Discover Marlborough Sounds

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Discover Marlborough Sounds

An In-Depth Cruising Exploration of the Marlborough Sounds
9 - 15 May, 2022

Discover Marlborough Sounds

7 day / 6 night voyage: an in-depth exploration of the Marlborough Sounds. 
 
Discover the tranquil waterways, wildlife and rich history of New Zealand’s Marlborough Sounds on an unforgettable 7-day Kiwi adventure exploring Queen Charlotte and Pelorus Sounds, French Pass and d’Urville Island.

Heritage Explorer

Cruise at a Glance

Tour Dates9 – 15 May, 2022
20 – 26 Nov, 2022
17 – 23 Dec, 2022

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Partnership

We’re excited to let you know we have partnered with pioneering small ship expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions in Christchurch. 

Like ourselves, they are NZ owned and run. Heritage Expeditions pioneered authentic expedition voyages to Antarctica and the Sub Antarctic Islands, and have a wealth of experience in this area. As we both share common values we know you will be well looked after and have a great adventure.

What a fantastic trip! A beautiful boat and lots of activities to do such as bushwalks, Zodiac cruises, kayaking and even fishing. Let alone cruising down the sounds spotting the wildlife. We had a fabulous time. And a big thank you to our chef Lindzi and his wife Kath. What a great team and amazing food.

Fully Vaccinated Requirement

All travellers joining this tour must be fully vaccinated. Your 'My Vaccine Pass' must be brought on the tour as proof of full Covid 19 vaccination.

It is important that the date of your final dose is at least 14 days before the tour departure date.

Fully Vaccinated Requirement

All travellers joining this cruise must be fully vaccinated. Your 'My Vaccine Pass' must be brought on the cruise as proof of full Covid 19 vaccination.

It is important that the date of your final dose is at least 14 days before the cruise departure date.

Booking Conditions
Cancellations
Inclusions
Variations
Travel Insurance
General Information
Health & Fitness
Covid 19 Vaccinations
Terms & Conditions

  • Booking Deposit of $750 per person
  • Final Payment Date: 16 December, 2021

  • Between 44 – 31 days, 50% of tour cost
  • Less than 30 days, 100% of tour cost
  • No refunds will be made after travel has commenced

  • 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
  • Accommodation in 4.5 star boutique hotels
  • 2 wine tastings
  • E-Bike and a helmet
  • Full technical and back up support with a vehicle and an experienced driver/guide
  • All shuttles as per itinerary
  • Luggage transfers
  • Services of a Tours Direct Tour Leader
  • Airport transfers

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance

To safeguard your deposit and tour payment in the event of you having to cancel your reservation or curtail your tour, we highly recommend you take out travel insurance.

call us on 0800 868 748 if you like a travel insurance quote

The bike trails in the Hawke’s Bay are easy to ride and generally flat and smooth. Introductory Level.

If you have never ridden an E-Bike before we can help you learn, usually in 15 minutes. These trails are great to build confidence and increase your riding skills.

Needless to say the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the rides. Most days, 2 – 3 hours on an E-Bike (with frequent breaks).

All clients and support crew are required to be fully vaccinated.

Extensive Terms and Conditions are outlined in the free Information Pack

Booking Conditions
Cancellations
Inclusions
Variations
Travel Insurance
General Information
Health & Fitness
Covid 19 Vaccinations
Terms & Conditions

  • Booking Deposit of $750 per person
  • Final Payment Date: 31 January, 2022

  • Between 44 – 31 days, 50% of tour cost
  • Less than 30 days, 100% of tour cost
  • No refunds will be made after travel has commenced

  • 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
  • Accommodation in 4.5 star boutique hotels
  • 2 wine tastings
  • E-Bike and a helmet
  • Full technical and back up support with a vehicle and an experienced driver/guide
  • All shuttles as per itinerary
  • Luggage transfers
  • Services of a Tours Direct Tour Leader
  • Airport transfers

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance

To safeguard your deposit and tour payment in the event of you having to cancel your reservation or curtail your tour, we highly recommend you take out travel insurance.

call us on 0800 868 748 if you like a travel insurance quote

The bike trails in the Hawke’s Bay are easy to ride and generally flat and smooth. Introductory Level.

If you have never ridden an E-Bike before we can help you learn, usually in 15 minutes. These trails are great to build confidence and increase your riding skills.

Needless to say the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the rides. Most days, 2 – 3 hours on an E-Bike (with frequent breaks).

All clients and support crew are required to be fully vaccinated.

Extensive Terms and Conditions are outlined in the free Information Pack

Inclusions
Variations
Booking Conditions
Cancellations
Travel Insurance
General Information
Health & Fitness
Covid 19 Vaccinations
Terms & Conditions

Tab 1

Tab 2

Tab 3

Tab 3

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Inclusions

  • All meals, including a pre-show dinner at Dockside Restaurant on the Wellington waterfront
  • Entrance fees
  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers)
  • Services of your knowledgeable guide
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”

Variations

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance

Inclusions

  • Return airfares from Auckland (please ask us about flights from other airports – there could be a price adjustment).
  • All meals
  • Entrance fees
  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers)
  • Services of your knowledgeable guide
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”

Variations

  • Land Only price on application
  • Travel Insurance

Inclusions

  • All meals
  • Entrance fees
  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers)
  • Services of your knowledgeable guide
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”

Variations

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance

Flexibility is our motto: The quoted cycling distances for each day are based on the expected riding. An individual can adjust the cycling according to their needs and weather conditions on the day.

GRADE: Introductory. Easy cycling on well formed trails.

22 - 26 May, 2022

Sun 22 May  Auckland - Ngaruwahia - Hamilton Gardens - Cambridge (27km)

This morning we depart Auckland from the Greenlane Countdown Carpark.
First stop is historic Ngaruawahia, and the place where two rivers meet. The newly developed cycle trail is a joy to ride as we follow the mighty Waikato River. A highlight along the way is the iconic Perry Bridge, one of the longest walk/cycle bridges in New Zealand!
Waikato River TrailBefore we start we will have bike fittings and a practice in the rotunda area; also morning tea and a toilet opportunity. Then, its off and away along the river trail. Our destination is the award-winning Hamilton Gardens; a great place for an independent lunch and an opportunity to stretch your leg muscles as you walk around the themed areas in the gardens. When we are ready we take our private transport to the Cambridge accommodation. Here you will have some leisure time to visit the Cambridge town centre.
We have an early independent dinner and then we gather together to take our transport to the start of the Kayaking adventure. We start from the Epworth camp and kayak our way down a truly beautiful section of the Waikato River to the Pokaiwhenua stream. With stunning twilight lake views, we head under the Pokaiwhenua Bridge and into the glowworm canyon.
Draped with native ferns, the canyon offers a true slice of New Zealand Beauty, and as the light fades away, the unique incandescence of the glowworms starts to shine from the surrounding walls. After a quick glass of some of New Zealand’s finest wines complemented with some tasty cheeses, we can enjoy over the warmth of a campfire, it’s back in the boats, as we drift slowly downstream using only the light from the glowworms. Viewing glowworms from a kayak on the surface of the world is a whole different experience from seeing them inside a cave, like at Waitomo.
Accommodation at the Hidden Lake Hotel, Cambridge

Mon 23 May  Cambridge - Lake Karapiro - Matamata - Te Aroha (B) 43km

Waikato River Trail

This morning we cycle from Cambridge to Lake Karapiro.
We have a coffee stop at the Podium Café, with amazing views over the Lake, and then travel by van to Matamata. Whilst we may be on the look-out for hobbits (I don’t think bicycles are featured in Tolkien's books), we are also going to be cycling on the newly finished cycleway from Matamata to Te Aroha. This is a lovely easy ride past lush Waikato farmland and horse studs.
Along the way we plan to have an independent lunch at the delicious Café 77, Manawaru, nicely situated right by the trail. After lunch its off and away on our bikes to Te Aroha (The Mountain of Love). Te Aroha is a small rural town with historic mineral spas, a lovely domain, quirky art and cafes. This town is full of interesting bits and pieces from the colonial days of New Zealand and the gold days. If there is time, Mandy will take you on a walk to see some of the unique sculptures.
Then it's back in the van to travel to our accommodation for the next two nights in Paeroa.
Recommended dinner spot: One3One Restaurant (a 2 minute walk from our accommodation).
Accommodation at Pedlars Motel, Paeroa

Tue 24 May  Te Aroha - Waihi - Paeroa (B) 47km

Pareoa

This morning the van delivers us back to Te Aroha and we aim to cycle two sectors of the Hauraki Rail Trail. The day begins with a leisurely ride through serene country landscapes beside the Kaimai Ranges. 
Morning tea is at Paeroa and when we are ready, it's off to Waihi. Some say this is the most beautiful part of the Hauraki Rail Trail as it passes through the dramatic and stunning Karangahake Gorge; a deep canyon cut through the Kaimai Ranges. This distinctly different landscape includes the cascading Owharoa waterfall, photogenic gold mining sites, the charmingly old-fashioned Victoria Battery museum, and a 1.1 km long railway tunnel (it is lit but carrying a light will make it easier for you). Halfway along the trail is the Waikino Station where there’s a charming railway cafe. This is the terminus of the Goldfields Railway vintage train which runs between Waikino and Waihi.
Our goal is to have a late lunch at the Ti Tree café, Waihi. After a rest and nourishment we will walk on to Martha Mine to look at this great hole in the ground.
When we are ready we will take our private transport back to Paeroa for the night.
Late afternoon if you have the energy there will be the opportunity to get that iconic picture of you with the huge Lemon & Paeroa Bottle (very close to our accommodation).
Accommodation at Pedlars Motel, Paeroa

Wed 25 May  Paeroa - Thames (B, D) 34km

Cheese Barn

Today we tackle the Paeroa to Thames section of the Rail Trail. Our aim is to reach Thames township, rich in pioneering and gold-mining history. Along the way we suggest you pop into The Cheese Barn café at Matatoki.
This section of the trail is through rural tranquillity with views of the Hauraki Plains and Coromandel Ranges.
Tonight we will have a farewell dinner together at Grahamstown Bar & Diner (The GBD).
Accommodation at Rolleston Motel, Thames

Thu 26 May  Thames - Miranda - Auckland (B,L) 35km

Today we are going to cycle from Thames to Miranda, the trail following the curve of the Firth of Thames. We should have glorious views of the water and the birds.
As we leave Thames you may like to stop and enjoy the many sculptures along the community’s Arts Trail.
We are cycling to the Miranda bird hide to play ‘spot the godwit’.
We visit the Pukorokoro-Miranda Shorebird Centre, where we will enjoy a picnic lunch and then travel back to Auckland.

Maximum Passenger Number: 18

Fitness: Able to climb stairs. Flexibility to get in and out of Zodiacs.

Dates: 13 - 19 April, 2022
26 April - 2 May, 2022
9 - 15 May, 2022

Day 1     Blenheim

Heritage ExplorerMake your way to the designated meeting point in Blenheim for your transfer to Heritage Explorer in Picton (times and meeting point will be confirmed with your voyage documents). The captain and expedition team will be waiting to welcome you aboard Heritage Explorer and show you to your cabin. You will have the opportunity to familiarise yourself on board then join the captain on the bridge or fellow travellers on deck as we set sail along Queen Charlotte Sound this afternoon

 

 

 

Day 2 & 3    Queen Charlotte Sound

First sighted in 1642 by Abel Janszoon Tasman while seeking shelter for his ships Heemskerck and Zeehaen from a storm near d’Urville Island, it was Captain James Cook who would first set foot here aboard the Endeavour during his five visits to Ship Cove, his New Zealand base between 1770 and 1777, in what he would call Queen Charlotte Sound. We spend two full days exploring the waterways and islands of scenic Queen Charlotte Sound with opportunities to head ashore and walk a section of the Queen Charlotte Walkway as well as search for birdlife on the predator free islands. A visit to Tory Channel brings the whaling history of the Perano Whalers to life. We also plan to visit Ship Cove and learn of its history, exploring the region and visiting Captain Cook’s memorial inaugurated in 1913. Another conservation success story, Blumine Island has seen the translocation of several rare bird species including the once widespread Orange-fronted Parakeet, now New Zealand’s rarest parakeet, which were translocated to the island between 2011 and 2012. Also thriving on the island are South Island Saddleback, brought back from the brink of extinction last century from just 36 birds rescued in 1964, descendants of these birds were translocated to Blumine Island in 2009.

 

Day 4  d'Urville Island

French PassToday we sail through the iconic French Pass and the wake of French Explorer Dumont d’Urville and then explore the island named in his honour. The outermost island in the Marlborough Sounds, d’Urville Island features imposing sea cliffs along its west coast, a high mountainous backbone and the fastest moving tidal flows in New Zealand between the French Pass tempered by some of the country’s finest peninsula scenery. Dolphins and New Zealand Fur Seals are frequently seen in the waters surrounding the island and it was here that Pelorus Jack, the endearing Risso’s Dolphin who famously stole the nation’s heart, guided ships across the dangerous waters of Cook Strait between 1888 and 1912.

 

 

Day 5 & 6   Pelorus Sound

Marlborough Sounds

The largest in the Marlborough Sounds, Pelorus Sound’s main channel winds some picturesque 55 kilometres south between steep verdant hills from Cook Strait to Havelock. Boasting 380 kilometres of shoreline, the endless bays and sheltered coves of Pelorus Sound are perfect for exploration. Venturing into Pelorus Sound we head to Ngawhakawhiti Bay where nature surrounds us and it’s possible to get a glimpse of what the sounds would have been like before the native forest was cleared. The more active are able to enjoy the walking part of the Nydia Track before we explore Nydia Bay. On the final night we will enjoy a farwell dinner.

 

 

 

Day 7   Blenhiem

MarlboroughWe arrive into the inner reaches of Pelorous Sound this morning. After a final breakfast and farewells, a Zodiac tender takes you ashore at Havelock where a transfer to a central Blenheim drop off point or the airport waits. In case of unexpected delays we ask you not to book any onward travel from Blenheim 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.

***Note: Some voyages will operate the itinerary in reverse.***

Cabin Type Twin Share Single
(per person)
Buller's Cabin$4,950
Salvin's cabin$5,500
Wandering Cabin$5,850
Royal Cabin$6,900

Inclusions

  • Pre/post Cruise Transfers
  • One nights pre-cruise twin share accommodation (includes dinner, breakfast & lunch)
  • On board ship accommodation
  • All meals on board ship
  • Expedition shore excursions
  • Landing Fees ($1,540 per person)
  • Services of your knowledgeable Captain and expedition team

Variations

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance