Today should have been a half sea day, followed by 6 hours ashore in Napier, where we planned to go sample some local wines. You would think we get sufficient wine aboard, but no, we paid for an optional excursion to drink more wine. We only considered ship’s tours for this port, due to the high chance of not docking due to weather.
However, mother nature decided we really didn’t need to see Napier, so we enjoyed another relaxing sea day. Within minutes of the Captain’s announcement, our onboard account received the tour credit.
Departing Auckland last evening we had a quiet and peaceful voyage down the East Coast of New Zealand, docking in Tauranga about 06:00. Our day started with an early breakfast in the World Cafe, where we met all of our group on today’s tour.
We drove the 40 miles to Rotorua, where our guide provided a full and detailed tour of Te Puia, a geothermal park with the Southern Hemisphere’s largest active geyser.
Read on for details of our tour and lots of photos.
With 2 days in Auckland we planned for a day in the city and a day touring the countryside, so today was our Kiwi Countryside Tour. What a complete contrast to yesterday’s hustle and bustle, and traffic congestion of the city. We drove through pristine farm and grazing lands, watched sheep shearing and saw the spectacular vistas of the West Coast.
Read on for more details and photos of this great tour.
Sunset from couple of days ago
Departing the Bay of Islands yesterday evening, we enjoyed a very calm and pleasant overnight voyage down the New Zealand coast to Auckland, where we have our 3rd overnight. Auckland is a beautiful city, with many similarities to Vancouver.
Read on for our impression of the local Ho-Ho bus and the evening cultural performance.
New Zealand Flag
Having finally crossed the vast Pacific Ocean, this morning we arrive in Bay of Islands, New Zealand, a country where we visit 7 ports in the next 8 days. It also includes overnight in Auckland.
I spent almost a week in the Bay of Islands on my first trip to sea, way back in 1975, so I have eagerly awaited this port, to see the changes in 45 years. Great start to the day, capturing my first sunrise, as we sailed into the bay.
Today is another private tour visiting Haruku Falls, Kerikeri, Russell and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Read on for lots of photos and a description of this great day of touring.
Our final sea day, before we arrive in the magnificent Bay of Islands, New Zealand tomorrow morning. It has certainly been heavily biased towards sea days, with about 18 of the first 22 days being at sea. Only goes to prove, the Pacific is a huge ocean.
Having completed our final South Pacific island, we are now steaming towards New Zealand, where we have 8 port days in a row, including an overnight in Auckland. Today is the first of 2 sea days, before arrival in the magnificent Bay of Islands.
Tour – Navua Village River Tour
- Type – Ship’s optional tour
- Name – Navua Village River Tour
- Summary – 1 hour bus to the Navua River, where you board a long boat for a lively high speed cruise to the waterfall, which is an interesting 10-15 min hike. Returning down river, you visit a local village for Kava Ceremony, cultural performance & lunch.
Read on for a detailed description and photos of this excellent tour.
Today had a little of everything, being a combination of port day and sea day. We arrived in Suva, shortly before 07:00, departing the ship shortly thereafter and were on the bus before 07:30. After an action packed tour we returned to the ship seconds before the all aboard time, as the ship sailed for New Zealand at 14:00.
We thoroughly enjoyed a very full day of touring Tonga, with Toni & Leni, returning to the ship about 16:30, all hot and sweaty. After very welcome showers, we watched departure from our balcony, then headed to dinner and the show.