From the metropolitan cities of Melbourne and Sydney to the natural beauty of coastal New Zealand, explore nine ports of call during this 15-day journey. Sip on famous regional wines, explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Blue Mountains, visit the historic treasures of Dunedin, and capture ...
Arrive in Sydney and embark your Viking Ocean Cruise. The capital of Australia's New South Wales is celebrated for its magnificent natural harbour. Nestled at the foot of the Blue Mountains on the edge of the blue Pacific, Sydney is blessed with a natural setting few cities in the world can rival. Settle in to your room of choice, and explore this culture-rich and much-loved city.
Begin your day in the heart of the city, at Sydney Cove. Explore the charming crooked streets of Sydney’s historic district of The Rocks, where some houses date back to the early days of European settlement. Or, start off your day touring the bustling fish market with a local chef and taking your “catch” on board a harbour sightseeing vessel. Fabulous food and wine and good company enhance this scenic outing. You might also explore the natural wonders of the nearby Blue Mountains. Or set out on your own, perhaps strolling to the famed Sydney Opera House on the stunning harbour.
Cruise the waters off the Australian coast of Gippsland. This area was once plied by boats piloted by Aboriginal Australians hunting for seals. Today, it is one of the continent’s most scenic regions of stunning beaches, old-growth forest and fertile farms. During your relaxing day at sea, you can learn more about Australia during informative lectures, attend a port talk to familiarise yourself with upcoming destinations and enjoy the many amenities on board. Relax in The Spa, browse the on board art throughout the ship, or settle in the Living Room with a book from your ship’s Library.
Discover Melbourne, capital of the Australian state of Victoria. During its heyday, it was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world. Today, you can uncover the cultural and historic treasures of, by some accounts, the most liveable city in the world during a tour of its highlights. View the city’s stately Victorian-era buildings and visit Fitzroy Gardens where Cook’s Cottage graces the landscape. Constructed in England by the parents of famed explorer Captain Cook, it was deconstructed brick by brick and reassembled here to celebrate the centenary of the city’s founding. If you wish, join a visit to see some of Australia’s iconic wildlife, such as the koala, wombat, kangaroo and wallaby.
Sail across the Bass Strait. Named after its discoverer George Bass, the shallow stretch of water separates Tasmania from the Australian continent. Enjoy the Sun Deck or scan the horizon from the Explorers’ Lounge for one of the 60 islands that dot the strait. Tonight, try a regional specialty in The Restaurant, or take in a recent movie in one of our three theatres—two indoor and one under the stars on the Main Pool Deck
Explore the fabled island of Tasmania, Australia’s smallest state. It was named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman. The capital, Hobart, was founded as a penal colony for some 300 inmates. Today, it is a charming city with a mild climate and a picturesque natural setting on the banks of the Derwent River. Its historic neighbourhoods and traditional pubs are best explored on foot. You might wish to tour the former penal colony of Port Arthur, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an open air museum chronicling the relocation of convicts here by the British Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Today, you will begin your crossing of the Tasman Sea. Just as many refer to an Atlantic journey as “hopping the Pond,” Kiwis and Aussies refer to this voyage as “crossing the Ditch.” Your day at sea provides the ideal opportunity to read about your upcoming ports in the Library and to perhaps make an appointment at The Salon for a hair treatment, manicure or shave.
Call on scenic Port Chalmers today, who's harbour is faced by the hills of the Otago Peninsula. You will visit the region’s cultural capital of Dunedin, founded in 1848 by Scottish settlers who gave it the Gaelic name for Edinburgh. Nestled among rolling green hills that drop sharply into the sea, it is one of the best preserved Victorian cities in the world and home to a wealth of Edwardian and Victorian buildings, including the stunning Dunedin Railway Station. Alternatively, you may wish to join an excursion to view one of the world’s most accessible albatross rookeries, where you can observe these magnificent birds in their rich natural habitat.
Explore the English-flavoured city of Christchurch, spread at the feet of the Southern Alps on New Zealand’s South Island. Today it is a stunning blend of British charm and natural beauty, with so many green parks that it has been nicknamed the “Garden City.” See firsthand how the city is creatively preserving its iconic heritage. Visit the Container Mall, a series of stores set up in giant shipping containers, and the Cardboard Cathedral, welcoming worshippers until the Christchurch Cathedral is repaired. You will also visit the lush Christchurch Botanic Gardens, one of the world’s most important of its kind. If you wish, explore the International Antarctic Centre, where you can experience life in the continent’s harsh climate and meet some resident penguins.
Visit Wellington, hailed by many as “the coolest little capital in the world,” brimming with cultural institutions such as the Museum of New Zealand and the National Art Gallery. The political capital of New Zealand enjoys a splendid setting among mountains and sea. Enjoy a tour of its main sites, including the summit of Mt. Victoria, the Wellington Cathedral and the New Zealand Parliament’s four buildings—including Parliament House, a dramatic neoclassical wonder, and the Executive Wing, known as the “Beehive” for its shape. You will also see the renowned Wellington Botanic Garden, home to the award-winning Lady Norwood Rose Garden. If you’d like, join our Privileged Access visit to the Museum of New Zealand, or join a city tour fashioned for fans of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
Cruise into Hawke’s Bay today, New Zealand’s second largest wine-growing region. Disembark to explore Napier’s stunning art deco architecture, built after much of the city was destroyed during a 1931 earthquake. Its stunning mix of “Main Street” design and art deco flair combine to create a city unlike any other in the world. Take it all in during a city tour, or venture further afield to sample some of the region’s beloved wines at its vineyards or to seek out some of the bay area’s abundant birdlife, including the iconic gannet on nearby Cape Kidnappers.
Sail into the Bay of Plenty to visit the port of Tauranga, watched over by the dramatic Mt. Maunganui, an extinct volcano that helped shape this spectacular region of white-sand beaches and azure waters. A walking tour introduces you to the relaxed city by bringing you to the summit of Mt. Drury, known to the Māori as Hopukiore. Or, you can explore the thermal region of Rotorua, sacred to the Māori for its bubbling mudpots, spewing geysers, silica terraces and fumaroles.
Arrive in Auckland, the cultural capital of New Zealand’s North Island. Known as the “City of Sails,” Auckland enjoys a stunning setting between two harbors. This seafaring city has hosted two America’s Cup challenges and its marinas are brimming with world-class yachts. During an overnight stay here, you will have ample time to take in this city’s beauty and history, touring the tree-lined Albert Park and the neoclassical Auckland War Memorial Museum. Cross the Harbour Bridge to enjoy sweeping views from Bastion Point and pass through Parnell Village, lined with upscale shops and cafés. If you wish, visit the region’s wine country this afternoon to sample some of its world-acclaimed vintages.
Disembark your ship this morning and transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or stay on in Auckland to explore more of this sophisticated and picturesque city.
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