Sailing from New Zealand
Setting sail from Auckland
Auckland offers a buzzing waterfront and a vibrant arts scene, and provides a fascinating introduction to New Zealand's proud cultural heritage. The centre is home to excellent shopping and a number of fantastic restaurants, while the north of the city has a distinctly more laid-back vibe, and to the west is the city's oldest wine region.
Standing 328 metres tall, the Sky Tower offers the best view of the city from the observation deck or from its two restaurants.
New Zealand: Bay of Islands
The beautiful Bay of Islands is scattered with some 150 undeveloped islands, an idyllic landscape of bright skies, secluded beaches and clear blue waters. The bay was also the site of the first permanent British settlement in New Zealand, and it was here that the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the British Crown and the Maori chiefs.
New Zealand: New Plymouth
The buzzing city of New Plymouth lies in the shadow of majestic Mount Taranaki, surrounded by rolling green farmland. Most visitors come here in search of outdoor pursuits, including hiking, mountaineering and surfing, and the city itself is home to a lively arts scene and some lovely botanical gardens.
New Zealand: Ships Cove, Nelson
New Zealand: Fiordland National Park
The vast wilderness of Fiordland is home to New Zealand’s most spectacular and iconic landscapes, a dramatic tableau of jagged mountains, plunging fjords and vast lakes. Most of the region is a protected national park, and the native wildlife includes dolphins, fur seals and Fiordland crested penguins.
New Zealand: Ulva Island
New Zealand: Stewart Island
Stewart Island is New Zealand’s rarely visited third island. A landscape of lush rainforest and beautiful beaches is home to abundant birdlife, and it’s one of the best places in the country to see kiwis in the wild. You can also have a drink at New Zealand’s southernmost pub in Oban, the only town on the island.
New Zealand: Dunedin
Visitors to Dunedin are amazed by the extraordinary Victorian and Edwardian buildings dating back to the gold rush, which bring to mind the city's Scottish roots - not least when the sound of the pipes echoes through the streets.
New Zealand: Akaroa
The name Akaroa means ‘long harbour’ in Maori, and this sleepy town on the southern side of the Banks Peninsula is situated on a beautiful natural harbour created when a volcanic crater collapsed into the sea. The first Europeans to settle here were French, and the town still has a decidedly Gallic flavour.
New Zealand: Lyttelton (Christchurch)
A garden city where punts glide down the Avon River, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were still in the UK when arriving into Christchurch, New Zealand’s most English of cities.
New Zealand: Kaikoura
Kaikoura sits amongst spectacular South Island scenery, and is renowned as a marine wildlife hotspot. The meeting of subtropical and cold southern ocean currents sustains an abundance of species including sperm whales, orcas, pilot whales, humpbacks, dolphins and seals, as well as birds including albatross, shearwaters and penguins.
New Zealand: Wellington
New Zealand’s cosmopolitan capital is arguably the country’s most likeable city. Hemmed in by forest-clad hills, Wellington is compact and easily walkable, with a lovely waterfront area where you’ll find the must-see Te Papa national museum. The city is also renowned for its strong winds, so make sure you hold on to your hat!
New Zealand: Napier
When Napier was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931 the city was rebuilt entirely in the Art Deco style, making this a fascinating architectural time capsule. It’s a lovely, sunny seaside city, and a visit to the surrounding Hawke’s Bay wine region makes for an enjoyable day trip.
New Zealand: White Island
Situated off the coast of Whakatane, White Island (Whakaari) is New Zealand’s most active volcano. The smouldering cone that you can see is actually only the peak of a much larger submarine mountain, and the main vent is below sea level. A guided hard hat tour of the island may be possible, dependent on conditions when you visit.
New Zealand: Tauranga
Tauranga is the largest city on the Bay of Plenty, and is said to be one of the sunniest spots in the whole of New Zealand. There’s a real boom town feel here, with new restaurants, bars and hotels opening all the time, and neighbouring Mount Maunganui is a popular beach destination.
Arriving in Auckland
It’s not all about the city; there is stunning natural beauty within easy reach, including black sand beaches, islands and extinct volcanic cones.
Your home from home
One of Noble Caledonia’s flagships, Caledonian Sky is more akin to a country hotel than a big cruise ship.
What we love
Formerly known as the Hebridean Spirit, the MS Caledonian Sky has exceptionally spacious suites with a traditional feel created by the wooden panelling and brass features. The grand yet comfortable Lounge and Restaurant contrast with the modern furnishings on the Sun Deck but all combine to make a wonderful home from home on a usually in-depth and fascinating itinerary.
|Staff||75 International Staff|
|Style||An informal and congenial atmosphere on board is driven by the communal spirit of shared exploration.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Auckland
There are some great luxury lodges within easy reach of the city. In the city itself we like the Langham.
About 3 hours north of the city is the Bay of Islands, an area of pristine islands and turquoise water as well as small towns of historic and cultural interest.