14 Night Cruise sailing from Melbourne to Auckland onboard Silver Muse.
It's time to embrace the holiday spirit aboard Silver Muse Nimbly nipping from Australia's sun filled shores to New Zealand's natural masterpieces, let's celebrate the holiday season together The soulful New Zealand sounds prove every bit as spectacular as they are fabled, wellington surprises with its oodles of culture and charm and Auckland requires no introductions.
Highlights of this cruise:
Consistently rated among the world's most livable cities in quality-of-life surveys, Melbourne is built on a coastal plain at the top of the giant horseshoe of Port Phillip Bay. The city center is an orderly grid of streets where the state parliament, banks, multinational corporations, and splendid Victorian buildings that sprang up in the wake of the gold rush now stand. This is Melbourne's heart, which you can explore at a leisurely pace in a couple of days.
Burnie overlooks Emu Bay, on the north-west coast. This proudly industrial city is Australia's fifth largest container port and a vibrant place to visit. Burnie was once surrounded by dense rainforest, but this has slowly disappeared, while fortunes were made felling and milling timber. The paper and pulp mill on the city's outskirts operated from 1938 to 1998. Burnie was first explored by Bass and Flinders and was known as Emu Bay when it was settled by the Van Diemen's Land Company in 1827. Today, Burnie has a population of almost 19,000. Burnie experiences temperate conditions, with an average maximum of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) in January and 56.5 degrees Fahrenheit (13.5) degrees Celsius in June.
Cruising Milford Sound, New Zealand
New Zealand fiord country along with Fiordland National Park is one of New Zealand's premier attractions. Incredibly beautiful, wild and remote, the region is an intriguing combination of rugged mountain ranges, dense rainforest, solitary alpine lakes, sparkling rivers and splashing waterfalls. Much of Fiordland is virtually unexplored wilderness and still the habitat of rare birds. As the ship cruises the beautiful Doubtful, Dusky and Milford Sounds, experience the majestic fiordland of South Island's western coast. Captain James Cook sailed along this coast in 1770 and again in 1773, when he anchored at Dusky Sound for a rest and ship repair. Doubtful Sound is one of the region's most majestic fiords. It is ten times larger than Milford Sound. As the ship cruises into Hall Arm, gaze at vertical cliffs and mighty waterfalls plunging over sheer rock faces. In fine weather, mountains and greenery are reflected in the protected waters of the fiord.
Cruising Dusky Sound, New Zealand
Despite being discovered by Cook more than 240 years ago, Dusky Sound is one of the few truly untouched destinations left on earth. Found on the southwest corner of New Zealand's Fiordland National Park, Dusky Sound has the auspicious title of titanic mason given to it by the Maoris, as no other explanation seems to fit it is almost impossible to comprehend the sheer breadth of geological events that created this seemingly perfect sculpture, as the sheer cliffs that rise vertically upward from the ocean dwarf the ship. This incredibly beautiful fiord offers many magical wildernesses and stunning scenery that bathe in Lord of the Rings grandeur. A breeding site for Fiordland Penguins, Dusky Sound is an important ornithological area too, with a wealth of birdlife to be found here. This remote, untouched region is also home to a wide range of sea life, as the fresh and salt water combine to create an extraordinary aquatic environment.
Wellington, New Zealand
New Zealand's capital is, arguably, the country's most cosmopolitan metropolis. It's world-class Te Papa Tongarewa-Museum of New Zealand is a don't-miss attraction, and the burgeoning film industry led, of course, by the Lord of the Rings extravaganzas has injected new life into the local arts scene. Attractive and compact enough to be explored easily on foot, Wellington is a booming destination. Modern high-rise buildings gaze over Port Nicholson, surely one of the finest natural anchorages in the world. Known to local Mori as The Great Harbor of Tara, its two massive arms form the jaws of the fish of Maui from Mori legend. Sometimes referred to as the windy city, Wellington has been the seat of New Zealand's government since 1865.
Tauranga (Bay Of Plenty), New Zealand
The population center of the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga is one of New Zealand's fastest-growing cities. Along with its neighbor, Whakatane, this seaside city claims to be one of the country's sunniest towns. Unlike most local towns, Tauranga doesn't grind to a halt in the off-season, because it has one of the busiest ports in the country, and the excellent waves at the neighboring beach resort of Mount Maunganui - just across Tauranga's harbor bridge - always draw surfers and holiday folk.
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland is called the City of Sails, and visitors flying in will see why. On the East Coast is the Waitemata Harbour - a Mori word meaning sparkling waters - which is bordered by the Hauraki Gulf, an aquatic playground peppered with small islands where many Aucklanders can be found mucking around in boats.Not surprisingly, Auckland has some 70,000 boats. About one in four households in Auckland has a seacraft of some kind, and there are 102 beaches within an hour's drive during the week many are quite empty.