New Zealand is one of the most exciting places in the world to take a cruise vacation. From magnificent marine life to spectacular landscapes and historic sites, New Zealand cruises have it all! While the “Home of the Lord of the Rings” can be reached by land, air or sea, cruises have become the most popular way to explore the island’s diverse landscape. And believe it or not, you can find cruises to New Zealand through discount travel outlets ranging from discount travel websites such as Discountcruises.com to discount booking search engines such as Kayak.com and Orbitz.com. Before you dive into some serious bargain hunting, first, here is a preview of what to expect on a New Zealand cruise.
While sailing along New Zealand’s many miles of coastline, cruisers will experience gorgeous views of alpine mountains, beautiful lakes, and sparkling sandy beaches. There are 12 key ports of call in New Zealand including: Paihia & Russell, Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Gisborne, Wellington, Nelson, Picton, Lyttelton (Christchurch), Timaru, Dunedin, and Fiordland. The New Zealand cruise season lasts from October through March. Most New Zealand cruises last 12-16 days and many also visit Australia.
When you’re not exploring New Zealand by sea, there are numerous New Zealand cruise excursions to choose from. Cruisers can explore Maori villages or visit a kiwi farm. Cruisers can also dine at an Auckland cafe or explore the gardens of Christchurch.
There are many different cruise lines that sail to New Zealand, but the largest cruise liner to visit is Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2. The liner broke the record as the biggest ship of any type ever to visit New Zealand when she docked in Auckland February 17, 2007. Other cruise lines offering New Zealand cruises include luxury lines such as Seabourn Cruise Lines, Crystal Cruises, MV Europa, Seven Seas, and Silversea. Other cruise lines offering New Zealand cruises include: Celebrity, Regent, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Oceania, and Holland America.
If you’re flying from North America to New Zealand, keep in mind that you will cross the International Dateline, meaning you will lose a day. In addition, air travel to New Zealand will take up the majority of the day.
To make it to your cruise on time, you must leave your hometown for your port of departure at a minimum of two days in advance of your New Zealand cruise vacation. It is recommended, however, that cruisers leave three to four days before the cruise to allow for any problems or delays that may occur. Not only will this ensure that you won’t miss your cruise, but this will also give you plenty of time to relax and get acquainted with the region before boarding the ship. Luckily, most New Zealand cruise lines offer pre-cruise hotel packages.
Now, to enjoy discounts on New Zealand cruises, there are several ways to go about it. Cruise New Zealand discounts are available for those that prefer to book in advance and for those that aren’t afraid to book at the very last minute. Cruise lines will do anything to fill their cabins in advance, so you may enjoy discounts in the form of special incentives, credits, and cash back just for booking far in advance. And this “advance” doesn’t mean a month or two in advance, this means anywhere from 8-12 months in advance. On the other end, if a cruise isn’t booked to capacity several weeks or so before the sail date, prices are slashed. So, if you book several weeks before the sail date, you may enjoy discounts up to an impressive 75%.
Other ways to cruise New Zealand on a discount cruise include: booking with a group, taking advantage of package deals or senior discounts, booking online, and booking with popular cruise lines. Some of the world’s most popular cruise lines include: Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas, SilverSea Cruises, and Windstar Cruises.
A senior is typically defined as a person who is 55 years of age or older. If you want to lock in senior rates, however, you can’t book online. You must call a cruise travel specialist or book directly with the cruise line. Keep in mind that proof of age is required.
To shop and compare New Zealand cruise discounts on your own, any of the following popular discount booking search engines and websites are excellent places to look.
Want to find out what others are saying about a New Zealand cruise line before you make your decision to book? If so, there are several excellent websites for passenger cruise reviews. These include: Cruisecritic.com, Cruisereviewsonline.com, Cruisereport.com, Cruisedirectonline.com, and Cruisemates.com.
Cruisecritic.com offers more than just passenger reviews, this site has several search functions to help you find everything from bargains and discounts to theme cruises, and exotic itineraries. The site also includes features, news, planning tools, and a variety of cruise message boards where fellow cruisers can exchange stories and information.
Cruisemates.com offers short passenger reviews and ratings. The two types of ratings are star ratings and value ratings. Star ratings are based on one question – “how good is this ship?” One star is the worst, five stars is the best. Cruisemates.com takes everything from age and accommodations to food, service, and entertainment into account when rating the worlds cruise ships. Value ratings or “thumbs up” ratings are all about the “Bang for your Buck.” Five thumbs up means the ship is an excellent value while one thumb up means you won’t find much of anything that resembles a value here.
Passenger reviews, ratings, rankings, and popularity contests – at Cruisereviewsonline.com find out which cruise ships are at the top and which ones are not. Get other information on cruise lines, as well as information, ratings and rankings on embarkation ports, and ports-of-call.
Cruisereport.com offers the lowdown on cruise lines from A to Z. Unbiased passenger reviews, cruise searches, quotes, and feature articles are just a few of the sites extras. You can also search for “the perfect cruise” and browse through news pieces about cruising. After checking out their ratings and reviews, you can also search for discounts and deals. With more than 50,000 visitors per month, Cruisereport.com has information on roughly 8,500 current sailings.
Cruisedirectonline.com relies on reader surveys to help keeps reviews & ratings in check. In addition to cruise ship reviews and ratings, visitors to the site will find top ten and top thirty lists, as well as feature articles about the best of the best in the world of cruises. The site has other information about discounts, as well as information on roughly 12,000 sailings. Cruise Direct Online has been featured in Frommer’s Budget Travel Magazine, and on MSNBC, CNBC, MSN Money, and more.