Cruising the Top of the South: Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman National Park

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Cruising the Top of the South Island: Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman National Park

2 - 10 December, 2022

Cruising the Top of the South Island

Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman National Park
9 day / 8 night voyage
 
Explore the hidden coves, beaches, tranquil waterways, wildlife and rich history of the top of New Zealand’s South Island on this unforgettable 9-day adventure.

This unique expedition cruise of Queen Charlotte and Pelorus Sounds, French Pass and d’Urville Island, and Abel Tasman National Park offers an unparalleled exploration of the breath-taking beauty of their winding cobalt waterways, iconic landscapes, lush native forests, wildlife, gold sand beaches and remote coastlines. These regions are also rich in early New Zealand history and the location of some of the country’s most important conservation efforts.

Heritage Explorer

Cruise at a Glance

Tour Dates

2 – 10 December, 2022

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.

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Discover the tranquil waterways of Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman.

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

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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

Cabin Type Twin Share Single
(per person)
Buller's Cabin$7,425
Salvin's cabin$8,325
Wandering Cabin$8,775
Royal Cabin$9,995

Maximum Passenger Number: 18

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

Dates: 2 - 10 December, 2022

Fri 2     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.

 

Sat 3 - Sun 4   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.

 

Mon 5 - Tue 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.

 

Wed 7- Thu 8    d'Urville Island

Nz FernDepending on the weather and tides we will venture to the seldom visited northern coast of d’Urville Island, either through French Pass or via Stephens Island. The outermost island in the Marlborough Sounds, d’Urville Island is named after French Explorer Dumont d’Urville and 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 through these waters between 1888 and 1912.

 

Fri 9    Abel Tasman National Park

New Zealand’s smallest national park, Abel Tasman National Park is a wilderness reserve where hills cloaked in regenerating native forest flanked by impressive granite formations meet sandy beaches and crystalline streams cascade through mossy valleys en route to the sea. There is much to experience and enjoy here as we expedition cruise this scenic coastline. Depending on the weather there will be opportunities to kayak secluded inlets and shores, walk among the forest, swim and explore beaches. Named after the Dutch explorer officially recognised the first European to discover New Zealand in 1642, Tasman anchored at Whariwharangi Bay, near Wainui Inlet to the north of what is now Abel Tasman National Park, on 18 December. More recently in 2016, New Zealanders famously banded together to buy stretch of sand now known as ‘New Zealand Beach’ at Awaroa Bay through a crowdfunding campaign, gifting the 800-metre beach to Abel Tasman National Park for all to enjoy. Several sustainability initiatives are working together to restore and revive the native plants, birds and wildlife in the park including Project Janszoon, a privately funded trust, set up to restore the park’s ecosystems which takes its name from Tasman’s middle name and is aiming to complete the restoration in time for the 400th anniversary of Tasman’s visit and the park’s 100th anniversary in 2042.

 

Sat 10     Nelson

After an early morning departure from our anchor in Abel Tasman National Park we arrive at the Port of Nelson. After a final breakfast and farewells, you are transferred to a central Nelson drop off point or the airport. In case of unexpected delays we ask you not to book any onward travel from Nelson 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.

 

Inclusions

  • All meals & house drinks on board the ship
  • Expedition shore excursions
  • Landing Fees
  • Services of your knowledgeable Captain and expedition team

Variations

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance