20 Feb 2020
Rugged coastlines, scenic lakes, steaming volcanoes, towering mountain ranges -- on a cruise to New Zealand you'll encounter some of the most awe-inspiring scenery on the planet. But that is not all this epic destination has to offer. Unique endangered wildlife, fascinating Maori culture, thrilling adventure activities and outstanding galleries and museums -- all these are among the wealth of experiences to be enjoyed on this life-changing journey.
Until recently, New Zealand was more likely to be combined with Australia as part of longer world cruises, but its popularity as a cruise destination in its own right has rocketed in the last few years. Most round-trip voyages depart from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane in Australia, taking 10 nights or more, including two nights crossing the Tasman Sea, though there are now increasing numbers departing from Auckland in New Zealand. There are also longer cruises, taking in either Antarctica or the South Pacific.
The majority of cruises take place during the summer season, which officially starts in October, but reaches its peak in December-February. A few cruise lines also operate winter cruises between April and September, though there is normally no cruise activity in July. New Zealand has a fairly high level of rainfall throughout the year, and its weather can be unpredictable, so travellers should be prepared for any climatic conditions.
New Zealand is made up of two main islands separated by the narrow Cook Strait, the North Island being home to most large centres of population, but also to rich forests and dormant volcanoes. The South Island boasts much of the truly spectacular scenery -- mountains, fjords, lakes, glaciers and unspoilt beaches. The narrow shape of the islands and the compactness of the land mass mean that virtually every destination in the country can be visited from a boat, making it ideal for cruising.
In addition to Auckland, North Island ports include the capital Wellington, scenic Napier, and Tauranga in the volcanic Bay of Plenty, the most picturesque being the subtropical Bay of Islands off the north-east coast. South Island port calls include French-style Akaroa, the port for the Garden City Christchurch, and Dunedin, the Edinburgh of the South. The highlight is a sail around Fiordland National Park, a place of jaw-dropping scenery carved by glaciers over 100,000 years, and including the spectacular fjords of Milford Sound.
Cruising around New Zealand opens up a world of natural wonders equalled by few places in the world. Whether you are seeking scenic beauty, unique traditional culture, extraordinary wildlife or amazing adventures, a cruise to this incredible land will leave you lost for words.
At Value Added Travel we can tailor make your cruise to include anything from a 5* hotel stay before or after your cruise, or even add additional tours and excursion to make sure you get the most out of the destinations you visit.