What could be more of an adventure than to travel to the other side of the world and experience all that New Zealand has to offer? Cruises to New Zealand can take you on a voyage of discovery around shimmering glaciers, towering volcanic landscapes, cosmopolitan cities and vibrant lakes, all topped off with a dose of Moari culture. Cruises to New Zealand can also include stopping off at numerous Pacific Islands and experiencing the tranquil lagoons of Rarotonga, the firewalkers of Fiji and the luxurious beaches of Samoa.
Famous for its diverse and rich natural scenery, in New Zealand you can find luminous toothpaste-blue glaciers, towering fjords, fascinating geothermal activity, luscious green bush land, unspoiled mountains, endless stretches of beach and quaint, quirky towns, all squeezed into a small island nation.
This country sets a high standard with its delicious, fresh cuisine, innovative adventure tourism scene, famous coffee culture and vibrant cities. A temperate climate and dedication to ensuring tourists enjoy themselves also helps to ensure every visitor has an experience to remember. The vast and varied coastline makes New Zealand a perfect cruising destination as most of its famous natural landmarks are accessible from port, so cruises to New Zealand can show you a variety of sights from coast to city centre.
For the nature lover there are plenty of sights to explore. As well as New Zealand’s large population of sheep the country is also home to an array of weird and wonderful wildlife. Marine mammals include many species of seal, whale and dolphin which you can spot from on board the ship; it’s also known as the seabird capital of the world. The iconic kiwi bird is the symbol of New Zealand, a flightless bird about the same size as a chicken. As an endangered species there are many conservation efforts in place to help the plight of the bird, which you may be able to get involved in during your time in the country.
For foodies there’s fine dining, plenty of fresh produce, world-class wineries and the lesser known flair this part of the world has for coffee and gelato. You could find yourself lying on a Pacific beach sipping a fresh pineapple and coconut cocktail one day, dining in one of the exclusive restaurants at Auckland harbour the next or perhaps embarking on an exploration in New Zealand wines with a tasting accompanied by delicious artisanal cheeses.
You also can’t travel this far without stopping to admire some of New Zealand’s spectacular natural scenery. From the bow of your cruise ship you’ll have a perfect vantage point over some of the country’s finest highlights. Cutting into the coastline, the fjord-like scenery of Fiordland National Park is home to several notable inlets that you can spot during scenic cruising. Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sound are all characterised by stunning cliffs, sparkling waters and abundant marine life. Inland you’ll find a very different watery utopia. The sulphur lakes of Tongariro National Park, in North Island, are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Full of hiking routes, active volcanoes and vivid green lakes.
Cruises to New Zealand offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to see and experience more than you ever thought possible. All this, and ample opportunity to soak up that Pacific sunshine and recharge your batteries as you slip into the laidback pace the locals are so famous for.
Best time to travel
September to April sees New Zealand at its warmest.
Winter can be snowy, but this is the best time to see the southern lights. The best diving is from September to January.
The food of New Zealand is fresh and diverse, with much produced locally.
Famous for its lamb, you’ll find lots of lamb-based dishes plus seafood, due to its long coastline – fish and chips is a Kiwi favourite! The national dessert is the classic pavlova, a delicate meringue covered with thick cream and fresh red fruit. Award-winning wines are also found across the country, so wine tastings are a great way to try a few different vintages.
No point of the country is more than 79 miles from the sea.
The popular dessert, Pavlova, is a stalwart of New Zealand celebrations and was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova visited the country in the 1920s on a world tour.
Things to do
- Visit the Hobbiton Movie Set and immerse yourself in Middle Earth
- Soar to the top of the Sky Tower and enjoy panoramic views over Auckland
- Tour Bay of Islands and take in the spectacular natural beauty and Maori sites
- Explore the Waitomo Caves and, if you’re feeling adventurous, try some rafting
- Book a big game fishing excursion and catch yourself a snapper or kingfish
- Drift among the beautiful fjords of Milford Sound, one of the highlights of the South Island
- Don some snowshoes and take a hike across the Franz Josef Glacier
- Pack your camera to get amazing photos of the vivid volcanic lakes at Tongariro National Park
- Keep a keen eye out for dolphins when sailing through Doubtful Sound
- Discover the history of New Zealand at Te Papa Tongarewa Museum in Wellington
- Try sailing or kayaking on glorious Lake Taupo with its backdrop of volcanic landscapes
- Learn all about the fascinating Maori culture at Tamaki Maori Village
- Enjoy the beautiful Botanic Gardens in Christchurch – they were founded in 1863!
- Swoosh down the slopes at one of New Zealand’s ski centres, like Tasman Glacier