Bay of Islands Explorer - New Zealand Small Ship Adventure Cruise


Bay of Islands Explorer - New Zealand Small Ship Adventure Cruise



7 months ago


9 Days


November, December


USD 3,535.00 per person


Dec 31, 2017
Bay of Islands Explorer - New Zealand Small Ship Adventure Cruise
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Explore the pristine waters and islands between New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, and the stunning Bay of Islands on this 8-day cruise. Aboard the 24-guest Island Passage, you’ll discover uninhabited sanctuary islands, watch dolphins at play, visit fascinating historic places and boutique vineyards and enjoy the finest cuisine, including the region’s famed green-lipped mussels, served with endless sea views. This is New Zealand’s summer playground, and you will be cruising it in style, with the extra special highlight of a scenic helicopter ride over the Bay of Islands included in the fare.

Life on board Island Passage delivers equal quantities of luxury, fun and soft adventure with kayaking, fishing swimming and hiking an integral part of the voyage. The 144 islands that make up the Bay of Islands are a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Discover perfect beaches, untouched native forests, fabulous day walks and interesting historic sites. Nearly a century ago this area was named “the angler’s Eldorado” by Zane Grey, and in terms of New Zealand’s European history it’s the birthplace of the nation, being a stop on James Cook’s first voyage to the region in 1769.


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Rates vary by cabin starting at $3535 per person. Please see website for full details on rates.

Prices are based off of exchange rates from New Zealand dollars and may vary based on the exchange rate at the time of payment. Please contact AdventureSmith for current prices.


Day 1: Thu - Auckland
Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
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Be greeted at the Auckland airport for your transfer to the Sebel Suites for the evening. You are free to explore the Viaduct Harbor and the wide variety of excellent restaurants in this waterfront area.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Auckland Sebel Suites

MEALS: n/a

Day 2: Fri - Waitangi & Opunga Cove
Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand
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Transfer to Auckland Airport at 8:00am for your fabulous scenic charter flight to the Bay of Islands. The flight will depart at 9:30 am from Auckland domestic airport and follows the coastline in the Bay of Islands. This 40-minute flight is aboard a meticulously well maintained classic Douglas DC-3 with large 'skyliner' windows and very comfortable seating. On arrival you will begin your half-day tour that includes historic Waitangi and lunch at a beautiful local vineyard.

Embark the Island Passage to get settled and then attend a safety briefing while comfortably sipping champagne, nibbling canapés and getting to know your fellow passengers. As you cruise north, the exquisite scenery slips by and the crew is always on hand to explain points of interest, or refill your glass. Your first night will be spent at picturesque Opunga Cove, a tranquil haven for cruising yachts and launches. The cove faces west, so you can sit and enjoy the sunset from your comfortable deck steamer chair.


MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: Sat - Motuarohia-Roberton Island
Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand
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Today you’ll visit beautiful Motuarohia-Roberton Island, which you can explore in many different ways: snorkel in the sheltered lagoon, kayak around the bay or hike up to the historic Maori Pa site. From the summit you’ll be rewarded by blockbuster views of the entire Bay of Islands area – green jewels in a sea of sparkling blue. In the late afternoon you’ll motor to Urupukapuka, the largest island in the bay, to enjoy the chef’s gourmet barbecue with fresh local seafood and produce.


MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Sun - Urupukapuka Island
Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand
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Today there’s plenty of time to discover Urupukapuka Island. You could hike around the island, which has historic Pa sites and several fabulous beaches or explore the edges of the island by kayak, stopping for a picnic along the way. Fishing from one of the tenders is also an option – maybe you’ll catch dinner! If this sounds like too much, simply lounge around on board with a great book and regular deliveries of cold drinks and tasty nibbles.

After lunch you’ll cruise through the narrows of the Albert Passage and along Cape Brett Peninsula towards Deep Water Cove. Watch for gannets and dolphins along the way. Deep Water Cove is a magical nature reserve complete with an idyllic waterfall framed by native forest. Hopefully you’ll get the chance to swim with the dolphins here – an amazing experience you’ll remember forever.


MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5: Mon - Whangaroa Harbor
Whangaroa, North Island, New Zealand
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After a sumptuous breakfast on deck, cruise across to Whangaroa Harbor. Along the way, admire stunning homes tucked into remote bays and beaches. The harbor was formed when rising sea levels drowned a river valley about 6,000 years ago. Steep outcrops remain from ancient volcanic rocks and create a spectacular environment. Watch the sunset while sipping a sundowner, then look forward to a night of indulgence with the Captain’s dinner.


MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6: Tue - Mangonui
Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand
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Continue to cruise after breakfast, settled into your favorite viewing position. By late morning the Island Passage will anchor off the historic village of Mangonui, where a collection of charming 150-year-old buildings now house cafés, art and craft shops and the world-famous Mangonui Fish and Chips shop where you will enjoy their fabulous lunch.


MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7: Wed - Cape Reinga & Waitangi Opua
Cape Reinga, North Island, New Zealand
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Departing after breakfast, you will travel by private comfortable coach to Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s most northwest tip. Cape Reinga is generally considered the separation marker between the Tasman Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. From the lighthouse it is possible to watch the tidal race, as the two seas clash to create unsettled waters off the coast. A tasty lunch is served along the way.

On the way back to the ship, travel down 9-mile beach, which is now a state highway (which is actually only 55 miles but that's another story...In 1932 the beach was used as the runway for some of the earliest airmail services between Australia and New Zealand). Return to the ship that has re-positioned to Waitangi by late afternoon for snacks before cruising to the evening's anchorage.


MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8: Thu - Kerikeri & Russell
Russell, North Island, New Zealand
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Travel to the Keri Keri inlet to collect fresh green-lipped mussels to be paired with an impressive Sauvignon Blanc for the barbecue lunch. Then onto Russell, known in whaling times as ‘the hell-hole of the Pacific’ because it was a place of promiscuous women and drunken sailors. In Russell, go ashore to explore craft shops, museums, churches and the historic Pompallier French Mission House.


MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 9: Fri - Disembark Opua Wharf & Flight To Auckland
Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
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On your final day, enjoy breakfast as you head to Opua Wharf for a 9:00am disembarkation for your scenic DC 3 flight back to Auckland. Arrive to the Auckland domestic airport around 11:30am.


MEALS: breakfast


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  • Ship accommodation and all meals; one night pre-cruise accommodation; transfer from Auckland to Bay of Islands Airport by chartered DC 3; complimentary full bar with wine, beer, spirits, juices and water;
  • shore excursions and complimentary Cape Reinga coach excursion; use of kayaks, tenders, paddle boards, snorkel and fishing equipment onboard; DC 3 transfer from Bay of Islands to Auckland airport after the cruises returns.


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Activities: There are numerous included activities aboard Island Passage, such as tender cruising, sea kayaking, fishing and snorkeling. A scenic helicopter flight is also included in the fare, with optional helicopter excursions possibly available at an added cost, conditions permitting.

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.

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