New Zealand Expedition Cruise

Save up to $2,800* per couple

Explore the west coast of New Zealand’s North and South islands on an exciting small ship expedition cruise. Dock to explore Rotorua, Napier, Wellington and Dunedin. Reach remote Stewart Island and the breathtaking fiords along the south-west coast. Finish the cruise in spectacular Milford Sound before a night in Queenstown.

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From $12,395* per person, twin share

12 days Auckland to Queenstown


  • Experiences in 12 destinations
  • 10 nights aboard the MS Caledonian Sky with excursions on Zodiac vessels
  • Overnight stay in Queenstown
  • Locally inspired dining – a total of 30 meals and a wide range of onboard beverages
  • Services of an APT Expedition Leader and Team
  • Enjoy wine tastings and vineyard visits in Napier and Gisborne
  • Immerse yourself in the remote landscapes of Ulva and Stewart islands
  • Cruise the entire length of Milford Sound, and explore Dusky and Doubtful sounds

Departures: 1 December 2021

Trip code: XPCNZA12


Day 1: Arrive Auckland, Embark Ship

You will be met on arrival in Auckland and transferred to your ship. Meet your captain and crew at tonight’s welcome reception and dinner.

Stay: 10 nights, MS Caledonian Sky

Meals: Dinner

Day 2: Tauranga, Rotorua

We arrive at Tauranga and drive to Rotorua. From explosive geysers to bubbling mud pools and steaming natural hot springs, Rotorua is a major highlight when visiting New Zealand. Enjoy a traditional Maori welcome ceremony and lunch before returning to Tauranga for some free time to explore.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 3: Gisborne

Captain James Cook named Gisborne in honour of one of his crew who first sighted land in 1769. Today, we find a sunny coastal town rich in Maori heritage and culture. Gisborne is also known as the chardonnay capital of New Zealand, and you’ll get to visit two of the local boutique vineyards.

Meals: Breakfast,  Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: Napier

Dock at Napier and enjoy a guided tour of this beautiful Art Deco town, rebuilt after the devastating Hawkes Bay earthquake in 1931. Since we are in New Zealand’s second-largest wine producing region, today’s touring includes a visit to a vineyard for a wine tasting. Spend a free afternoon exploring at leisure, or join a tour to Cape Kidnappers to see the world’s largest nesting colony of gannets (own expense).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5: Wellington

With your ship anchored close to the city centre, step ashore for a guided walk through Wellington. See St Paul’s Cathedral and the parliament buildings, then stroll through the Botanical Gardens. Also pay a visit to the Te Papa National Museum of New Zealand.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6:  Kaikoura

On a whale-watching cruise, look for sperm whales and orcas which frequent the waters of Kaikoura. In the afternoon, enjoy a leisurely wander through town or take on one of the many guided walks on offer.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7: Akaroa

Spend a full day in Akaroa on your chosen experience. Head out on the water during a dolphin-watching trip or take a guided walk through the town and native bush.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8: Dunedin

Be guided around the city of Dunedin and walk through the beautiful Botanical gardens. Perhaps join a drive to the Otago Peninsula including a visit to the Penguin Place, where you’ll learn about the conservation efforts to protect rare yellow-eyed penguins.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 9: Stewart Island, Ulva Island

Land at Oban on Stewart Island, where you’ll get to wander through the shops and see the Rakiura Museum. Alternatively, drive to explore some of the island’s most beautiful locations, including Observation Rock, with views over Iona and Ulva islands, as well as the beaches lining the east coast. After lunch, head for Ulva Island. A renowned wildlife sanctuary, here you can choose from a number of guided walks with our local guides.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 10: Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound

A full day dedicated to the incredible wilderness of Fiordland National Park. Only accessible by sea, it is one of the most remote and most beautiful regions of New Zealand. While our exact route is weather dependent, we hope to visit Astronomers Point, Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound. We’ll make use of Zodiacs to reach remote landing sites and to explore deeper into the fiords.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 11: Milford Sound, Disembark Ship, Queenstown

Witness the staggering beauty of Milford Sound as our ship glides serenely through this magnificent fiord. Also known by its Maori name, Piopiotahi, this is one of New Zealand’s most treasured natural landmarks. Our journey ends at the head of the fjord, where we’ll disembark to waiting coaches and transfer to our hotel in Queenstown. Tonight, you have free time to explore Queenstown and try one of the many great restaurants within walking distance of your accommodation.

Stay: Novotel Queenstown Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

Day 12: Depart Queenstown

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

Meals: Breakfast


*Terms and Conditions: Valid until 31 March 2021 or sold out. Offer valid when booking Tour Code(s) XPCNZA12, XPCNZM12, XPCSUA17, departing December 1 2021 to January 4 2022. A non-refundable deposit of $1000 per person is due within 7 days of booking. Final payment is due 100 days prior to the tours departure date. Offers are available for travellers departing from Australia. All pricing and save amounts are in Australian Dollars. Information correct as at 23 December 2021 but may fluctuate due to changes in surcharges, taxes or currency. A strictly limited number of offers are available on selected itineraries and departure dates in selected suites/staterooms/cabins/room categories. Offers are subject to availability, not combinable unless specified, available on new bookings only and may be withdrawn at any time. For more information, contact your travel agent. SUPPLIER: APT