From the craggy coastlines of the South Island to the surf and swimming beaches on the North, New Zealand features some of the most exciting land activities and sea adventures in the world. So, if youâ€™re looking for an extended cruise vacation in an exotic location, why not explore the endless possibilities of a New Zealand cruise?
New Zealand Cruises Basics
While the â€œHome of the Lord of the Ringsâ€? can be reached by road, sea or air, cruises have become one of the most popular ways to explore the island’s diverse landscape. While sailing along New Zealandâ€™s many miles of coastline, cruisers are treated to views of alpine mountains, gorgeous lakes, and 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.
New Zealand Cruise Excursions
When youâ€™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 cafÃ© or explore the gardens of Christchurch.
New Zealand Cruise Lines
There are many different cruise lines that travel the waters of New Zealand, but the largest cruise liner to visit is Cunard Lineâ€™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.
Getting to Your New Zealand Cruise
If youâ€™re flying from North America to New Zealand to begin your New Zealand Cruise, 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 your cruise to allow for any problems or delays that may occur. Not only will this ensure that you wonâ€™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.
Booking a New Zealand Cruise
To book your New Zealand cruise, a great place to start is with your local cruise travel agent or online cruise travel agent. A cruise travel agent can help find the best New Zealand cruise to fit your taste and budget. To find a travel agent in your area check out: www.locateatravelagency.com.