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Coastal View, Otago Peninsula, New Zealand

New Zealand Cruise – Auckland to Milford Sound



13 Days

Prices Start from

£6,400 (ex. flights)

Over 13 days cruise from Auckland on the North Island to the dramatic beauty of Fiordland on the South Island. Access remote and pristine wilderness areas in search of culture and wildlife, unique to New Zealand.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Maori Woman, Te Kuiti, North Island, New Zealand 1

New Zealand Culture

Learn about the history of New Zealand experiencing traditional Maori culture.

The Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand 2

Marlborough Sounds

Spend two days exploring less accessible and spectacular areas of the Marlborough Sounds.

Yellow diamond shaped sign with a black kiwi shape on it. 3

Stewart Island

Visit remote Stewart Island and encounter some of New Zealand’s iconic wildlife.

Exterior of Coral Discoverer ship off shore. 4

Chat with the captain

Take advantage of the open bridge policy allowing guests onto the bridge to observe and chat with the captain and crew.

Why we like it

This cruise offers a different perspective of New Zealand with the added bonus of only unpacking once. With over 7,000 kilometres of coastline, a cruise offers the chance to explore remote hidden coastal sounds, volcanic islands and marine reserves, away from other people. Special tender equipment, open deck space and an on board team of naturalists will ensure up-close experiences with nature.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
    White Island
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5 - 6
    Marlborough Sound
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10
    Stewart Island
  • Day 11
    Dusky Sound
  • Day 12
    Doubtful Sound and Thompson Sound
  • Day 13
    Milford Sound - Queenstown
View across green hills, ocean and beaches of Marlborough Sounds
French pass in Marlborough Sounds

In the Footsteps of Captain Cook

Spend two days cruising through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds which connect the North and South Islands. Follow the path of Captain Cook, stopping in the small bay known as Ships Cove, named by the captain when he anchored there in 1770 and subsequently returned to a number of times. Explore beautiful waterways and areas only accessible by boat, using the ships zodiacs. Enter less visited coves, remote coastal towns and Motuara Island, home to many native bird species.

View of Mitre Peak, a sharp triangular peak with cloud across it.
Mitre Peak, Milford Sounds

Four Iconic Fiords

There are surely few better places to end this cruise than the iconic glacier-carved fiords of Fiordland National Park. Over three days experience four of the mighty sounds that make up this coastal wilderness. From Dusky Sounds, the smallest of the four to Doubtful Sounds, the deepest and possibly most spectacular, where you will drop anchor and overnight. From there cruise to Thompson Sound, possibly the least known, and finally the iconic peaks of Milford Sound.

Over this final section of your journey you will be treated to epic scenes of ancient rainforest covered mountains, towering waterfalls and deep fiords that seem untouched by time. As you cruise, search for dolphins, seals, penguins and birdlife including the mischievous kea.

Read More
Birding, Antarctica

Your Cruise Guides and Specialists

The expedition team aboard Coral Expeditions are key to the success of their cruises and each voyage includes a mixture of full-time guides as well as guest lecturers with specific local knowledge. They will introduce you to the wildlife, geology, history and culture of the country.

Rear view of Coral Discoverer with tender circling it and heading into shore.
Coral Discoverer

Doing Their Bit

Coral Expeditions is accredited as an eco-tourism cruise operator with world-leading EcoTourism Australia. Ecotourism is defined as tourism in a natural area that offers interesting ways to learn about the environment with an operator that uses resources wisely, contributes to the conservation of the environment and helps local communities. They have a policy of no plastic straws on board any of their ships and are constantly seeking new ways to reduce plastic usage and be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Sydney Harbour, Sydney, Australia
Sydney Harbour

Pre And Post Cruise Suggestions

  • Pick up a hire car and self-drive to Mount Cook National Park, spending a few nights exploring the spectacular mountainous scenery before flying out of Christchurch
  • Start or end your trip in Australia’s New South Wales – perfect in November, explore the bright lights of Sydney, head into the Blue Mountains or treat yourself with a few nights on Lord Howe Island
  • Fly to Fiji or the Cook Islands for some idyllic beach time

Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.


Excellent organisation and itinerary, very professionally put together in an attractive package. Plus a great travel app. Amy was efficient, helpful and clearly knowledgeable.

New Zealand

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?

Why Steppes

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