Coral Princess's luxury expedition-style ship, Oceanic Discoverer, is small enough to venture into the farthest reaches of New Zealand's Milford, Dusky and Doubtful Sounds, but stable and large enough to reach wild Stewart Island. The combination of compact luxury and manoeuvrable stability enables Oceanic Discoverer to go where no other cruise ship can.
Coral Princess Cruises has released its 2008/09 New Zealand Adventure cruises brochure, featuring a five-night Bay of Islands cruise and a 12-night New Zealand Discovery cruise.
The five-night Bay of Islands cruise departs from either Auckland or Paihia, exploring the hidden coves and spectacular coastline of the far north-eastern tip of the North Island.
Cruising in the Bay of Islands reveals natural attractions such as the renowned 'Hole in the Rock' – a rock 'tunnel' etched by wind and waves - and the Roberton Island lookout, which affords views over the 144 sub-tropical islands in the bay. Passengers can also disembark for guided walks in nature reserves like Tiri Tiri Matangi, to spot some of New Zealand's rare native birds and learn about the history of the region from Coral Princess's guest lecturers and expert guides.
There are nine departures of the Bay of Islands cruise between December 24, 2008 and February 5, 2009. It costs from $2990 per person, twin share, in a Main Deck B stateroom.
Departing from World Heritage Milford Sound and travelling to Auckland, or vice versa, the 12-night Milford Sound cruise explores the remote reaches of Milford and Doubtful Sound – described as New Zealand's most spectacular waterway - but also ventures into rarely-visited Dusky Sound. Stewart Island is renowned for its unusual birdlife, including kiwis and penguins, and marks the southernmost point on the voyage. Heading north along the east coast, the ship stops at secluded Akaroa Harbour, where it's possible to swim with dolphins, while Kaikoura is known as the best destination for whale watching.
The Tory Channel marks the entrance to the beautiful blue-green waters of Marlborough Sound, where Oceanic Discoverer's guides interpret the history and natural attractions on guided walks. The trip also takes in Art Deco Napier, historic Gisborne, the active volcano on White Island and there's time to explore the beaches and caves of the remote Mercury Islands, before ending the trip in Auckland.
The Milford Sound voyage departs on February 16 and 28, 2009 and costs $7190 per person, twin share in a Main Deck B stateroom. Prices include all meals, accommodation, excursions, transfers and port taxes.
The Oceanic Discoverer accommodates a maximum of just 72 guests, as well as a purpose-built excursion vessel, Xplorer, and a fleet of inflatable Zodiacs to allow passengers to intimately explore the secluded bays and inlets. Coral Princess's adventure style of cruising means the itinerary may vary to take advantage of opportunities to view wildlife, swim, or visit local attractions.
Coral Princess is a family-owned, eco-accredited and award-winning company that pioneered adventure cruising 25 years ago on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. For further information, call 1800 079 545 or visit www.coralprincess.com.au.