Pre-Cruise Tour in Sydney
February 24-March 3, 2022
Click here for full Pre-Cruise Tour itinerary
The Cruise Itinerary:
Nestled between a pair of glorious bays lies Eden, the first stop on your 12-day escapade. Formerly a whaling hub, Eden is a paradise, especially to anyone with an interest in the life aquatic. From the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre to its scenic coastline, there's plenty to see. Then hop over to Dunedin and its plethora of geological wonders. After stops in Akaroa, Picton, Wellington, and Gisborne, bounce over to the Bay of Islands. The landscapes and rock formations are as stunning as you'll ever see.
March 3, 2022 - Embark the Spirit in Sydney, Australia 6:00 pm Departure
Sydney's harbor is the hub from which there's much to see and do. You'll want to explore this area, home of the iconic Opera House. Admire the skyline, swim at a harbor beach or cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Want to see surfing? Grab your sunblock and towel and spend the day on world-famous Bondi Beach, or take a scenic walk on the coast from Bondi to Coogee Beach. The Rocks district is a shopper's mecca offering a wide variety of goods, from woodcrafts and unique art to outback fashions.
March 4, 2022 - Eden, Australia
The town's name reflects what you will indeed find in Eden, a beautiful natural wonderland. Situated on the rugged coastline of Australia's New South Wales, Eden is nestled among national parks, wilderness areas and enticing beaches. It's considered one of Australia's best locations for oyster farming, so bring your appetite. Eden and its surrounding landscapes offer an abundance of outdoor activities on the water and by land.
March 5, 2022 - Melbourne, Australia
Once the richest city in the world thanks to a gold rush, Melbourne is Australia's cultural capital with striking architecture, chic galleries and boutiques. Wave at a wallaby or get close to a koala at a wildlife park. Feel closer to the land on a ride on the Puffing Billy steam locomotive through the mountains and countryside. Back in the city, explore a different culture and visit Chinatown, the oldest one in the West.
March 6, 2022 - Burnie (Tasmania), Australia
A community of artisans on the northwest coast of Tasmania, Burnie has long a history as a community that makes things, with locally crafted European-style cheeses, fine papers & ceramics. Surrounded by accessible wilderness areas, in Burnie you can still get a glimpse of little penguins and the platypus, a duck-billed mammal, in the wild. The vibrant shopping district spills onto the beach where you can sit down at a café and watch the world slow down for a little while.
March 7-8, 2022 - Days at Sea + Conferences
Enjoy your time on board the ship. We will have our conferences on these days
March 9, 2022 - Cruise Doubtful Sound
Although technically not a sound (it's a fjord), Doubtful Sound is the second longest in New Zealand and the country's second most famous tourist attraction. It does, however, capture the top spot for being the deepest, at over 1,300 feet. Doubtful Sound sits at the far southwest corner of the country and winds its way for 24 miles, past small islets and lush mountains covered in dense, native rainforest. With a staggering amount of precipitation, up to 240 inches, it's no wonder that it's so verdant, and also why most days are wet and misty with low-lying clouds. But where there is rain, there are rainbows, which makes for spectacular scenes, especially at the many waterfalls, some of which fall over 2,000 feet. Doubtful Sound is also home to fur seals, crested penguins, bottlenose dolphin and whales. Black coral even grows here at relatively shallow depths (35 feet) thanks to the sunlight's inability to penetrate the top layer of freshwater, stained heavy with tannins from the forests.
Cruise Dusky Sound
At 25 miles in length, and five miles wide at its broadest, Dusky Sound is the largest and most spectacular fjord in Fjordland National Park. Captain Cook named Dusky Sound in 1770, as he sailed past its entrance at twilight. Three years later, he returned and stayed 47 days as his crew repaired and replenished his ship, Resolution, after sailing 11,000 nautical miles from Cape Town. You can still see evidence of his landfall at Astronomer's Point, an overlook where the crew removed trees, so the ship's astronomer could get a reading on the stars. Dusky Sound is only accessible by boat or plane making its remoteness a haven for birds and a breeding site for Fjordland crested penguins. These endangered creatures are easy to spot with their bright yellow eyebrows. Other wildlife to look for include sunbathing seals on Seal Rock and southern right whales at Preservation Inlet. Upon entering Dusky Sound, it's customary to make a resolution as you sail past Resolution Island, named after Cook's ship.
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Carved by ancient glaciers, Milford Sound, which is really a fjord, is the crown jewel of Fiordland National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is only nine miles long from its head to the open sea, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in grandeur. Its vertical cliffs covered in verdant rainforests provide a breathtaking backdrop to thundering waterfalls, misty rainbows and the tannin-stained waters of the fjord. Below the surface is the largest population of black coral in the world. Milford Sound receives an amazing 22 feet of precipitation annually, yet there are only two permanent waterfalls, Lady Bowen and Sterling Falls. Depending on the weather, waterfalls can appear around every corner, cascading down the mountain in spectacular fashion. Rising upwards of 5,555 feet, the iconic landmark of Milford Sound is Mitre Peak, named for its resemblance to a bishop's hat, known as a mitre. Five individual peaks create its distinctive shape.
March 10, 2022 - Dunedin (Port Chalmers), New Zealand
This dramatic South Island coastal town offers a mix of unique natural beauty and fascinating history. Rare, yellow-eyed penguins, fur seals and the Royal Albatross all call Dunedin home. Equally impressive is the Victorian and Edwardian architecture that dates from its days as a gold rush town. New Zealand's only castle sits high above the city and offers sweeping views from its famous gardens. Shop for a locally made souvenir, with crafts, artwork, wool and leather items being popular.
March 11, 2022 - Akaroa, New Zealand
Tiny penguins rule the roost in this historic settlement nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. With a balmy, year-round climate, these famous foot-tall residents are certainly not snowbirds. The spectacular surroundings offer a wealth of outdoor activities, both in the sheltered harbor and on dry land. Cafes open onto streets and exquisite local boutiques and galleries offer superb local works. Be sure to sample the fine fudge and traditional cheeses.
March 12, 2022 -Marlborough, (Picton) New Zealand
Built around a sheltered harbor, Picton is lined with cafés and restaurants for you to choose from (we suggest the fish and chips). Popular attractions in Picton include a maritime museum and an aquarium. But this town is not short on recreational activities. Some of Picton's favorite pastimes include fishing, dolphin watching and sea kayaking. Walk or bike the Queen Charlotte Track or spend the day exploring the scenic Marlborough Sounds. Check out the biking track. Then relax as you browse the local shops that offer a wide range of trinkets, including handmade jewelry, paintings from local artists and woodcarvings. Before leaving Picton, it's time for more fish and chips along the shore. It's the Picton way!
March 13, 2022 - Napier,
Napier calls itself the Art Deco capital of the world. Leveled by an earthquake in 1931, Napier was rebuilt in Art Deco style. Along with Miami Beach, Napier is one of the best examples of this style, with many of its structures well preserved. Take a walk down Marine Parade, a tree-lined ocean boulevard with fountains and gardens, or go out to the country to enjoy the lovely vistas.
March 14, 2022 - Tauranga, New Zealand
Go walk-about and explore Tauranga, set on the beautiful Bay of Plenty. And indeed there are plenty of things to do. Head to the beach or discover Tauranga's lovely parks and rich history. Visit a village buried by a volcanic eruption and captured in a moment of time - a fascinating yet moving experience. Take a selfie at Hell's Gate, an aptly named geothermal park with boiling pools, fantastic geysers and mud baths, the largest of which is Poutamu, the stairway to heaven.
March 15, 2022 - 7:00 am Disembark in Aulkand, New Zealand
Surrounded by tranquil golden beaches, lush forests and dramatic coastal trails, Auckland is a nature lover's paradise. The 48 volcanic cones that dot the surrounding area provide stunning panoramic views of the city and harbor. New Zealand's largest city is also a shopper's paradise offering everything from top designers to local open-air markets. Learn about the indigenous Maori and take home some native art pieces or jewelry. The fine, locally produced woolens also make excellent gifts.
Welcome to Aukland!
Catch your flight or stay a while.