13 Night New Zealand Holiday Cruise on Serenade of the Seas from Sydney, Australia Auckland, New Zealand, Waitemata Harbor
The 13 Night New Zealand Holiday Cruise from Sydney, Australia visits Bay Of Islands, New Zealand; Tauranga, New Zealand; Auckland, New Zealand; Picton, New Zealand; Dunedin, New Zealand; Dusky Sound (Cruising), New Zealand; Doubtful Sound, New Zealand; Milford Sound (Cruising), 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
Priced from: S$2330.0 per person 1 sailing dates available
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13 Night New Zealand Holiday Cruise
Itinerary Overview
Explore Serenade of the Seas
Day 1 - Sydney, Australia
Day 2 - 3 - Cruising
Day 4 - Bay Of Islands, New Zealand
Day 5 - Tauranga, New Zealand
Day 6 - Auckland, New Zealand
Day 7 - Cruising
Day 8 - Picton, New Zealand
Day 9 - Cruising
Day 10 - Dunedin, New Zealand
Day 11 - Dusky Sound, New Zealand
Day 11 - Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Day 11 - Milford Sound, New Zealand
Day 12 - 13 - Cruising
Day 14 - Sydney, Australia
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Auckland, New Zealand, Waitemata Harbor
Waitemata harbor with a view of Auckland, New Zealand in the distance
This is your

13 Night New Zealand Holiday Cruise

Explore This Itinerary
Leaving from
Sydney, Australia
Onboard
Serenade of the Seas
Day Port
1
Sydney, Australia
Departs at 4:30 PM
2 - 3
Cruising
Day at sea
4
Bay Of Islands, New Zealand
Tendered from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
5
Tauranga, New Zealand
From 7:30 AM - 6:45 PM
6
Auckland, New Zealand
From 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
7
Cruising
Day at sea
8
Picton, New Zealand
From 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
9
Cruising
Day at sea
10
Dunedin, New Zealand
From 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
11
Dusky Sound, New Zealand
Sightseeing from 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
11
Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
Sightseeing from 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
11
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Sightseeing from 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
12 - 13
Cruising
Day at sea
14
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
View Itinerary
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 film nights and jaw dropping entertainment, to game-changing flavours prepared to please your palate, all paths lead to discovery onboard Serenade of the Seas®.

BANISH BOREDOM FOR GOOD

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 Centre to break a sweat or indulge in some 'me' time. And a giant poolside cinema screen means plenty of opportunities to unwind outside.

NEXT LEVEL NOSHING

Craving something delicious? You've come to the right place. Serenade of the Seas® is brimming with far out flavours, 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.

PEAK PERFORMANCES

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.

PEAK PERFORMANCES

PEAK PERFORMANCES

PEAK PERFORMANCES

Day 1: Sydney, Australia

Day 1
Sydney
Australia
View Itinerary
Sydney, Australia, Circular quay and opera house
View of the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay with the Skyline in the distance in Australia
Things to do in
Sydney
Departs at 4:30 PM
You won't have any trouble filling up an itinerary in Sydney — there's a wealth of sights, sounds and activities here to delight adventurers of all stripes. Visit one or all of the city's three iconic landmarks: the Sydney Opera House, the massive arched Harbour Bridge and white-sanded, crescent-shaped Bondi Beach. Get your culture on at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, with works from ancient tribal Australia to medieval Europe to modern times. Cruise to Sydney and check out the North Head Cliffs at Manly Beach, which offer panoramic views of the bay and the skyline, or go snorkeling along the underwater nature trail at secluded Gordon's Bay to spot starfish and sea urchins.
Sydney, Australia, Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia

Go in Circles

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

Get Manly

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

Walk Watsons

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

Local Cuisine

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

Shopping

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

Day 2 - 3: Cruising

Day 2 - 3
Cruising
At Sea
View Itinerary
Family Playing Mini Golf
Girl Learning to Play Mini Golf with her Father
CAN'T-MISS FAVOURITES
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 Arrive on the top of the Rock Wall
Man Climbing Down the Rock Wall

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 12 metres (40 feet) above deck. Included in your fare, no reservation required.

Day 4: Bay Of Islands, New Zealand

Day 4
Bay Of Islands
New Zealand
View Itinerary
Bay of Islands, New Zealand Ocean Shore
View of the ocean shore from the mountains in Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Things to do in
Bay Of Islands
Tendered from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Look up — the Bay of Islands is said to have the world's second bluest sky after Rio de Janeiro. Located on the northwestern coast of New Zealand's North Island, the sea here is also a beautiful shade of turquoise, dotted with 144 subtropical islands of the area. Cruise to Bay of Islands and check out Urupukapuka Island, where you can hike through Maori village sites or relax on the white-sand beach. Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds — this is the site where the treaty that made New Zealand into its own nation was signed. Or head out on a dolphin spotting cruise to see the population of bottlenose dolphins that call these waters home.
Bay of Islands, New Zealand Hole In Rock
Hole in the rock in Bay of Islands, New Zealand

The Hole in the Rock

Take a day trip to explore the bay and its pretty islands from close up, capped off with a trip through the Hole in the Rock. Carved by the sea and weather, the hole is 240 feet wide, though looks a lot smaller when you're heading toward it on your day-trip boat at speed. If conditions are right, don a wetsuit and jump in to swim with the bottlenose dolphins.
Insider tip
Have your camera ready — dolphins are known to appear out of the blue.
Bay of Islands, New Zealand Canoe
Close up of a maori canoe at Waitangi Treaty Grounds in New Zealand

Wander Waitangi

New Zealand became a nation here, with the signing of the Waitangi Treaty between the Maori and the British in 1840. Visit the on-site Te Kongahu Museum and the intricately carved meeting house which often has Maori cultural performances. The largest Maori ceremonial war canoe in the world is here.
Insider tip
It's possible to swim with the dolphins in the Bay of Islands, with strict rules to protect the animals.
Bay of Islands, New Zealand Paragliding
Paragliding through the mountains and bay in Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Fly Through the Sky

Judge if the sky is really the world's second-bluest via a parasailing trip to see the Bay of Islands from above with your cruise. Can you count all 144 islands? For a more adrenaline-soaked trip (though you're aiming to land away from the water) try tandem skydiving with an instructor.
Bay of Islands, New Zealand Cuisine Snapper
Grilled whole red snapper with lemons and dill

Local Cuisine

Takeaway fish and chips is the perfect thing to eat near the water — the local style is whitefish fried crispy after a dip in batter, but you may see them frying up someone's catch of the day, too. In Russell, you'll find upscale spots serving bistro fare like local Hawkes Bay lamb, Northland pork and whole snapper.
Bay of Islands, New Zealand Shopping
Shopping for jade carving necklaces in Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Shopping

Look for New Zealand giftware like bone and jade carvings and handicrafts made from ancient kauri wood. The wood is from prehistoric trees found only on the top half of the North Island. The wood has been preserved for centuries in peat swamps and has an iridescent sheen.

Day 5: Tauranga, New Zealand

Day 5
Tauranga
New Zealand
View Itinerary
Tauranga, New Zealand, Panoramic coastal view
Panoramic coastal view of the beach and resorts in Tauranga, New Zealand
Things to do in
Tauranga
From 7:30 AM - 6:45 PM
It's hobbit enthusiast's dream come true in Tauranga. This town on the Bay of Plenty, perched on New Zealand's North Island, is just a short trek from the rolling hills of Waikato — this is where you'll find Hobbiton, the location that served as the Shire in the uber-popular "Lord of the Rings" movies. But the fantastic findings of Tauranga don't end there. Cruise to Tauranga and hike to the summit of nearby Mount Maunganui, an extinct volcano that offers panoramic views of the city and the Pacific Ocean below. Or take the one-hour drive to Rotorua, a geothermal fairyland where you can soak in the rejuvenating waters of the natural hot springs.
Tauranga, New Zealand, Hobbit hole
A Hobbit home from a famous movie set

Hole Up in Hobbiton

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

Local Cuisine

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

Shopping

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

Day 6: Auckland, New Zealand

Day 6
Auckland
New Zealand
View Itinerary
Auckland, New Zealand, Piha Beach
View of Piha Beach in New Zealand
Things to do in
Auckland
From 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
The New Zealand greeting "Kia Ora!" sets the tone for an Auckland adventure. This Maori phrase, used by Kiwis of all ethnic backgrounds to say "hello," roughly translates to "be well" — and after you've enjoyed the outdoor excitement Auckland has to offer, that's exactly how you'll feel. With three harbors and 18,000 miles of coastline, New Zealand's largest city offers all the exploration by land or by sea you could ask for. Climb the Sky Tower for panoramic views of the city and the Twin Harbors. Jump on a New Zealand cruise and head to the Viaduct Basin in Wynward Quarter to sail the harbor or relax with at a seaside brewery. Or kayak out to volcanic Rangitoto Island, where you can hike up ancient lava flows and admire the city from above.
Auckland, New Zealand, View from Mount Eden
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.
Insider tip
New Zealanders reserve tipping for exceptional service. If you do tip, round up or aim for about 10 percent.
Auckland, New Zealand, View from Mount Eden
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.
Insider tip
Dress for the possibility of four seasons' worth of weather in one day.
Auckland, New Zealand, Bungy Jump
A person bungy jumping from the Harbour Bridge

Adrenaline Junkies

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

Local Cuisine

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

Shopping

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

Day 7: Cruising

Day 7
Cruising
At Sea
View Itinerary
Grilled Veal Chop - Chops Grille
Grilled Veal Chop entree at the specialty, Chops Grille restaurant. Cruise vacation fine dining steaks served table side.
FOR FOODIES
Grilled NY-Strip Steak -  Chops Grille
12 oz Grilled NY-Strip Steak served at the fine dining steakhouse, Chops Grille. One of the best cruise line restaurants.

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.
Antipasti Appetizer Giovannis Table
Italian salami, prosciutto, roasted peppers, olives & Gambonzola cheese. Best cruise dining at Giovanni's Table 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 8: Picton, New Zealand

Day 8
Picton
New Zealand
View Itinerary
Picton, New Zealand Whatamango Bay
Boats in Whatamago Bay, in the vicinity of Picton, New Zealand
Things to do in
Picton
From 8:00 AM - 7:00 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 harbour 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 favourites 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 artefacts and learn about the Edwin Fox's storied past, including carrying pale ale to India, convicts to Australia and perhaps even Florence Nightingale to the Crimean War.
Insider tip
Pick up a Picton self-guided walking map at the i-SITE Visitor Information Centre.
Picton, New Zealand Steam Train
Historic steam train in Picton, New Zealand

Fly High

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

Local Cuisine

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

Shopping

New Zealand Pounamu jade, greenstone, is found in the northern rivers of the South Island. It is handcrafted into beautiful jewellery, 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 9: Cruising

Day 9
Cruising
At Sea
View Itinerary
Solarium at Sunset
Sunset at the Solarium Pool
SUN-DRENCHED DAYS
Girls Running on the Pool Deck
Girls Splashing and Running by the Pool

Pools

Soak up the sun or savour the shade on expanded pool decks, with complimentary loungers, live music and the opportunity to enjoy a frosty cocktail.
Solarium at Sunset
Sunset at the Solarium Pool

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 10: Dunedin, New Zealand

Day 10
Dunedin
New Zealand
View Itinerary
Dunedin, New Zealand Coastal Landscape
The coastal landscape in Dunedin, New Zealand
Things to do in
Dunedin
From 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
On the southeast coast of New Zealand's South Island, on the Otago Peninsula, you'll find Dunedin. The city basks in its Scottish heritage — its name is actually the Gaelic word for Edinburgh. No Scottish city would be complete without a castle: Explore Dunedin's Larnach Castle and Gardens, a Gothic Revival mansion surrounded by impeccably manicured rows of rhododendrons, azaleas and Scottish heathers. Then, check out Baldwin Street, the world's steepest residential street. Cruise to Dunedin and explore St. Paul's Cathedral in the city's center, the Octagon. Or head to Taiaroa Head at the end of the Otago Peninsula, where unique wildlife abounds: Spot the rare yellow-eyed penguin, New Zealand fur seals and royal albatross.
Dunedin, New Zealand Albatross
Pair of Black-browed albatross sitting on the cliff with dark blue water in the background on Falkland island near Dunedin, New Zealand

Big Bird

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

Little Bird

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

Scotland Down Under

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

Local Cuisine

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

Shopping

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

Day 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 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
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 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 11:00 AM - 12:00 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: Milford Sound, New Zealand

Day 11
Milford Sound
New Zealand
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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 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
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 162-metre Bowen Falls, which provides power and water to the township. Stirling Falls, at 150 metres, 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 12 - 13: Cruising

Day 12 - 13
Cruising
At Sea
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Stage to Screen Cruise Show, Performers dressed Retro, Serenade of the Seas
Performers on stage dresses in Retro clothing during the Stage to Screen Cruise Show on Serenade of the Seas
SHOW-STOPPERS
Stage to Screen Cruise Show, Performers on Stage, Serenade of the Seas
Performers on stage during the Stage to Screen Cruise Show on Serenade of the Seas

Stage to Screen

From the world-revered theatres 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 in Costumes on Stage, Serenade of the Seas
Performers dressed in costumes on stage during the Vibeology Cruise Show on Serenade of the Seas

Vibeology

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

Day 14: Sydney, Australia

Day 14
Sydney
Australia
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Sydney, Australia, Aerial View
Aerial view of Double Bay in Sydney, Australia
Things to do in
Sydney
Arrives at 6:30 AM
You won't have any trouble filling up an itinerary in Sydney — there's a wealth of sights, sounds and activities here to delight adventurers of all stripes. Visit one or all of the city's three iconic landmarks: the Sydney Opera House, the massive arched Harbour Bridge and white-sanded, crescent-shaped Bondi Beach. Get your culture on at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, with works from ancient tribal Australia to medieval Europe to modern times. Cruise to Sydney and check out the North Head Cliffs at Manly Beach, which offer panoramic views of the bay and the skyline, or go snorkeling along the underwater nature trail at secluded Gordon's Bay to spot starfish and sea urchins.
Sydney, Australia, Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia

Go in Circles

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

Get Manly

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

Walk Watsons

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

Local Cuisine

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

Shopping

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

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