18 Night Bottom End Cruise on Serenade of the Seas from Perth, Fremantle, Australia Melbourne, Australia Colorful Houses
The 18 Night Bottom End Cruise from Perth, Fremantle, Australia visits Esperance, Australia; Adelaide, Australia; Melbourne, Australia; Milford Sound (Cruising), New Zealand; Doubtful Sound, New Zealand; Dusky Sound (Cruising), New Zealand; Dunedin, New Zealand; Lyttelton (Christchurch), New Zealand; Picton, New Zealand; Napier, New Zealand; Wellington, 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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18 Night Bottom End Cruise
Itinerary Overview
Explore Serenade of the Seas
Day 1 - Perth (Fremantle), Australia
Day 2 - Cruising
Day 3 - Esperance, Australia
Day 4 - 5 - Cruising
Day 6 - Adelaide, Australia
Day 7 - Cruising
Day 8 - Melbourne, Australia
Day 9 - 10 - Cruising
Day 11 - Milford Sound, New Zealand
Day 11 - Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Day 11 - Dusky Sound, New Zealand
Day 12 - Dunedin, New Zealand
Day 13 - Lyttelton (Christchurch), New Zealand
Day 14 - Picton, New Zealand
Day 15 - Napier, New Zealand
Day 16 - Wellington, New Zealand
Day 17 - 18 - Cruising
Day 19 - Sydney, Australia
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Melbourne, Australia Colorful Houses
Colorful painted bathing houses along Brighton beach in Melbourne, Australia
This is your

18 Night Bottom End Cruise

Explore This Itinerary
Leaving from
Perth (Fremantle), Australia
Serenade of the Seas
Day Port
Perth (Fremantle), Australia
Departs at 4:30 PM
Day at sea
Esperance, Australia
Tendered from 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
4 - 5
Day at sea
Adelaide, Australia
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Day at sea
Melbourne, Australia
From 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9 - 10
Day at sea
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Sightseeing from 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Sightseeing from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Dusky Sound, New Zealand
Sightseeing from 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Dunedin, New Zealand
From 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Lyttelton (Christchurch), New Zealand
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Picton, New Zealand
From 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Napier, New Zealand
From 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wellington, New Zealand
From 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
17 - 18
Day at sea
Sydney, Australia
Arrives at 6:30 AM
*Port sequence may vary by sailing date.
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Your ship Serenade of the Seas

Your ship
Serenade of the Seas
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Serenade of the Seas Cruise Ship, Side View, European and Caribbean Destinations
Side View of Serenade of the Seas Cruise Visiting Bermuda, Norwegian Fjords, Scandinavia
Get to know
Serenade of the Seas
From poolside movie nights and jaw dropping entertainment, to game changing flavors prepared to please your palate, all paths lead to discovery onboard Serenade of the Seas®.


Panoramic vistas aren't all you'll find on this ship. Get active on the Rock Climbing Wall or with a game of mini golf. Head to Vitality℠ at Sea Spa and Fitness Center to break a sweat or indulge in some "me time." And a giant poolside movie screen means plenty of opportunities to unwind outside.


Craving something delicious? You've come to the right place. Serenade of the Seas® is brimming with far out flavors, like tantalizing Tuscan fare at Giovanni's Table, steaks seared to perfection at Chop's Grille℠ and five-courses of incredible at Chef's Table. For the perfect glass of wine, Vintages has your back.


As the day winds down, the night heats up with dazzling productions by world-class performers. Whether it's all the hits from Broadway and the Big Screen in Stage to Screen, or remixed classics in Vibeology, you're definitely in for a show.

Day 1: Perth, Australia

Day 1
Fremantle, Australia
View Itinerary
Perth, Australia Skyline Central Business District
Skyline of Perth with city central business district at the noon
Things to do in
Departs at 4:30 PM
Spend your time exploring Perth, Fremantle or both. In Perth, stick to the city center and visit its best sights, including Kings Park, Elizabeth Quay and the historic London Court shops. If you choose to make your way to Fremantle, don't miss the historic Fremantle Prison. Cruise to Perth and explore maritime archaeology at the WA Shipwrecks Museum, and peruse the stalls at bustling the Fremantle Markets.
Perth, Australia Underground Tunnel
An underground tunnel in Perth, Australia

Jailhouse Rocks

Fremantle Prison is Australia's most intact former convict establishment. After 140 years in operation, it only closed its doors as a maximum security jail in 1991. Fremantle Prison opened to the public one-year later and welcomes thousands of visitors annually. There are interesting tours daily and interactive exhibits, too.
Perth, Australia Monument King Park
Famous monument in King Park in Perth, Australia

Be King for a Day

Perth's Kings Park is bigger than New York's Central Park. Visit its 750-year-old boab tree, walk over the treetops on a suspended bridge, see the State War Memorial, take photos of the Swan River and skyline or do one of the various daily free walking tours on offer.
Perth, Australia Aerial View Leighton Beach
An aerial viw of Leighton Beach with lots of beach goers enjoying the day in Perth

Get Some Beach Time

Perth and Fremantle's beaches are known for their turquoise waters and gentle waves. Cottesloe Beach is one of the most popular, and it has many waterfront cafes and restaurants. Leighton Beach is another picture-perfect option, while City Beach is the closest beach to Perth's city center.
Perth, Australia Tiger Prawns
Roasted tiger prawns on the barbecue

Local Cuisine

Around Perth, you'll find lots of restaurants specializing in the fruits of the locals waters. Seek out Exmouth tiger prawns, Cervantes lobster and Bremer Bay abalone. But you'll also discover that modern Australian food is all about fun. During your Perth cruise, grab a salted caramel popcorn milkshake from Whisk. Or try the Chinese-style steamed bun filled with barbecue pulled pork at Pleased to Meet You.
Perth, Australia Didgeridoos Aboriginal Crafts
Find didgeridoos while shopping in Aboriginal museums in Australia


City Gifts and Souvenirs stocks the largest range of gifts in Perth. Purchase Australian-made wallets, postcards or even a toy quokka. Creative Native is an Aboriginal Art Gallery and Emporium. They stock contemporary and authentic indigenous paintings, didgeridoos and boomerangs, as well as clothing, gift and home wares.

Day 2: Cruising

Day 2
At Sea
View Itinerary
Family Playing Mini Golf
Girl Learning to Play Mini Golf with her Father
Allure of the Seas Mini Golf Course
Allure of the seas, Dunes, golf, games,

Mini Golf

Hit the links on the high seas! Refine your mini-golf game on a green that overlooks a sea of blue. Included in your fare, no reservation required.
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: Esperance, Australia

Day 3
View Itinerary
Esperance, Australia, Aerial view
Aerial view of the coast of Esperance, Australia
Things to do in
Tendered from 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
With a population of just 10,000 people, Esperance may be small, but it packs in beach-side adventure on a grand scale. You might think you've docked in the Caribbean when you pull into this port city on Western Australia's southern coastline, greeted by crystal-clear turquoise waters and white-sand shoreline. Cruise to Esperance and head to Cape Le Grand National Park to experience the immaculate shoreline surrounded by granite peaks. Take a dip in the calm waters of Twilight Beach, with its kid-friendly shallow sand bar and impressive boulders dotting the shore. Or hop in the car and take the Great Ocean Drive for panoramic views of the Recherche Archipelago.
Esperance, Australia, Kangaroo on beach
A kangaroo on a beach in Esperance, Australia

Try Your Luck

Cape Le Grand National Park is about a 30-minute drive east of Esperance. It's home to two fantastic beaches at Lucky and Hellfire Bays. At Lucky Bay, kangaroos are regularly spotted lazing on the sand. You can also hike Frenchman's Peak or the Le Grand Coastal Trail.
Insider tip
It may be worthwhile renting a vehicle in Esperance to visit Lucky Bay at Cape Le Grand National Park.
Esperance, Australia, Blue Haven beach
A small group standing on the sand at Blue Haven beach in Esperance, Australia

Be a Beach-Seeker

Check out some of the world's best beaches around Esperance. Twilight Beach is among the most popular in Western Australia. West and Fourth Beaches are ideal with surfers. Check out Blue Haven if you're looking for the perfect spot for sheltered swimming.
Insider tip
When calling into port, make sure you bring both swimsuits and a lightweight layer to guard against the wind.
Esperance, Australia, Stonehedge replica
The full stonehenge replica in Esperance, Australia

Esperance Education

Take off your beach visor and put on your thinking cap. Esperance Museum holds various treasures that document the region's history, including vintage farm machinery, kitchen appliances and pieces of Skylab, a space station that crashed to Earth near Esperance in 1979. Then, visit the Cannery Arts Centre, or check out the full-scale recreation of Stonehenge.
Esperance, Australia, Fried shrimp
Four fried shrimp on a white plate

Local Cuisine

Go where the locals go and visit Loose Goose Bar and Restaurant, which serves seafood caught in Australian seas only. Cruise to Esperance and try local scallops, grilled barramundi or prawns in sweet chili sauce. Or head to Fish Face for a lunch of classic fish and chips that you can take away and eat by the nearby beach.
Esperance, Australia, Fudge assortment
An assortment of fudge for sale


ESP of Esperance, located in the town's Museum Village, offers an international range of accessories, giftware and even homemade fudge. Meanwhile, Flame of Esperance houses some great Australian brands, including Nikki Lissoni jewelry, Endless Jewelry and Holiday Trading and Co. Head to Mermaid Leather for products made from unique fish and shark leather.

Day 4 - 5: Cruising

Day 4 - 5
At Sea
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Focaccia della Casa - Giovanni's Table
Flat Italian bread with potatoes and herb, marinated artichokes, olives & pesto. Cruise fine dining at Giovanni's Table.
Salad - Chops Grille
Salad served at the fine dining steakhouse, Chops Grille. Best cruise vacation restaurant dining served table side.

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.
Raddiccio Caesar - Giovanni's Table
Romaine lettuce tossed with radicchio, herb croutons and cheese. Cruise fine dining at Giovanni's Table Italian restaurant.

Giovanni's Table

Every meal at Giovanni’s Table is a family-style celebration of rustic Italian flavor. You’ll find all your favorite Old-World classics on the menu here, like house focaccia served with marinated artichokes, olives and pesto, fluffy gnocchi tossed in a thyme-scented sauce of lamb and root vegetables, traditional risotto finished with porcini and truffle mushroom tapenade, and veal osso buco paired with creamy cheese polenta, ripe tomatoes and sautéed green beans.

Day 6: Adelaide, Australia

Day 6
View Itinerary
Adelaide, Australia, Downtown River View
A boat traveling through a river in downtown Adelaide, Australia
Things to do in
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
In Adelaide, you'll find an up-and-coming Australian metropolis surrounded by opportunities for outdoor adventure. The Adelaide Park Lands circle the heart of the city — discover native Australia flora and the collection of over 5,000 roses at the Botanical Gardens, or bike beneath long rows of elm trees at Carriageway Park. Then, head downtown to explore the culture of the city. Sample local produce at the 19th-century Central Market, or learn about Australian aboriginal cultures at the South Australian Museum. Head out to the nearby Adelaide Hills, where you'll find picturesque towns and open vistas of the lush countryside. Or explore Australian wine-making in the nearby Barossa Valley.
Adelaide, Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia
The Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide

Get Cultured

Check out the Art Gallery of South Australia — its collection includes 38,000 pieces from around the world. Then, head to the South Australian Museum: Peruse artifacts from Australian aboriginal peoples and other South Pacific cultures, and see fossils from the dinosaurs that once roamed this continent.
Insider tip
Check if your visit to Adelaide coincides with an AFL-league game of Australian-rules football, the country's premier sport.
Adelaide, Australia, Sandy Beach
A sandy beach in Adelaide, Australia

Head to the Seaside

Glenelg Beach is the most popular beach in Adelaide. Here, you can go swimming, stroll along the jetty, treat yourself to lunch or dinner and visit the seaside shops and boutiques. There's also a coastal path you can bike or walk and several user-friendly foreshore parks.
Insider tip
There are free city buses in Adelaide and a free tram from Glenelg to Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
Adelaide, Australia, Wooden Cart
An old, wooden cart in Adelaide, Australia

Get Out of Town

Easy day trips from Adelaide include the Barossa Valley and Clare Valley, two of Australia's most popular wine regions. Explore Fleurieu Peninsula's beaches or head to the Adelaide Hills — home to the German-influenced village of Hahndorf, Penfolds Magill Estate and Cleland Wildlife Park.
Adelaide, Australia, Sliced wagyu point steak
A sliced Wagyu point steak on a board with asparagus

Local Cuisine

Make sure to visit Adelaide Central Market, one of the world's best food markets. Rosemont Hall is the perfect lunch spot, where you can sample Asian cuisine from Mr. Chan and Sunny's Shop. Meanwhile, Press Food and Wine serves contemporary Australian dishes, including Darling Downs wagyu eye fillet and Coffin Bay oysters.
Adelaide, Australia, Assortment of rugs
An assortment colorful rugs piled up at a market


Rundle Street is Rundle Mall's independent little sibling. Visit Relove, where South Australian designers sell their wares. Souvenirs could include a necklace, a scarf or Australian-inspired art print. Leonard St. is a women's clothing line and boutique by designer Amanda McCarthy, featuring bold prints and clean lines. And peruse Central Market for handmade rugs and other non-edible trinkets.

Day 7: Cruising

Day 7
At Sea
View Itinerary
Solarium at Sunset
Sunset at the Solarium Pool
Family Enjoying the Pool
Family Enjoying the Pool and Tanning


Soak up the sun or savor the shade on expanded pool decks, with complimentary loungers, live music, and the opportunity to enjoy a frosty cocktail.
Solarium Whirlpool Guests
Guests Enjoying the Solarium


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 8: Melbourne, Australia

Day 8
View Itinerary
Melbourne, Australia Coast Beach Nature
The Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, a beach along the coast with a cliff and rocks in Melbourne, Australia
Things to do in
From 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Australia's sport, culture and coffee capital, Melbourne is the Land Down Under's most European-style city. Many of its top attractions are right in the city center, making exploration by foot an easy proposition. Grab a shot of single-origin espresso from a hip coffee shop and do some people watching at Federation Square, Melbourne's art, culture and public event space — check out the Ian Potter Centre, a gallery dedicated to Australian art, or the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, devoted to all types of screen art. Stroll among native ferns and palms at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Cruise to Melbourne and take a day trip to the Yarra Valley to take in views of rolling vineyards and sample some world-class chardonnay.
Melbourne, Australia Street Art
Street art in Melbourne, Australia

Spot Street Art

Melbourne is famous for its colorful and thought-provoking street art. See creative graffiti in city alleys like Hosier Lane, Centre Place, Union Lane, Caledonian Lane, Duckboard Place, Rutledge Lane and AC/DC Lane. In Fitzroy, check out Johnston and Rose Streets.
Insider tip
Melbourne is known for its "four seasons in one day" weather, so always be prepared with a jacket and umbrella.
Melbourne, Australia Royal Exhibit Building
The Royal Exhibit Building in Melbourne, Australia

Get Cultured

Some of the city's top art and culture attractions include the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, the Heide Museum of Modern Art, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the National Gallery of Victoria. Learn more about local history at Melbourne Museum and Aboriginal arts and culture at Koorie Heritage Trust.
Insider tip
Take advantage of the free tram services within the city grid, which can carry you to most of the main attractions.
Melbourne, Australia Bathing Houses
Colorful bathing houses on white sandy beach at Brighton beach in Melbourne

Oceanside Retreat

Efficient public transport makes it easy to visit Melbourne's suburbs. St. Kilda is a seaside town known for its cake shops, pier and Luna Park amusement park. Or head to Brighton Beach, where you can check out the famously colorful Bathing Boxes and stroll the calm shorefront.
Melbourne, Australia Turkish Borek
Turkish borek made out of mille feuille and minced meat

Local Cuisine

Melbourne is a multicultural city, and dining here reflects that. For cheap eats, head to Queen Victoria Market and grab a Turkish borek, a savory pastry of flaky phyllo dough filled with meat and cheese. Cruise to Melbourne and visit Chinatown for delicious dumplings. Head to the south or north banks of the Yarra River for upscale dining, with seafood-focused fare like seared king prawns with or tortellini or updated Australian classics like beef and Guinness pie with classic "mushy peas."
Melbourne, Australia Queen Victoria Market
Shopping in the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, Australia


There are several shopping districts in the Melbourne Ciy Center (CBD for short), including Bourke Street Mall, Emporium and Melbourne Central. For a locally designed souvenir, visit Melbournalia during your cruise. Their range includes Melbourne art prints and Australian-inspired accessories, like kangaroo tea towels. Stroll through the stalls at the Queen Victoria Market or the boutiques at the Block Arcade, where you can find tailors, tea purveyors, jewelers and more.

Day 9 - 10: Cruising

Day 9 - 10
At Sea
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Vibeology Cruise Show, Performers Dressed in White on Stage, Serenade of the Seas,
Performers dressed in white on stage during the Vibeology Cruise Show on Serenade of the Seas
Stage to Screen Cruise Show, Performers Dresses in Red on Stage, Serenade of the Seas
Performers on stage dressed in red during the Stage to Screen Cruise Show on Serenade of the Seas

Stage to Screen

From the world-revered theaters of Broadway to the star-studded studios of Hollywood, we bring you the greatest musicals to ever go from Stage to Screen.
Vibeology Cruise Show, Performers on Blue Stage, Serenade of the Seas
Performers on blue stage during the Vibeology Cruise Show on Serenade of the Seas


Listen up— all your favorites are getting a fresh new twist with remixes of the music that defined an era.

Day 11: Milford Sound, New Zealand

Day 11
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 8:30 AM - 9:30 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 11: Doubtful Sound, New Zealand

Day 11
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 1:00 PM - 2:00 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 11: Dusky Sound, New Zealand

Day 11
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 4:00 PM - 5:00 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 12: Dunedin, New Zealand

Day 12
New Zealand
View Itinerary
Dunedin, New Zealand Coastal Landscape
The coastal landscape in Dunedin, New Zealand
Things to do in
From 9:00 AM - 7:00 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


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 13: Lyttelton, New Zealand

Day 13
Christchurch, New Zealand
View Itinerary
New Zealand Christchurch Coast
New Zealand Christchurch Coast Landscape
Things to do in
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


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


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


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


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


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 14: Picton, New Zealand

Day 14
New Zealand
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Picton, New Zealand Whatamango Bay
Boats in Whatamago Bay, in the vicinity of Picton, New Zealand
Things to do in
From 7:00 AM - 5:00 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


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 15: Napier, New Zealand

Day 15
New Zealand
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Napier, New Zealand Beach Clouds
Napier beach in New Zealand with storm clouds
Things to do in
From 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
On the eastern side of New Zealand's North Island sits Napier, in Hawke's Bay. The entire city was rebuilt in the Art Deco style following an earthquake in 1931, giving Napier the best collection of authentic Art Deco buildings on the planet. Known for its wine, Napier boasts a cafe culture enjoyed year-round thanks to its sunny, Mediterranean-like climate. Nearby you can find the world's largest colony of gannets — a sleek, white sea bird known for its dramatic plunge-dive fish-catching technique — which can be viewed on a hike or a tractor ride on the beach.
Napier, New Zealand Art Deco
Art deco architecture of Napier, New Zealand

Zigzag Through Town

Wander around Napier admiring the Art Deco architecture. Or, if you like more structure, hop onto a tour of the town. Don't miss the zigzags of the Daily Telegraph Building, the Masonic Lodge and the National Tobacco Company Building, around the shore in Ahuriri. Look for the 50 different street murals around town and soak in the colors.
Insider tip
Stop in the I-SITE visitor Centre for maps and information; shuttles from the port drop you nearby.
Napier, New Zealand Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony Birds
Birds found in Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony in Hawkes Bay in New Zealand

Don't Kidnap the Gannets

Cape Kidnappers, the headland just east of Napier, is one of the easiest places in the world to see gannets. Usually living on isolated islands, you can view the Black Reef gannet colony from the beach. Watch for their high dives into the sea when fishing.
Insider tip
The lowest denomination coin in New Zealand is 10 cents, so cash purchases are rounded up or down to the closest 10 cent value.
Napier, New Zealand Rocks Beach
Algae rocks on the beach with the sea in the background in Napier, New Zealand

Queen of the Reef

Stroll along the Marine Parade to admire the Norfolk pines, gardens and public art with your Napier cruise. The symbol of Napier, Pania, is here — epitomized in a bronze statue. She's from Maori mythology and is said to have been more at home in the sea than on land. Legend has it that she became the reef, and the Maori consider her fishing grounds to be sacred.
Napier, New Zealand Mussels
Mussels in tomato and herb sauce in New Zealand

Local Cuisine

A Napier restaurant, Pacifica, surprised the New Zealand dining world when it was named New Zealand's 2017 Restaurant of the Year. Chef Jeremy Rameka uses local ingredients, and judges said that his menu "captures the essence of Kiwi food, with finesse." The small blue bungalow is easy to find on the Marine Parade. Cruise to Napier to try the Sartori Prosecco with warmed kingfish, lemonfish marinated in coconut cream, lime and chili.
Napier, New Zealand Manuka Honey
Manuka honey in a bowl with a wooden spoon


The Napier Business District is Napier's main shopping area. It has plenty of boutiques and shops on the partially pedestrianized Emerson Street. Look for local manuka honey from Arataki Honey Centre. Need more sweets? Take a taxi to the Silky Oak Chocolate Company and museum for chocolate history and treats.

Day 16: Wellington, New Zealand

Day 16
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
From 7:00 AM - 4:00 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


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 17 - 18: Cruising

Day 17 - 18
At Sea
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R Bar
GR, R Bar, , Grandeur of the Seas,Public Spaces, Revitalization, Lounge, Couple Having Drinks,
Vintages Small Bites
Vintages Small Bites with Chardonnay


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.
R Bar
GR, R Bar, , Grandeur of the Seas,Public Spaces, Revitalization, Lounge, Couple Having Drinks,

R Bar

Vintage glamor comes alive at R Bar — serving classic cocktails, like gin martinis and Old Fashioneds, in a distinctly sophisticated setting.

Day 19: Sydney, Australia

Day 19
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Sydney, Australia, Aerial View
Aerial view of Double Bay in Sydney, Australia
Things to do in
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


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.