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Natural Treasures of New Zealand with Ponant aboard Le Soleal

Natural Treasures of New Zealand with Ponant aboard Le Soleal

From AUD $8,905

Description

On this cruise, PONANT invites you to discover New Zealand, a unique destination with a multitude of natural treasures. Set sail aboard Le Soléal for a 13-day cruise from Auckland to Dunedin. Surrounded by the blue waters of the Pacific, the twin islands of New Zealand are the promise of an incredible mosaic of contrasting panoramas.

You will first explore the many treasures of Rotorua from Tauranga: volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, rivers and gorges, and lakes that range in colour from deep blue to orange-tinged.

You will also sail to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, where will be able to learn more about the Maori people on a visit to the Te Papa Tongarewa National Museum.

In Picton, you will discover the Marlborough region, famous for its vineyards and its submerged valleys.

Your ship will then proceed to the east coast of the Southern Island. You will sail to the rocky peninsula of Kaikoura to admire New Zealand’s rich biodiversity.

Then the Banks Peninsula will reveal wonderful landscapes of lush hills and rugged coasts during your calls in the bays of Akaroa, an ancient flooded volcano crater. There you will experience a unique mix of Maori, French and European cultural heritage.

Your ship will first chart a course south-west of the South Island to discover the magnificent Fiordland National Park, which is an integral part of the Te Wahipounamu, a UNESCO World Heritage area. Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound or the better-known Milford Sound: you will discover these fjords shaped by successive glaciations, bordered by majestic cliffs.

You will then drop anchor near Ulva Island, one of the last remaining predator-free natural sanctuaries in New Zealand. Here, you will be able to observe numerous bird species and discover a remarkably well-preserved podocarp forest.

You will finally discover Dunedin, your port of disembarkation.

Trip Name
Natural Treasures of New Zealand with Ponant aboard Le Soleal
Days
13
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship Length: 142 metres Passenger Capacity: 264 Built: 2013 Sailing under the French flag, this magnificent yacht of only 132 staterooms and suites, with balconies, joined in 2013. You will be enchanted by the contemporary decor inspired by the luxury yachting world, with fluid lines and a modern colour scheme combining natural wood with shades of grey and white. A refined ambience is enhanced by the quality of the workmanship and materials: white Corian counters in the lobby contrast with the warmth of leather to recall a boat's hull, while the central scuplture of enamelled pieces takes its inspiration from the sea.  In the loungebar, the carpet picks up a tennis stripe theme symbolising a certain idea of cruising, one synonomous with French elegance and a chic seaside spirit.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 AUCKLAND
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest, most populated and busiest city. Located on an isthmus linking the peninsula of Northland to the expansive North Island, it seems to float between land and sea. It is one of the few cities in the world to have two separate harbours : Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. You will understand why Auckland is known as "the City of Sails" when you see the forest of masts in the marina. The 328 metre-high Sky Tower offers splendid views of the city. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes such as Mt Eden, Auckland is noted for its abundant nature and magnificent black-sand beaches. A blend of Maori, European and Asian cultures give the city a vibrant atmosphere.
Day 2 - Day 2 TAURANGA
Located to the north of Rotorua, Tauranga stretches the length of the Bay of Plenty, sheltered from the ocean by the island of Matakana. This coastal city boasts a flourishing economy thanks to its port, and is a pleasant and pretty town with a peaceful, relaxed feel. The seafront area is contemporary and lively, dotted with cafés and restaurants. The town centre reveals more picturesque charms, while the surrounding area is packed full of natural delights. Travel on to the town of Rotorua to visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland: a fantastic opportunity to experience an absolutely exceptional geothermal phenomenon.
Day 3 - Day 3 GISBORNE
Gisborne, called “Gizzy” by the locals and Teoneroa by the Maori, is located to the north of a large bay surrounded by fertile hills and long, wild beaches that attract walkers and surfers. At the southern end of the bay, the magnificent cliffs of Young Nick’s Head majestically keep watch over the ocean’s tides. In Ngatapa, a few kilometres north of the city, the Eastwoodhill Arboretum stretches out over more than 130 hectares (320 acres) and is home to magnificent exotic and native plants. In the city, you can learn about Maori culture and the local history at the Tairawhiti Museum or enjoy some of the products of this rich farming region, renowned in particular for its Chardonnay.
Day 4 - Day 4 NAPIER
On the east coast of the North Island, south of Hawke’s Bay, you’ll find Napier. Mostly destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, reviving from its ashes in less than two years, it grew into a magnificent Art Deco style city, very in-vogue at the time. With its pure lines mixed with traditional Maori designs, the singular New Zealand character of this city will intrigue you. You’ll discover all this extraordinary architectural heritage as you take a stroll through the city. Famous for its vineyards, wine lovers will be able to taste some of the best wines from the region.
Day 5 - Day 5 WELLINGTON
Crowned with gentle green hills, Wellington Harbour is located in the far south of the North Island. This city offers a charming mix of traditional and modern cultures, bestowing on the New Zealand capital, a unique atmosphere, both friendly and avant-guard. Where some sites, like the large National Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, reflect the city’s Maori past, others, like the many cafés and restaurants, affirm the inhabitants’ incredible lust for life.
Day 6 - Day 6 PICTON
A must-see entry point to the South Island, Picton is a little coastal town girded by gentle hills, located on the south side of the Queen Charlotte inlet. The cafés and restaurants which border the charming waterfront give a very lovely view of the fjord. You can also decide to get some height above sea level, and walk in the surrounding areas. However, Picton is above all an opportunity to explore the unique Marlborough Sounds. This interweaving of submerged valleys in this area, has creating numerous navigable routes, wich are among the most beautiful natural wonders of New Zealand.
Day 7 - Day 7 KAIKOURA
Located on the South Island of New Zealand, the small town of Kaikōura stretches between the South Pacific and the snow-capped Kaikōura mountain chain, in the heart of a natural and preserved environment that is home to rich and varied wildlife. The peninsular has spectacular limestone formations, and many marine mammals, such as whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions, as well as sea birds can be found near its shores. Initially populated by the original Maori inhabitants for almost a thousand years, the rocky coastlines of Kaikōura then served as an observation post for whalers between the 18th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
Day 8 - Day 8 AKAROA
Set on the east coast of South Island, Christchurch is New Zealand's second-biggest city. You can soak up its easy-going atmosphere in one of the many parks and gardens that give Christchurch its nickname "the garden city", or dally a while in Cathedral Square to see how the city is transforming itself after the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Attractions such as the International Antarctic Centre and Christchurch Gondola ride are as popular as ever, while pop-up cafes, the Cardboard Cathedral and community art projects showcase the citizens' resilience. The beautiful port of Akaroa, where ships dock, is about 90-minute drive from Christchurch on the Banks Peninsula.
Day 9 - Day 9 AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 10 - Day 10 SAILING DOUBTFUL SOUND & SAILING DUSKY SOUND
Referred to as the Sound of Silence, there is a secluded serenity that surrounds Doubtful Sound in contrast with the better-known Milford Sound. Lieutenant James Cook named 'Doubtful Harbour' in 1770 as he was uncertain if it was navigable under sail. Doubtful Sound is the deepest of the fiords with a maximum depth of 421 m. It contains three distinct 'arms' and several outstanding waterfalls in the area from Deep Cove to the open ocean. Your ship will spend time navigating around Secretary Island through both Thompson and Doubtful Sounds. You will enjoy the spectacular scenery from the outer decks.Dusky Sound is one of the most isolated fjords in Fiordland National Park. This huge, protected natural zone situated in the south-west quarter of New Zealand’s South Island is listed as UNESCO World Heritage. The sheer cliffs, waterfalls, shimmering lakes and primitive forests here are each more beautiful than the next. These spectacular landscapes sculpted by successive glaciations are a source of endless wonder. In 1773, the British navigator James Cook spent a few weeks at Dusky Sound, as demonstrated by a plaque that can be seen at Astronomer’s Point. During your sailing, observe the richness of the local wildlife: cormorants, seagulls, New Zealand fur seals, but also Fiordland crested penguins, a rare and endemic species.
Day 11 - Day 11 SAILING MILFORD SOUND
Milford Sound fjord is among one of the most beautiful natural sites in New Zealand. So much beauty will quite simply take your breath away. Located on the south-west coast of South Island, in the Fiorldland National Park, this sumptuous inlet carved out by glaciers advances over at least 15 kilometres inland, in the Southern Alps. Majestic cliffs seem to surge out of the dark waters, rising several hundred metres high: an abrupt relief from where impressive waterfalls cascade.
Day 12 - Day 12 ULVA ISLAND
Ulva Island (Te Wharawhara) is the largest of 20 islands within Paterson Inlet, Stewart Island, with an area of approx. 270 hectares. The island has never been logged and was declared pest free in 1997, becoming one of the few predator-free sanctuaries in New Zealand. The island is now a haven for many species of birds and plants that are rare, or have died out, on the mainland of New Zealand. Bird species regularly encountered include: the flightless Stewart Island Weka, South Island saddleback, yellowhead and Stewart Island robin. Ulva Island is not only a bird enthusiast’s paradise, it is also one of the few offshore islands with a largely undisturbed podocarp forest. Well-maintained tracks offer easy walking for most people providing a unique opportunity to see rare birds and plants at close quarters in a safe environment.
Day 13 - Day 13 DUNEDIN
Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest city and is often referred to as the Edinburgh of New Zealand. This city of the south, wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The city contains some of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. The Silverpeaks hinterland to the North West provides a picturesque backdrop and The Otago Peninsula, which lies within the city boundaries, has internationally renowned wildlife reserves, including the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross.
Day 14 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
02-12-202214-12-2022AUD $8,905Superior Stateroom
02-12-202214-12-2022AUD $9,722DeLuxe Stateroom
02-12-202214-12-2022AUD $10,879Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
02-12-202214-12-2022AUD $11,470Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
02-12-202214-12-2022AUD $12,174Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
02-12-202214-12-2022AUD $17,322Deluxe Suite
02-12-202214-12-2022AUD $23,766Prestige Suite - Deck 5
02-12-202214-12-2022AUD $25,053Prestige Suite - Deck 6
02-12-202214-12-2022AUD $28,914Owner’s Suite

Inclusions

    • Discover sublime New Zealand landscapes with exceptional diversity.
    • UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Fiordland National Park.
    • Meet the Maori people, brave warriors with ancestral traditions and customs.
    • In Wellington, discover the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum.
    • Sailing in the fjords of New Zealand.
    • A call at Picton, in the Marlborough region, famous for its vineyards and its submerged valleys.
    • Opportunity to observe many species of birds in Ulva Island.
    • A lecturer passionate by New Zealand history will be on board.

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