The best of New Zealand incl. Milford Sound (Le Bellot)


    enquire now 10 Days From NZD $9,129 pp twinshare
    Cruise
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    Set sail aboard Ponant’s Le Bellot for a 10-day cruise from Dunedin to Auckland.

    Along the coast of South Island, Le Bellot will cruise to the heart of a natural park with landscapes shaped by the successive glaciations. You will discover Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound and the well-known Milford Sound − three fjords bordered by majestic cliffs.

    You will sail on to Wellington, and then from Tauranga you will be able to explore many treasures: volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, rivers and gorges, and lakes that range in colour from deep blue to orange-tinged, before finishing your cruise in the City of Sails – Auckland.

    Highlights

    • Discover sublime New Zealand landscapes with exceptional diversity.
    • Sail in New Zealand’s fjords, listed with UNESCO.
    • A call at Picton, in the Marlborough region, famous for its vineyards and its submerged valleys.
    • In Wellington, discover the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum.
    • View White Island, a volcanic island with an unreal atmosphere, between lunar landscapes and steam emanating from the numerous fumaroles.
    • A lecturer passionate by New Zealand history will be on board.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 DUNEDIN
    Dunedin is New Zealand’s oldest city and is often referred to as the Edinburgh of New Zealand. The Otago Peninsula, which lies within the city boundaries, has internationally renowned wildlife reserves, including the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross.

    Day 2 SAILING DUSKY SOUND & DOUBTFUL SOUND
    Dusky Sound is one of the most isolated fjords in Fiordland National Park. This huge, protected natural zone situated in the south-west quarter of New Zealand’s South Island is listed as UNESCO World Heritage. During your sailing, observe the richness of the local wildlife: cormorants, seagulls, New Zealand fur seals, but also Fiordland crested penguins, a rare and endemic species. Referred to as the Sound of Silence, there is a secluded serenity that surrounds Doubtful Sound in contrast with the better-known Milford Sound. Lieutenant James Cook named ‘Doubtful Harbour’ in 1770 as he was uncertain if it was navigable under sail. Doubtful Sound is the deepest of the fiords with a maximum depth of 421 m. It contains three distinct ‘arms’ and several outstanding waterfalls in the area from Deep Cove to the open ocean. Your ship will spend time navigating around Secretary Island through both Thompson and Doubtful Sounds. You will enjoy the spectacular scenery from the outer decks.

    Day 3 MILFORD SOUND

    Milford Sound fjord is among one of the most beautiful natural sites in New Zealand. So much beauty will quite simply take your breath away. Majestic cliffs seem to surge out of the dark waters, rising several hundred metres high: an abrupt relief from where impressive waterfalls cascade.

    Day 4 AT SEA
    During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board.

    Day 5 PICTON
    A must-see entry point to South Island, Picton is a little coastal town girded by gentle hills, located on the south side of the Queen Charlotte inlet. The cafés and restaurants which border the charming waterfront give a very lovely view of the fjord. You can also decide to get some height above sea level, and walk in the surrounding areas. However, Picton is above all an opportunity to explore the unique Marlborough fjords. This interweave of submerged valleys, making numerous different navigable routes, are among the most beautiful natural wonders of New Zealand.

    Day 6 WELLINGTON
    This city offers a charming pell-mell of traditional and modern cultures, bestowing on the New Zealand capital, a unique atmosphere, at once friendly and welcoming. Where some sites, like the large National Te Papa Tongarewa museum, reflect the city’s Maori past, others, like the many cafés and restaurants, affirm the inhabitants’ incredible lust for life.

    Day 7 NAPIER
    Mostly destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, reviving from its ashes in less than two years, Napier grew into a magnificent Art Deco style city, very in-vogue at the time. With its pure lines mixed with traditional Maori designs, the singular New Zealand character of this city will intrigue you. You’ll discover all this extraordinary architectural heritage as you take a stroll through the city. Wine lovers will be able to taste some of the best wines from the region, which is famous for its vineyards.

    Day 8 WHITE ISLAND
    Located in the Bay of Plenty, White Island is an active volcano which has been built up by continuous volcanic activity over the past 150,000 years. The smell of sulphur and the noise of steam emanating from the many fumaroles makes for an amazing sensory experience. The island has also been identified as an important bird area because of its breeding colony of Australasian Gannets.

    Day 9 TAURANGA
    Located to the north of Rotorua, Tauranga stretches the length of the Bay of Plenty, sheltered from the ocean by the island of Matakana. The seafront area is contemporary and lively, dotted with cafés and restaurants. The town centre reveals more picturesque charms, while the surrounding area is packed full of natural delights. Travel on to the town of Rotorua to visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland: a fantastic opportunity to experience an absolutely exceptional geothermal phenomenon.

    Day 10 AUCKLAND
    Located on an isthmus linking the peninsula of Northland to the expansive North Island, Auckland seems to float between land and sea. It is one of the few cities in the world to have two separate harbours: Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. You will understand why Auckland is known as the city of sails when you see the forest of masts in the marina. The 328 metre-high Sky Tower offers splendid views of the city. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes such as Mt Eden, Auckland is noted for its abundant nature and magnificent black-sand beaches. A blend of Maori, European and Asian cultures give the city a vibrant atmosphere.

    Please Note:  Itineraries are subject to change.

    WildEarth2020

    Images courtesy of Wild Earth