Cruise only (Please call for flight options)
Setting sail from Lyttelton (Christchurch)
A garden city where punts glide down the Avon River, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were still in the UK when arriving into Christchurch, New Zealand's most English of cities. A gateway to the country's famously scenic South Island, its peaceful parks and quiet streets still show signs on the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 as the recovery continues. Lyttelton is just over 7 miles away; originally established as a landing point for Christchurch-bound seafarers, it serves the same purpose for visitors today.
Traverse the South Island's mighty Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine Express, one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys, between Christchurch and Greymouth.
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: Wellington
New Zealand’s cosmopolitan capital is arguably the country’s most likeable city. Hemmed in by forest-clad hills, Wellington is compact and easily walkable, with a lovely waterfront area where you’ll find the must-see Te Papa national museum. The city is also renowned for its strong winds, so make sure you hold on to your hat!
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: 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: 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: Waiheke Island
A short ferry ride away from Auckland lies Waiheke Island, a popular weekend escape for affluent city-dwellers. You can swim off the white sandy beaches, hike along scenic trails, sample the local wines and check out the excellent restaurants, art galleries and boutiques.
New Zealand: Bay of Islands
The beautiful Bay of Islands is scattered with some 150 undeveloped islands, an idyllic landscape of bright skies, secluded beaches and clear blue waters. The bay was also the site of the first permanent British settlement in New Zealand, and it was here that the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the British Crown and the Maori chiefs.
Norfolk Island: Norfolk Island
Remote, pine-clad Norfolk Island, situated a thousand miles to the northeast of Sydney, is a tiny outlying territory of Australia. Formerly a penal colony, the island’s main attractions are its breathtaking scenery and fascinating history, with many residents descended from the crew who staged the famous 1789 mutiny on board the HMS Bounty.
New Caledonia: Isle of Pines
The beautiful Isle of Pines (Île des Pins in French) is part of New Caledonia, a Pacific archipelago that was so named by James Cook because it reminded him of Scotland, unlikely as that may seem. The island is rustic and unspoilt, a beach lover’s paradise with wonderfully soft sands and great snorkelling.
New Caledonia: Lifou
Lifou is the largest and most populous of the Loyalty Islands, part of the French overseas territory of New Caledonia. This friendly little island is everything you would expect from the South Pacific, with gorgeous beaches, superb snorkelling and a jungle-swathed interior dotted with fragrant vanilla plantations.
Arriving in Nouméa
Nouméa is the capital of New Caledonia, a French overseas territory in the South Pacific. The city is cosmopolitan and sophisticated, home to lovely little bistros and chic boutiques, providing quite a contrast to the rugged landscapes of the surrounding countryside.
Your home from home
Sleek and stylish, Ponant's wonderful Explorer yachts blend luxury and intimacy with a discreet elegance and tasteful décor.
What we love
Named after six of France's most famous explorers, Le Champlain, Le Lapérouse, Le Bougainville, Le Dumont d'Urville, Le Bellot and Le Jacques Cartier offer exciting and adventurous itineraries in the utmost comfort. Technologically advanced, with the latest in environmentally friendly hardware, the new ships embody Ponant's trademark élan and flair, with just 92 spacious rooms and suites, a stylish pool deck and an intimate, refined onboard ambience.
|Style||Refined with a wonderful mix of a modern super yacht and nautical tradition, all with a French flair.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay near Christchurch
In New Zealand it’s all about great B&Bs, so go for the lovely Diamond Harbour Lodge.
Make the most of the South Island
From dolphin spotting to bungee jumping, New Zealand’s South Island has so much on offer that we recommend you spend as much time there as you can.