This 14 night cruise aboard Celebrity Solstice departs from Sydney and will take you to Melbourne, Hobart, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound (all scenic cruising), Dunedin, Akaraoa, Wellington, Bay of Islands, Tauranga and Auckland.
Sydney – Considered one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney offers just about anything—from beaches and wineries to stunning landmarks and world-class shopping. Tour architectural marvels like the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge, view life below the surface from Sydney Aquarium’s underwater walkways, or take it all in from above on a tour of the Sydney Tower.
Melbourne – Europeans and Asians each have put their stamp on this amazing city and turned Melbourne into a cultural melting pot of Greek, Chinese, Italian, English and Irish, and host to major international events. From the Old World architecture and a cricket field at the center of the city, to the abundance of Australia’s unusual animals found at the Melbourne Zoo, this city never ceases to amaze.
Hobart – Docking in Hobart gives you immediate access to Mount Wellington and its incredibly beautiful surroundings. From there you can look out over the busy harbor, which plays host to yachts from all over the world. The Salamanca Arts Centre also puts the region’s incredible artwork on display, including some stunning Aboriginal pieces. Or, if you’re looking for something less formal, just wander about the streets listening to street buskers, or stop into a pub and sample local wines.
Milford Sound – As we sail into the narrow fjords of the Milford Sound, even your massive ship seems to shrink in comparison to the towering cliffs topped by lush mountain terrain. Situated within Fiordland National Park, this natural wonder is part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site and is protected by its natural geography, which makes it a haven for all types of wildlife.
Doubtful Sound – As cold mountain water cascades from the cliffs above Doubtful Sound, it creates an unusual phenomenon-a dual-layered marine ecosystem of fresh and saltwater. This serves as a playground for a number of species, including fur seals and two types of penguins – the fiordland crested and blue penguin.
Dusky Sound – Steep cliffs that have been carved over centuries by dozens of waterfalls surround the largest and most complex of the many fjords along the New Zealand coast, Dusky Sound. It’s also a wildlife paradise, with seals and dolphins patrolling the water, and birds like broad billed prions, mottled petrels and sooty shearwaters floating on the overhead thermals.
Dunedin – Were it not for the absence of the Scottish brogue, you might think you’d landed in Edinburgh. Both the scenery and the architecture borrow heavily from Scotland. You can even shop for kilts or dig into a piece of fresh haggis. Dunedin is also home to New Zealand’s only castle, a 15-year construction endeavor complete with the only staircase of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and magnificent woodwork.
Akaraoa – Nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano, Akaroa is rich with beautiful bays, French and English colonial history, even the largest little penguin colony on the mainland. It’s also home to the rarest and smallest marine dolphin and lots of water sports-kayaking, sailboats, also hiking paths and cycle tours. Pick up a unique souvenir from one of the many local craft shops and boutiques.
Wellington – From the new to the old, Wellington offers a bit of everything. Locals are particularly proud of the National Museum of New Zealand – Te Papa Tongarewa. Loosely translated as “our place” from the native Maori tongue, the museum is one of the world’s largest and most progressive. A great way to explore the city is on the restored cable cars, which traverse the shopping district. And if you want to experience it all from above, take in the panoramic views from Mount Victoria.
Bay of Island – Those who love beaches consider these some of the world’s finest, with their perfect white sand and crystal-clear water. And as tempted as you’ll be to pull up a lounge chair and soak in the surroundings, many consider this the ideal place to partake in more active pursuits, such as kayaking, mountain-biking, parasailing, swimming with dolphins and scuba-diving.
Tauranga – Known as the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga is located at the entrance to one of the largest natural harbors in New Zealand. You can take a ride on a bush jet boat, go white-water rafting on the Rangitaiki River, or dine on the freshest fish and chips you’ll ever taste, served al fresco. If you’re looking for a more exotic counter, travel to the Mount Mauganui Hot Salt Water Pools.
Auckland – Your official welcome to New Zealand comes by way of a bustling harbor. Step ashore and into a surprisingly cosmopolitan environment. And once you venture inland, even more surprises await, including a total of 48 dormant volcanoes, a lush, leafy urban cityscape filled with beautiful parks, and a number of renowned art galleries.