13 Night Cruise sailing from Melbourne roundtrip aboard Sapphire Princess.
As you set your sights on the wonders of the world, let Sapphire Princess indulge your every whim. Over 700 balconies, world-class gourmet dining and dazzling entertainment options are just the beginning of your sea-going adventure. Dance the night away, enjoy casino gaming or relax and rejuvenate body and mind at the Lotus Spa.
Highlights of this cruise:
Victoria may be Australia's smallest continental state, but Melbourne, its capital, is big on everything. With a population of 4.25 million people living in 59 separately named communities within 715 square miles, Melbourne is a sprawling city offering culture, art, fashion and friendly, sports-minded Australians. It is also an easy city to explore. At the heart of the city is the Golden Mile, the city's governmental and commercial center, home to hotels, shops, restaurants and theaters.
Originally part of New South Wales, Victoria became a colony in its own right in 1851. The discovery of gold propelled Melbourne's growth to prominence and prosperity.
Travel Tip: Melbourne is pronounced mell-burn.
Perched on the hills above one of New Zealand's loveliest harbors, Dunedin is a Kiwi city with a Scottish heart. Hailed as the Edinburgh of New Zealand, Dunedin is proud of its heritage. A statue of famed Scottish poet Robert Burns graces downtown, and the presence of New Zealand's only kilt maker and whisky distillery - as well as many bagpipe bands - keep Dunedin's ties to Scotland alive. The city also boasts a distinguished architectural and cultural history, a legacy of New Zealand's 1860s gold rush.
Port Chalmers, gateway to Dunedin, is located eight miles from the city center. Dunedin is a planned city: its streets and suburbs fan out from the city's octagon.
Travel tip: Dunedin is pronounced Dunn-knee-din
Located at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound, Picton is your gateway to the South Island's famed Marlborough District. Once known primarily for its lush farm lands and many sheep stations, Marlborough came to international attention thanks to a new agricultural product - wine. The release of the 1985 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc put New Zealand on the map and changed the world's focus on winemaking in the Southern Hemisphere. Today, the Marlborough region boasts dramatic sea and landscapes, fascinating wine country, excellent restaurants and a number of the nation's finest gardens.
Military names abound in this corner of New Zealand - the region is named for the first Duke of Marlborough, while the largest town, Blenheim, is named after his most famous battle. Picton is named for Sir Thomas Picton, a favorite of another general, the first duke of Wellington.
New Zealand's natural bounty is always on display at the Bay of Plenty. It was Captain James Cook who in 1769 aptly named this bay, thanks to the prosperous Maori villages of the region. Tauranga, the chief city, is a bustling port, an agricultural and timber center and a popular seaside resort. Tauranga is also the gateway to Rotorua - a geothermal wonderland that is the heart of Maori culture. A 90-minute drive from Tauranga, Rotorua is New Zealand's primary tourist attraction.
Your ship docks near the foot of Mt. Maunganui, which rises 761 feet above the bay. Across the harbor, Tauranga offers scenic tidal beaches at Omokoroa and Pahoia. The region boasts fine beaches, big-game fishing, thermal springs and seaside resorts.
Straddling a narrow isthmus created by 60 different volcanoes, New Zealand's former capital boasts scenic beauty, historical interest and a cosmopolitan collection of shops, restaurants, museums, galleries and gardens. Rangitoto, Auckland's largest and youngest volcano, sits in majestic splendor just offshore. Mt. Eden and One Tree Hill, once home to Maori earthworks, overlook the city. One of New Zealand's fine wine districts lies to the north of Auckland.
Auckland served as New Zealand's capital from 1841 until 1865, when the seat of government moved to Wellington.