to explore the quirky town center of Oban in Halfmoon Bay, where a drink with a view can be enjoyed at the iconic South Sea Hotel and there are some beautiful walks in the surrounding forests.

Day 6: Dunedin

This morning, sail into the beautiful Otago Harbour and watch closely for the Northern Royal Albatross at the Tairoa Head Albatross Colony. From our berth at Port Chalmers, explore the famed fashion-forward city of Dunedin, the Edinburgh of the South, and its rich history as the gateway to Otago. Explore the scenic Otago Peninsula, where sea lions rest and yellow-eyed penguins can be spotted in one of their last mainland strongholds, and where the beautiful farmed hills roll down towards white-sand beaches.

Day 7: Akaroa

Heritage Adventurer will make her way through the Akaroa Heads and anchor in the sheltered waters off Canterbury’s largest harbor. It was here, beneath the eroded volcanic hills of the Banks Peninsula, that the French attempted to settle in 1840. The French connection remains to this day, with a certain je ne sais quoi imbibing the township of Akaroa. This afternoon, visit the Barry’s Bay Cheese Factory and French Farm Vineyard at the head of the harbor, as well as enjoy the opportunity to explore Akaroa or take one of the local nature walks.

Day 8: Wellington

New Zealand’s ‘coolest little capital’, Wellington, is an exceptional natural harbor, where Heritage Adventurer will be docked in the center of the action. From here, you can easily explore this vibrant city on foot. Visit the cable car, explore the world-renowned Zealandia nature reserve, discover the Botanic Gardens, and visit Te Papa New Zealand’s national museum.

Day 9: Nelson | Abel Tasman National Park

The spiritual home of Heritage Expeditions and one of the best yet seldom-visited ports of New Zealand, join your naturalists to discover the incredibly beautiful coastal scenery of the Abel Tasman National Park or take the opportunity to discover the region's culinary delights, artisan crafts, and world-class wines.

Day 10: Marlborough

This morning, Heritage Adventurer sails into the sheltered waters of the Marlborough Sounds, a beautiful labyrinth of waterways intersecting the northern shores of the South Island. Take the opportunity to explore a coastal trail through the lush, regenerating forest and watch for native birds, including saddlebacks, parakeets, and robins, on one of the island nature reserves.

Day 11: Napier

The Art Deco capital of New Zealand and possibly the world, the post-quake city of Napier, lies at the heart of the thriving Hawkes Bay. Immerse yourself in the Art Deco world of central Napier with its quaint shops and unrivaled architecture before venturing to the world-renowned wineries of Hawkes Bay, famed for their exceptional Syrah and Chardonnay vintages. Alternatively, join your naturalists on a visit to the exceptional Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony.

Day 12: At Sea

Sailing up the scenic North Island, enjoy a day at sea attending lectures, relaxing on board, or catching up on your photos and journaling as we head towards Tauranga.

Day 13: Tauranga | Rotorua

From our berth in Tauranga, we drive inland, passing the rich horticultural region of the Bay of Plenty as we travel to the geothermal heartland of Rotorua. Marvel at the abundance of steam vents, geysers, and bubbling mud pools as we explore one of the most geologically active regions on the planet, accompanied by expert local guides.

Day 14: Auckland

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning Heritage Adventurer arrives in Auckland, the City of Sails, where she will berth in the central city waterfront, following breakfast, disembark, and head to the airport or continue your exploration of New Zealand. In case of unexpected delays, we ask you not to book any onward travel until after midday today.

Ship/Hotel

Heritage Adventurer

Dining area
Heritage Adventurer Restaurant

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Deals

Save 20% 24250
Book your New Zealand cruise aboard the Heritage Adventurer and enjoy a 20% discount when you book by May 31, 2024. This offer is subject to availability for new bookings and cannot be combined with any other promotion. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
Applies to Feb 28, 2025 departure

Per person starting at
$6,985 2-3 travelers
Superior Triple
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Superior Triple
Superior Triple Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, two single beds, and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Main deck
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Main Deck Triple
Main Deck Triple Cabins on Deck 3 is a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, two single beds, and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Deck 4 Superior
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Deck 4 Superior
Superior Cabins on Deck 4 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Deck 5 Superior
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Deck 5 Superior
Superior Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Main deck
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Main Deck Single
Main Deck Single Cabins on Deck 3 is a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Adventurer - Superior Single
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Superior Single
Superior Single Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Worseley Suite
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Worsley Suite
Located on Deck 6, Worsley Suites are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable chaise-style lounge suite, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Suite
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Heritage Suite
Located on Deck 6, Heritage Suites are an expansive 44m2 and feature large double panoramic windows, king bed, large living area with a sofa, coffee table, and chairs, and grand marble bathroom with a double basin, bathtub, and shower, large writing desk, floor to ceiling cabinetry for storage and a flat-screen entertainment system.

Notes

- Single clients are matched with a sharer of the same sex in a twin-share cabin. Payment of a single supplement guarantees a single cabin. The single supplement is 1.8 times the price of the voyage with the exception of the suites which are double the single rate.
-Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a minimum of US$100,000 per person required. Contact us for details on arranging travel insurance.

TECHNICAL SPECS
Year Built: 1991
Shipyard: Rauma, Finland
Classification: Lloyds 1AS, GL E4
Accommodation: 140 guests
Length: 124 metres
Beam: 18 metres
Draft: 4.97 metres
Gross Tonnage : 8,378gt
Engines: 3,940 horsepower (x2)
Maximum Speed: 15 knots
Cruising Speed: 12 knots
Range: 8,600 nautical miles
Zodiacs: 14
Included
  • 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners
  • 13 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • House beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Landing fees
  • All expedition shore excursions
  • Programme of lectures by noted naturalists
  • Pre- & Post- Cruise Transfers
  • One night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast)
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Required Visas if applicable
  • Laundry 
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance

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