15 Night New Zealand Cruise on Ovation of the Seas from Sydney, Australia Picton, New Zealand View from Tirohanga Track
The 15 Night New Zealand Cruise from Sydney, Australia visits Hobart, Tasmania; Milford Sound (Cruising), New Zealand; Doubtful Sound, New Zealand; Dusky Sound (Cruising), New Zealand; Dunedin, New Zealand; Lyttelton (Christchurch), New Zealand; Picton, New Zealand; Wellington, New Zealand; Tauranga, New Zealand; Auckland, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia. Explore our cruise itineraries and choose from a variety of rooms depending on your needs and budget. Start planning your next cruise vacation by selecting a destination and departure port.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
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15 Night New Zealand Cruise
Itinerary Overview
Explore Ovation of the Seas
Day 1 - Sydney, Australia
Day 2 - Cruising
Day 3 - Hobart, Tasmania
Day 4 - 5 - Cruising
Day 6 - Milford Sound, New Zealand
Day 6 - Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Day 6 - Dusky Sound, New Zealand
Day 7 - Dunedin, New Zealand
Day 8 - Lyttelton (Christchurch), New Zealand
Day 9 - Picton, New Zealand
Day 10 - Wellington, New Zealand
Day 11 - Cruising
Day 12 - Tauranga, New Zealand
Day 13 - Auckland, New Zealand
Day 14 - 15 - Cruising
Day 16 - Sydney, Australia
View Itinerary
Picton, New Zealand View from Tirohanga Track
The view of Picton, New Zealand from Tirohanga Tack
This is your

15 Night New Zealand Cruise

Explore This Itinerary
Leaving from
Sydney, Australia
Onboard
Ovation of the Seas
Day Port
1
Sydney, Australia
Departs at 6:45 PM
2
Cruising
Day at sea
3
Hobart, Tasmania
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
4 - 5
Cruising
Day at sea
6
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Sightseeing from 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
6
Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Sightseeing from 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
6
Dusky Sound, New Zealand
Sightseeing from 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
7
Dunedin, New Zealand
From 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8
Lyttelton (Christchurch), New Zealand
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9
Picton, New Zealand
From 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
10
Wellington, New Zealand
From 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM
11
Cruising
Day at sea
12
Tauranga, New Zealand
From 9:15 AM - 8:15 PM
13
Auckland, New Zealand
Tendered from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
14 - 15
Cruising
Day at sea
16
Sydney, Australia
Arrives at 6:30 AM
*Port sequence may vary by sailing date.
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Your ship Ovation of the Seas

Your ship
Ovation of the Seas
View Itinerary
Ovation of the Seas, Aerial View, Australia, Vietnam, and the Philippines
Aerial View of Ovation of the Seas Cruise Ship Visiting Australia, Vietnam, and the Philippines
Get to know
Ovation of the Seas
Welcome to one of the world's most innovative ships, filled with game changers, edge-of-your-seat entertainment, and dining that defies the imagination. Score 300-foot high views from the North Star®, order up a cocktail in binary at the Bionic Bar®, and enjoy a full-sensory aerial adventure in Live. Love. Legs.

SPACE AGE SURPRISES

Get ready to discover a world of new experiences as you sail between exotic shores. Like hanging ten on the FlowRider® surf simulator, scoring 300-foot-high views from the North Star®, feeling the thrill of free-fall on RipCord® by iFLY®, and sipping handcrafted cocktails paired with surreal views in Two70®.

A FULL-ON FLAVOR FEST

You're in for a palate-pleasing adventure, from robot-crafted cocktails at Bionic Bar® and Mediterranean flavors at Jamie's Italian by Jamie Oliver, to an exclusive five-course epicurean experience at Chef's Table and Tuscan fare with Cali flair at Coastal Kitchen.

AN ADVENTURE ONSTAGE

Score a front-row seat to jaw-dropping acrobatics and mesmerizing visual effects in Live. Love. Legs. Or watch what happens when music, cinematography and tech combine in Pixels.

Day 1: Sydney, Australia

Day 1
Sydney
Australia
View Itinerary
Sydney, Australia, Circular quay and opera house
View of the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay with the Skyline in the distance in Australia
Things to do in
Sydney
Departs at 6:45 PM
You won't have any trouble filling up an itinerary in Sydney — there's a wealth of sights, sounds and activities here to delight adventurers of all stripes. Visit one or all of the city's three iconic landmarks: the Sydney Opera House, the massive arched Harbour Bridge and white-sanded, crescent-shaped Bondi Beach. Get your culture on at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, with works from ancient tribal Australia to medieval Europe to modern times. Cruise to Sydney and check out the North Head Cliffs at Manly Beach, which offer panoramic views of the bay and the skyline, or go snorkeling along the underwater nature trail at secluded Gordon's Bay to spot starfish and sea urchins.
Sydney, Australia, Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia

Go in Circles

Circular Quay is the perfect place to start exploring Sydney. You can find the Opera House here, and Harbour Bridge is within walking distance. Stride into one of the many walking and pub tours that leave from here. Just 20 minutes away, you can stretch your legs on the iconic Harbour Bridge walk, the first of its kind in the world.
Insider tip
Central Sydney is extremely walkable, so take the time to explore the little streets close to Circular Quay.
Sydney, Australia, Manly beach
People enjoying Manly beach in Sydney, Australia

Get Manly

Bondi Beach gets all the attention, but Manly Beach in the Northern Beaches is a bit more local. The Corso is lined with shops and restaurants, including local favorite, Hugo's. If surfing is your thing, this is the place to be. The walk from Spit Bridge to Manly is a fantastic way to soak in the city's coastline.
Insider tip
Taronga Zoo is filled with indigenous animals (and yes, you can pet a koala). This zoo's biggest secret is that it has one of the best views of the city.
Sydney, Australia, The Gap at Watsons Bay
The Gap at Watsons Bay in Sydney, Australia

Walk Watsons

Hop on the ferry or one of the regular buses that go to Watsons Bay to enjoy the scenic hike around South Head. During your journey, you'll enjoy views of Sydney Harbour, North Head, the historic Hornby Lighthouse and, of course, the sapphire-blue Pacific Ocean. The Gap offers breathtaking views of the sea from the rocky cliffside.
Sydney, Australia, Fresh Rock oysters
A plate of fresh Sydney rock oysters

Local Cuisine

With all the water surrounding you, it's no surprise seafood takes center stage on many plates in the city. Head to Sydney Fish Market for giant Sydney Rock oysters or classic fish and ships. Stop into a local pie shop for a traditional Australian meat pie, or explore Sydney's international side with udon or ramen noodles at a Japanese noodle bar, or seek out shrimp dumplings in Chinatown.
Sydney, Australia, Opal ring
An opal ring displayed on a stone

Shopping

There are plenty of shopping malls in the heart of the city, including Westfield Mall, Pitt Street Mall and the wonderful Queen Victoria Building, which is now a shopping mall featuring top designers. Seek out cutting boards made from local camphor laurel — they're not only beautiful but also have natural antimicrobial properties. During your Sydney cruise vacation, look for jewelry made from opal, the national gemstone of Australia.

Day 2: Cruising

Day 2
Cruising
At Sea
View Itinerary
Ripcord iFly Couple Flying Mid Air
Ripcord iFly Couple Flying Mid Air
PLAY ANY WAY YOU LIKE
North Star Pool Deck Aerial
North Star Raised Above Rear of the Ship

North Star®

It’s time to raise the bar on adventure — with 360-degree views of the world from 300 feet above sea level in the North Star® observation capsule — winner of the Guinness World Record for tallest viewing deck on a cruise ship.
Woman Surfing on Flowrider
Young Woman Body Surfing Flowrider

FlowRider®

Grab your board and get ready for 30,000 gallons of rushing awesome headed your way. The surf’s always up on the 40-foot-long FlowRider® surf simulator.
Navigator of the Seas Adventure Ocean
Girl Playing with Dolls at Adventure Ocean

Adventure Ocean®

“Are we there yet?” is a thing of the past. We keep every kid entertained with games, events, age-appropriate activities and more in our award-winning youth program.
Man Climbing Rock Wall On Board Day Time
Man Climbing Rock Wall On Board Day Time

Rock Climbing Wall

Rise to the occasion and take on the signature Rock Climbing Wall. From beginners to speed climbers, everyone can enjoy an unparalleled view from 40 feet above deck. Included in your fare, no reservation required.

Day 3: Hobart, Tasmania

Day 3
Hobart
Tasmania
View Itinerary
Hobart, Tasmania Harbour
View of the harbour with colorful boats along the dock in Hobart, Tasmania
Things to do in
Hobart
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
As the capital of Tasmania, Hobart's Colónial history is on display in the harbor town's architecture. Visit Battery Point, Hobart's main historical district — here, you'll find narrow lanes and Colónial seafarers' cottages dating back to the 1800s. Then, head to the waterfront to check out Salamanca Place, the city's cultural hot spot: Peruse through the boutiques, cafes and restaurants that now occupy the neighborhood's Georgian sandstone warehouses. Cruise to Hobart, Tasmania and explore Mount Wellington, the 1,271 meter-high basalt monolith that backdrops the city. It's a 30-minute drive to the summit, and once you're there, you can take in the panoramic views or stretch your legs with some bushwalking.
Hobart, Tasmania Weatherboard Homes
Weatherboard Homes on a suburban street in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Recharge Your Battery

Discover the many historical and cultural gems that await in Hobart's Battery Point neighborhood. Admire its Colónial-style buildings dating back to the 1830s. Check out St. George's — this sandstone church was designed in the 19th century by then-convict James Blackburn.
Insider tip
If you want to bush walk on Mount Wellington, remember to bring high-quality hiking boots with you.
Hobart, Tasmania Boardwalk
A boardwalk through an icy grassy landscape with views of Hobart, Tasmania

Meander Mount Wellington

Take the 30-minute road to the summit of monstrous Mount Wellington, which has a wooden boardwalk and enclosed lookout. The summit is often covered in snow, even in summer. However, its lower section consists of thickly forested trails for hiking, biking and even horseback riding.
Insider tip
Unlike many other Australian cities, Hobart does get chilly in winter, when the average temperature ranges between 5 and 12 degrees Celsius (40 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit).
Hobart, Tasmania Botanical Gardens
The botanical gardens of Tasmania situated in Hobart

Gather in the Gardens

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are about a 25-minute walk from Hobart's center. Established in 1818, the Gardens have Tasmanian, Chinese, cactus and palm collections, as well as a Subantarctic Plant House that recreates the climate and flora of antarctic Macquarie Island.
Hobart, Tasmania Meat Mini Pie
Fresh Traditional Australian meat mini pie on the wooden board on table background

Local Cuisine

Don't leave Hobart without sampling the Tassie classic: meat pies. A flaky puff pastry crust covers a savory center of spiced chicken or beef. Go higher-end with a dinner of Flinders Island lamb, local oysters or Spring Bay mussels. For a sweet treat, stop into Daci and Daci Bakers and try to choose just one cake or pastry — it's easier said than done.
Hobart, Tasmania Handmade Cotton Cloth
Handmade woven cotton cloth from Hobart Tasmania Australia

Shopping

There are several local designers with stalls at the Saturday Salamanca Market, including Made By Hand. Salamanca Place is a great spot to shop for souvenirs every day of the week during your Hobart cruise. Peruse the boutiques and shops of this neighborhood for Tasmanian timber and lavender gifts, jewelry, ceramics, hand-woven wool and cloth items and Tasmanian-inspired fine art prints.

Day 4 - 5: Cruising

Day 4 - 5
Cruising
At Sea
View Itinerary
Ovation of the Seas Fish and Ships Fish Sandwich with Beer
Ovation of the Seas Fish and Ships Fish Sandwich with Beer
LET THE FLAVOR FEST BEGIN
Greek Meze
Artfully arrange hummus appetizer platter served with pita bread. Quality Cruise Food Dining served in the Coastal Kitchen

Coastal Kitchen

Exclusively for suite guests and Pinnacle Club members, Coastal Kitchen fuses Mediterranean influences with farm-fresh flavors from California. Filled with Pacific Coast favorites and Med-inspired entrees, the menu here rotates to spotlight delicious, seasonal ingredients. And you can pair every bite with a glass or bottle of wine off a list that includes vintages from the sun-kissed valleys of Napa to the golden-green hills of Tuscany.
Chops Grille Dinner Table Dishes
A top-down view of a couple enjoying dinner dishes at Chops Grille on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship

Chops Grille℠

For more than a decade, the chefs at Chops Grille have specialized in serving up quality, hand-cut meat. Dinner at this hallmark Royal Caribbean specialty restaurant goes far beyond the typical steakhouse experience, though, with reimagined classics like succulent Maine lobster, gruyere cheese tater tots, white truffle-scented mushroom soup, and of course, expertly prepared prime beef.
La Patisserie
La Patisserie Entrance with Outside Dining

La Patisserie

Get ready for some French confectionary perfection. Take your sweet tooth on a decadent journey through an exciting assortment of flaky macarons, tantalizing petits-fours and rich artisan chocolates — all paired with tasty espressos, frothy cappuccinos and more at La Patisserie.
Cafe Two 70 Soup and Sandwich
Cafe Two 70 Soup and Sandwich Lunch

The Café @ Two70

The Café@Two70 is a gourmet marketplace where every meal comes with a side of captivating views. Choose from a variety of savory hot-pressed sandwiches, crisp custom-made salads, homemade soups and more — all packed up picnic-style, so you can enjoy them while looking out floor-to-ceiling windows in Two70® or anywhere else onboard.

Day 6: Milford Sound, New Zealand

Day 6
Milford Sound
New Zealand
View Itinerary
Milford Sound, New Zealand Landscape Coast
Landscape view of Fiordland National Park with the mountainside meeting the ocean in New Zealand
Things to do in
Milford Sound
Sightseeing from 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Mountains and waterfalls abound in South Island's Milford Sound, one of New Zealand's top attractions and a site of otherworldly beauty. Called the eighth wonder of the world by Rudyard Kipling, the sound (technically a fjord) is part of Fiordland National Park and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site. Take in the surrounding water on nature on your Milford Sound cruise, passing by green cliffsides and plummeting waterfalls like Lady Elizabeth Bowen Falls. Along the way, take in the famous Milford Track: Suspension bridges, boardwalks and mountain passes take you past stunning vistas of emerald green mountains and valleys, as well as Sutherland Falls, the tallest waterfall in New Zealand.
Milford Sound, New Zealand Mitre Peak
Mitre Peak in Fiordland, New Zealand

Fly High

Mitre Peak is one of the iconic mountains of Milford Sound. It's just over a mile high and was named because it resembles the headdress of Christian bishops, called mitres.
Insider tip
Plan for rain, but don't worry if you run into showers — the weather can change to sunny in an instant.
Milford Sound, New Zealand Waterfall
A waterfall in Fiordland, New Zealand

Get Down

Get up close and personal Milford Sound — the waterfalls will look massive in your photos from so far below. Check out 530-foot Bowen Falls, which provides power and water to the township. Stirling Falls, at 495 feet, is still three times higher than Niagara Falls.
Milford Sound, New Zealand Seals
Seals on the rocks sun bathing in New Zealand

See Seal Rock

Fur seals like to sun themselves on the aptly named Seal Rock, so they're usually easy to spot. In Milford Sound, you'll also have a good chance of seeing penguins and perhaps a pod of dolphins. Whales sometimes come into the fjord, too — watch out for their tail splashes during your cruise.

Day 6: Doubtful Sound, New Zealand

Day 6
Doubtful Sound
New Zealand
View Itinerary
Doubtful Sound, New Zealand View Nature
View of nature's landscape with mountains and ocean views in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Things to do in
Doubtful Sound
Sightseeing from 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Situated in Fiordland National Park, Doubtful Sound is the deepest and second-largest fjord in New Zealand. It was named by Captain Cook, the first European here, because he was doubtful that he would be able to sail his ship, the Endeavor, back out of the sound due to the westerly winds. Look for the area's towering waterfalls: See 619-meter Browne Falls in Hall Arm and 220-meter Helena Falls at Deep Cove. Try to spot dolphins, penguins and fur seals in the waters and shoreline below with your Doubtful Sound cruise.
Doubtful Sound, New Zealand Fiordland Park
The Fiordland Park with views of the water in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand

The Sound of Silence

Doubtful Sound is very remote. The closet towns are on nearby lakes Te Anau and Manapouri, and most visitors to the area come in aboard ships. Take in the vastness of the scenery and the quiet of the fjord.
Insider tip
It will likely be a bit chilly, so bundle up when you're out watching the scenery and looking for wildlife.
Doubtful Sound, New Zealand Dolphins
Dolphins swimming in New Zealand

Wave to Wildlife

Pods of dolphins cruise through Doubtful Sound, along with the occasional whale. Fur seals, penguins and several varieties of birds such as puffins also call this area home. Watch for splashes in the water and puffs of mist, which show where the cetaceans have surfaced and taken a breath.
Insider tip
You'll want to be prepared for the rain showers that keep the waterfalls so beautiful too.
Doubtful Sound, New Zealand Rainbow Waterfall
A rainbow shining over a waterfall in New Zealand

Watch for Waterfalls

Thanks to the more than 200 days of rainfall every year in Fiordland National Park, Doubtful Sound has plenty of waterfalls to admire. You might even see a rainbow when the sun comes out during your Doubtful Sound cruise. Helena Falls in Deep Cove is particularly spectacular after a heavy rain.

Day 6: Dusky Sound, New Zealand

Day 6
Dusky Sound
New Zealand
View Itinerary
Dusky Sound, New Zealand Turquoise Creek
Beautiful turquoise creek with snowy peaks near the Milford highway in Dusky Sound, New Zealand
Things to do in
Dusky Sound
Sightseeing from 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Dusky Sound lies among the grand fjords of Fiordland National Park in the southwest part of New Zealand's South Island. Named by Captain Cook when he sailed by at dusk on his first voyage in 1770, this spot holds one of the area's largest fjords, at almost 25 miles long. During the rainy season, you can spot hundreds of waterfalls splashing down from the verdant green hills into the dark deep waters. During your Dusky Sound cruise, keep an eye out for sunbathing seals in repose on Seal Rock. Look out for Astronomer's Point, a former observatory dating back to 1773 that overlooks the dramatic fjord.
Dusky Sound, New Zealand Falls Creek
Falls Creek with a waterfall flowing over the mountain in the National Fiordland Park, New Zealand

Make a Resolution

Resolution Island, to the north of Dusky Sound's mouth, protects the fjord. It's the largest island in Fiordland and the seventh largest in the country. Its Five Fingers Peninsula stretches out into the protected Taumoana Marine Reserve. You'll also likely sail by Acheron Passage, which connects Dusky Sound with the calm Breaksea Sound. Watch for the plentiful waterfalls in the Wet Jacket Arm of the Bowen Channel.
Insider tip
Preservation Inlet is your most likely spot to see southern right whales and humpbacks.
Dusky Sound, New Zealand Routerburn
View of the terrain in Routerburn in New Zealand

Spot the Track

After crossing the Southern Ocean, Captain Cook and his crew rested and made repairs in Dusky Sound at Pickersgill Harbour. In order to get a star reading, his astronomer had trees felled — you can still see this spot, called Astronomer's Point today.
Insider tip
There are several islands in Dusky Sound, including Long Island, Anchor Island and Cooper Island.
Dusky Sound, New Zealand Penguins
Fiordland crested penguins on the coast of New Zealand

Fiordland Penguins

Keep your eye out for the black and white flightless birds with your Dusky Sound cruise. Dusky Sound is a breeding area for Fiordland crested penguins. It's a medium-sized penguin with yellow-striped "eyebrows" that extend out from their heads somewhat comically (look for souvenir penguins in toy shops). The timid birds are classified as endangered and love to feed on squid.

Day 7: Dunedin, New Zealand

Day 7
Dunedin
New Zealand
View Itinerary
Dunedin, New Zealand Coastal Landscape
The coastal landscape in Dunedin, New Zealand
Things to do in
Dunedin
From 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
On the southeast coast of New Zealand's South Island, on the Otago Peninsula, you'll find Dunedin. The city basks in its Scottish heritage — its name is actually the Gaelic word for Edinburgh. No Scottish city would be complete without a castle: Explore Dunedin's Larnach Castle and Gardens, a Gothic Revival mansion surrounded by impeccably manicured rows of rhododendrons, azaleas and Scottish heathers. Then, check out Baldwin Street, the world's steepest residential street. Cruise to Dunedin and explore St. Paul's Cathedral in the city's center, the Octagon. Or head to Taiaroa Head at the end of the Otago Peninsula, where unique wildlife abounds: Spot the rare yellow-eyed penguin, New Zealand fur seals and royal albatross.
Dunedin, New Zealand Albatross
Pair of Black-browed albatross sitting on the cliff with dark blue water in the background on Falkland island near Dunedin, New Zealand

Big Bird

In the bird world, the albatross is big, with the longest wingspan of any bird. At the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head, the world's only mainland breeding colony, see fluffy chicks, giant adults and every stage in between. Walk through the underground tunnels to the Observatory, and tour the McMillan Gallery, which provides information about the area's history and wildlife.
Insider tip
You will need to purchase a tour if you want to visit the albatross colony.
Dunedin, New Zealand Penguins
Penguins sitting on a rock near the water in Dunedin, New Zealand

Little Bird

The smallest penguin in the world, the little blue penguin, and its endangered cousin the yellow-eyed penguin nest on the beaches of the Otago Peninsula, a half hour's drive from Dunedin. Take a tour to see them — you'll likely spot seals, sea lions and dolphins, too. See penguins from the water onboard a tour boat, or view their nesting area from atop a hill.
Insider tip
The city center is easily walkable. George Street, heading north from The Octagon, has the most shops and restaurants.
Dunedin, New Zealand Larnach Castle
The Larnach Castle in Dunedin, New Zealand

Scotland Down Under

Larnach Castle is the only castle in New Zealand. Built in 1871 for an Australian banker of Scottish descent who spared no expense, the castle was purchased and restored in 1967. Cruise to Dunedin to explore the Gothic Revival architecture, sit for afternoon tea, and wander the seven acres of gardens and the native plant trail.
Dunedin, New Zealand Lamb With Vegetables
Lamb chops with vegetables served over a white plate

Local Cuisine

Thanks to the Good Food Dunedin initiative, Dunedin is a "thriving and sustainable food city." Fuel up for the day with bacon, poached eggs and Cumberland black sausage — a long, curvy sausage with lots of spices and herbs — at trendy Vogel St. Kitchen. Or savor the top-notch local beef and lamb: Try dishes like lamb rump with mint pesto or braised beef cheek.
Dunedin, New Zealand Greenstone Pendant
A greenstone pendant necklace

Shopping

Dunedin has a reputation as a fashion shopping destination. You'll find plenty of New Zealand designers so you can bring home something unique to wear. Most shops are near George and Princes Streets. The Little Rock Shop has crystal jewelry and New Zealand greenstone pendants. Befitting Little Edinburgh, the Scottish Shop has kilts, tartans and Celtic jewelry. Nearby are several vintage clothing and bookshops, too.

Day 8: Lyttelton, New Zealand

Day 8
Lyttelton
Christchurch, New Zealand
View Itinerary
New Zealand Christchurch Coast
New Zealand Christchurch Coast Landscape
Things to do in
Lyttelton
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Lyttelton lives up to the quaintness implied by its name, with a population of just under 3,000 people — but the welcoming town is home to big travel attractions and major beauty. Head into downtown Lyttelton to explore independent boutiques and a lively arts scene: Pop in for an afternoon theatre performance at the popular Lyttelton Arts Factory. Christchurch is just a 20-minute drive from the Lyttelton cruise port. Visit Christchurch and stroll through beautifully manicured Hagley Park or see Maori artifacts at the Canterbury Museum.
New Zealand Christchurch Cableway
New Zealand Christchurch Cableway Overlooking Mountains

AERIAL AWAKENING

Located between Christchurch and Lyttelton, Christchurch Gondola is a must-visit attraction. From your cable car, expect to see incredible 360-degree views of Christchurch, Lyttelton and the Southern Alps. At the summit, visit the cafe for a treat, browse the Shop at the Top and go back in time on the Time Tunnel ride.
Insider tip
Visit Lyttelton Harbour Information Center for up-to-date recommendations and advice from locals.
New Zealand Lyttelton Harbor
New Zealand Lyttelton Harbor in Christchurch

HIKE THE HILLS

If you're looking to capture beautiful views by foot, Lyttelton is the place to be. You'll find the hiking trails of the Pony Point Reserve along the coast, while you can trek the Urumau Loop to venture up Mount Pleasant. Catch glimpses of paradise on a hike down the Whakaraupo Loop in historic Bridle Path.
Insider tip
Be prepared for all weather conditions, especially if you're planning on hiking around Lyttelton.
New Zealand Christchurch Speed Boat
New Zealand Christchurch Speed Boat Excursion

KICK IT IN CHRISTCHURCH

With buses departing regularly that connect Lyttelton to its big neighbor, why not head into Christchurch and see how the Garden City has been revitalized following the Christchurch Earthquake of 2011. Wander through the Botanic Gardens or take a speedboat down the Waimakariri River. Regardless of how you choose to explore, you'll be surrounded by natural beauty during your Christchurch cruise.
Insider tip
Tipping is not expected across New Zealand, but you're welcome to leave a few extra dollars if you'd like.
New Zealand Maori Food
New Zealand Maori Food Kai Local Cuisine

CUISINE

Glamour Cake is known for its delectable donuts and cheesecakes, but you're sure to make your taste buds happy with lolly cake, the traditional New Zealand dessert made of malt biscuits and fruit puffs. Seek out local delicacies like the slow-cooked Maori dish hangi, meat wrapped in flax leaves and smoked by hot stones, or the signature Sang Choi Bao, a dumpling with ginger and minced pork and beef, at SUPER in Christchurch.
New Zealand Christchurch Yarn
New Zealand Christchurch Local Yarn Spinner

SHOPPING

Stop by Spooky Boogie to grab coffee at the cafe and limited-edition shirts and art in the shopping center. Or head to Henry Trading, a local gift shop, to find souvenirs like a Lyttelton tote bag, tea towel or badge. If handmade gifts made from local wool are more your style, be sure to visit the many shops in the area.

Day 9: Picton, New Zealand

Day 9
Picton
New Zealand
View Itinerary
Picton, New Zealand Whatamango Bay
Boats in Whatamago Bay, in the vicinity of Picton, New Zealand
Things to do in
Picton
From 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Picton, on the northeast corner of New Zealand's South Island, provides access to the beautiful Marlborough Sounds and to New Zealand's most famous wine region, Marlborough, home to the world's best Sauvignon Blanc. Known as the sunniest place in the country, this small town of about 3,000 is named for Sir Thomas Picton, who fought at the Battle of Waterloo. The pretty harbor town has several cafes and shops, plus a market when cruise ships are in port. The area is home to five different types of dolphins, orca and rare birds.
Picton, New Zealand Marlborough Vineyards
View of the vineyards in the Marlborough district by Picton, New Zealand

Quaff the Elixir

Take a wine tour to learn more about the Marlborough region's distinctive wines. The area has over 35 tasting cellars so you can determine whether your favorites are the famous labels or the smaller boutique producers. Taste your way through three significant wine regions on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. Enjoy stunning scenery, beautiful forest parks, buzzing nightlife and indulgent food experiences as you journey from Hawkes Bay in the North Island to Marlborough in the South Island.
Insider tip
Kiwis pronounce Marlborough not like the cigarettes but more like "Mal-boro."
Picton, New Zealand Antique Canon
Barrel of antique ship canon on Marlborough Sounds in Picton, New Zealand

Tour the Edwin Fox

This teak sailing ship, built in 1853, is one of the world's oldest surviving wooden ships. It is now a museum at Picton's Dunbar Wharf. See artifacts and learn about the Edwin Fox's storied past, including carrying pale ale to India, convicts to Australia and perhaps even Florence Nightingale to the Crimean War.
Insider tip
Pick up a Picton self-guided walking map at the i-SITE Visitor Information Centre.
Picton, New Zealand Steam Train
Historic steam train in Picton, New Zealand

Fly High

See rare aircraft at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, located about 30 minutes from Picton. It's even possible to take a joyride on a Russian fighter or an open cockpit biplane. Ride there on the Passchendaele, a steam locomotive from 1915. Cruise to Picton to enjoy the rolling countryside from a whole new perspective.
Picton, New Zealand Oysters
Plate of fresh Oysters in Picton, New Zealand

Local Cuisine

You've got to drink the local wine in Marlborough during your cruise to Picton. Marlborough's Sauvignon Blancs are lush, herbaceous and often have a bit of grapefruit or lime zing. It's perfectly drinkable on its own, and pairs very well with the area's oysters, clams, king salmon and greenshell mussels.
Picton, New Zealand Maori Pounamu Jade Pendant
Maori pounamu jade Koru pendant in Picton, New Zealand

Shopping

New Zealand Pounamu jade, greenstone, is found in the northern rivers of the South Island. It is handcrafted into beautiful jewelry, often into designs meaningful to the Maori culture. Picton also has a high concentration of potters, weavers, glass blowers and other artisans. Look for New Zealand blue pearls too, so you can feel like a princess.

Day 10: Wellington, New Zealand

Day 10
Wellington
New Zealand
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Wellington, New Zealand, Bay of Wellington
View of the Bay of Wellington from Mount Victoria in New Zealand
Things to do in
Wellington
From 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Wellington, New Zealand's capital, sits at the southern tip of the North Island, roughly the middle of the country. According to Maori legend, New Zealand's two main islands are associated with the god Maui; the South Island is his canoe and the North Island is the fish he caught. Wellington sits in that fish's mouth. Wellington is New Zealand's second-biggest city, after Auckland. Despite its smaller size, it has an abundance of cultural attractions like the National Library, National Archives, theaters and excellent museums. The city is also home to the country's film industry and is nicknamed Wellywood.
Wellington, New Zealand, Wellington Cable Car
The Wellington Cable Car in New Zealand

See the Flowers on a Cable Car

Called a cable car, this red train is an on-the-ground funicular rather than a gondola. Take it up to the Kelborn Lookout over the harbor and the botanical garden, the planetarium at the Carter Observatory or beyond via free shuttle to the Zealandia wildlife sanctuary.
Insider tip
Wellington is the world's windiest city; bring a jacket.
Wellington, New Zealand, Docks near Te Papa museum
Docks near the Te Papa museum in Wellington, New Zealand

Treasures at Te Papa

Te Papa is New Zealand's national museum, with free admission. Its full name means "container of treasures" in Maori, and the museum has six floors of cultural and historical treasures with several interactive exhibits.
Insider tip
Volunteer Wellington City Ambassadors, dressed in yellow and black, are stationed at key spots to help visitors.
Wellington, New Zealand, Beehive parliament building
Beehive parliament building in Wellington, New Zealand

The Beehive

New Zealand's parliament buildings are nicknamed the Beehive, since the main building, Bowen House, looks like a skep beehive. Go inside for a free guided tour to see how New Zealand's government works with your cruise to Wellington. Does the building look familiar? It's on New Zealand's $20 bills.
Wellington, New Zealand, Maori Hangi
Aluminum containers with Maori Hangi

Local Cuisine

At Karaka Cafe, try traditional Maori foods like rewena sourdough bread and Hangi, which is cooked in a pit oven using heated rocks. Wellington is New Zealand's craft beer capital, so have a pint if you can tear yourself away from New Zealand's fantastic wines. Wellington has its very own wine country, just an hour's drive or a picturesque train trip from the bustling central city. Wairarapa is a charming rural wine area that's renowned for its world-class Pinot Noir and warm hospitality.
Wellington, New Zealand, Clothes on a rack
Clothes on a rack

Shopping

The Golden Mile hosts lots of Wellington shopping, beginning at Lambton Quay and then along Willis Street. Lambton Quay also hosts David Jones department store. The historic Old Bank Arcade has the shops of several New Zealand designers. One of the main shopping thoroughfares in the capital, Cuba Street is famous for its bohemian spirit and quirky boutique shopping.

Day 11: Cruising

Day 11
Cruising
At Sea
View Itinerary
Bottles in front of the Bionic Bar
Bottles at the Bionic Bar
NIGHTS YOU'LL NEVER FORGET
Anthem of the Seas Skybar North Bar Cocktails
Anthem of the Seas Skybar North Bar Cocktails

North Star Bar

After you’ve taken a ride on the North Star℠, featuring brilliant 360º views from 300 feet above sea level, celebrate your unforgettable ascent with something sparkling, mixed, frosty, or tropical. At North Star Bar, the sips are just as impressive as the sights.
Spectras Cabaret Show Stage Singers Neon Faces
Two singers on stage surrounded by neon faces during the Spectras Cabaret show on Anthem.

Spectra's Cabaret

Experiential cinema comes alive to pop culture anthems in this mindbending mix of music and tech. Welcome to Spectra's Cabaret.
Two 70 Bar Venue
Two 70 Bar Venue Guest Dancing

Two70 Bar

Grab a hand-crafted cocktail at Two70 Bar and start gazing because you never know what you'll see. In the evening, live entertainment pairs with amazing multimedia visuals across a floor-to-ceiling wall of windows. When evening turns to night, Two70® transforms into a nightclub that keeps the party going strong. Raise a glass to that.
Music Hall Logo
Music Hall Logo

Music Hall

The set list is always changing at Music Hall. Get a front row view from anywhere on the dance floor while cover bands rock like the real thing — or take in the scene in an intimate hideaway corner with your favorite cocktails. This is the premier place for live music lovers.

Day 12: Tauranga, New Zealand

Day 12
Tauranga
New Zealand
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Tauranga, New Zealand, Panoramic coastal view
Panoramic coastal view of the beach and resorts in Tauranga, New Zealand
Things to do in
Tauranga
From 9:15 AM - 8:15 PM
It's hobbit enthusiast's dream come true in Tauranga. This town on the Bay of Plenty, perched on New Zealand's North Island, is just a short trek from the rolling hills of Waikato — this is where you'll find Hobbiton, the location that served as the Shire in the uber-popular "Lord of the Rings" movies. But the fantastic findings of Tauranga don't end there. Cruise to Tauranga and take the one-hour drive to Rotorua, a geothermal fairyland where you can soak in the rejuvenating waters of the natural hot springs.
Tauranga, New Zealand, Hobbit hole
A Hobbit home from a famous movie set

Hole Up in Hobbiton

Take an excursion to Middle Earth, or at least to the filming location of Bilbo's house in the Shire. Visit the 44 Hobbit Holes and The Green Dragon Inn to learn more about how "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" were filmed here by New Zealander Sir Peter Jackson.
Insider tip
Walk out to Moturiki Island at low tide to get the easiest access to view of the blowholes.
Tauranga, New Zealand, Grilled lamb
Grilled lamb on a white plate with roasted vegetables

Local Cuisine

Named the Bay of Plenty by Captain Cook, the Tauranga area has an abundance of products from the land and sea. Cruise to Tauranga and try lamb belly with burnt pumpkin or crusted local venison loin at a hip brasserie in downtown Tauranga. You'll find wine here, too, especially Pinot Noir — Mills Reef Winery has an on-site restaurant where you can order creative, Asian-inspired dishes alongside your glass of choice.
Insider tip
If you're into surfing, the beach at Mount Maunganui is the ideal spot.
Tauranga, New Zealand, Jar of manuka honey
A jar of manuka honey

Shopping

In the town of Paengaroa, about a half hour away, you'll find the production plant of Comvita, one of the world's leading producers of manuka honey. Take a couple jars home, or pick up beauty products made with the sweet stuff. Take home a bottle of your favorite wine from a local vineyard, or seek out local jade and sterling silver jewelry — Jens Hansen Ringmakers in Nelson even makes a replica of the One Ring from Tolkien's epic.

Day 13: Auckland, New Zealand

Day 13
Auckland
New Zealand
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Auckland, New Zealand, Piha Beach
View of Piha Beach in New Zealand
Things to do in
Auckland
Tendered from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
The New Zealand greeting "Kia Ora!" sets the tone for an Auckland adventure. This Maori phrase, used by Kiwis of all ethnic backgrounds to say "hello," roughly translates to "be well" — and after you've enjoyed the outdoor excitement Auckland has to offer, that's exactly how you'll feel. With three harbors and 18,000 miles of coastline, New Zealand's largest city offers all the exploration by land or by sea you could ask for. Climb the Sky Tower for panoramic views of the city and the Twin Harbors. Jump on a New Zealand cruise and head to the Viaduct Basin in Wynward Quarter to sail the harbor or relax with at a seaside brewery.
Auckland, New Zealand, View from Mount Eden
View of Auckland, New Zealand from Mount Eden

Taonga of the Maori

Visit the Auckland Museum to learn about the history, culture and treasures (taonga) of the Maori. A Maori cultural performance takes place several times daily concluding with a very loud haka, the traditional version of the dance the local All Blacks rugby team uses to intimidate opponents.
Insider tip
New Zealanders reserve tipping for exceptional service. If you do tip, round up or aim for about 10 percent.
Auckland, New Zealand, Bungy Jump
A person bungy jumping from the Harbour Bridge

Adrenaline Junkies

New Zealand is famous for adrenaline-boosting activities like bungee jumping and Zorbing. During your New Zealand cruise, get a rush by climbing the Auckland Harbour Bridge, then bungee-jump off it. Walk the outside of the 630-foot-tall Sky Tower. You can even base jump all the way down, flying for 11 seconds at more than 50 miles per hour.
Insider tip
Dress for the possibility of four seasons' worth of weather in one day.
Auckland, New Zealand, Green Mussels
A plate full of New Zealand green mussels

Local Cuisine

With the world's highest coffee roasters per capita, New Zealand is all about cafe culture. Though it's debated whether it was invented by Australians or Kiwis, drink a flat white while the kids have a fluffy, foamed milk with chocolate and marshmallow treats. Cruise to Auckland and seek out a hip farm-to-table spot for pastured-raised lamb roast, or feast on whitebait fritters or green-lipped mussels at a waterfront seafood spot.
Auckland, New Zealand, Manuka Honey
A jar of Manuka honey

Shopping

Souvenirs with New Zealand's unofficial emblem, the silver fern, are popular; rugby fans will want one in the form of All Blacks' paraphernalia. Pick up some raw Manuka honey; many believe it has medicinal benefits. Kids young and young at heart will love anything with a kiwi bird on it.

Day 14 - 15: Cruising

Day 14 - 15
Cruising
At Sea
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Ripcord iFly Couple Flying Mid Air
Ripcord iFly Couple Flying Mid Air
PLAY ANY WAY YOU LIKE
North Star Pool Deck Aerial
North Star Raised Above Rear of the Ship

North Star®

It’s time to raise the bar on adventure — with 360-degree views of the world from 300 feet above sea level in the North Star® observation capsule — winner of the Guinness World Record for tallest viewing deck on a cruise ship.
Woman Surfing on Flowrider
Young Woman Body Surfing Flowrider

FlowRider®

Grab your board and get ready for 30,000 gallons of rushing awesome headed your way. The surf’s always up on the 40-foot-long FlowRider® surf simulator.
Navigator of the Seas Adventure Ocean
Girl Playing with Dolls at Adventure Ocean

Adventure Ocean®

“Are we there yet?” is a thing of the past. We keep every kid entertained with games, events, age-appropriate activities and more in our award-winning youth program.
Man Climbing Rock Wall On Board Day Time
Man Climbing Rock Wall On Board Day Time

Rock Climbing Wall

Rise to the occasion and take on the signature Rock Climbing Wall. From beginners to speed climbers, everyone can enjoy an unparalleled view from 40 feet above deck. Included in your fare, no reservation required.

Day 16: Sydney, Australia

Day 16
Sydney
Australia
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Sydney, Australia, Aerial View
Aerial view of Double Bay in Sydney, Australia
Things to do in
Sydney
Arrives at 6:30 AM
You won't have any trouble filling up an itinerary in Sydney — there's a wealth of sights, sounds and activities here to delight adventurers of all stripes. Visit one or all of the city's three iconic landmarks: the Sydney Opera House, the massive arched Harbour Bridge and white-sanded, crescent-shaped Bondi Beach. Get your culture on at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, with works from ancient tribal Australia to medieval Europe to modern times. Cruise to Sydney and check out the North Head Cliffs at Manly Beach, which offer panoramic views of the bay and the skyline, or go snorkeling along the underwater nature trail at secluded Gordon's Bay to spot starfish and sea urchins.
Sydney, Australia, Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia

Go in Circles

Circular Quay is the perfect place to start exploring Sydney. You can find the Opera House here, and Harbour Bridge is within walking distance. Stride into one of the many walking and pub tours that leave from here. Just 20 minutes away, you can stretch your legs on the iconic Harbour Bridge walk, the first of its kind in the world.
Insider tip
There are a surprising number of interesting museums in Sydney, including the Maritime Museum, which explores the seafaring history of the city.
Sydney, Australia, Manly beach
People enjoying Manly beach in Sydney, Australia

Get Manly

Bondi Beach gets all the attention, but Manly Beach in the Northern Beaches is a bit more local. The Corso is lined with shops and restaurants, including local favorite, Hugo's. If surfing is your thing, this is the place to be. The walk from Spit Bridge to Manly is a fantastic way to soak in the city's coastline.
Sydney, Australia, The Gap at Watsons Bay
The Gap at Watsons Bay in Sydney, Australia

Walk Watsons

Hop on the ferry or one of the regular buses that go to Watsons Bay to enjoy the scenic hike around South Head. During your journey, you'll enjoy views of Sydney Harbour, North Head, the historic Hornby Lighthouse and, of course, the sapphire-blue Pacific Ocean. The Gap offers breathtaking views of the sea from the rocky cliffside.
Sydney, Australia, Fresh Rock oysters
A plate of fresh Sydney rock oysters

Local Cuisine

With all the water surrounding you, it's no surprise seafood takes center stage on many plates in the city. Head to Sydney Fish Market for giant Sydney Rock oysters or classic fish and ships. Stop into a local pie shop for a traditional Australian meat pie, or explore Sydney's international side with udon or ramen noodles at a Japanese noodle bar, or seek out shrimp dumplings in Chinatown.
Sydney, Australia, Opal ring
An opal ring displayed on a stone

Shopping

There are plenty of shopping malls in the heart of the city, including Westfield Mall, Pitt Street Mall and the wonderful Queen Victoria Building, which is now a shopping mall featuring top designers. Seek out cutting boards made from local camphor laurel — they're not only beautiful but also have natural antimicrobial properties. During your Sydney cruise vacation, look for jewelry made from opal, the national gemstone of Australia.

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