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Setting sail from Auckland
Auckland offers a buzzing waterfront and a vibrant arts scene, and provides a fascinating introduction to New Zealand's proud cultural heritage. The centre is home to excellent shopping and a number of fantastic restaurants, while the north of the city has a distinctly more laid-back vibe, and to the west is the city's oldest wine region.
Standing 328 metres tall, the Sky Tower offers the best view of the city from the observation deck or from its two restaurants.
New Zealand: Tauranga
Tauranga is the largest city on the Bay of Plenty, and is said to be one of the sunniest spots in the whole of New Zealand. There’s a real boom town feel here, with new restaurants, bars and hotels opening all the time, and neighbouring Mount Maunganui is a popular beach destination.
New Zealand: Gisborne
Gisborne is the first city on earth to greet the sun each morning, and it’s also a popular destination for foodies and wine lovers, known as the unofficial ‘Chardonnay capital of New Zealand’. This is a great place to enjoy some beach time, learn about Maori culture or grab a surfboard and catch some waves.
New Zealand: Napier
When Napier was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931 the city was rebuilt entirely in the Art Deco style, making this a fascinating architectural time capsule. It’s a lovely, sunny seaside city, and a visit to the surrounding Hawke’s Bay wine region makes for an enjoyable day trip.
New Zealand: Ships Cove
New Zealand: Picton
The pleasant little town of Picton, situated on a sheltered bay at the north eastern tip of the South Island, is the arrival point for ferries arriving from Wellington, and serves as the gateway to the stunning flooded river valleys of the Marlborough Sounds.
New Zealand: Milford Sound
Milford Sound is New Zealand’s most iconic sight, a breathtaking fjord crowned by the soaring Mitre Peak. Despite a remote location, on the western coast of the South Island, the fjord attracts thousands of visitors every year, such is the beauty of this raw and unspoilt landscape.
New Zealand: Dusky Sound
New Zealand: Snares Islands
The Snares Islands are the northernmost of New Zealand’s subantarctic islands, renowned for their incredible birdlife. Endemic species include the Snares penguin, Snares snipe and Snares tomtit, and some three million sooty shearwaters come here to breed during the austral summer.
New Zealand: Bluff
Arriving in Dunedin
It's an odd concept - Edinburgh, but on New Zealand's South Island. Visitors are amazed by the extraordinary Victorian and Edwardian buildings dating back to the gold rush, which bring to mind the city's Scottish roots - not least when the sound of the pipes echoes through the streets. Of course the region was inhabited by Māori long prior to the European arrival, so a rich history abounds. Meanwhile outside the city, the extraordinary natural beauty and wildlife of the Otago peninsula are on hand, home to New Zealand fur seals, Hooker's sea lions, yellow-eyed penguins, and the only mainland royal albatross colony in the world.
Larnach Castle rises high above the harbour – wonderful views, and great gardens and grounds too, the best place for high tea!
Your home from home
Thrilling, awe-inspiring and unforgettable – Silver Explorer takes just 144 privileged travellers on genuine adventures to some of the most remote regions of the planet.
What we love
The intimate Silver Explorer gives you a magical home from home as you visit places with no tourism infrastructure whatsoever. Without the ship, you simply wouldn't be able to get there. But as it is, you can travel like an intrepid Explorer, without any compromise on style or comfort.
|Crew||117 International Staff|
|Style||Cosy, welcoming, stimulating, exciting - this ship has it all! If you enjoy the finer things in life but have an adventurous spirit, you will find yourself in congenial company on board.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Auckland
There are some great luxury lodges within easy reach of the city. In the city itself we like the Langham.
About 3 hours north of the city is the Bay of Islands, an area of pristine islands and turquoise water as well as small towns of historic and cultural interest.
Our favourite hotel near Dunedin
Up the coast at Oamaru, the charming Pen-y-bryn Lodge is a heritage homestead - and perfectly placed to visit the blue penguins!
Explore the South Island
Visit the Catlins Coastal Rain Forest and Curio Bay – next stop Antarctica!