New Zealand Coastal Odyssey: The Ultimate Cruise of the New Zealand Coast

New Zealand Coastal Odyssey: The Ultimate Cruise of the New Zealand Coast

From NZD $7,990


Discover the hidden gems of Aotearoa/New Zealand and its three main islands (the North Island, South Island, and Stewart Island) on this unforgettable 11-day expedition cruise of coastal New Zealand. From the bright lights of New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, Dunedin’s avant garde fashion labels and the adventure playground of Queenstown this is the ultimate Kiwi adventure to experience it all.

With the 9th longest coastline in the world measuring some 15,000 kilometres you will wind through narrow fiords, circumnavigate small islands, explore secluded bays, and visit quaint seaside towns. Bordering the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, and once part of Gondwanaland, New Zealand has a fascinating natural and cultural history from its first Polynesian arrivals through European settlement, early sealing and whaling and world leading conservation efforts. Places of interest include the sunken valleys and towering mountains of Fiordland (Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound); the volcanoes, hot springs and geysers of Rotorua and Tauranga; the scenic playground of Marlborough Sounds; the iconic wildlife havens of Stewart Island and nearby predator free Ulva Island; and many Kiwi towns along the way including New Zealand’s Art Deco capital the city of Napier, and the French-infused village of Akaroa.

Those looking for a thrilling expedition filled with wildlife encounters will enjoy observations of dolphins and whale watching, exceptional birdwatching including a number of rare endemic species and an albatross colony on the Otago Peninsula. Those with a taste for gourmet delights will enjoy experiencing some of New Zealand’s award winning cuisine including wine in Canterbury, Marlborough, and the Hawke’s Bay, and cheese in Akaroa.

Our vessel Heritage Adventurer is built for exploring regions like New Zealand’s intricate coastline, navigating through fiords, cruising up harbours, and allowing for Zodiac cruising to remote and isolated bays. We invite you to join us on this in-depth exploration of New Zealand.

Trip Name
New Zealand Coastal Odyssey: The Ultimate Cruise of the New Zealand Coast
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship Length: 124 metres Passenger Capacity: 140 Built: 1991 Heritage Adventurer is a true pioneering expedition vessel of exceptional pedigree. Often referred to as the ‘Grande Dame of Polar Exploration’ due to her celebrated history and refined design, she was purpose-built for adventure in 1991 at Finland’s Rauma shipyard and specifically designed for Polar exploration.Setting a peerless standard in authentic expedition travel, Heritage Adventurer (formerly known as MS Hanseatic) combines the highest passenger ship ice-class rating (1A Super) with an impressive history of Polar exploration. Having held records for the most northern and southern Arctic and Antarctic navigations, and for traversing both the Northwest and Northeast Passages, makes Heritage Adventurer perfect for pioneering New Zealand-based Heritage Expeditions signature experiential expedition travel.Originally designed to accommodate 184 guests, Heritage Adventurer now welcomes just 140 expeditioners ensuring spacious, stylish and comfortable voyages, while a fleet of 14 Zodiacs ensures all guests are able to maximise their expedition adventure. Heritage Adventurer proudly continues our traditions of exceptional, personalised expedition experiences as Heritage Expeditions flagship. Observation Lounge – One of the most celebrated and best-known features of Heritage Adventurer is the awe-inducing Observation Lounge, Library and Bar. Located on Deck 7 and perched directly above the Bridge, enjoy sweeping 270-degree views through floor to ceiling windows, perfect for wildlife spotting and quick access to the outer deck. Bring your binoculars to spot wildlife, observe the ever-changing landscape, write in your journal or relax with a book. Observation Deck – Enjoy 360-degree views from the highest point on the ship. The Observation Deck sits above the Observation Lounge and provides exceptional outside viewing options. Stretching the full width of the vessel, this is the perfect spot to take in the surrounding land and seascapes. Perfect on a sunny day, recline in the comfortable sun loungers protected from the wind and elements and watch your voyage unfold.  The Bridge – No expedition is complete without visiting Heritage Adventurer’s busy nerve centre. Located on Deck 6, Heritage Expeditions’ Open Bridge Policy means you are welcome to observe the Captain and crew at work while enjoying some of the ship’s best views. It’s a fascinating place to learn about navigation and vessel operations, however please note the Bridge will be closed when departing or arriving at port. Dining Room  – Indulge in fine international cuisine from our talented chefs in the lavish surrounds of our Dining Room on Deck 4. Sensational 270-degree views provide a stunning backdrop to meals here along with an international wine list featuring many outstanding regional wines. With relaxed seating arrangements, all guests can enjoy dining in a single sitting from hearty breakfasts setting you up for the day’s adventure to sumptuous lunches and multi-course evening dining. Bistro  – Simple fast and delicious meals and snacks are on offer in our relaxed Bistro on Deck 6. Perfect for early risers to enjoy tea, coffee and light breakfast options the Bistro provides great views and opens directly onto a covered and heated teak-deck outdoor dining area. The Bar and Lounge  – The social hub of  Heritage Adventurer, the Bar and Lounge on Deck 5 features seating for all guests. Enjoy a beverage at the bar, sink into an armchair, relax on one of the many spacious loungers and watch the world go by through the panoramic windows or make new friends at the communal seating. This multi-tasking space also doubles as the location of daily briefings and evening recaps with the expedition team. The Gym – Featuring spectacular ocean views, the well-equipped gym is adjacent to the pool, hot tub and sauna in Deck 7’s wellbeing zone. Maintain your routine with an elliptical cross trainer, treadmill, rowing machine, stationary bikes, TRX as well as free weights, yoga mats and fitness balls. Towels are provided with change room and shower amenities nearby. Sauna and Steam Room – True to her Nordic origins, Heritage Adventurer features a dry-heat Finnish sauna and European steam room on Deck 7. Perfect for warming up post Polar plunge or unwinding after a day’s adventures, the sauna and steam room include change room facilities, showers and towels. Swimming Pool and Hot Tub – Surrounded by relaxed teak seating including sun loungers, the open-air saltwater pool can be heated or chilled. Encased in glass the hot tub ensures all-weather use, perfect for those who like to relax with a view following a day of exploring. Lectures and Presentations – Enjoy informative and entertaining lectures on history, biology, wildlife, and ecology in the comfort of the Presentation Theatre. With state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, our world-renowned expedition team will bring your adventure to life through interactive presentations and discussions.


Day 1 - Day 1: Auckland
Guests should make their way to the designated hotel where we will spend the first night of the expedition. This evening there will be an informal get-together at the hotel for dinner; an excellent opportunity to meet fellow adventurers on your voyage and some of our expedition team.
Day 2 - Day 2: Rotorua & Tauranga
This morning, following breakfast at the hotel, we depart Auckland and travel south passing the rich horticultural region of the Bombay Hills before crossing through the verdant farmland of the Waikato as we travel to the Geothermal Heartland of Rotorua. This afternoon marvel at the abundance of steam vents, geysers and bubbling mud pools as we explore one of the most geologically active regions on the planet accompanied by expert local guides. Later this afternoon arrive in Tauranga where the Heritage Adventurer awaits.
Day 3 - Day 3: Gisborne
Despite being named “Poverty Bay” by Captain Cook, the region is endowed with an exceptional climate and rich soils meaning it is one of New Zealand’s most renowned fruit and vegetable growing regions. A visit to Eastwoodhill Arboretum in the hills behind the town is not to be missed; the result of one man’s passion and dedication this is now the National Arboretum. As we are in Ngati Porou country you will be traditionally welcomed by the iwi.
Day 4 - Day 4: Napier
The Art Deco capital of New Zealand, and possibly the world, the post-quake city of Napier lies at the heart of the thriving Hawkes Bay. Immerse yourself in the Art Deco world of central Napier with its quaint shops and unrivalled architecture before venturing to the world-renowned wineries of the Hawkes Bay famed for their exceptional Syrah and Chardonnay vintages. Alternatively, join your naturalists on a visit to the exceptional Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony.
Day 5 - Day 5: Marlborough Sounds
This morning Heritage Adventurer sails into the sheltered waters of the Marlborough Sounds, a beautiful labyrinth of waterways intersecting the northern shores of the South Island. Take the opportunity to explore a coastal trail through the lush regenerating forest and watch for native birds including Saddleback, Parakeets and Robins on one of the island nature reserves.
Day 6 - Day 6: Akaroa
Heritage Adventurer will make her way through the Akaroa heads and anchor in the sheltered waters of Canterbury’s largest harbour. It was here, beneath the eroded volcanic hills of Banks Peninsula, that the French attempted to settle in 1840. The French connection remains to this day with a certain je ne sais quoi imbibing the township of Akaroa. This afternoon visit the Barry’s Bay Cheese Factory and French Farm Vineyard at the head of the harbour as well as enjoy the opportunity to explore Akaroa or take one of the local nature walks.
Day 7 - Day 7: Dunedin
This morning sail into the beautiful Otago Harbour, watch closely for Northern Royal Albatross at the Tairoa Head Albatross Colony. From our berth at Port Chalmers explore the famed fashion-forward city of Dunedin, the Edinburgh of the south, and its rich history as the gateway to Otago. Explore the scenic Otago Peninsula where sea lions rest and Yellow-eyed Penguins can be spotted in one of their last strongholds where the beautiful farmed hills roll down towards white sand beaches. Alternatively, venture towards the interior of Otago through the scenic Taieri Gorge.
Day 8 - Day 8: Stewart Island
New Zealand’s third island is well off the usual beaten tourist track. It is a wonderfully tranquil place; the scenery of untouched bushland is stunning. We will enjoy a morning exploring Ulva Island which is rich in history and wildlife, being a predatorfree island from 1997 the bird song and wildlife is some of the best. In Paterson Inlet you will have time to explore the sandy beaches of Boulder Bay and West End Beach or just enjoy some time around Post Office Bay and Sydney Cove. Some of the wildlife you may get to see while walking the tracks on Ulva Island include Stewart Island Robin, Stewart Island Weka, South Island Kaka, Kereru (Wood Pigeon), Mohua (Yellowhead), Redcrowned Parakeet, Fantail, Bellbird and Tui. There are many more species that may also be seen, our knowledgeable expedition guides will be listening for bird calls and keeping a close watch in overhead canopies and the surrounding shrubs to identify further species. During our time in Paterson Inlet there will also be the opportunity to explore the quirky town centre Oban in Halfmoon Bay where a drink with a view can be enjoyed at the iconic South Sea Hotel and there are some beautiful walks in the surrounding forests.
Day 9 - Days 9 to 10: Fiordland
We have two days to explore the incredible wilderness of Fiordland in the south-west corner of the South Island. This is an area rich in history, majestic scenery and abundant in wildlife. Fiordland was well known to local Maori, with the demi-god Tuteraki-whanoa being said to have used his adze, Te Hamo, to carve out the region’s fiords. Captain Cook and his crew landed here on HMS Resolution in 1773, they were the first Europeans to visit Fiordland, subsequently spending five weeks in Dusky Sound. Cook’s records of his discovery and maps attracted sealers and whalers, not long after the first European settlements of New Zealand were formed. Historically this region is very important and shaped the future of the country. Fiordland’s coast is only accessible by sea, making it the most remote region of New Zealand’s mainland. Waterfalls, streams, rivers, and fiords are enveloped with misty veils that come and go, revealing steep gradients of mountain peaks and sheltered valleys. A rugged terrain, the thickly forested floors are covered with ferns, lichens, and mosses. Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins and Little Penguins are all residents of the fiords; during our time here we will look for them. Our schedule gives us the flexibility to visit as much as possible, areas we plan to explore during our time in Fiordland include Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound and Acheron Passage, Astronomer’s Point and Pickersgill Harbour. Our final plan will be determined by the weather. The Captain and Expedition Leader will work hard to make the best use of our time in this incredible region of New Zealand, including areas that even few New Zealanders have visited. The isolation of Fiordland has been beneficial because its beauty remains unspoiled and its historic sites undisturbed.
Day 10 - Day 11: Bluff/Queenstown
Arrive this morning to the Port of Bluff and following breakfast travel overland through the rolling green landscape of Southland before arriving to Queenstown surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. The voyage concludes with a drop off at Queenstown Airport or our central city hotel. In case of unexpected delays we ask you not to book any onward travel until after midday today. During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.
Day 11 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
16-11-202326-11-2023NZD $7,990MAIN DECK TRIPLE CABINS
16-11-202326-11-2023NZD $9,500SUPERIOR TRIPLE CABINS
16-11-202326-11-2023NZD $11,150SUPERIOR CABINS DECK 4
16-11-202326-11-2023NZD $11,990SUPERIOR CABINS DECK 5
16-11-202326-11-2023NZD $14,250MAIN DECK SINGLE CABINS
16-11-202326-11-2023NZD $15,500SUPERIOR SINGLE CABINS
16-11-202326-11-2023NZD $15,500WORSLEY SUITES
16-11-202326-11-2023NZD $20,000HERITAGE SUITES


    • This is an 11-day expedition cruise of coastal New Zealand, including the North Island, South Island, and Stewart Island, showcasing the country's hidden gems and diverse landscapes.
    • The cruise offers opportunities to explore narrow fiords, visit secluded bays, and experience unique cultural and natural highlights, such as Rotorua's geothermal wonders, Marlborough Sounds, and Stewart Island's iconic wildlife havens.
    • Wildlife enthusiasts can expect to encounter dolphins, whales, rare endemic bird species, and visit an albatross colony on the Otago Peninsula, while foodies can indulge in New Zealand's award-winning cuisine, including wine tasting in Canterbury, Marlborough, and Hawke's Bay, and cheese tasting in Akaroa.
    • The vessel, Heritage Adventurer, is designed for coastal exploration, with the ability to navigate through fiords, harbours, and remote bays, making it an ideal choice for this in-depth exploration of New Zealand's coastline.