PRICE BASED EX SYDNEY/BRISBANE/MELBOURNE
***LIMITED TIME OFFER***
TOP TEN OFFER^ Book before 20 November 2019 and receive discounted cruise fare
CONVICTS, KILLER WHALES & BEACH BACHES Fly, Cruise & Stay package includes:
- Return economy class airfare with full service carrier from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne to Auckland
- 2 nights accommodation in a 4-star hotel in Auckland
- Half Day Wine on Waiheke Tour
- 14 Night New Zealand Cruise onboard Holland America's Maasdam from Auckland return
- Main Meals ~ and entertainment onboard
- Airport taxes, Port charges and government fees
14 Night cruise sailing roundtrip from Auckland onboard Maasdam.
The only ship in the Holland America Line fleet dedicated to EXC In-Depth™ Voyages, Maasdam showcases the world at its most engaging, authentic and personal. Each voyage features fascinating lectures, interactive workshops, cultural performances and memorable shore excursions to explore your destination through the lens of photography, culture, nature and port-to-table culinary experiences. Maasdam’s size also gives her access to many new and off-the-beaten-path ports of call, allowing you to delve deeper into the places and cultures you visit. And being the only Holland America Line ship outfitted with nimble, inflatable Zodiacs, on select port calls you can go further in depth to explore nature, history, culture and more with these agile boats.
Highlights of this cruise:
Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand's biggest city deserves more than a layover. Auckland is multicultural and cosmopolitan, with sizeable Polynesian, Asian and Maori populations enriching its history and broadening the palate. Internationally known chefs and fashion designers have made neighborhoods like Ponsonby, Newmarket and Parnell world-class destinations for shopping and dining.
You're never far from water attractions in New Zealand—and this is especially true in Auckland where it's not unheard of for downtown workers to go kayaking on their lunch break. The once-gritty port has been transformed into inviting public spaces and buzzing nightclubs, with sailboat charters and regular ferry connections waiting to whisk visitors around the harbor for sightseeing.
Start your day sipping a flat white while you plan your explorations: art gallery crawl, winery tour or volcano hike? It's possible to do all three without losing sight of the Sky Tower, one of Auckland's top tourist attractions, from which you can get a bird's-eye view of the gateway to Aotearoa.
Waitangi (Bay Of Islands), New Zealand
Historic sites—including the place where the most important treaty in New Zealand's history was signed—winemaking, golfing, sailing and scenic beauty all combine to make the Bay of Islands one of this South Pacific nation's most compelling regions. Located at the top of the North Island, the area has a subtropical microclimate that gives it an abundance of flora and fauna and a lengthy beach season. Comprising 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula, the Bay of Islands requires a few days to fully explore. Visitors with just a day here will have to make a tough choice: cultural immersion, nature appreciation or wining-dining-shopping. Waitangi, home to both the cruise port and the region's historic treaty grounds, is one of three main towns with celebrated sights. The others are Kerikeri, with its historic buildings and vineyards, and Russell, where a notorious seafaring past has mellowed into tidy, day-trip-worthy charm. Those who'd rather experience the Bay of Islands' breathtaking nature can walk amid majestic kauri trees, descend into glowworm caves or spy on whales and dolphins (or even swim with the latter) in one of New Zealand's sunniest and most picturesque playgrounds.
Akaroa (Christchurch), New Zealand
With a distinctly continental flair, which stands out against the country's Maori roots and British colonial history, Akaroa is New Zealand's only town to have originally been established by the French and is the oldest European settlement on the South Island. French settlers first arrived in 1840 only to discover that the British had been granted dominion of the country after the Treaty of Waitangi, but the French remained and left their mark. The long harbor of Akaroa sits along the Banks Peninsula, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Christchurch, sheltered by the crater of an extinct volcano. The bays surrounding the village have an especially high degree of biodiversity, including the largest colony of little penguins on New Zealand's mainland and the only natural habitat of Hector's dolphin, the smallest and rarest of that mammal family. The region's volcanic history also makes for dramatic geological formations, bucolic high-country farms and dazzling blue waterfronts. Should you stay within the picturesque town, you can stroll the historic rues, marveling at the colonial architecture, enjoying the French-inspired and Kiwi-made cheeses and wine, and soaking up the stunning scenery.
Wellington, New Zealand
New Zealand's cool little capital is located at the southern tip of the North Island, meaning it's blessed with a beautiful waterfront, fresh seafood and unpredictable weather. So famously tempestuous is Windy Welly that visitors quickly learn not to go outside without an umbrella and will spend more time than usual talking about the weather. Politics is a hot topic too, with government workers buzzing about the Beehive, as the distinctive Parliament building is colloquially known.
Wellington is also known for culture and cuisine. Learn about Maori history and Kiwiana at Te Papa, the national museum; go behind the scenes of the Lord of the Rings movies made in Wellywood; and wash down a plate of chilled bluff oysters with a crisp sauvignon blanc at a Cuba Street restaurant.
Gourmands are spoiled for choice with the city's many coffee microroasteries, craft breweries, innovative chefs and artisanal markets. Fortunately for your waistline, it’s also a terrific city for walking, hiking and cycling, with a compact historic core hugged by green hills and dotted with impossibly perched houses. They say you can't beat Wellington on a good day—but visitors will soon discover that even if it's wet and windy, it's always a good day to be in Wellington.
Napier, New Zealand
The Southern Hemisphere's answer to Miami Beach—at least when it comes to Art Deco architecture—Napier has a perfect mix of natural and manmade beauty. The historic district, which was mostly constructed in the 1930s after a massive earthquake and subsequent fires destroyed the city in 1931, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. As a delicious bonus, there's a thriving food and wine scene, too. Surrounded by the rolling vineyards of the Hawke's Bay wine region and edged by pristine waters, Napier has attracted a host of culinary innovators that has put it on the foodie map over the past two decades. Nature lovers, too, are drawn by this North Island city's scenic splendor and abundant wildlife. Down the coast, colonies of Australasian gannets thrive at Cape Kidnappers. Within the city, Norfolk Island pines line the seafront Marine Parade, a half dozen parks and gardens bloom from September to March (spring and summer Down Under), there are forested hiking trails and active pursuits range from cycling to golf. It's easy to enjoy yourself while soaking up Hawke's Bay's spectacular landscape.
Gisborne, New Zealand
The small town of Gisborne, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, claims several firsts: As the easternmost town in the country, it’s the first to see the sun rise, and it was the first place in New Zealand spotted by the British explorer Captain James Cook, in 1769. (Polynesian sailors had arrived centuries earlier.) The Gisborne region, also known as Tairawhiti, has one of the largest populations of Māori people in the country, and it offers many opportunities for visitors to learn about the indigenous culture of these descendants of the Polynesian settlers and see their art. While most New Zealand residents speak at least some phrases in the Māori language—travelers are often greeted with “Kia ora,” a welcome that means “Have life and be well\"—here it is the primary language for many residents. The Tairawhiti Museum provides an excellent introduction to the culture of the Māori and that of other communities living in and near Gisborne. Beyond the town itself, the area’s long stretches of sand and protected breaks draw surfers, swimmers and sunrise watchers. This part of the country is also famous for its wines, in particular chardonnays, whose grapes thrive in the mild climate and limestone-rich soil.
Tauranga (Rotorua), New Zealand
The curved shoreline of the Bay of Plenty—known in Maori as Te Moana-a-Toi—is home to incredible surfing, white-sand beaches and New Zealand's only active marine volcano. Tauranga, with 130,000 residents, is the largest city on the Bay of Plenty and fifth largest in New Zealand. The city offers visitors a number of water-focused activities, like sailing and kayaking, as well as drier alternatives such as shopping and people-watching at a café in the Historic Village.
Tauranga is also a great jumping-off point for exploring nearby beaches and Te Puke, the kiwifruit capital of the world, as well as a wealth of Maori cultural sites. The world-famous geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, nicknamed Sulfur City, has been a major Polynesian spa resort town since visitors first arrived in the late 1800s. In Maori, roto means lake and rua means two, but Rotorua actually comprises 18 lakes—plus an incredible redwood forest.
For the best views, take the gondola up to Skyline Rotorua, a recreation complex atop Mount Ngongotaha. Other day trips you should consider are a boat ride through the incomparable glowworm caves of Waitomo or an unforgettable tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata—a must for all Tolkien fans.
Cruising Bay Of Plenty
There's plenty to marvel at around New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty: dramatic volcanic and geothermal formations, sweeping white-sand beaches and an abundance of birdlife and marine animals. Whakaari (White Island), which lies some 50 kilometers (30 miles) off the coast, has been New Zealand’s most active volcano since Captain James Cook circumnavigated the country in 1769. The region’s ongoing volcanic activity produces natural hot springs and thermal pools galore. Thousands of dolphins call the Bay of Plenty home, so they're easily spotted off the coast, along with orcas, pilot whales, giant sunfish and manta rays—not to mention many native birds.
The area’s wealth of resources isn’t limited to the coastline. Most of New Zealand’s famed kiwifruit comes from the agricultural interior of the Bay of Plenty, along with half the country’s avocados and many of the summer berry crops. When you sail into Tauranga Harbour, you’ll find yourself with plenty of appealing options to explore: the beaches of Mount Maunganui, Tauranga’s art galleries and Maori cultural sites. If you want to venture farther afield, take an excursion to a mineral spa in Rotorua.
Cruising Coromandel Pensinsula
Certain landscapes take on a whole new perspective when they're seen from the deck of a cruise ship, and the Coromandel Peninsula is one of them. This rugged finger of volcanic rock, lush rain forest and golden sand lies on New Zealand's North Island, just 55 kilometers (34 miles) across the Hauraki Gulf from Auckland. The Coromandel lures visitors with its misty hiking trails and wide array of beaches—most notably Hot Water Beach, where people gather at low tide to dig hot tubs in the sand and immerse themselves in the geothermal waters. Among the peninsula's dramatic rock formations is Cathedral Cove, reached via boat or by a spectacular coastal walk.
Just east of the Coromandel is the Bay of Plenty region—a wide indentation along the coast that's popular for boating and fishing. As with much of New Zealand, the area's geological origins are apparent in not-so-subtle ways: The cones of long-extinct volcanoes, such as coastal Mount Maunganui (Mauao), are distinctive landmarks, while the actively volcanic White Island still steams and hisses midsea. A large Maori population lives on the East Cape, New Zealand’s easternmost point. And the region’s waters are full of exuberant sea life: acrobatic dolphins, seals and several species of whales. Grab your binoculars, keep your camera handy and get ready to enjoy the show.
*Conditions Apply: Prices are per person, capacity controlled and listed in Australian dollars twin share including port taxes. Prices may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change, and may be withdrawn at any time. Prices shown here are not shown in real time. While we endeavour to keep our pricing as up-to-date as possible, the advertised prices shown here may differ from the live prices in our booking system. The prices shown are for a cash payment. Credit card fees of up to 2.5% will apply. Offer correct as at 08Nov19 and subject to live availability at time of booking. Prices are per person twin share based on best available cruise fare, inclusive of all discounts unless otherwise stated. All offers are capacity controlled and can be withdrawn or modified at any time without notice and subject to availability at time of booking. Outside and Balcony cabins may have obstructed views and Suite cabins comprises Junior Suites, Mini Suites and any other type of suite that represents the best value for each cruise. Unless otherwise stated, all packages containing airfare will require full airfare and taxes within 24 hours of reservation and cancellation/amendment conditions apply. Air taxes are included in package price and are subject to change depending on departure city. Unless otherwise stated, onboard gratuities are NOT included. ~Specialty restaurants may incur a surcharge. Cabins are based on guarantee and cabin number will not be assigned until documentation or embarkation. A non-refundable promotion applies to this sailing. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. Some cruise lines reserve the right to impose a fuel levy if the NMEX price reaches a certain level - please check with your consultant at time of booking. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Travel agent service fees not included. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry. Offer ends 20Nov19 or until sold out/withdrawn from sale. Please note only residents with an Australian address are eligible to book Australian rates in Australian dollars. This cruise package is provided by Seven Oceans Cruising, please ask your travel agent to contact us for more information. TOP TEN OFFER^ discount has been applied to this price. Holland America T's and C's apply.