Coastal New Zealand: Scenic Fjords, Maori History, and Abundant Wildlife

Coastal New Zealand: Scenic Fjords, Maori History, and Abundant Wildlife

From AUD $24,030


New Zealand’s unparalleled natural beauty beckons with soaring peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and swathes of unpopulated white-sand beaches. Traveling through scenic fjords, bays, and sounds, witness plunging waterfalls and an abundance of whales, dolphins, and fur seals drawn by sparkling waters rich with marine life. The last country to be inhabited by humans and isolated for 85 million years, New Zealand boasts flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world. Among its 300 species of birds are the world’s smallest penguin, a colony of 20,000 gannets, and the magnificent royal albatross, with an impressive 10-foot wingspan.
Please note that the departures may have slightly varied itineraries. For more information, please contact us.

Trip Name
Coastal New Zealand: Scenic Fjords, Maori History, and Abundant Wildlife
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition Length: 103 metres Passenger Capacity: 102 (in 53 cabins) Built: 2003 / Refurbished 2014 Engineered for maximum comfort and safety, Orion is equipped with the latest technology including large retractable stabilizers, sonar, radar, and an ice-strengthened hull. A shallow draft plus bow and stern thrusters provide the convenience of being able to maneuver close to shore. 14 Zodiacs ensure quick disembarkation and offer the ideal transport for up-close exploration. National Geographic Orion meets strict specifications for environmental protection and the on board waste management systems meet the stringent Antarctic operational standards enabling us to travel to the most pristine environments. A host of advanced design features and technology ensures sustainable marine environmental practices. National Geographic Orion accommodates 102 guests in 53 cabins, including several with balconies. She is spacious and modern, with a variety of public rooms that offer panoramic views of the passing landscape. Friendly and informal, Orion fosters a welcoming atmosphere where like-minded guests share in exceptional experiences and enrichment. Her public rooms include a dramatic window-lined main lounge, as well as an observation lounge and library perched at the very top of the ship, with plentiful observation decks. The spacious lounge is the heart of our expedition community, and is suited for spirited cocktail hours, informative presentations and our nightly tradition of Recap. In addition, a dedicated theater provides a unique setting for specialist presentations or films and slideshows. Both the main dining room and outside buffet easily accommodate all guests at once for open seating dining. On selected nights, weather permitting, our dining room menu is also available on the outside deck. While Orion interiors are elegant, life aboard is always casual, with no need for formal clothing. And you’ll find shipboard services like laundry, in-room cabled internet, and public-area wifi.


Day 1 - DAY 1: Auckland, New Zealand
Arrive in Auckland, where we check in to our hotel. Join us for a welcome briefing this evening to meet your fellow travelers.
Day 2 - DAY 2: Auckland/Embark
Have breakfast at the hotel before joining a tour of this vibrant city center. We’ll stop for lunch midday before embarking National Geographic Orion in the late afternoon. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - DAY 3: Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is an area encompassing more than 140 subtropical islands, boasting an abundance of wildlife and fascinating history. Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, a place of immeasurable cultural, spiritual, and historical significance, and learn of the historical events for which these grounds are remembered. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - DAY 4-5: Great Barrier Island/Exploring Coastal NZ
Stretch your legs today as we explore Great Barrier Island on exploratory walks and hikes. As we continue south along the North Island’s verdant coast, we let nature guide us as your Captain and Expedition Leader choose our next site for exploration. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - DAY 6: Gisborne
Discover rural life at a 110-year old New Zealand homestead and witness the daily process of sheep herding and sheering. Take in the greenery of a local arboretum, and cap the day off with a winery tour and tasting. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - DAYS 7-8: Napier / At Sea
Spend the morning getting to know Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand. Choose to discover the city’s unique architecture on an art tour, or leave the city behind and join us on a gannet safari tour where we have close encounters at a large Australasian gannet colony.
Day 7 - DAYS 9-10: Abel Tasman National Park / At Sea
Explore this beautiful island where dense rainforests border the snow-capped Southern Alps. Visit Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand's smallest national park, renowned for its golden sand beaches and rugged granite cliffs that kiss the shoreline. Hike or kayak with our naturalists or just relax at the beach. Spend a day at sea getting to know your fellow travelers as we scout for local wildlife and attend briefings and lectures from our staff. Enjoy views of New Zealand’s southern island as we cruise to our next stop.
Day 8 - DAYS 11-12: Fiordland National Park
Over the course of two days, we explore Dusky and Milford Sounds in Fiordland National Park, home to fourteen individual fiords. Here we discover towering waterfalls and snowcapped peaks.
Day 9 - DAY 13: Ulva Island / Stewart Island
Stewart Island, known in Māori as Te Punga o Te Waka a Maui, is positioned firmly at the heart of Māori mythology. Today we explore the island’s rare native birdlife as well as its well-preserved podocarp forest. In the afternoon, discover Stewart Island’s nearby neighbor, Ulva Island, where we hike with naturalists to discover its unspoiled rainforest. 
Day 10 - DAY 14: Dunedin / Disembark Ship / Queenstown
After breakfast, disembark National Geographic Orion. Enjoy a city tour and an included lunch on the way to the Queenstown airport.Departure Time: Depart after 5:00 p.m.Departure City: Queenstown, New Zealand
Day 11 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change. Your expedition may be traveling over the International Date Line, so please confirm departure and arrival dates with an Expedition Specialist before booking your flights.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
22-10-202404-11-2024AUD $24,280Category 1
22-10-202404-11-2024AUD $25,870Category 2
22-10-202404-11-2024AUD $28,590Category 3
22-10-202404-11-2024AUD $34,860Category 4
22-10-202404-11-2024AUD $36,410Category 1 Solo
22-10-202404-11-2024AUD $39,480Category 5
22-10-202404-11-2024AUD $42,880Category 3 Solo
22-10-202404-11-2024AUD $46,240Category 6
03-11-202416-11-2024AUD $28,300Category 3
03-11-202416-11-2024AUD $34,510Category 4
03-11-202416-11-2024AUD $36,040Category 1 Solo
03-11-202416-11-2024AUD $39,080Category 5
03-11-202416-11-2024AUD $42,450Category 3 Solo
03-11-202416-11-2024AUD $45,770Category 6
03-11-202416-11-2024AUD $24,030Category 1
03-11-202416-11-2024AUD $25,610Category 2


    • On guided walks through a rare podocarp forest, a rainforest, botanical gardens, and arboretums, learn about the country’s fascinating plant life
    • Visit sites important to Maori history and culture, Napier’s well-preserved art deco city center, and cosmopolitan Auckland, “the City of Sails”
    • New Zealand’s celebrated wines and culinary specialties add to the many pleasures of this inspiring expedition