15 NIGHT NEW ZEALAND CRUISE ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Sydney , Australia | 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

YOUR SHIP

OVATION OF THE SEAS

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YOUR SHIP

OVATION OF THE SEAS

OVATION OF THE SEAS

ELEVATED EXPLORATION

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.

DAY 1 - Departure Day

Sydney, Australia

DEPARTS:
6:45 PM
WALKING ON

SUNSHINE

Circular Quay is where you'll find the Opera House, museums such as the Art Gallery of NSW and some of the best restaurants in the city. A short walk will take you to the historic George Street district, while top-tier shopping can be found in the historical Queen Victoria Building. A 45-minute ferry ride will take you to the heart of Manly Beach when you cruise from Sydney.

View of the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay with the Skyline in the distance in Australia
Bondi beach in Sydney, Australia
Boats docked on the pier at Darling Harbour in Sydney, Australia

Circular Quay is where you'll find the Opera House, museums such as the Art Gallery of NSW and some of the best restaurants in the city. A short walk will take you to the historic George Street district, while top-tier shopping can be found in the historical Queen Victoria Building. A 45-minute ferry ride will take you to the heart of Manly Beach when you cruise from Sydney.

View of the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay with the Skyline in the distance in Australia
Bondi beach in Sydney, Australia
Boats docked on the pier at Darling Harbour in Sydney, Australia
Things To Do

in Sydney

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

INSIDER TIP

Central Sydney is extremely walkable, so take the time to explore the little streets close to Circular Quay.

DAY 2 - AT SEA

CRUISING

CAN'T MISS FAVORITES

North Star Raised Above Rear of the Ship
Guests Watching a Man Enjoying the iFly

North Star Raised Above Rear of the Ship
Guests Watching a Man Enjoying the iFly

Things to Do

North Star Lounge Chairs in the Upper Deck
North Star®

THE SKY'S THE LIMIT

Stand in a jewel-shaped capsule that reveals breathtaking 360-degree views as you gently ascend 300 feet above sea level.

iFly instructor on Anthem in the Skydiving Tunnel, wind tunnel, skydive, skydiver, skydiving simulator, iFly by Ripcord, instructor in the Anthem ifly
RipCord® by iFLY®

GRAVITY-DEFYING FUN

Experience the sheer thrill and exhilaration of flying in an air machine that lets you soar in a safe, controlled environment.

Xbox One Consoles at the SeaPlex Arcade
SeaPlex®

HAVE THE PLAYTIME OF YOUR LIFE

The largest indoor active space at sea is only on Royal Caribbean®. Basketball and bumper cars — it's the first time you'll ever play like this on a cruise.  

DAY 3 - DOCKED

Hobart, Tasmania

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM

HISTORICAL ISLAND HIDEOUT

Start your day in Hobart by heading up Mount Wellington — once you drive to the summit, you can hike, ride a bike or go horseback riding on one of Wellington Park's trails. Back in the city, peruse the art galleries of Salamanca Place, and feast of Spring Bay mussels at a hip eatery. Finish your day by wandering the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, or relax with a pint at Cascade, Australia's oldest brewery.

View of the harbour with colorful boats along the dock in Hobart, Tasmania
Aerial view of the city of Hobart, Tasmania with a cruise ship in the ditance
An aerial view of a Kingston Beach in Hoard, Tasmania, Australia

Start your day in Hobart by heading up Mount Wellington — once you drive to the summit, you can hike, ride a bike or go horseback riding on one of Wellington Park's trails. Back in the city, peruse the art galleries of Salamanca Place, and feast of Spring Bay mussels at a hip eatery. Finish your day by wandering the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, or relax with a pint at Cascade, Australia's oldest brewery.

View of the harbour with colorful boats along the dock in Hobart, Tasmania
Aerial view of the city of Hobart, Tasmania with a cruise ship in the ditance
An aerial view of a Kingston Beach in Hoard, Tasmania, Australia
Things To Do

in Hobart

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

INSIDER TIP

If you want to bush walk on Mount Wellington, remember to bring high-quality hiking boots with you.

DAY 4 - AT SEA

CRUISING

FOR FOODIES

Delicious Lobster Al Forno
QN Culinary, specialty dining, smoking eggs, Wonderland, culinary, cuisine

Delicious Lobster Al Forno
QN Culinary, specialty dining, smoking eggs, Wonderland, culinary, cuisine

Things to Do

QN, Quantum, AN, Anthem, Jamie''s Italian, dynamic dining, cuisine, culinary image, Chicken Porcini Bruschetta, food, poultry, restaurant, dish
Jamie's Italian by Jamie Oliver

FAMOUSLY FANTASTIC ITALIAN

At Jamie's Italian by Jamie Oliver, you’ll enjoy Tuscan-inspired dishes like the crowd-pleasing Famous Plank and pastas made in-house — all crafted by one of Britain’s most famous chefs.

Baby Vegetables in the Garden at Wonderland on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship
Wonderland

VENTURE DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE

Our Wonderland chefs twist their culinary kaleidoscopes, inventing elaborate dreamscapes of never-before-seen fare. The story begins as you "brush" the menu and find your element— Sun, Ice, Fire, Water, Earth and Dreams.

Assorted Sushi Rolls Platter served at Izumi, Japanese Restaurant. One of the best fine dining cuisine on a cruise.
Izumi

A FAR EAST FEAST

Say “Konnichiwa” to a reimagined favorite. Sushi, sashimi and more, all made-to-order with intense flavors, the best ingredients and impeccable presentation. Now that’s fresh.

DAY 5 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SHOW STOPPERS

Two 70 Virtual Concert "Santa Fe & the Fat City Horns"

Two 70 Virtual Concert "Santa Fe & the Fat City Horns"

Things to Do

Logo for the Pixels original production show with the word in Rainbow pixels.
Pixels

PIXEL PERFECT

Art meets tech in this epic fusion of live performance, music and experimental cinematography. Pixels will show you how to view world through a whole new filter.

Acrobatic Performers on Live, Love, Legs Show
Live. Love. Legs.

THRILLING THEATRICS

From lavish costumes and vocal performances to jaw-dropping aerial acrobatics, engage all your senses in Live. Love. Legs.

Dancer and Singers Performing on the Starwater Show
Two70®

AHH-INSPIRING IN ANY LIGHT

Go on a transformative journey from day to night in this grand room. By day, it's an open area living room with panoramic views. By night, the lights go down and the music fades up to reveal a spellbinding aerial show.

DAY 6 - CRUISING

Milford Sound (Cruising), New Zealand

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
9:00 AM
FALL FOR

FJORD BEAUTY

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 cruise, passing by green cliffsides and plummeting waterfalls like Lady Elizabeth Bowen Falls.

Landscape view of Fiordland National Park with the mountainside meeting the ocean in New Zealand
A pathway through a naturesque body of water with mountains around in New Zealand
Waterfall cascading down the mountains in Milford Sound, New Zealand

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 cruise, passing by green cliffsides and plummeting waterfalls like Lady Elizabeth Bowen Falls.

Landscape view of Fiordland National Park with the mountainside meeting the ocean in New Zealand
A pathway through a naturesque body of water with mountains around in New Zealand
Waterfall cascading down the mountains in Milford Sound, New Zealand
Things To Do

in Milford Sound (Cruising)

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.

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.

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.

INSIDER TIP

Plan for rain, but don't worry if you run into showers — the weather can change to sunny in an instant.

DAY 6 - CRUISING

Doubtful Sound, New Zealand

ARRIVES:
12:30 PM
DEPARTS:
1:30 PM
BEAUTY IN

SORROUND SOUND

Also called the Sound of Silence, Doubtful Sound is an immense fjord carved out by glaciers 100,000 years ago — it's three times longer than nearby Milford Sound. The green rainforest of the Fiordland National Park surrounds the sound's many twisting inlets and arms.

View of nature's landscape with mountains and ocean views in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Seals sun bathing on a rock in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Oyster catchers birds in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand

Also called the Sound of Silence, Doubtful Sound is an immense fjord carved out by glaciers 100,000 years ago — it's three times longer than nearby Milford Sound. The green rainforest of the Fiordland National Park surrounds the sound's many twisting inlets and arms.

View of nature's landscape with mountains and ocean views in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Seals sun bathing on a rock in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Oyster catchers birds in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Things To Do

in Doubtful Sound (Cruising)

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.

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.

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.

INSIDER TIP

It will likely be a bit chilly, so bundle up when you're out watching the scenery and looking for wildlife.

DAY 6 - CRUISING

Dusky Sound (Cruising), New Zealand

ARRIVES:
2:30 PM
DEPARTS:
4:00 PM
SOUND THE

EXPLORER'S CALL

Dusky Sound is beautiful and quiet; it can only be reached by air or sea. The area was once a whaling ground for southern right whales — cruising to Preservation Inlet is one of the only ways to see them, as well as humpbacks and what some consider the cutest penguin, the Fiordland Crested Penguin.

Beautiful turquoise creek with snowy peaks near the Milford highway in Dusky Sound, New Zealand
Fur seals laying on a big rock in New Zealand
Beautiful landscape with mountains and wild flowers in Dusky Sound, New Zealand

Dusky Sound is beautiful and quiet; it can only be reached by air or sea. The area was once a whaling ground for southern right whales — cruising to Preservation Inlet is one of the only ways to see them, as well as humpbacks and what some consider the cutest penguin, the Fiordland Crested Penguin.

Beautiful turquoise creek with snowy peaks near the Milford highway in Dusky Sound, New Zealand
Fur seals laying on a big rock in New Zealand
Beautiful landscape with mountains and wild flowers in Dusky Sound, New Zealand
Things To Do

in Dusky Sound (Cruising)

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.

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.

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.

INSIDER TIP

Preservation Inlet is your most likely spot to see southern right whales and humpbacks.

DAY 7 - DOCKED

Dunedin, New Zealand

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

KIWI, CASTLES & CATHEDRALS

Embrace the Scottish heritage and natural grandeur of Dunedin. Explore the Gothic architecture and gorgeous gardens at Larnach Castle, or get to know the vibrant town by wandering the Dunedin Street Art Trail. Then, head out on the Otago Peninsula: Spot yellow-eyed penguins at Penguin Place, a conservation area dedicated to this rare species. Or climb rocks and dive caves at tranquil Long Beach.

The coastal landscape in Dunedin, New Zealand
The Octagon in the center of Dunedin, New Zealand with views of St. Paul's Cathedral
Views towards the city from the lookout at the Centennial Memorial on Signal Hill in Dunedin, New Zealand

Embrace the Scottish heritage and natural grandeur of Dunedin. Explore the Gothic architecture and gorgeous gardens at Larnach Castle, or get to know the vibrant town by wandering the Dunedin Street Art Trail. Then, head out on the Otago Peninsula: Spot yellow-eyed penguins at Penguin Place, a conservation area dedicated to this rare species. Or climb rocks and dive caves at tranquil Long Beach.

The coastal landscape in Dunedin, New Zealand
The Octagon in the center of Dunedin, New Zealand with views of St. Paul's Cathedral
Views towards the city from the lookout at the Centennial Memorial on Signal Hill in Dunedin, New Zealand
Things To Do

in Dunedin

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

INSIDER TIP

You will need to purchase a tour if you want to visit the albatross colony.

DAY 8 - DOCKED

Lyttelton (Christchurch), New Zealand

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM
LITTLE TOWN

BIG VIEWS

Start your day with a sweet treat from Glamour Cake or Lyttelton Coffee Company, a cafe housed in a 1920s heritage building in the heart of Lyttelton. Then head to the hills to hike the Urumau Reserve or trek through the Bridle Path. If you're looking for an aerial adventure, enjoy the breathtaking views from Christchurch Gondola, conveniently located just outside of Lyttelton.

New Zealand Christchurch Coast  Landscape
New Zealand Christchurch Mountains with River
New Zealand Christchurch Canterbury Provincial Councill in Spring

Start your day with a sweet treat from Glamour Cake or Lyttelton Coffee Company, a cafe housed in a 1920s heritage building in the heart of Lyttelton. Then head to the hills to hike the Urumau Reserve or trek through the Bridle Path. If you're looking for an aerial adventure, enjoy the breathtaking views from Christchurch Gondola, conveniently located just outside of Lyttelton.

New Zealand Christchurch Coast  Landscape
New Zealand Christchurch Mountains with River
New Zealand Christchurch Canterbury Provincial Councill in Spring
Things To Do

in Lyttelton (Christchurch)

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

INSIDER TIP

Visit Lyttelton Harbour Information Center for up-to-date recommendations and advice from locals.

DAY 9 - DOCKED

Picton, New Zealand

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
8:00 PM
IT'S LIT IN

MARLBOROUGH

Ships dock at both Shakespeare Bay and at Waitohi Wharf. From there, hop onto the free shuttle and head into the heart of Picton. Picton is very walkable, though you may want to get back on the water to look for wildlife or head into nearby wine country on a tour. Taste the gourmet delights New Zealand is famous for on a wine and chocolate shore excursion to the South Island's renowned Marlborough wine region.

Boats in Whatamago Bay, in the vicinity of Picton, New Zealand
Boats Picton Harbor in New Zealand
Aerial view of Picton and Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand

Ships dock at both Shakespeare Bay and at Waitohi Wharf. From there, hop onto the free shuttle and head into the heart of Picton. Picton is very walkable, though you may want to get back on the water to look for wildlife or head into nearby wine country on a tour. Taste the gourmet delights New Zealand is famous for on a wine and chocolate shore excursion to the South Island's renowned Marlborough wine region.

Boats in Whatamago Bay, in the vicinity of Picton, New Zealand
Boats Picton Harbor in New Zealand
Aerial view of Picton and Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand
Things To Do

in Picton

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

INSIDER TIP

Kiwis pronounce Marlborough not like the cigarettes but more like "Mal-boro."

DAY 10 - DOCKED

Wellington, New Zealand

ARRIVES:
12:00 PM
DEPARTS:
7:00 PM
CAPITALIZE ON

NEW ZEALANDS'S CAPITAL

Walk 20 minutes from the cruise ship dock at Aotea Quay to Lambton Harbour and then stroll along the waterfront to the Te Papa museum, keeping your eye out for the street art sculptures along the way. There are often shuttles to the city center too. Walk back through the downtown to see more of Wellington's architecture.

View of the Bay of Wellington from Mount Victoria in New Zealand
The Wellington Cable Car travelling with a view of Wellington in the background
The Parliamentary Library in Wellington, New Zealand

Walk 20 minutes from the cruise ship dock at Aotea Quay to Lambton Harbour and then stroll along the waterfront to the Te Papa museum, keeping your eye out for the street art sculptures along the way. There are often shuttles to the city center too. Walk back through the downtown to see more of Wellington's architecture.

View of the Bay of Wellington from Mount Victoria in New Zealand
The Wellington Cable Car travelling with a view of Wellington in the background
The Parliamentary Library in Wellington, New Zealand
Things To Do

in Wellington

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

INSIDER TIP

Wellington is the world's windiest city; bring a jacket.

DAY 11 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SUN DRENCHED DAYS

Guests Enjoying the Solarium
Man Doing Air Trick on Flowrider

Guests Enjoying the Solarium
Man Doing Air Trick on Flowrider

Things to Do

Girl Surfing Flowrider at Daytime with a Smile
FlowRider®

NOW BOARDING FOR ADVENTURE

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.

Guests Enjoying the Drinks and Pool at the Solarium
Solarium

SUN AND SERENITY

Slip away to this adults-only indoor and outdoor retreat. The Solarium is your slice of paradise, with soothing whirlpools, warm sunshine and a refreshing water mist.

DAY 12 - DOCKED

Tauranga, New Zealand

ARRIVES:
9:15 AM
DEPARTS:
8:15 PM
WELCOME TO

MIDDLE EARTH

Start your Tauranga adventure at Mount Maunganui — hike to the extinct volcano's summit for panoramic views. Then, stroll the footbridge from the main beach at Maunganui to Leisure Island, also called Moturiki, where famous blowholes erupt. Take the 45-minute drive to Hobbiton to live like you're "Lord of the Rings" character. Or visit McLaren Falls Park, where you can trek past exotic flora to see the crashing waterfall.

Panoramic coastal view of the beach and resorts in Tauranga, New Zealand
Mount Maunganui in New Zealand
View of the ocean from Mount Maunganui

Start your Tauranga adventure at Mount Maunganui — hike to the extinct volcano's summit for panoramic views. Then, stroll the footbridge from the main beach at Maunganui to Leisure Island, also called Moturiki, where famous blowholes erupt. Take the 45-minute drive to Hobbiton to live like you're "Lord of the Rings" character. Or visit McLaren Falls Park, where you can trek past exotic flora to see the crashing waterfall.

Panoramic coastal view of the beach and resorts in Tauranga, New Zealand
Mount Maunganui in New Zealand
View of the ocean from Mount Maunganui
Things To Do

in Tauranga

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.

A walking path up Mount Maunganui

Climb a Volcano

If you're hungry for a hike, head to Mount Maunganui. Hike 30 minutes or so up one of the trails to the summit, where there's an archaeological site of a Maori fort, as well as excellent views of the beach, Pacific Ocean and the harbor.

Geothermal pool in New Zealand

Geothermal Wonders

In nearby Rotorura, visit a geothermal park like Wai-O-Tapu to see boiling mud, brightly colored pools of hot water and the Lady Knox geyser. Stroll through Rotorura's city parks to see smaller pools of bubbling mud and steaming water, or visit the Polynesian Spa for a hot-water massage.

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.

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.

INSIDER TIP

Walk out to Moturiki Island at low tide to get the easiest access to view of the blowholes.

DAY 13 - TENDERED

Auckland, New Zealand

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
3:00 PM
GET INTO A

(LAVA) FLOW STATE

Start your adventure in downtown Auckland. Pop into one of the many hip cafes for a flat white (the local latte) and muesli, a blend of oats, nuts and dried fruit served with yogurt and honey. Then, stroll the waterfront at Viaduct Basin and admire the yachts — Auckland has more boats per capita than any other city in the world — or set out for a sail yourself. Walk 45 minutes (or take the hop-on-hop-off bus) up to the Auckland Museum for bonus harbor views.

View of Piha Beach in New Zealand
View of the Auckland, New Zealand cityscape
The shore of Milford Beach in New Zealand

Start your adventure in downtown Auckland. Pop into one of the many hip cafes for a flat white (the local latte) and muesli, a blend of oats, nuts and dried fruit served with yogurt and honey. Then, stroll the waterfront at Viaduct Basin and admire the yachts — Auckland has more boats per capita than any other city in the world — or set out for a sail yourself. Walk 45 minutes (or take the hop-on-hop-off bus) up to the Auckland Museum for bonus harbor views.

View of Piha Beach in New Zealand
View of the Auckland, New Zealand cityscape
The shore of Milford Beach in New Zealand
Things To Do

in Auckland

View of Auckland, New Zealand from Mount Eden

Adventure of a Lavatime

Auckland has 48 volcanic cones, including Rangitoto island, a 25-minute ferry from downtown. Mount Eden, the tallest volcano, has three craters and the remains of a Maori settlement. One Tree Hill has a monument to Auckland's founding father.

View of Auckland, New Zealand from Mount Eden

Taonga of the Maori

Visit the Auckland Museum, perched on another volcano, 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.

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.

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.

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.

INSIDER TIP

New Zealanders reserve tipping for exceptional service. If you do tip, round up or aim for about 10 percent.

DAY 14 - AT SEA

CRUISING

LIGHTS OUT NIGHTS OUT

Couple Enjoying a Bottle of Wine
Bottles at the Bionic Bar

Couple Enjoying a Bottle of Wine
Bottles at the Bionic Bar

Things to Do

Couple Enjoying a Bottle of Wine
Vintages

UNCORK A VINTAGE ADVENTURE

Whether you favor a bold Cab or the subtle nuance of Pinot Noir, Vintages has the perfect glass. From France to California, Chardonnay to Shiraz, the wide world of wine is well represented through extensive partnerships with top winemakers. This is the perfect setting for indulging your passion for wine, or igniting it. Vintages also offers a small bites menu.

Bionic Bar - Deck 5 Starboard Midship (Royal Promenade)
Harmony of the Seas - Royla Caribbean International
Bionic Bar®

MIXOLOGY MEETS TECHNOLOGY

Meet two robotic bartenders who know how to shake up your night. At Bionic Bar® they can mix, muddle, and stir it up too.

Solarium Bar and cafe on the OA, Oasis of the Seas
Solarium Bar

SUN, SERENITY & SIPS

Does sitting in the whirlpool make you thirsty? Grab a drink at the nearby Solarium Bar.

DAY 15 - AT SEA

CRUISING

CAN'T MISS FAVORITES

North Star Raised Above Rear of the Ship
Guests Watching a Man Enjoying the iFly

North Star Raised Above Rear of the Ship
Guests Watching a Man Enjoying the iFly

Things to Do

North Star Lounge Chairs in the Upper Deck
North Star®

THE SKY'S THE LIMIT

Stand in a jewel-shaped capsule that reveals breathtaking 360-degree views as you gently ascend 300 feet above sea level.

iFly instructor on Anthem in the Skydiving Tunnel, wind tunnel, skydive, skydiver, skydiving simulator, iFly by Ripcord, instructor in the Anthem ifly
RipCord® by iFLY®

GRAVITY-DEFYING FUN

Experience the sheer thrill and exhilaration of flying in an air machine that lets you soar in a safe, controlled environment.

Xbox One Consoles at the SeaPlex Arcade
SeaPlex®

HAVE THE PLAYTIME OF YOUR LIFE

The largest indoor active space at sea is only on Royal Caribbean®. Basketball and bumper cars — it's the first time you'll ever play like this on a cruise.  

DAY 16 - Arrival Day

Sydney, Australia

ARRIVES:
6:30 AM
WALKING ON

SUNSHINE

The Blue Mountains, just an hour west of central Sydney, feel like they're world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With more than 1 million hectares of forests, cliffs, canyons, caves and waterfalls — and plenty of walking paths to take you there — this is one of the best day trips Sydney has to offer. Quaint towns such as Katoomba stand in stark contrast to iconic landmarks such as the Three Sisters, the towering rock formation overlooking the valley.

Aerial view of Double Bay in Sydney, Australia
A coastal walkway near Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia

The Blue Mountains, just an hour west of central Sydney, feel like they're world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With more than 1 million hectares of forests, cliffs, canyons, caves and waterfalls — and plenty of walking paths to take you there — this is one of the best day trips Sydney has to offer. Quaint towns such as Katoomba stand in stark contrast to iconic landmarks such as the Three Sisters, the towering rock formation overlooking the valley.

Aerial view of Double Bay in Sydney, Australia
A coastal walkway near Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia
Things To Do

in Sydney

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

INSIDER TIP

There are a surprising number of interesting museums in Sydney, including the Maritime Museum, which explores the seafaring history of the city.

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