Aerial view of bright green islands among deep blue & turquoise sea, seen on the National Geographic New Zealand Cruise.
Close up of penguin with white chest, black back, orange beak & yellow head & eyes, seen on the Nat Geo New Zealand Cruise.
Parrot-looking kea bird with feathers in varied greens sits atop a grassy hillside on a foggy day during the Nat Geo NZ Cruise.
New Zealand travelers on a Zodiac cruise in calm water by green mountains through Fiordland National Park on a sunny day.
Group of penguins with white chests, black backs, orange beaks & yellow heads & eyes, seen on the Nat Geo New Zealand Cruise.
View Photos
Asia / Pacific New Zealand Cruise

Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands

Navigate New Zealand and its rarely visited Sub-Antarctic Islands with National Geographic experts. Encounter verdant coastlines, pristine beaches, quiet coves, and waters filled with whales, dolphins, and seals. Explore Dusky and Milford Sound’s peaks, waterfalls and dazzling fjords (Fiordland National Park). Step into an ancient rainforest, stunning national parks and fragrant botanical gardens; learn about Maori history and culture and tour cosmopolitan cities.

An ornithologist’s dream, New Zealand boasts 300 species of birds including the magnificent royal albatross and a colony of 20,000 gannets. Below the South Island in the Southern Ocean lie the remote and wildly beautiful sub-Antarctic islands where few humans have tread. Teeming with major populations of pelagic seabirds and animals and plants found nowhere else in the world, they burst with thousands of seals and millions of penguins.

The highlights are many on this voyage. Immerse yourself in unparalleled beauty: scenic beaches and lush native forests in the North Island and deep fjords and dramatic landscapes in the South Island. Discover the history and dynamic culture of New Zealand and the Maori people. Explore the sub-Antarctic islands which remain almost completely protected from human activity and are home to a diverse collection of endemic plant and animal species. Delve into New Zealand’s cultural riches – from Napier’s Art Deco architecture, to historical Maori sites. And visit Abel Tasman National Park to discover its golden-sand beaches, abundant bird and sea life, and native forests.

The 102-guest Nat Geo Orion acts as floating basecamp during the cruise. This small expedition ship is technologically advanced and equipped with a full set of exploration tools, including an ROV and enough kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and Zodiacs to send all guests out exploring at the same time. Additionally, select cabins offer private balconies for special moments while taking in the awe-inspiring wilderness. The National Geographic Orion features a nearly 1:1 guest-to-crew ratio, ensuring attentive service.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s New Zealand cruises and New Zealand travel.



Itinerary

2022-23 Main Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands Itinerary

The main Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands cruise travels from the North Island to the South Island, including the Sub-Antarctic Islands. Focus on New Zealand’s Western shoreline, including the Fiordlands of the South Island.

Route map of National Geographic New Zealand & Sub-Antarctic Islands cruise, operating between Auckland & Dunedin, along the West coast.
Read More
Days 1 - 3
Arrive Auckland, New Zealand

Depart on an overnight flight, crossing the International Date Line and losing a day. Arrive in Auckland, check in to the group hotel and join the welcome briefing to meet fellow travelers.

Accommodations

n/a (days 1-2); Hotel TBD (day 3)

Meals

n/a

Read More
Day 4
Explore Auckland & Embark

Have breakfast at the hotel before joining a tour of this vibrant city center. Stop for lunch midday before embarking the ship in the late afternoon.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 5 - 6
Exploring Coastal New Zealand

Continue south along the North Island’s verdant coast and let nature be the guide as the captain and expedition leader choose the next site for exploration.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
Gisborne

Today, delve into the cultural riches of Gisborne–the site of the first European landing place in New Zealand in 1769. The city’s warm, sun-filled climate reflects its disposition and complements its rich soils, bountiful islands, miles of sandy beaches and resource-rich oceans. Visit a local Marae and gain insight into the history and culture of the people of this region. In the afternoon, discover the greenery of a local arboretum, and cap the day off with a wine tour and tasting.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
Napier

Spend the morning getting to know Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand. Choose to discover the city’s unique architecture on an art tour, or leave the city behind and join a Gannet Safari Tour for close encounters at a large Australasian gannet colony.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 9 - 10
Abel Tasman & At Sea

Today, arrive at the South Island of New Zealand where golden beaches and dense rainforests border the snow-capped Southern Alps. Begin discovering this stunning island in Abel Tasman National Park, exploring on hikes and walks with the ship’s naturalists. Spend the next day at sea, sailing south toward Fiordland National Park.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 11 - 12
Milford Sound & Dusky Sound

Over the course of 2 days, explore Fiordland National Park, home to 14 individual fiords. Here, discover hundreds-meter high waterfalls, snowcapped peaks, and hope for a glimpse of Doubtful Sound’s resident bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and penguins.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 13
Snares Islands

Located south of the New Zealand mainland in the remote Southern Ocean, today begin exploration of the wild and beautiful sub-Antarctic islands. These remote islands play host to abundant and unique wildlife, with many species of birds, plants and invertebrates found nowhere else in the world. Two small rocky islands, North East and Broughton, comprise The Snares, the closest sub-Antarctic islands to New Zealand. The islands are covered with heavy tussock grass and wind-beaten forests of tree daisies. The Snares are home to huge numbers of breeding birds: the 99 recorded species include albatross, Antarctic terns and Snares crested penguins.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 14 - 15
Auckland Islands & At Sea

Spend the next several incredible days discovering New Zealand and Australia’s sub-Antarctic islands and their surrounding waters—the entire marine landscape designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ship has special permission to explore these strictly regulated islands, which are protected at the highest level of conservation status by the New Zealand government and considered bird central among top ornithologists around the world. Keeping a flexible weather-dependent schedule, plan to explore several intriguing islands.

The Auckland Islands are the largest of New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands, with the richest flora, prolific birdlife and an interesting human history. Conditions permitting, cruise in Zodiacs to Enderby Island to view a large New Zealand sea lion colony with pups all jostling for position. With luck, spot rare yellow-eyed penguins as they move to and from their nests in the forests beyond the beach.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 16 - 18
Macquarie Island, Australia & At Sea

Spend 2 days at remote Macquarie Island, a protectorate of Australia and a World Heritage site. Macquarie is home to a large variety of wildlife, including thousands of seals and millions of penguins. Four species of penguin breed here. The endemic royal penguin has a population estimated at 850,000. Gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins also breed here. And imagine landing on a single beach with 100,000 pairs of king penguins, the third largest such colony in the world!

With whales beneath and birds above, time at sea between islands presents an opportunity to head up to the bridge to spot marine life and watch the calm business of navigation. Or spend these days enjoying the ship’s spa and fitness center. Take some time to browse the library or play a board game in the glass-enclosed observation lounge. And listen to a variety of engaging talks from the staff, including photo talks.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 19 - 20
Campbell Island, New Zealand & At Sea

A large island, surrounded by four smaller islands and innumerable rocks and islets, the Campbell Island group is officially the southernmost territory of New Zealand. Covered with endemic grasses and thick vegetation and boasting steep terrain, Campbell is dramatic and beautiful. Here, find six species of albatross, an endemic duck (the Campbell Island teal) and an endemic snipe, as well as numerous songbirds and sea birds who breed on the island. Three species of penguin also make their home here, and southern right whales breed in the surrounding waters.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 21
Stewart Island

Stewart Island, known in Maori as Te Punga o Te Waka a Maui, is positioned firmly at the heart of Maori mythology. Today, explore the island’s rare native birdlife as well as its well preserved podocarp forest. In the afternoon, discover Stewart Island’s nearby neighbor, Ulva Island, and hike with naturalists to discover unspoiled rainforest.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 22
Disembark Dunedin, New Zealand

Today, disembark on New Zealand’s South Island in Dunedin, known for its Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Have breakfast aboard before transferring to the airport for flights home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All accommodations; meals indicated; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes. Gratuities for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens. Complimentary beer & wine on National Geographic Venture, National Geographic Quest, National Geographic Sea Lion, National Geographic Sea Bird, with a complimentary full bar on all other ships (2023).

Exclusions

Immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; meals not indicated; reserve wines & premium spirits; gratuities for all departures of Delfin II, Endeavour II, Islander II, Venture, Quest, Sea Bird and Sea Lion; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

For Expeditions departing prior to April 1, 2024:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $2,500 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
180 or more days – $750 of deposit retained (may be applied to future trip by trip operator)
179 to 120 days – 100% of deposit
119 to 90 days – 25% of total trip cost
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all guests 5 years and older must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The main Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands cruise begins in Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) and ends in Dunedin, New Zealand (DUD). Embarkation time may vary based upon arrival of group flights from Miami, Florida (MIA). Disembarkation in Dunedin is after breakfast on Day 22 of the outlined itinerary. Departure times may vary depending on group flights. Inquire with your Adventure Specialist upon booking for details. Note: This expedition may be traveling over the International Date Line, so please confirm departure and arrival dates with an AdventureSmith Specialist before booking flights. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Activities included aboard this expedition include Zodiac cruises, hiking and kayaking. Other activities may include yoga and stretching, land treks, photography, glacier viewing and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Solo cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabin categories. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Children under the age of 18 are eligible for $500 off the double occupancy rate. Skilled staff members trained with National Geographic Education organize activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Programming for kids may include activities like photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, Zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming and kid-friendly menu options.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

2024 Main Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands Itinerary

The main Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands cruise travels from the North Island to the South Island, including the Sub-Antarctic Islands. Focus on New Zealand’s Western shoreline, including the Fiordlands of the South Island.

Route map of National Geographic New Zealand & Sub-Antarctic Islands cruise, operating between Auckland & Dunedin, along the West coast.
Read More
Day 1
Arrive Auckland, New Zealand

Arrive in Auckland and transfer to the group hotel. Join a welcome briefing this evening to meet fellow travelers.

Accommodations

Hotel TBA

Meals

n/a

Read More
Day 2
Explore Auckland & Embark

Have breakfast at the hotel before joining a tour of this vibrant city center. Stop for lunch midday before embarking the ship in the late afternoon.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 3 - 4
Exploring Coastal New Zealand

Continue south along the North Island’s verdant coast and let nature be the guide as the captain and expedition leader choose the next site for exploration.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
Gisborne

Today, delve into the cultural riches of Gisborne–the site of the first European landing place in New Zealand in 1769. The city’s warm, sun-filled climate reflects its disposition and complements its rich soils, bountiful islands, miles of sandy beaches and resource-rich oceans. Visit a local Marae and gain insight into the history and culture of the people of this region. In the afternoon, discover the greenery of a local arboretum, and cap the day off with a wine tour and tasting.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
Napier

Spend the morning getting to know Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand. Choose to discover the city’s unique architecture on an art tour, or leave the city behind and join a Gannet Safari Tour for close encounters at a large Australasian gannet colony.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 7 - 8
Abel Tasman & At Sea

Today, arrive at the South Island of New Zealand where golden beaches and dense rainforests border the snow-capped Southern Alps. Begin discovering this stunning island in Abel Tasman National Park, exploring on hikes and walks with the ship’s naturalists. Spend the next day at sea, sailing south toward Fiordland National Park.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 9 - 10
Milford Sound & Dusky Sound

Over the course of 2 days, explore Fiordland National Park, home to 14 individual fiords. Here, discover hundreds-meter high waterfalls, snowcapped peaks, and hope for a glimpse of Doubtful Sound’s resident bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and penguins.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 11
Snares Islands

Located south of the New Zealand mainland in the remote Southern Ocean, today begin exploration of the wild and beautiful sub-Antarctic islands. These remote islands play host to abundant and unique wildlife, with many species of birds, plants and invertebrates found nowhere else in the world. Two small rocky islands, North East and Broughton, comprise The Snares, the closest sub-Antarctic islands to New Zealand. The islands are covered with heavy tussock grass and wind-beaten forests of tree daisies. The Snares are home to huge numbers of breeding birds: the 99 recorded species include albatross, Antarctic terns and Snares crested penguins.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 12 - 13
Auckland Islands & At Sea

Spend the next several incredible days discovering New Zealand and Australia’s sub-Antarctic islands and their surrounding waters—the entire marine landscape designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ship has special permission to explore these strictly regulated islands, which are protected at the highest level of conservation status by the New Zealand government and considered bird central among top ornithologists around the world. Keeping a flexible weather-dependent schedule, plan to explore several intriguing islands.

The Auckland Islands are the largest of New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands, with the richest flora, prolific birdlife and an interesting human history. Conditions permitting, cruise in Zodiacs to Enderby Island to view a large New Zealand sea lion colony with pups all jostling for position. With luck, spot rare yellow-eyed penguins as they move to and from their nests in the forests beyond the beach.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 14 - 16
Macquarie Island, Australia & At Sea

Spend 2 days at remote Macquarie Island, a protectorate of Australia and a World Heritage site. Macquarie is home to a large variety of wildlife, including thousands of seals and millions of penguins. Four species of penguin breed here. The endemic royal penguin has a population estimated at 850,000. Gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins also breed here. And imagine landing on a single beach with 100,000 pairs of king penguins, the third largest such colony in the world!

With whales beneath and birds above, time at sea between islands presents an opportunity to head up to the bridge to spot marine life and watch the calm business of navigation. Or spend these days enjoying the ship’s spa and fitness center. Take some time to browse the library or play a board game in the glass-enclosed observation lounge. And listen to a variety of engaging talks from the staff, including photo talks.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 17 - 19
Campbell Island, New Zealand & At Sea

A large island, surrounded by four smaller islands and innumerable rocks and islets, the Campbell Island group is officially the southernmost territory of New Zealand. Covered with endemic grasses and thick vegetation and boasting steep terrain, Campbell is dramatic and beautiful. Here, find six species of albatross, an endemic duck (the Campbell Island teal) and an endemic snipe, as well as numerous songbirds and sea birds who breed on the island. Three species of penguin also make their home here, and southern right whales breed in the surrounding waters.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 19
Stewart Island

Stewart Island, known in Maori as Te Punga o Te Waka a Maui, is positioned firmly at the heart of Maori mythology. Today, explore the island’s rare native birdlife as well as its well preserved podocarp forest. In the afternoon, discover Stewart Island’s nearby neighbor, Ulva Island, and hike with naturalists to discover unspoiled rainforest.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 20
Disembark Dunedin, New Zealand

Today, disembark on New Zealand’s South Island in Dunedin, known for its Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Have breakfast aboard before transferring to the airport for flights home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All accommodations; meals indicated; beer, wine & full bar; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes. Gratuities for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Exclusions

Immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; meals not indicated; reserve wines & premium spirits; gratuities for all departures of Delfin II, Endeavour II, Islander II, Venture, Quest, Sea Bird and Sea Lion; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

For Expeditions departing April 1, 2024 onward:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 15% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special payment terms apply for groups of 8 or more, inquire for details. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
120 or more days – 100% of deposit**
119 to 90 days – 50% of total trip cost
89 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

**Advance payments will be credited in the form of a Lindblad Expeditions Travel Certificate which only may be applied towards final payment on any future booking; the certificate does not expire.

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all guests 5 years and older must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The main Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands cruise begins in Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) and ends in Dunedin, New Zealand (DUD). Embarkation time may vary based upon arrival of group flights from Miami, Florida (MIA). Disembarkation in Dunedin is after breakfast on Day 20 of the outlined itinerary. Departure times may vary depending on group flights. Inquire with your Adventure Specialist upon booking for details. Note: This expedition may be traveling over the International Date Line, so please confirm departure and arrival dates with an AdventureSmith Specialist before booking flights. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Activities included aboard this expedition include Zodiac cruises, hiking and kayaking. Other activities may include yoga and stretching, land treks, photography, glacier viewing and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Solo cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabin categories. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Children under the age of 18 are eligible for $500 off the double occupancy rate. Skilled staff members trained with National Geographic Education organize activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Programming for kids may include activities like photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, Zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming and kid-friendly menu options.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

2022-23 Reverse Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands Itinerary

The reverse Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands cruise travels from the South Island to the North Island, including the Sub-Antarctic Islands. Focus on New Zealand’s Western shoreline, including the Fiordlands of the South Island.

Route map of National Geographic New Zealand & Sub-Antarctic Islands cruise, operating between Auckland & Dunedin, along the West coast.
Read More
Days 1 - 3
Arrive Auckland, New Zealand

Depart on an overnight flight, crossing the International Date Line and losing a day. Arrive in Auckland, check in to the group hotel and join the welcome briefing to meet fellow travelers.

Accommodations

n/a (days 1-2); Hotel TBD (day 3)

Meals

n/a

Read More
Day 4
Fly to Dunedin & Embark

Have breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport for a flight to Dunedin. Spend the day touring and stop for lunch midday before embarking the ship in the late afternoon.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 5 - 6
Stewart Island & At Sea

Stewart Island, known in Maori as Te Punga o Te Waka a Maui, is positioned firmly at the heart of Maori mythology. Today, explore the island’s rare native birdlife as well as its well preserved podocarp forest. In the afternoon, discover Stewart Island’s nearby neighbor, Ulva Island, and hike with naturalists to discover unspoiled rainforest.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 7 - 8
Campbell Island & At Sea

A large island, surrounded by four smaller islands and innumerable rocks and islets, the Campbell Island group is officially the southernmost territory of New Zealand. Covered with endemic grasses and thick vegetation and boasting steep terrain, Campbell is dramatic and beautiful. Here, find six species of albatross, an endemic duck (the Campbell Island teal) and an endemic snipe, as well as numerous songbirds and sea birds who breed on the island. Three species of penguin also make their home here, and southern right
whales breed in the surrounding waters.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 9 - 11
Macquarie Island, Australia & At Sea

Spend 2 days at remote Macquarie Island, a protectorate of Australia and a World Heritage site. Macquarie is home to a large variety of wildlife, including thousands of seals and millions of penguins. Four species of penguin breed here. The endemic royal penguin has a population estimated at 850,000. Gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins also breed here. And imagine landing on a single beach with 100,000 pairs of king penguins, the third largest such colony in the world!

With whales beneath and birds above, time at sea between islands presents an opportunity to head up to the bridge to spot marine life and watch the calm business of navigation. Or spend these days enjoying the ship’s spa and fitness center. Take some time to browse the library or play a board game in the glass-enclosed observation lounge. And listen to a variety of engaging talks from the staff, including photo talks.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 12
Auckland Islands, New Zealand

Spend the next several incredible days discovering New Zealand and Australia’s sub-Antarctic islands and their surrounding waters—the entire marine landscape designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ship has special permission to explore these strictly regulated islands, which are protected at the highest level of conservation status by the New Zealand government and considered bird central among top ornithologists around the world. Keeping a flexible weather-dependent schedule, plan to explore several intriguing islands.

The Auckland Islands are the largest of New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands, with the richest flora, prolific birdlife and an interesting human history. Conditions permitting, cruise in Zodiacs to Enderby Island to view a large New Zealand sea lion colony with pups all jostling for position. With luck, spot rare yellow-eyed penguins as they move to and from their nests in the forests beyond the beach.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 13
Snares Islands

Located south of the New Zealand mainland in the remote Southern Ocean, today begin exploration of the wild and beautiful sub-Antarctic islands. These remote islands play host to abundant and unique wildlife, with many species of birds, plants and invertebrates found nowhere else in the world. Two small rocky islands, North East and Broughton, comprise The Snares, the closest sub-Antarctic islands to New Zealand. The islands are covered with heavy tussock grass and wind-beaten forests of tree daisies. The Snares are home to huge numbers of breeding birds: the 99 recorded species include albatross, Antarctic terns and Snares crested penguins.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 14 - 16
Dusky Sound, Milford Sound & At Sea

Over the course of 2 days explore Fiordland National Park, home to 14 individual fiords. Here, discover hundreds-meter high waterfalls, snowcapped peaks, and hope for a glimpse of the Sounds’ resident bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and penguins.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 17
Abel Tasman & At Sea

Today, arrive at the South Island of New Zealand where golden beaches and dense rainforests border the snow-capped Southern Alps. Begin discovering this stunning island in Abel Tasman National Park, exploring on hikes and walks with the ship’s naturalists. Spend the next day at sea, sailing south toward Fiordland National Park.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 18
Napier

Spend the morning getting to know Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand. Choose to discover the city’s unique architecture on an art tour, or leave the city behind and join a Gannet Safari Tour for close encounters at a large Australasian gannet colony.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 19
Gisborne

Today, delve into the cultural riches of Gisborne–the site of the first European landing place in New Zealand in 1769. The city’s warm, sun-filled climate reflects its disposition and complements its rich soils, bountiful islands, miles of sandy beaches and resource-rich oceans. Visit a local Marae and gain insight into the history and culture of the people of this region. In the afternoon, discover the greenery of a local arboretum, and cap the day off with a wine tour and tasting.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 20 - 21
Exploring Coastal New Zealand

Continue south along the North Island’s verdant coast and let nature be the guide as the captain and expedition leader choose the next site for exploration.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 22
Disembark Auckland, New Zealand

Have lunch aboard the ship before disembarking and transferring to the airport for flights home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All accommodations; meals indicated; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes. Gratuities for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens. Complimentary beer & wine on National Geographic Venture, National Geographic Quest, National Geographic Sea Lion, National Geographic Sea Bird, with a complimentary full bar on all other ships (2023).

Exclusions

One-way charter flight from Auckland to Dunedin, New Zealand (inquire for pricing); immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; meals not indicated; reserve wines & premium spirits; gratuities for all departures of Delfin II, Endeavour II, Islander II, Venture, Quest, Sea Bird and Sea Lion; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

For Expeditions departing prior to April 1, 2024:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $2,500 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
180 or more days – $750 of deposit retained (may be applied to future trip by trip operator)
179 to 120 days – 100% of deposit
119 to 90 days – 25% of total trip cost
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all guests 5 years and older must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The reverse Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands cruise begins in Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) and ends in Dunedin, New Zealand (DUD). A group charter flight from Auckland to embark the ship in Dunedin, is required. Disembarkation in Dunedin is after breakfast on Day 22 of the outlined itinerary. Departure times may vary depending on group flights. Inquire with your Adventure Specialist upon booking for details. Note: This expedition may be traveling over the International Date Line, so please confirm departure and arrival dates with an AdventureSmith Specialist before booking flights. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

A group charter flight between Auckland and Dunedin, New Zealand, is required on this trip’s itinerary; see this trip’s Exclusions and inquire with an Adventure Specialist for pricing. There is a strict luggage limit of two checked bags weighing up to 57 lbs (25 kg) combined, and one carry-on bag weighing up to 17 lbs (8 kg) plus a personal item that can be stowed under the seat.

Activities

Activities included aboard this expedition include Zodiac cruises, hiking and kayaking. Other activities may include yoga and stretching, land treks, photography, glacier viewing and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Solo cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabin categories. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Children under the age of 18 are eligible for $500 off the double occupancy rate. Skilled staff members trained with National Geographic Education organize activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Programming for kids may include activities like photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, Zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming and kid-friendly menu options.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

2024 Reverse Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands Itinerary

The reverse Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands cruise travels from the South Island to the North Island, including the Sub-Antarctic Islands. Focus on New Zealand’s Western shoreline, including the Fiordlands of the South Island.

Route map of National Geographic New Zealand & Sub-Antarctic Islands cruise, operating between Auckland & Dunedin, along the West coast.
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Day 1
Arrive Auckland, New Zealand

Arrive in Auckland and transfer to the group hotel. Join a welcome briefing this evening to meet fellow travelers.

Accommodations

Hotel TBA

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Fly to Dunedin & Embark

Have breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport for a flight to Dunedin. Spend the day touring and stop for lunch midday before embarking the ship in the late afternoon.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 4
Stewart Island & At Sea

Stewart Island, known in Maori as Te Punga o Te Waka a Maui, is positioned firmly at the heart of Maori mythology. Today, explore the island’s rare native birdlife as well as its well preserved podocarp forest. In the afternoon, discover Stewart Island’s nearby neighbor, Ulva Island, and hike with naturalists to discover unspoiled rainforest.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 5 - 6
Campbell Island & At Sea

A large island, surrounded by four smaller islands and innumerable rocks and islets, the Campbell Island group is officially the southernmost territory of New Zealand. Covered with endemic grasses and thick vegetation and boasting steep terrain, Campbell is dramatic and beautiful. Here, find six species of albatross, an endemic duck (the Campbell Island teal) and an endemic snipe, as well as numerous songbirds and sea birds who breed on the island. Three species of penguin also make their home here, and southern right
whales breed in the surrounding waters.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 7 - 9
Macquarie Island, Australia & At Sea

Spend 2 days at remote Macquarie Island, a protectorate of Australia and a World Heritage site. Macquarie is home to a large variety of wildlife, including thousands of seals and millions of penguins. Four species of penguin breed here. The endemic royal penguin has a population estimated at 850,000. Gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins also breed here. And imagine landing on a single beach with 100,000 pairs of king penguins, the third largest such colony in the world!

With whales beneath and birds above, time at sea between islands presents an opportunity to head up to the bridge to spot marine life and watch the calm business of navigation. Or spend these days enjoying the ship’s spa and fitness center. Take some time to browse the library or play a board game in the glass-enclosed observation lounge. And listen to a variety of engaging talks from the staff, including photo talks.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Auckland Islands, New Zealand

Spend the next several incredible days discovering New Zealand and Australia’s sub-Antarctic islands and their surrounding waters—the entire marine landscape designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ship has special permission to explore these strictly regulated islands, which are protected at the highest level of conservation status by the New Zealand government and considered bird central among top ornithologists around the world. Keeping a flexible weather-dependent schedule, plan to explore several intriguing islands.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Snares Islands

Located south of the New Zealand mainland in the remote Southern Ocean, today begin exploration of the wild and beautiful sub-Antarctic islands. These remote islands play host to abundant and unique wildlife, with many species of birds, plants and invertebrates found nowhere else in the world. Two small rocky islands, North East and Broughton, comprise The Snares, the closest sub-Antarctic islands to New Zealand. The islands are covered with heavy tussock grass and wind-beaten forests of tree daisies. The Snares are home to huge numbers of breeding birds: the 99 recorded species include albatross, Antarctic terns and Snares crested penguins.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 12 - 14
Dusky Sound, Milford Sound & At Sea

Over the course of 2 days explore Fiordland National Park, home to 14 individual fiords. Here, discover hundreds-meter high waterfalls, snowcapped peaks, and hope for a glimpse of the Sounds’ resident bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and penguins.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 15
Abel Tasman & At Sea

Today, arrive at the South Island of New Zealand where golden beaches and dense rainforests border the snow-capped Southern Alps. Begin discovering this stunning island in Abel Tasman National Park, exploring on hikes and walks with the ship’s naturalists. Spend the next day at sea, sailing south toward Fiordland National Park.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 16
Napier

Spend the morning getting to know Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand. Choose to discover the city’s unique architecture on an art tour, or leave the city behind and join a Gannet Safari Tour for close encounters at a large Australasian gannet colony.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 17
Gisborne

Today, delve into the cultural riches of Gisborne–the site of the first European landing place in New Zealand in 1769. The city’s warm, sun-filled climate reflects its disposition and complements its rich soils, bountiful islands, miles of sandy beaches and resource-rich oceans. Visit a local Marae and gain insight into the history and culture of the people of this region. In the afternoon, discover the greenery of a local arboretum, and cap the day off with a wine tour and tasting.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 18 - 19
Exploring Coastal New Zealand

Continue south along the North Island’s verdant coast and let nature be the guide as the captain and expedition leader choose the next site for exploration.

Accommodations

National Geographic Orion

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 20
Disembark Auckland, New Zealand

Have lunch aboard the ship before disembarking and transferring to the airport for flights home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All accommodations; meals indicated; beer, wine & full bar; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes. Gratuities for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Exclusions

One-way charter flight from Auckland to Dunedin, New Zealand (inquire for pricing); immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; meals not indicated; reserve wines & premium spirits; gratuities for all departures of Delfin II, Endeavour II, Islander II, Venture, Quest, Sea Bird and Sea Lion; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

For Expeditions departing April 1, 2024 onward:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 15% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special payment terms apply for groups of 8 or more, inquire for details. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
120 or more days – 100% of deposit**
119 to 90 days – 50% of total trip cost
89 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

**Advance payments will be credited in the form of a Lindblad Expeditions Travel Certificate which only may be applied towards final payment on any future booking; the certificate does not expire.

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all guests 5 years and older must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The reverse Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands cruise begins in Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) and ends in Dunedin, New Zealand (DUD). A group charter flight from Auckland to embark the ship in Dunedin, is required. Disembarkation in Dunedin is after breakfast on Day 20 of the outlined itinerary. Departure times may vary depending on group flights. Inquire with your Adventure Specialist upon booking for details. Note: This expedition may be traveling over the International Date Line, so please confirm departure and arrival dates with an AdventureSmith Specialist before booking flights. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

A group charter flight between Auckland and Dunedin, New Zealand, is required on this trip’s itinerary; see this trip’s Exclusions and inquire with an Adventure Specialist for pricing. There is a strict luggage limit of two checked bags weighing up to 57 lbs (25 kg) combined, and one carry-on bag weighing up to 17 lbs (8 kg) plus a personal item that can be stowed under the seat.

Activities

Activities included aboard this expedition include Zodiac cruises, hiking and kayaking. Other activities may include yoga and stretching, land treks, photography, glacier viewing and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Solo cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabin categories. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Children under the age of 18 are eligible for $500 off the double occupancy rate. Skilled staff members trained with National Geographic Education organize activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Programming for kids may include activities like photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, Zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming and kid-friendly menu options.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Rates are variable per remaining availability and are subject to change. Please contact AdventureSmith for the most up-to-date pricing.

Dec 27 - Jan 17, 2023
National Geographic Orion • 22 days
From $33780USD
Per Person
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Jan 14 - Feb 04, 2023
National Geographic Orion • 22 days
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From $33780USD
Per Person
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Nov 30 - Dec 21, 2023
National Geographic Orion • 22 days
From $34790USD
Per Person
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Dec 18 - Jan 08, 2024
National Geographic Orion • 22 days
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From $34790USD
Per Person
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Nov 15 - Dec 04, 2024
National Geographic Orion • 20 days
From $34790USD
Per Person
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Dec 03 - Dec 22, 2024
National Geographic Orion • 20 days
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From $34790USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
National Geographic Orion

102-guest National Geographic Orion is one of the most sophisticated vessel in its class. Small ship cruises aboard the Orion offer a luxurious exploration of Chile, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires January 31st, 2023
Groups Save 5% On National Geographic Expeditions

Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more on National Geographic expeditions in this special deal.

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires January 31st, 2023
Save 10% On Two Consecutive National Geographic Expeditions

Save 10% when you book two consecutive cruises aboard a National Geographic expedition ship.

Expert Review

Reviews from Our Experts So You Know What to Expect

Andrew Browning • June 1st, 2016
Expert Review: What It's Like on a Fiordland National Park Cruise

Learn what to expect on an overnight Fiordland National Park cruise with AdventureSmith Explorations in New Zealand. One of our Adventure Specialists reports from the field, fjord, deck & paddleboard.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

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Cruise New Zealand's verdant coastline on 102-guest Nat Geo Orion for Maori history and culture, celebrated wines, pristine beaches, ancient rainforest and jaw-dropping fjords.

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The most comprehensive Great Barrier Reef itinerary available, this Australia small ship cruise will reveal the underwater world of numerous exclusive reef sites with opportunities to become a relaxed beachcomber or an inquisitive adventurer on an 8-day island-hopping voyage of discovery aboard 72-guest Coral Discoverer.

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This 11- or 17-day Tasmania expedition cruise is a rare adventure into the wilderness, showcasing the rugged coastal beauty and World Heritage Listed National Parks of Australia’s island state, in the intimate comfort of the 72-guest Coral Discoverer.

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Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands

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