The Best of New Zealand – 10 Days from Auckland to Lyttelton

The Best of New Zealand – 10 Days from Auckland to Lyttelton

From AUD $11,920


Mountains, volcanoes and subtropical forests, green hills where the famous New Zealand sheep graze peacefully, cities full of authentic charm, from the South Island to the North Island, explore New Zealand on an 10-day cruise. Aboard Le Jacques-Cartier, uncover the captivating mysteries of this island country through unforgettable experiences.
Throughout your journey, you will benefit from an excursion included per person per port of call, to choose from a selection offered by PONANT. On this itinerary, take a whale watching cruise in the Banks Peninsula from Akaroa; from Napier, dive into the traditions of the Maori during an unforgettable activity; or, from Tauranga, explore the extraordinary site of Rotorua, home to volcanic and geothermal attractions. The diversity of experiences on offer promises you intense and varied moments (to discover the full range of excursions, go to the itinerary tab).
Your cruise aboard Le Jacques Cartier will begin in Auckland. This New Zealand city bordered by two seas will surprise you with its modernity and its cosmopolitan atmosphere.
On Waiheke Island, opposite Auckland, you will be enchanted not only by the authentic villages nestled at the heart of vineyards but also by the attractive coastline that forms heavenly beaches.
Soon, Tauranga will welcome you and open the doors to the many treasures of Rotorua: volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, rivers and gorges, and lakes ranging in colour from deep blue to bright orange.
Following the warm and translucent waters of the South Pacific Ocean, Le Jacques-Cartier will sail towards Gisborne. The first city on Earth to see the sun rise each day, it is distinguished by its enchanting environment of sandy strips and subtropical forest. Here you will learn about Māori culture and local history and will be invited to taste some of the products of this rich farming region, renowned in particular for its chardonnay.
On the east coast of North Island, Napier unfolds before you, revealing its treasures in a unique architectural style where the sleek lines of Art Deco buildings mingle with traditional Māori patterns.
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is the next stop on your journey. You will have the opportunity to learn more about the Māori people during a visit to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
Next, during an unforgettable sailing experience you will explore the Malborough Sounds, an extensive network of submerged valleys creating a maze of hilly islands and peninsulas.
After a stop in Picton, it is now time to sail to Akaroa. In this bay formed by an old, flooded volcano crater, the unique mix of the Māori, French and European cultures offers a different experience.
Your journey ends in Lyttleton, once the departure point of the British expeditions to the South Pole.

Trip Name
The Best of New Zealand - 10 Days from Auckland to Lyttelton
Vessel Type: Luxury Passenger Capacity: 92 cabins Built: 2018/2019 Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience. As the sixth ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Jacques Cartier will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort. Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service. Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel. RESTAURANTS As it is an essential part of French culture, gastronomy will naturally have pride of place aboard this new ship. To the back of Deck 4, you will find a 260 m² panoramic restaurant which can accommodate all of our passengers in a single sitting. Designed differently to that on our other ships, this dining area, which opens onto the outside, will have a buffet of salads, desserts and cheeses at your disposal. Our discreet and attentive crew will provide table service for hot meals. In a relaxed atmosphere, an outdoor grill on Deck 3 will serve grilled meats with a variety of salads and desserts. PUBLIC AREAS  Le Jacques Cartier has many common areas that are designed and equipped to meet all of your needs while preserving the intimacy of each passenger. A 140 m² reception area includes: A reception/concierge desk, An excursions desk, The ship’s administrative services, The sales office, manned by our Guest Relations Officer, Our 50 m² boutique which sells clothing, jewellery, beauty products, postcards and various accessories, Toilets accessible to passengers with reduced mobility. A new hydraulic platform with adjustable height provides:   Easier boarding than on any other cruise ship, Easier Zodiac embarkation and disembarkation for expeditions, Easier access to the sea for swimming and practising various water sports such as kayaking or paddle-boarding. A pool deck offering: A pool with a panoramic view, equipped with a counter-current swimming system, A pleasant solarium, An outdoor bar and lounge with armchairs and sofas. A 200 m² main lounge which can accommodate all of our passengers to share convivial moments and to host activities organised during the day or evening. Lastly, a theatre that seats 188, equipped with: The latest sound and lighting technology, A LED wall as the stage backdrop, for the projection of high-resolution images and videos.


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.
In the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island is a pristine naturel gem just 35 minutes from the city of Auckland on the North Island of New Zealand. The stunning beaches of its languid bays and the undulating landscapes forming the heart of the island perfectly illustrate the easy way of life here. This land surrounded by sea and bathed in light enjoys a mild climate that is conducive to a thriving agriculture, composed mainly of olive groves and vineyards. Somewhat reminiscent of Tuscany, the island is renowned for its wines. Here, Bordeaux grape varieties have found the ideal conditions for developing a rich palette of aromas. A symbol of New Zealand’s easy lifestyle, Waiheke also boasts a rich arts scene.
Day 3 - Day 3 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 4 - Day 4 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 5 - Day 5 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 6 - Day 6 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.
At the northern end of New Zealand’s South Island, the Marlborough Sounds are a vast network of submerged valleys. These 1,200 km (745 miles) of coastline form a maze of peninsulas and hilly islands, in the curves of which nestle small bays and inlets drowned by the sea at the end of the most recent ice age. During an unforgettable sail, explore this magical place of wild and untouched beauty. Here, the palette of blues and greens is almost infinite and the silver reflections of the sun’s rays shimmer on the surface of the water.
Day 8 - Day 8 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 9 - Day 9 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 10 - Day 10 LYTTELTON
On the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Lyttelton (or Te Whaka Raupo in the Maori language) served, thanks to its proximity with Ross Island, as the starting point for the British expeditions in the mythical age of the South Pole explorations. It takes its name from George Lyttelton (1709-1773), aristocrat and colonial governor of South Carolina. In this colourful port town full of history, you’ll be able to discover the Time Ball: constructed in 1876, it rang at 1.00 pm every day for 58 consecutive years to give Greenwich meridian time, enabling ship captains to set their chronometer and very precisely calculate their position.
Day 11 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
16-01-202525-01-2025AUD $11,920DELUXE STATEROOM
16-01-202525-01-2025AUD $12,590PRESTIGE STATEROOM DECK 4
16-01-202525-01-2025AUD $12,990PRESTIGE STATEROOM DECK 5
16-01-202525-01-2025AUD $13,520PRESTIGE STATEROOM DECK 6
16-01-202525-01-2025AUD $18,450DELUXE SUITE
16-01-202525-01-2025AUD $19,900PRESTIGE SUITE DECK 5
16-01-202525-01-2025AUD $20,580PRESTIGE SUITE DECK 6
16-01-202525-01-2025AUD $21,100PRIVILEGE SUITE
16-01-202525-01-2025AUD $21,780GRAND DELUXE SUITE
16-01-202525-01-2025AUD $22,430OWNER'S SUITE


    • A cruise along the shores of New Zealand, from the South Island to the North Island, featuring nature of wild beauty, cultural visits, and the discovery of an ancient civilisation.
    • A new cruise in the Marlborough Sounds, an extraordinary network of submerged valleys at the northern end of the South Island.
    • Wildlife: gannets, sheep, whales, seals, dolphins, seabirds.
    • Landscapes: rolling vineyards, volcanic formations, monumental geysers.
    • The possibility of hiking and kayaking.
    • Meet the Māori people, brave warriors with ancestral traditions and customs.