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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.
Stroll through the beautiful Botanic Gardens, founded in 1893. Home to a huge variety of exotic and local plants, it’s an exceptionally pleasant area of the city.
New Zealand: Doubtful Sound
New Zealand: Dusky Sound
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: Ulva Island
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
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.
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!