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12 night small ship expedition voyage Auckland to Milford Sound from
per person share twinAirfares AdditionalDeparts 27 Dec 2021
Explore over 7,000km of New Zealand’s spectacular coastline, experience vibrant Maori culture and discover wildlife species in their natural habitats. From Auckland to Milford Sound this 12 night voyage will give you ample opportunity to see the Wild Side of New Zealand,
✔ 12 night cruise with Coral Expeditions from Auckland to Milford Sound
✔ In the Marlborough Sounds, enjoy a New Year’s Eve feast anchored at historic Ship Cove, featuring produce and wine from the Marlborough region.
✔ Taste the renowned wines produced in the Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough regions on our specially curated New Zealand wine list
✔ Encounter many species of endemic birds and marine wildlife, including the Fiordland crested penguin, Yellow-eyed penguin, little penguin and New Zealand fur seal in Southland, the Sperm Whale in Kaikoura, and the dusky dolphin and Hector’s dolphin at Akaroa
✔Enjoy walks through spectacular scenery in the Marlborough Sounds and the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
✔ Explore four of Fiordland’s most beautiful sounds – the astonishing and rarely visited Dusky and Doubtful Sounds, Thomson Sound, and otherworldly Milford Sound. Observe the wildlife, discover the history, and be immersed in the stillness of unforgettable Fiordland National Park.
✔ Spot native wildlife and birdlife in their natural habitat
Day 1: Auckland
Make your way to Auckland’s Queens Wharf to board Coral Geographer at 3:30 pm. We depart the ‘city of sails’ at 5:00 pm to make our way into the Hauraki Gulf; with its string of islands guarding the harbour, including the iconic Rangitoto Island – a dormant volcano. Take in the sights while enjoying the Captain’s welcome drinks and meeting the crew and your fellow passengers.
Day 2: Tauranga & Waimangu Valley
Waimangu means ‘black water’ – this fascinating place was named for the geyser that regularly erupted here until 1904. Waimangu is the world’s youngest volcanic valley, and there is much to see: spectacular volcanic craters, enormous hot water springs, and many birds. Enjoy views of mysterious and beautiful Inferno Crater which rises and falls as it heats and cools.
Waimangu Volcanic Valley is home to Frying Pan Lake, one of the largest hot water springs in the World. Brilliantly coloured microbes cloak the hot rocks. Tiny springs and geysers play. Wonder at the unusual plants that grow on the hot earth of Waimangu, surrounded by forests.
Day 3: Gisborne
Gisborne is rich in historical significance. Captain Cook first came ashore in New Zealand here in 1769, and the European settlers met with the local Maori tribes on the banks of the Tūranganui River. Old Maori traditions also record this region, specifically Titirangi Hill as the point of arrival for the first Maori canoe to arrive in the area. Here, we will venture to the small township of Tolaga Bay, where we will be welcomed at the Hauiti Marae. Enjoy a traditional Maori welcome and the Kapa Haka cultural show, with a guided viewing of the marae. Have the opportunity to visit the historic Tolaga Bay wharf before returning to Gisborne.
Day 4: Napier
This morning, cruise into Hawke’s Bay and anchor at the city of Napier, which contains one of the largest concentrations of art deco architecture in the world. In 1931 Napier was destroyed by an earthquake that shook Hawke’s Bay for more than 3 minutes, flattening the city. Rebuilding began, and the new buildings reflected the architectural styles of the times – stripped classical, Spanish mission and art deco. Few other places in the world have such a deep identity with these architectural styles, and Napier’s stylish shops and fabulous restaurants and bars echo the classic atmosphere.
Napier is surrounded by the award-winning wineries of the Hawke’s Bay Region, one of the world’s great wine regions. With a temperate maritime climate and plentiful sunshine, the region is similar to Bordeaux, France, and produces a wide range of different styles but is best known for red blends and Chardonnay.
Two tour options are available here – choose between a city tour to uncover the remarkable architecture and history of the city – from the earthquake and rebuilding, through to the growth of the vibrant wine industry, and finishing with a flight of wines at New Zealand’s oldest winery, Mission Estate Winery. Alternatively, enjoy an excursion to the world’s largest mainland gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers, with spectacular views of this dramatic coastline.
Day 5 & 6: Marlborough Sounds
The ancient river valleys that form the Marlborough Sounds make up 20% of New Zealand’s coastline. The webs of sunken channels are surrounded by forest-cloaked peaks and vineyards, all of which present a breathtaking view from any perspective.
This lush region produces much of New Zealand’s seafood, and 80% of its wine. The fertile soil in this region supported the country’s first known Polynesian settlement in the late 1200s AD at Wairau Bar.
After a relaxing day at sea cruising across Cook Strait to the South Island, we anchor at historic Ship Cove to ring in the New Year. Enjoy a special feast featuring a selection of Marlborough Sounds produce and world-renowned wines.
Spend New Year’s Day exploring Queen Charlotte Sound. Discover the dolphins and seals of the sounds with marine spotting from the Xplorer and enjoy wonderful birdwatching on walks through Motuara Island birdlife sanctuary. Guided by our expedition team and lecturers, there will be options to hike a section of the spectacular Queen Charlotte Track, or shorter walks available. The history of the region is also brought to life with our visit to Ship Cove, where informative storyboards tell of Captain Cook’s time here. Finish the day with a scenic cruise up the length of the sound before we depart for our next destination.
Day 7: Kaikoura
Ringed by the breathtaking snow-dusted Seaward Kaikoura Ranges, the picturesque town of Kaikoura is renowned as possibly the best whale watching destination in the world. Kaikoura is one of the very few places it is possible to observe the Sperm Whale! Aboard a small specialised vessel, we will explore the ocean in search of these amazing mammals, as well as fur seals, dusky and Hector’s dolphins and other migratory whales.
Kaikoura means ‘to eat crayfish’, and you may have the opportunity to taste the seafood available here. You will also have the opportunity walk through this small town to visit the museums, galleries, and cafes, before joining the expedition team on a guided walk over the peninsula to marvel at the spectacular scenery.
Day 8: Akaroa
This morning, sail into the long harbour of Akaroa, formed by the breached volcanic crater that makes up the Banks Peninsula. The village of Akaroa has the unique identity of being the only French settlement in New Zealand, and its charming cottages and French street names still carry that identity today.
Ringed by the pastoral rolling hills of the Peninsula, the scenic village was once a bustling whaling outpost. Here, guests have a choice of two included excursions – a harbour cruise with a local operator to spot marine wildlife or a visit to a traditional hill country farm operated by 7th generation descendants of the earliest French Settlers on Banks Peninsula. Guests will also have free time to explore the scenic village, and visit cafes inspired by French cuisine. A variety of short walks are available into the surrounding nature reserves, such as a walk to Newton’s Waterfall, guided by our expedition team.
Day 9: Dunedin
Dunedin, settled in and around an ancient volcanic crater, is known for its Scottish and Maori heritage. Named after the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the city’s heritage buildings, cathedrals, and charming atmosphere share an old-world atmosphere. Dunedin City is regarded as New Zealand’s architectural heritage capital.
The Otago Peninsula is an area of exceptional diversity, and as we enter the long Otago Harbour, we will be welcomed with sights of the world’s only mainland breeding colony of northern royal albatross and a colony of yellow-eyed penguin – the world’s rarest penguin – as well as Hookers sea lions. and various other unique species.
You will have time to explore the city at your own leisure: perhaps visit the famous Speight’s Brewery, art gallery, museum, and New Zealand’s oldest botanic gardens. There will also be a choice of included excursions with local operators – choose between a coach tour of the Otago Peninsula’s most scenic beaches and Dunedin’s highlights, or a railway journey through the rugged and spectacular Taieri River Gorge.
Day 10: Stewart & Ulva Islands
Known in Maori mythology as Te Punga o Te Waka – The Anchor Stone of Maui’s Canoe’ – Stewart Island (Rakiura) is New Zealand’s little known ‘third island’. Apart from the communities on the island, many people never venture to remote Stewart Island. Nearby Ulva Island is also found within the Rakiura National Park, offering a predator-free environment for rare and endangered birds including South Island Saddleback, Stewart Island Weka, NZ Pigeon/Kereru, South Island Kaka, Yellow- and Red-crowned Parakeet (Kakariki), Morepork, Rifleman (New Zealand’s smallest bird), New Zealand Fantail, South Island Tomtit, Stewart Island Robin, Yellowhead (Mohoua), Brown Creeper, Grey Warbler, New Zealand Bellbird and Tui.
On Ulva Island, a guided walk will provide the opportunity to spot a vast array of birdlife and hopefully a few fur seals lazing on the shore during the tour. There will be free time to explore the village of Oban, and a guided Xplorer cruise to Prices Point Whaling Station will unveil the history of the region.
Day 11-12: Fiordland: Dusky, Doubtful & Thomson Sounds
Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage site once described as the Eighth Wonder of the World by author Rudyard Kipling, is characterised by 14 fiords carving through just 215km of coastline. These fiords were carved by glaciers over thousands of years, and you will see waterfalls cascading down the sheer cliffs, rainforest cloaking the steep ridges, and granite peaks reflected in the deep shimmering waters.
These mostly inaccessible and awe-inspiring landscapes were the mysterious source of powerful pounamu (New Zealand Jade), gathered by Maori from the riverbeds and boulders of the South Island – the only place it occurs. While some European settlers took shelter here, the deep isolation and rugged terrain thwarted all except the toughest from staying. Many of the flora and fauna species have developed in relative isolation, so many of the diverse plants and animals are unique to the area.
Enter Fiordland National Park at dramatic Tamatea / Dusky Sound, and cruise among towering cliffs and sheet granite walls of Facile Harbour, cascading waterfalls, pass some of the 365 small islands and explore the depths of the inlets in the zodiacs. Inaccessible by road, Tamatea / Dusky Sound is the largest and most complex of the Fiordland Sounds. It is also a designated Important Bird Area for the Fiordland Penguins that breed here. We will also encounter the fur seals of Luncheon Cove.
Early in the morning, a dawn cruise traces Acheron Passage to Te Puaitaha / Breaksea Sound, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes on all sides as we retrace Cook’s journey. It is easy to imagine the small wooden Endeavour being dwarfed by the steep-sided fiords and encircled by the blanketing silence of the fog-cloaked peaks.
Doubtful Sound / Patea is the deepest and widest fiord, flanked by towering cliffs and adorned by cascading waterfalls. The stillness and silence of this Fiord is compelling and unforgettable. We will cruise into Doubtful Sound / Patea, and past the outer Seal Islands, Nee Islets and through ‘the Gut’, before cruising by Blanket Bay and into Te Awa-o-Tū / Thomson Sound. You may spot fur seals lounging on the rocks, pods of dolphins, and the Fiordland penguin. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Drinks.
This afternoon, we enter Milford Sound / Piopiotahi to a world-famous view of Mitre Peak, rising some 1,682 metres. Its triangular silhouette rises opposite beautiful Stirling Falls, falling from the top of a 162m high cliff between two towering ridges into the inky dark water. You may have a chance to feel the spray from the waterfall – according to Maori legend it will make you ten years younger! The steep overhanging cliffs are awe-inspiring as we cruise to Harrison Cove, where an ancient glacier entered the fiord, and visit Bowen Falls.
Day 13: Milford Sound & Queenstown
This morning, disembark at Deepwater Basin, Milford Sound at 8:00 am before transferring by coach to Queenstown. The coach arrives in Queenstown at approximately 1:30 pm.
Our New Zealand itinerary is crafted to be flexible, allowing the Captain and Expedition Team to respond quickly to favourable weather conditions, and immerse you in the very best of New Zealand’s flora, fauna and wild coastline.
*Activities may be placed on different days dependent on guide and direction of cruise
Auckland to Milford Sound Expedition Voyage
Coral Deck Stateroom from $11,149 per person
Promenade Deck Stateroom from $13,359 per person
Explorer Deck Stateroom from $16,655 per person
Solo Voyager rates available on request, please talk to our team for details
Departs: 27 December 2021
✔ 12 Night Coral Geographer expedition voyage from Auckland to Milford Sound
✔ All-Inclusive Meals: All meals are fresh and chef-prepared onboard
✔ Tea & Coffee: 24-hour barista-style coffee and tea station
✔ Beverages: Selected wines, beers, juices, soft drinks and selected spirits are served complimentary with lunch and dinner. Drinks are available for purchase at other times
✔ Shore Excursions
Coral Expeditions small ships are equipped with a fleet of excursion tenders to make travelling ashore as simple and comfortable as possible. Designed with flexibility and guest comfort in mind, these inflatable zodiacs, glass-bottom boats and unique excursion tender ‘Xplorer’ ensure that even the least intrepid adventurer can step ashore with ease. The excursion boats board directly from the ship’s main deck, before the hydraulic platform gently lowers them into the water, avoiding the need to clamber aboard or get your feet wet.
On most days you’ll have the opportunity to participate in two shore excursions or activities (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), along with onboard briefings and presentations. The vast majority of excursions are included in your cruise price and in key locations, you will have the opportunity to enhance your experience through participation in optional activities.
✔ Group Transfers from Milford Sound to Queenstown at the end of your voyage are included
Coral Geographer is the newer twin sister ship to Coral Adventurer, take a look in side Coral Adventurer
Don't forget to download the House of Travel App to view your itinerary from your mobile phone!
To make a reservation you have to pay a deposit of 20% of the fare. The balance of the fare is due ninety (90) days prior to departure. All prices are converted from Australian dollars. Our team will be happy to quote you current pricing based on todays exchange rate
CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY:
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing. At the time we receive your cancellation the following penalties will apply:
Up to 90 days prior to departure – forfeit your deposit of 20% of the fare.
60 to 89 days prior to departure – forfeit 50% of the fare.
No-show to 59 days prior to departure – forfeit 100% of the fare.
Date change fee made more than 90 days before departure – $500pp fee.
Date change within 90 days of departure is considered a cancellation and standard Cancellation Policy applies.
A name change/transfer of the booking to another person is considered a cancellation and Cancellation Penalties (as above) will apply.
A $200 per person fee is applicable for any amendments not requiring a date change after booking is confirmed.
TRIP CANCELLATION AND INTERRUPTION INSURANCE:
We strongly recommend that all passengers purchase cruise cancellation and interruption insurance as protection against any circumstance which may force you to cancel or leave an expedition whilst it is in progress.
Accommodation on the Ship is based on twin share occupancy. If you are travelling alone and wish to share accommodation, a room mate will be assigned to your cabin whenever possible. When pairing room mates we always pair participants of the same sex. In the event of a share partner not being found, standard twin share stateroom rate will be applied.
Upon payment of the fare for the Cruise and the confirmation of the booking by us or our authorised travel agent a Contract is concluded between us (the carrier) and you (the passenger) concerning the Cruise in terms of these Cruise Ticket Conditions. Any payment of the cruise fare implies acceptance of all Terms and Conditions.
In these Cruise Ticket Conditions:
“brochure” means this brochure and any other promotional material published by the Carrier with reference to the Cruise.
“carrier” means and includes Coral Expeditions, the Ship, the Ship’s owners, operators, managers, charterers, agents, sub-contractors and employees.
“Coral Expeditions” means Coral Princess Cruises (NQ) Pty Ltd (A.B.N 51 010 809 417) of Hartley Street, Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
“Cruise” means the passage agreed to be undertaken by the carrier in the Contract.
“passenger” means each person purchasing or accepting the Contract entitled to board the Ship for the Cruise.
“Queensland” means the State of Queensland in the Commonwealth of Australia.
“the Ship” means the Cruise Ship used by the carrier to conduct the Cruise.
“Unexpected Event” means any act, circumstance or event beyond the control of the carrier caused or arising from but not limited to acts of God, public enemies, government restraint, riots, strikes, lockouts, labour troubles, epidemic, civil disturbances, perils of the sea, harbours, rivers or other navigable waters, fuel shortages or abrupt and unexpected increases in fuel costs, collisions, stranding, fire, lightning, storm, rough and adverse sea conditions, tidal waves, cyclones, theft, barratry or any other crime by any person, faults or errors of navigation or management of the Ship or any other vessel, explosions, breakage of shafts or any defect or unseaworthiness in hull, machinery or appurtenances, equipment, furnishings or supplies of the Ship or launches or vehicles or any defect of the carrier’s premises, fault or neglect of pilots, tugs, crew, agents or independent contractors, port closures, delays in allocation and permits to berth the Ship at ports on arrival and seizure of the Vessel under legal process.
Where this brochure contains particulars of our conditions or policy about reservation procedures, bookings, cancellations, refunds of fares and itineraries for the Cruise then it forms part of these Cruise Ticket Conditions and if there is any inconsistency these Cruise Ticket Conditions shall prevail.
Passengers do not have the right to transfer their rights and obligations under these Cruise Ticket Conditions. The fare paid shall not be refundable except as permitted in these Cruise Ticket Conditions and the carrier will not be liable to make any refund to the passenger if the passenger fails to embark on the Ship for the Cruise.
CRUISE CHANGES, DELAYS OR CANCELLATIONS:
The carrier will endeavour to follow the Cruise itinerary as described in the brochure and the passenger accepts that the carrier has the right to change the itinerary, the Ship or cancel the Cruise as a result of some Unexpected Event or prevailing inclement weather conditions and the passenger accepts that the passenger will not be entitled to any compensation or a refund of the fare paid should this occur. If the carrier cancels the Cruise for any other reason the carrier will refund the fare paid and if the departure of a Cruise is delayed or if the Cruise itinerary is shortened for any other reason the carrier will refund part of the fare paid on a pro rata basis to allow for the time lost. So far as these Cruise Ticket Conditions constitute a contract for the supply of services then and in no event shall the liability of the carrier to the passenger for a breach of an express or implied condition or warranty in that respect exceed, at the election of the carrier:
an obligation on the part of the carrier to supply the services again, or;
the refund or payment to the passenger of an amount equal to the fare paid by the passenger for the Cruise.
PASSENGER HEALTH AND RESPONSIBILITY:
The passenger admits a full understanding of the nature and character of the Ship and the scope of the activities contemplated by the passenger during the Cruise (including those relating to off Ship activities such as excursions in the Ship’s tenders, snorkelling and diving) and assures and undertakes to the carrier:-
that they are in good health and well able to undertake the Cruise and the contemplated activities;
that they will effect travel insurance sufficient to cover any limitation of liability against them imposed by these Cruise Ticket Conditions should they wish to do so;
that they accept the risk that they may suffer from sea sickness;
that they have disclosed any physical or mental disability requiring special attention (including the use of a wheelchair) or treatment at the time when the reservation for the Cruise was made;
that no passenger will be permitted to embark or continue on a voyage while their mental or physical condition is, in the opinion of any representative of the carrier, such as to render them incapable of caring for themselves, or whereby they become objectionable to other passengers, or they become a hazard to themselves or others. The carrier will not be responsible for any expenses resulting in such persons being precluded from completing the cruise;
that the passenger accepts that a medical certificate certifying fitness for travel may be required at the carrier’s request and if any passenger has had surgery less than twelve (12) months prior to sailing that passenger must submit a letter from a qualified physician stating that he or she is fit to travel and the carrier reserves the right to deny passage if a passenger requires care and attention which the carrier cannot adequately provide and this decision may be made by the carrier in its sole discretion;
The carrier reserves the right to refuse or deny participation in activities or programmes either aboard the Ship or off Ship which are sponsored or promoted by the carrier to any passenger who has a past or present medical condition that may present risks if the passenger participates in those activities and any decision in this respect may be made by the carrier in its sole discretion;
Any charges incurred by passengers for medical reasons including but not limited to physicians, surgeons, hospitals, off Ship accommodation, medication, diagnostic facilities, air ambulance evacuation or ground ambulance shall be the sole responsibility of the passenger;
for the safety and comfort of passengers smoking is not permitted in the Ship except on designated open deck spaces outside all air-conditioned and sealed areas of the Ship;
and the passenger agrees to indemnify the carrier from and against all claims, costs, charges, fines or penalties arising as a result of any claim made against the carrier in this respect.
LIMITATION OF CARRIER’S LIABILITY:
The liability of the carrier to the passenger is limited with respect to both personal injury and damage to loss of property to the full extent permitted by law and in terms of these Cruise Ticket Conditions. The carrier accepts no responsibility or liability to the passenger for loss, death, or delay of, or injury to any passenger or loss, damage or delay to a passenger’s baggage, personal effects or other property arising from or caused by an Unexpected Event. These Cruise Ticket Conditions remain in effect for all periods when the carrier is under any responsibility to the passenger or the passenger’s property. No variation or waiver of any term or condition of these Cruise Ticket Conditions will have any effect unless they are in writing and signed by the carrier. No undertaking, guarantee or warranty is given or shall be implied as to the seaworthiness, fitness or condition of the Ship. In addition to any other limitation of liability contained in these Cruise Ticket Conditions the carrier shall have the benefit of any statutory limitation of liability available in Queensland including but not limited to the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims Act 1989 (Cwth). Where tours and services of operators other than the carrier are engaged e.g. tour operators and hoteliers, which are not under the control of the carrier, whilst the carrier takes all reasonable care in selecting these operators it cannot accept responsibility for those operators’ conduct or the conduct of their representative employees or agents or for any ramifications of that conduct.
PASSPORT AND ENTRY VISAS:
It is a requirement that all passengers have a valid passport and appropriate visa/travel permits for the countries to be visited. Passport must have a validity of more than six months beyond the duration of travel. The company cannot be responsible for any travel restrictions or expenses arising through passengers not having relevant documentation.
All baggage brought on board the Ship by a passenger remains in the possession and control of the passenger during the Cruise and must be stored and kept in the cabin allocated to the passenger. The carrier has made recommendations with respect to baggage in the brochure. Baggage should be prominently marked with the name and address of the passenger. The passenger must not bring on board the Ship in baggage or otherwise any dangerous or inflammable substance including any prohibited drug or non-prescribed drug. Liquor laws prohibit passengers from bringing supplies of alcohol or liquor on board the Ship. Baggage remaining unclaimed on arrival of the Ship will be stored at the passenger’s sole risk and expense. The carrier is not responsible for money, jewellery, documents and any other valuables which passengers keep on their person, in their cabins or in their baggage and the carrier strongly recommends that passengers obtain adequate insurance to cover any loss or damage in this respect. In no event will the carrier’s responsibility or liability to the passenger for loss of baggage or personal effects exceed $100 and the passenger agrees to indemnify and keep indemnified the carrier from and against any claims made against the carrier in excess of this amount in this respect.
The carrier will not be liable to passengers for any injuries or damage which occur while the passenger is participating in recreational activities aboard the Vessel or otherwise including but not limited to passenger participating in snorkelling or scuba diving programmes. By utilising these facilities passengers agree to assume all risks associated with those activities and fully release and discharge the carrier from any and all claims, demands, damages, causes of action, present or future, resulting from or arising out of the passenger’s use of or participation in those facilities. The passenger may be required to sign a release or waiver prior to undertaking these activities and the carrier will be entitled to refuse to allow the passenger to participate in those activities if the waiver or release is not signed by the passenger prior to participation in those activities.
Should any provision of these Cruise Ticket Conditions be contrary to or invalid by virtue of the laws of Queensland or the Commonwealth of Australia or for any other reason the relevant provision will be deemed to be severed from these Cruise Ticket Conditions and shall be of no effect but all remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect. These Cruise Ticket Conditions shall be governed in all respects by the laws of Queensland and the passenger agrees that any claims or disputes between the passenger and the carrier in connection with these Cruise Ticket Conditions shall be commenced, filed and litigated before a Court of proper jurisdiction in Queensland and if possible in the State of Queensland.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
For most activities a relatively low level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of zodiacs and other excursion tenders for excursions ashore: there will be staff and crew members on hand to assist. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances over sometimes rough terrain. Although our new ship Coral Adventurer features a lift, it is still essential that all guests have reasonable agility to use the steep stairways between decks. Participants will most enjoy the remarkable opportunities these expeditions offer if they travel with a spirit of adventure.