14 Night cruise departing from Auckland to Sydney onboard Star Breeze.
Hailed as one of the world's most livable cities, Auckland offers up Maori history, urban adventure, and natural wonders. In Christchurch, the Gateway to Antarctica, tour the International Antarctic Centre. Stroll Baldwin Street in Dunedin, designated a UNESCO City of Literature, and grab binoculars and swimsuits for birdwatching and kayak adventures on picturesque Stewart Island. For your New Zealand finale, find your perch up on deck for cruising Fiordland National Park to spot takahe and kakapo birds, bottlenose dolphins, seals, and penguins. An overnight in Melbourne offers time to venture out to the Yarra Valley for wine tasting, or stroll the cobbled laneways of the Garden City to sample fine food and boutique gin and whisky. The hidden harbor on Phillip Island brings a unique opportunity to celebrate your journey with the sunset Penguin Parade. Enjoy a day at sea before embarking on Eden, where you can feast on fresh, local seafood and explore its towering lighthouse. Sail into Sydney Harbor for a swan song at the Opera House.
Highlights of this cruise:
Auckland, New Zealand
The first thing to notice when you see Auckland is the 1,076-foot-high Sky Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere offering amazing panoramic views. The area was settled by the Maori around 1350 and was settled by Europeans in the early 1800s. The land here is rich and fertile and the economy is good. Take a ferry to Waiheke Island, known for its beaches, forests, vineyards and olive groves or stroll along Ponsonby Street known for arts, cafes, culture and historic villas.
Picton, New Zealand
Picton is the starting point for exploring the Marlborough region of New Zealand and their delicious sauvignon blanc wines. Tiny and picturesque, Picton is ideal for the naturalist or the foodie. Hike or bike along the 43-mile Queen Charlotte Track, explore the nearby wildlife sanctuaries, indulge your taste buds with refreshing white wine and taste the famous green-lipped mussels indigenous to Marlborough Sounds.
Lyttlelton, (Christchurch), New Zealand
Established as a landing point for colonial settlers on their way to Christchurch, Lyttelton has been known as the Gateway to Canterbury. It is only 7 miles (11.8 km) from Christchurch. Take a double-decker bus in Christchurch to the Botanic Gardens, the International Antarctic Centre, Canterbury Museum or North Hagley Park. There are plenty of eclectic shops, cafes and bars on your way.
Dunedin (Port Chalmers), New Zealand History Building
A description of Dunedin would include its Scottish and Maori heritages, its Victorian and Edwardian architecture, its dramatic landscape that encourages hiking and cycling and a large student population. The nearby Otago Peninsula is home to colonies of albatross, sea lions and the rare yellow-eyed penguins. Dunedin has one of the world's steepest streets - Baldwin Street and is a UNESCO designated City of Literature.
Oban, Stewart Island, New Zealand
The main settlement of Stewart Island is a haven for bird life like kaka, parakeets, tui and New Zealand's national bird, the kiwi. Pleasantly located on a vista of picturesque bays and coves with lush vegetation, activities around Oban include hiking, sea kayaking, diving, or take one of New Zealand's Great Walks to Maori Beach, the site of a 1913 lumber mill.
Scenic Cruising Fiordland National Park, New Zealand Doubtful Sound
Be out on deck to experience the beauty of Fiordland National Park, the largest of the 14 national parks in New Zealand. It is a major part of the Te Wahipounamu UNESCO site. Two rare bird species live here - the Takahe, thought to be extinct was found in the mountains here, and the Kakapo, the world's only flightless parrot has refuge here as well.
The capital and most populated city of the state of Victoria, Melbourne is located on the large natural bay of Port Philip. The abundance of parks and gardens here has resulted in Melbourne being referred to as Australia's Garden City. The Story of the Kelly Gang, the world's first feature film, was shot in Melbourne in 1906 and On the Beach was filmed here in 1959. The city's delightful mix of architecture includes the UNESCO-listed Royal Exhibition building, the Venetian-gothic style Old Stock Exchange, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Flinders Street Station.
Phillip Island, Australia
The biggest attraction of tiny port Phillip Island is the daily Penguin Parade at sunset when the little penguins come ashore. There is also a large colony of Australian fur seals and there are koalas and birds in the mangroves along Cape Woolamai. The Phillip Island Circuit is also well-known for its motorcycle and car racing track.
The heart and soul of Eden is its location on Twofold Bay, the shore-based whaling station there and Old Tom, the legendary killer whale whose story is told at the Eden Killer Whale Museum. Eden remains a working port so rest assured the seafood eaten there will be the freshest around. Eden is a popular whale watching site and whales migrate to and from the Antarctic twice a year.
Best known for its distinctive harbor-front Opera House, which is a UNESCO site, Sydney is viewed as not only one of the most expensive cities in the world, but also one of the most livable. The metropolis surrounds the world's largest natural harbor and covers about 44 miles. Sydney's outdoor platform, the Skywalk offers a 360 degree view of the city and surrounding area. Other sites to see include the Royal National Park, the Royal Botanic Garden, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge