We begin with a 2-night stay in Sydney, including a city tour, harbour cruise and a beautiful Waterfront dinner.
Then we board our cruise ship and sail to ports in New Zealand. During our cruise we will see snow capped mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, rugged coastlines and experience the rich Maori culture.
Cruising is a wonderful way to see the South Pacific, and we will cruise aboard the Grand Class Ruby Princess
. The ships of Princess Cruises are considered among the most beautiful and hospitable, and Grand Class ships are at the top of the class. They have more of everything you would expect in a 5-star floating resort - more spacious staterooms, more dining and entertainment options and more services and activities, including swimming pools, sauna, a spa with masseuse, aerobics and dance classes, duty-free boutiques and lectures on the history and highlights of the ports we visit by the onboard experts. Dining options include 3 intimate dining rooms, a 24-hour international cafe, an outdoor grill, afternoon tea service and 24-hour room service. Special diets are not a problem.
The spacious staterooms have twin beds (convertible to queen size), TV, phone, safe, hair dryer, fridge, spacious closets and a private bathroom with shower only. Evening activities include after-dinner drinks in one of the elegant lounges, first-run films, a casino and professionally produced Broadway-style entertainment.
* All shore excursions are optional, and may be purchased in advance on Princess Cruises’ website, or onboard the ship.
Day 1: Departure
We depart for Sydney, via Vancouver.
Day 2: Crossing the International Date Line
Day 3: Sydney
We arrive in Sydney and transfer to our hotel. Afternoon at leisure, with dinner at the hotel.
Day 4: Sydney
Our included tour shows us the the Rocks area (Sydney’s birthplace), the magnificent Opera House, Chinatown, beautiful South Head (where the harbour meets the Pacific), Vaucluse House (where the Australian Constitution was signed) and Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair (for spectacular city and harbour views). Included is a boat cruise of Sydney Harbour - a perfect way to see the Opera House, beaches and lavish waterfront homes. Dinner this evening will be at the lovely Waterfront Restaurant.
Day 5: Sydney / Embarkation
This morning we visit the Taronga Zoo for a guided walking tour of the unique native wildlife (koalas, kangaroos, etc.) Later we board the Ruby Princess for our first delicious lunch and dinner onboard.
Day 6 & 7: At Sea
Time to get acquainted with the ship and your fellow travelers, and enjoy the endless array of facilities, activities and entertainment.
Day 8: Fjordland National Park, New Zealand
Here on the South Island, many fjords cut the coastline with peaks rising thousands of feet straight from the sea.
Day 9: Dunedin, New Zealand
Hailed as the “Edinburgh of New Zealand,” this town has Scottish roots and still retains its Celtic flavor. Enjoy a stroll in the parks and gardens and admire the beautiful surrounding scenery. Optional tours will be offered such as a ride on the Taleri Gorge Railway, the Otago Wildlife Cruise and many more.
Day 10: Akaroa, New Zealand
Akaroa is a popular tourist destination with a distinctly French flair. The harbour hosts an array of marine life, including rare Hector’s Dolphins - the smallest dolphins in the world. Many optional tours will be offered including Christchurch, a swim with the Hector’s Dolphins or a visit to Paua Bay Farm to see sheepdogs at work and sheep shearing.
Day 11: Wellington, New Zealand
Set around a beautiful waterfront, Wellington is known for its vibrant arts scene and active lifestyle, in fact there are more cafes, bars and restaurants here than in New York City. You may want to explore the winding streets and many museums, or take the cable car to the top of the hill for incredible views.
Day 12: Napier, New Zealand
Napier and Hawke’s Bay have become New Zealand’s premier lifestyle getaways. Located on the North Island’s eastern coast, Hawke’s Bay is New Zealand’s oldest wine growing region - long noted for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. In recent years, Hawke’s Bay has also become a leading producer of fine olive oils and artisanal cheeses. In 1931 a large earthquke levelled Napier. The town was rebuilt and today is hailed as the “Art Deco City” for its collection of Art Deco, Spanish Mission and Classical Revival buildings.
Day 13: Tauranga, New Zealand
With hundreds of miles of white sand beaches, plenty of sunshine and temperate climate, the Bay of Plenty is New Zealand’s favourite holiday destination. There are heritage buildings, historic battle sites, museums, Mount Maunganui, the famous hot salt water pools and White Island – New Zealand’s only active marine volcano. There will be a wide range of optional activities to choose from.
Day 14: Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand's former capital boasts scenic beauty, historical interest and a cosmopolitan collection of shops, restaurants, museums and galleries. One Tree Hill, once home to Maori earthworks, overlooks the city. There is much to explore.
Day Day 15: Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Due to its subtropical climate, many water activities, nature walks and fishing take place in this beautiful area. The Bay of Islands is also referred to as the “birthplace of New Zealand” due to the numerous events that have taken place here over the centuries. It is also home to many Maori sacred sites and legends.
Day 16 & 17: At Sea
On the last night we enjoy our Farewell Dinner on board.
Day 18: Home
We fly home via Vancouver, arriving the same day.
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