New Zealand in Depth

13/03/22 to 25/03/22
SH Minerva
13 Days
2 Guest
Price From
$ 9,817
Per Person
Trip Details

Top of many a bucket list, The Land of the Long White Cloud is a perfect place to enjoy truly unforgettable experiences that will delight and enrich even the most seasoned traveller. Crystal-clear waters; stunning beaches; fascinating fiords, wildlife encounters; Kiwi hospitality; Maori culture; rolling, rich vineyards – on this 13-day cruise around magical New Zealand you’ll experience it all, and more. Visit both islands in style and comfort, aboard a luxurious ship crewed by a passionate and knowledgeable team. Enjoy unique onshore excursions in special places that our guides know well.

Trip Highlights
Marvel at the Breaksea, Doubtful and Marlborough Sounds. Shaped by glaciation, these deep- dark fiords are some of New Zealand’s most dramatic and beautiful natural wonders.
Enjoy seeing one of the most complete collections of art deco architecture in the world in the town of Napier.
Delve deep into Maori culture in Gisborne where old traditions are evident in many parts of the city.
Explore the City of Sails’ vibrant and multicultural atmosphere.
Raise a glass to your luxury expedition with a glass of locally grown sauvignon blanc or chardonnay.
Itinerary Map
Dunedin Day 1

Your luxury expedition cruise begins in Dunedin, on the South Island, the principal city of the Otago region. Set in a pretty bay that serves as a port and surrounded by bush-covered hills, the town has quirky historic appeal. One of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere, Dunedin is known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand, and it’s proud of its Celtic connections. Small and eminently walkable, see elaborate civic buildings, New Zealand’s only castles, funky alleyways filled with street art, and picturesque parks. The Toitu Otago Early Settlers Museum and Otago Museum come highly recommended, as well as a visit to the Dunedin Chinese Garden.

Oban Day 2

Sail south to Stewart Island – the pristine, southernmost inhabited island of the New Zealand archipelago. Located on charmingly-named Halfmoon Bay, the island’s only town is Oban. Come ashore today to explore the settlement as well as the island’s many hiking trails. National Parks cover 85 per cent of the island. Birders will be in their element: around the coast are various types of penguin, sooty shearwaters, mollymawks, and Cape pigeons. Venture into the island’s ferny interior and you might spot bellbirds, tui, fantails and kiwi birds (usually nocturnal, the subspecies on Stewart Island are known to venture forth during the day). If exploration works up your appetite, Oban is a fishing village, so it’s the perfect spot to sample the local catch.

Breaksea Sound Day 3

Millennia of glacial activity have gifted the South Island’s untamed west coast with astonishing cuts into the coastline. You’ll see your first fiord today – known as ‘sounds’ in this part of the world. Keep your camera at the ready in Fiordland’s spectacular canyon-like Te Puaitaha/Breaksea Sound. It’s not just that the landscape is particularly photogenic, dolphins are plentiful in these waters too. You might even see a New Zealand fur seal, a species that has made an outstanding recovery since the 1940s. Take note of Breaksea Island, which lies at the entrance to the Sound. It’s noteworthy in New Zealand’s story of conservation. In 1988, it became one of the first large islands to successfully eradicate rats to the benefit of the island’s birds including South Island robins and three species of bellbirds.

Doubtful Sound Day 4

Doubtful Sound is New Zealand’s deepest and second largest fiord at 421 metres and 40 kilometres respectively. Dubbed ‘Doubtful’ by Captain Cook, who refused to sail into the bay due to his concerns over its navigability, the inlet – with its three distinct arms – is now famed for its scenic beauty, flora and fauna. Look out for the beautiful waterfalls tumbling down dense natural rainforest-clad cliffs – the Browne Falls drops for 619 metres, and Helena Falls cascades dramatically. There’s a resident pod of bottlenose dolphins who swim and play in these waters, and you might also spot fur seals and penguins. Sightings of whales, including Southern rights, humpbacks, minke, sperm and orcas, are also not uncommon.

At sea Day 5

As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savouring the ship’s facilities and learning about your destination’s many facets from the knowledgeable onboard experts. Listen to an enriching talk, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, enjoy some down- time in your cabin, share travel reminiscences with newly found friends: the options are numerous.

Akaroa Day 6

Come ashore and say ‘salut’ to Akaroa. This small corner of the South Island will forever be just a little bit French. The site of the country’s first French settlement, today the town still retains a little je ne sais quoi in its character, street names and architecture. Located on Canterbury’s Banks Peninsula, in an area that was once actively volcanic, you’ll instantly understand why French settlers fell for this spot and why visitors love it here. Look out for dolphins in the harbour, swim at the beautiful beaches, visit the petit local museum that tells the story of the early residents, sample the local farmed salmon and olives from nearby groves, and taste the local wine. C’est la vie.

Kaikoura Day 7

Caught between the Pacific Ocean and the Seaward Kaikoura Range, Kaikora is all about encounters: cultural and all as well those you’ll have with the local wildlife. This area of the coast is well known for the whales, fur seals and dolphins, as well as the petrels, penguins and several species of albatross. Wildlife lovers might like to walk the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway or visit the local seal colony, to observe these amusing animals. There might also be time to enjoy the award-winning Kaikoura Museum, located in the landmark ‘craypot’ building. Or if you fancy a gentle 45-minute walk out of town, head to the pretty pink Fyffe House. Once a busy whaling station, the oldest surviving building in the area is now a museum that tells the story of life for the early settlers through artefacts and audio. There is also a striking carving that relates to the area’s Maori history.

Marlborough Sound Day 8-9

What would an expedition cruise around New Zealand be without some time in the famed Marlborough Sounds? Spend two days leisurely exploring this area of some 1,500 kilometres of rugged coastline. Described as an extensive collection of Pacific Ocean-drowned valleys and located at the top of the South Island, these sounds are divided into three distinct bodies of water: Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru and Pelorus. Each offers sheltered inlets perfect for kayaking; sandy bays; clear, marine life-filled waters; forest walks; and jaw-dropping viewing spots. Discover the area’s fascinating Maori and European history. Captain Cook anchored here and hoisted a Union Jack on Motuara Island in January 1770. From here, the North Island beckons.

Napier Day 10

Mesmerising views, excellent wineries, fabulous eateries, cool street art and, above all, the low-rise art deco architecture: just a few of the reasons that visitors find Napier on the North Island so irresistible. In 1931, this port on Hawke’s Bay was struck by a severe earthquake. From the ashes of this natural disaster arose a new charming city built in curvilinear, colourful art deco. Today there are 147 remaining buildings in this style, and it’s one of the most complete collections of art deco architecture in the world. Look out for the Scinde Building, the Daily Telegraph offices and the ASB bank. Also noteworthy are the city’s 50 murals – part of a global street art project, which gives the oceans a voice, one artwork at a time. New Zealand’s National Aquarium stretches like a giant stingray on Napier’s Marine Parade. Visit to see the extensive range of saltwater, freshwater and other animal exhibits. Wash it all down with a glass of the locally grown pinot gris or syrah in a buzzing local bar or cafe.

Gisborne Day 11

Famed as the place where James Cook first set foot in New Zealand soil in 1769 and changed the course of the country’s fate forever, Gisborne is also the first city to salute the sun every day. Today you’ll say good morning to Gisborne and its sun, sand, culture and viticulture. The unofficial ‘Chardonnay Capital of the World’, this area is one of New Zealand’s largest wine-making regions, so there are plenty of vineyards to explore. There’s an established wine trial here if you wish to sample the products of the region’s vineyards. However, there are plenty of other alluring attractions too: this is a hotspot for Maori culture. Oral history records Titirangi (Kaiti) Hill as the point of arrival for the migratory waka (canoe), Horouta, which brought the first Māori to the area, and old traditions are evident in many parts of the city.

Tauranga Day 12

The largest city in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga is described as New Zealand’s tourist office as “a metropolitan hub surrounded by a beautiful coastline”. Along this stretch of coast, the sea may be the star with fishing, sailing, diving and kayaking all appealing to tourists, but other attractions – such as shopping, dining and the town’s galleries – are gaining ground too. Fans of children’s literature will enjoy The Hairy Maclary and Friends statues. Made by Brigitte West, these bronzes – which can be found on the waterfront – pay tribute to Tauranga’s resident Dame Lynley Dodd and her beloved animal characters. Recommended local beauty spots include McLaren Falls and the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park.

Auckland Day 13

Spend your final day of this luxury expedition cruise around New Zealand in Auckland. Sprawled over volcanic hills and across twin harbours, The City of Sails is the country’s largest and most populous metropolis. A vibrant, multicultural place that is both laid-back and sophisticated, Auckland has San Francisco-esque steep streets, cool boutiques that champion all things local from fashion to craft beer, wine and art. There’s myriad things to see and do, but highlights include The Auckland Art Gallery with its permanent collection by contemporary Kiwi artists. The Auckland War Memorial Museum is devoted to telling the country’s tale from politics to geology, and it has a vast array of Maori artefacts. The Brick Bay Sculpture Trails offers visitors the opportunity to experience art in the wild bush. And there’s the 1,000-foot-high Sky Tower for views that are out of this world – or out of Middle Earth at least.

Rates Include
One night pre-cruise 4 or 5 star hotel accommodation with breakfast
All transfers between the hotel, port and airport
Onboard accommodation
All meals onboard including room service 24 hours a day
Coffee, tea, soft drinks & select alcoholic beverages 24 hours a day
Lecture programmes by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
Shore excursion programme led by our expert expedition team
Standard WIFI inclusion (Premium WIFI available)
Onboard gratuities & port taxes
Itinerary Map

09:00 AM – 05:30 PM (EST)

+1 (800) 537 6777
Number of Guests
19 m2 Sleeps 2
Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
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$ 0
Balcony D5
28 m2 Sleeps 2
Located at the forward and aft of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
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$ 0
Balcony M5
28 m2 Sleeps 2
Located at the centre of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
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$ 0
Balcony D6
28 m2 Sleeps 2
Located on deck six, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
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$ 0
44 m2 Sleeps 2
Our Suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom and a 12 sq.m. private balcony.
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Premium Suite
49 m2 Sleeps 2
Our grandest suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom, spacious walk in wardrobe and a 12 sq.m private balcony.
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$ 0
Other Available Dates
If you really like this cruise but the date is not suitable for you, we are glad to offer other dates for the itinerary.
Please find below all our date offerings.
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09:00 AM – 05:30 PM (EST)

+1 (800) 537 6777