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Top New Zealand Cruise Experiences

Does your ideal cruise include wine tasting, South Pacific heritage, and spectacular scenery from rainforests to glaciers? If so, now is the perfect time to start planning a New Zealand cruising adventure as the weather warms in the Southern Hemisphere. Here’s a taste of the highlights on both the North and South Islands:


Explore Waiheke Island
Port: Auckland
Waiheke was once a sleepy spot, summer vacation retreat and hippie haven, with beach houses dotting its edges. Waiheke now sports the holiday homes of affluent city dwellers and many wealthy foreigners, raising housing costs in their wake. The island is earning a reputation for its vineyards, and local cafés . . . Read more.

Smell Rotorua
Port: Tauranga
One thing that many New Zealanders and visitors share is a love-hate relationship with Rotorua (ro-to-roo-ah). It’s the spurting geysers, sulfur springs, bubbling mud pools, and other thermal features that . . . Read more.

Taste Local Wine
Port: Napier and Hawke’s Bay
Not for nothing is Hawke’s Bay, bounded by the Kawera and Ruahine ranges, known as the fruit basket of New Zealand. You can’t travel far without seeing a vineyard or an orchard, and the region produces some of the country’s finest wines . . . Read more.

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Visit Te Papa Tongarewa–Museum of New Zealand
Port: Wellington
This museum remains one of New Zealand’s major attractions. It provides an essential introduction to the country’s people, cultures, landforms, flora, and fauna. Unusual exhibits include . . . Read more.

Search for Middle-Earth
Port: Milford
Some of the most striking elements of the Lord of the Rings films weren’t created by special-effects—they were the astonishing views of New Zealand’s countryside. The film crew traveled all over the country, so there are . . . Read more.

Cruise Milford Sound
Port: Milford
Fiordland National Park’s most accessible and busiest attraction is Milford Sound, the sort of overpowering place where poets run out of words and photographers out of film or memory card. Hemmed in by walls of rock that rise . . . Read more.

Enjoy Marlborough’s Freshest Seafood
Port: Picton
Salmon and Greenshell mussels are farmed in the pristine Marlborough Sounds, and local crops—besides grapes—include cherries, wasabi, and garlic. In Kaikoura try crayfish (lobster) . . . Read more.

Hike at Abel Tasman National Park
Port: Nelson
Abel Tasman is a stunning yet accessible swath of national parkland. Its succession of idyllic beaches is backed by a rugged hinterland of native beech forests, granite gorges, and waterfalls . . . Read more.

Take a Day Trip to Mt. Cook
Port: Canterbury
Above the grassy Mackenzie Basin towers Aoraki (Mt. Cook), at approximately 12,283 feet the tallest of the 22 peaks over 10,000 feet in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. The mountain’s Maori name is Aoraki . . . Read more.

Go Birding on the Otago Penninsula
Port: Dunedin/Port Chalmers
Visit the Royal Albatross Center at Tairoa Head and the yellow-eyed penguins at Penguin Place . . . Read more.

Photo Credit: iStock

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