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32-Day Gems Of The Southern Seas

33 Day Cruise from £11,999 pp  

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Seabourn 33 Day Cruise on Seabourn Encore, Seabourn from £11,999 pp  

Departure 05 December 2020 | 32-Day Gems Of The Southern Seas

Fares are cruise-only unless otherwise stated. Contact us to add flights and tailor-make your holiday.

Destinations

  • Benoa
  • At Sea
  • Darwin
  • At Sea
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Cairns
  • Townsville
  • Airlie Beach
  • At Sea
  • Moreton Island
  • At Sea
  • Sydney
  • At Sea
  • Phillip Island
  • Melbourne
  • At Sea
  • Milford Sound
  • Oban
  • Port Chalmers
  • Timaru
  • Kaikoura
  • Picton
  • Wellington
  • At Sea
  • Waiheke Island
  • Auckland

32-Day Gems Of The Southern Seas

from £11,999 pp
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Day by day itinerary

Day 1 — Benoa, Bali
Benoa sand beach view,Bali,Indonesia

Benoa sand beach view,Bali,Indonesia

Bali really is as alluring as everyone says. This island, slightly bigger than Delaware, has it all: beaches, volcanoes, terraced rice fields, forests, renowned resorts, surfing, golf, and world-class dive sites. But what sets Bali apart from other nearby tropical destinations is Balinese tradition, and villagers dedicated to celebrating it. The hundreds of temples, dances, rituals, and crafts linked to their ancient Hindu faith aren't a show for tourists, but a living, breathing culture in which visitors are warmly received by the Balinese, who cherish their own identities.
Day 2 to 3 — At Sea
Day 4 to 5 — Darwin, Northern Territory
Darwin Beach, Australia

Darwin Beach, Australia

Darwin is Australia's most colorful, and exotic, capital city. Surrounded on three sides by the turquoise waters of the Timor Sea, the streets are lined with tropical flowers and trees. Warm and dry in winter, hot and steamy in summer, it's a relaxed and casual place, as well as a beguiling blend of tropical frontier outpost and Outback hardiness. Thanks to its close proximity to Southeast Asia and its multicultural population it also seems more like Asia than the rest of Australia. Darwin is a city that has always had to fight for its survival. The seductiveness of contemporary Darwin lifestyles belies a history of failed attempts that date from 1824 when Europeans attempted to establish an enclave in this harsh, unyielding climate. The original 1869 settlement, called Palmerston, was built on a parcel of mangrove wetlands and scrub forest that had changed little in 15 million years. It was not until 1911, after it had already weathered the disastrous cyclones of 1878, 1882, and 1897, that the town was named after the scientist who had visited Australia's shores aboard the Beagle in 1839. During World War II it was bombed more than 60 times, as the harbor full of warships was a prime target for the Japanese war planes. Then, on the night of Christmas Eve 1974, the city was almost completely destroyed by Cyclone Tracy, Australia’s greatest natural disaster. It's a tribute to those who stayed and to those who have come to live here after Tracy that the rebuilt city now thrives as an administrative and commercial center for northern Australia. Old Darwin has been replaced by something of an edifice complex—such buildings as Parliament House and the Supreme Court all seem very grand for such a small city, especially one that prides itself on its casual, outdoor-centric lifestyle. Today Darwin is the best place from which to explore Australia's Top End, with its wonders of Kakadu and the Kimberley region.
Day 6 to 7 — At Sea
Day 8 — Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Day 9 to 10 — Cairns, Queensland
Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Tourism is the lifeblood of Cairns (pronounced Caans). The city makes a good base for exploring the wild top half of Queensland, and tens of thousands of international travelers use it as a jumping-off point for activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling trips to the Barrier Reef, as well as boating, fishing, parasailing, scenic flights, and rain-forest treks.It's a tough environment, with intense heat and fierce wildlife. Along with wallabies and grey kangaroos in the savannah and tree kangaroos in the rain forest, you'll find stealthy saltwater crocodiles, venomous snakes, and jellyfish so deadly they put the region’s stunning beaches off- limits to swimmers for nearly half the year. Yet despite this formidable setting, Cairns and tropical North Queensland are far from intimidating places. The people are warm and friendly, the sights spectacular, and—at the right time of year—the beachside lounging is world-class.
Day 11 — Townsville, Queensland
Townsville City Queensland Australia from Mt Stewart

Townsville City Queensland Australia from Mt Stewart

This coastal city has little in the way of sandy beaches or surf, but it does have shady parks, charming colonial buildings, and a boardwalk-flanked waterfront Esplanade with a terrific man-made beach and picnic facilities. The historic town center has thrived recently, with an influx of lively eateries and bars. There are also some excellent museum and a world-class aquarium.Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has an office on Magnetic Island, but Townsville Enterprise's information kiosks in Flinders Square and the Museum of Tropical Queensland (MTQ), on the mainland, are the best sources of visitor info about the island.
Day 12 — Airlie Beach
Day 13 — At Sea
Day 14 — Moreton Island, Queensland
Day 15 — At Sea
Day 16 to 17 — Sydney, New South Wales
Sydney Opera House and Skyline

Sydney Opera House and Skyline

Sydney belongs to the exclusive club of cities that generate excitement. At the end of a marathon flight there's renewed vitality in the cabin as the plane circles the city, where thousands of yachts are suspended on the dark water and the sails of the Opera House glisten in the distance. Blessed with dazzling beaches and a sunny climate, Sydney is among the most beautiful cities on the planet.With 4.6 million people, Sydney is the biggest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia. A wave of immigration from the 1950s has seen the Anglo-Irish immigrants who made up the city's original population joined by Italians, Greeks, Turks, Lebanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thais, and Indonesians. This intermingling has created a cultural vibrancy and energy—and a culinary repertoire—that was missing only a generation ago.Sydneysiders embrace their harbor with a passion. Indented with numerous bays and beaches, Sydney Harbour is the presiding icon for the city, and urban Australia. Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the 11-ship First Fleet, wrote in his diary when he first set eyes on the harbor on January 26, 1788: "We had the satisfaction of finding the finest harbor in the world."Although a visit to Sydney is an essential part of an Australian experience, the city is no more representative of Australia than Los Angeles is of the United States. Sydney has joined the ranks of the great cities whose characters are essentially international. What Sydney offers is style, sophistication, and great looks—an exhilarating prelude to the continent at its back door.
Day 18 — At Sea
Day 19 — Phillip Island, Victoria
Your first sight of Phillip Island's prize asset - its parade of adorable penguins skipping across the sand - will be just one of many unforgettable experiences from your time on this stunning island. Located just to the south of cultured Melbourne, the southern ocean’s rollers have hewn a rugged, dramatic shoreline here, and you’ll be itching to explore as soon as you lay eyes upon it.
Day 20 — Melbourne, Victoria
Melbourne

Melbourne

Consistently rated among the "world's most livable cities" in quality-of-life surveys, Melbourne is built on a coastal plain at the top of the giant horseshoe of Port Phillip Bay. The city center is an orderly grid of streets where the state parliament, banks, multinational corporations, and splendid Victorian buildings that sprang up in the wake of the gold rush now stand. This is Melbourne's heart, which you can explore at a leisurely pace in a couple of days.In Southbank, one of the newer precincts south of the city center, the Southgate development of bars, restaurants, and shops has refocused Melbourne's vision on the Yarra River. Once a blighted stretch of factories and run-down warehouses, the southern bank of the river is now a vibrant, exciting part of the city, and the river itself is finally taking its rightful place in Melbourne's psyche.Just a hop away, Federation Square—with its host of galleries—has become a civic landmark for Melburnians. Stroll along the Esplanade in the suburb of St. Kilda, amble past the elegant houses of East Melbourne, enjoy the shops and cafés in Fitzroy or Carlton, rub shoulders with locals at the Victoria Market, nip into the Windsor for afternoon tea, or rent a canoe at Studley Park to paddle along one of the prettiest stretches of the Yarra—and you may discover Melbourne's soul as well as its heart.
Day 21 to 23 — At Sea
Day 24 — Milford Sound
New Zealand fiord country along with Fiordland National Park is one of New Zealand's premier attractions. Incredibly beautiful, wild and remote, the region is an intriguing combination of rugged mountain ranges, dense rainforest, solitary alpine lakes, sparkling rivers and splashing waterfalls. Much of Fiordland is virtually unexplored wilderness and still the habitat of rare birds. As the ship cruises the beautiful Doubtful, Dusky and Milford Sounds, experience the majestic fiordland of South Island's western coast. Captain James Cook sailed along this coast in 1770 and again in 1773, when he anchored at Dusky Sound for a rest and ship repair. Doubtful Sound is one of the region's most majestic fiords. It is ten times larger than Milford Sound. As the ship cruises into Hall Arm, gaze at vertical cliffs and mighty waterfalls plunging over sheer rock faces. In fine weather, mountains and greenery are reflected in the protected waters of the fiord. Farther north lies Milford Sound. Far from any populated area, Milford Sound is famous for its grandeur and spectacular beauty. It is perhaps the best example of New Zealand's renowned classic landscape of steep granite peaks framing glacier-carved inlets with mirrored reflections on dark waters. Dominating the scene is Milford's landmark, the triangular pinnacle of Mitre Peak. Along the sheer cliffs, several waterfalls tumble more than 500 feet (154 metres) into the sheltered Sound. Only a few moored boats and a scattering of buildings at the head of the Sound break the unity of mountains, forest and water. This spectacular beauty and unspoiled setting is yours to enjoy as the ship cruises Milford Sound.
Day 25 — Oban, Stewart Island
The harbor front of the city of Oban on the westcoast of Scotland

The harbor front of the city of Oban on the westcoast of Scotland

Stewart Island is home to New Zealand's newest national park, Rakiura National Park. The third and most southerly of New Zealand's main islands, Stewart Island is separated from the South Island by the 24-km (15-miles) Foveaux Strait. Its original Māori name, Te Punga O Te Waka a Maui, means "the anchor stone of Maui's canoe." Māori mythology says the island's landmass held the god Maui's canoe secure while he and his crew raised the great fish—the North Island. Today the island is more commonly referred to by its other Māori name, Rakiura, which means "the land of the glowing skies." This refers to the spectacular sunrises and sunsets and to the southern lights, or aurora australis. The European name of Stewart Island dates back to 1809. It memorializes an officer William W. Stewart on an early sealing vessel, the Pegasus, who was the first to chart the island. The island covers some 1,700 square km (650 square miles). It measures about 75 km (46 miles) from north to south and about the same distance across at its widest point. On the coastline, sharp cliffs rise from a succession of sheltered bays and beaches. In the interior, forested hills rise gradually toward the west side of the island. Seals and penguins frequent the coast, and the island's prolific birdlife includes a number of species rarely seen in any other part of the country. In fact, this is the surest place to see a kiwi. The Stewart Island brown kiwi, or tokoeka, is the largest species of this kind of bird. Unlike their mainland cousins, these kiwis can be seen during the day as well as at night. It's a rare and amusing experience to watch these pear-shape birds scampering on a remote beach as they feed on sand hoppers and grubs. Māori have visited Stewart Island for centuries. Archaeologists' studies of 13th-century Māori middens (refuse heaps) indicate that the island was once a rich, seasonal resource for hunting, fishing, and gathering seafood. A commonly eaten delicacy at that time, the titi, also known as the muttonbird, still occasionally appears on menus. In the early 19th century, explorers, sealers, missionaries, and miners settled the island. They were followed by fishermen and sawmillers who established settlements around the edges of Paterson Inlet and Halfmoon and Horseshoe bays. In the 1920s Norwegians set up a whaling enterprise, and many descendants of these seafaring people remain. Fishing, aquaculture, and tourism are now the mainstays of the island's economy. Even by New Zealand standards, Stewart Island is remote, raw, and untouched. The appeal is its seclusion, its relaxed way of life, and its untouched quality. Stewart Island is not for everyone: if you must have shopping malls, casinos, or umbrella drinks on the beach, don't come here. Visitors should be prepared for the fact that Stewart Island can be chilly, windy, and rainy, even in the middle of summer.
Day 26 — Port Chalmers
European whaling ships first called at Otago Province during the early decades of the 1800s, yielding a mixed response from the native Māori. In 1848 Dunedin was settled, and by the mid-1860s the city was the economic hub of the Otago gold rush. Dunedin's historical wealth endures in such institutions as the University of Otago, the oldest in the country. But if any region can bring out the bird-watcher in you, this is it; the area is home to the Royal Albatross and yellow-eyed penguins.
Day 27 — Timaru
Situated almost equidistant between Christchurch and Dunedin, Timaru has oft been overlooked by those just needing to get from one city to another but more fool them! The town’s name comes from the Māori name Te Maru, meaning ‘place of shelter’ and the pretty town reveals not only stunning Middle Earth landscape and views to write home about, but an intact Victorian / Edwardian shopping precinct with many of the building being built in local volcanic bluestone. Understandably, beach life is very important here and the long ribbons of white sandy beaches and clean seas are perfect for a swimming, sunning and spoiling yourself! Voted one of New Zealand’s top 10 most loved beaches, Caroline Bay is simply a treasure. Built on the rolling hills created from the lava flows of the extinct Mt Horrible volcano, Timaru is a melting pot of culture, history, adventure and dramatic scenery. Art lovers too will not be left wanting as the city’s art gallery holds the third largest public art collection in the South Island. Walking enthusiasts will not want to miss one of the many walks along the coast or rivers that vary from short paved paths – ideal for pushchairs and wheelchairs to longer, more strenuous hikes. Well signposted and maintained, these tracks are especially beautiful in the autumn when the leaves are turning colour. And do not forget to be on the lookout for penguins, which will happily waddle alongside you some of the way!
Day 28 — Kaikoura
The cape in Ohau Point Seal Colony, Kaikoura, New Zealand

The cape in Ohau Point Seal Colony, Kaikoura, New Zealand

Day 29 — Picton
The maritime township of Picton (population 4,000) lies at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound and is the arrival point for ferries from the North Island, as well as a growing number of international cruise ships. It plays a major role in providing services and transport by water taxi to a multitude of remote communities in the vast area of islands, peninsulas, and waterways that make up the Marlborough Sounds Maritime Park. There's plenty to do in town, with crafts markets in summer, historical sights to see, and walking tracks to scenic lookouts over the sounds. The main foreshore is lined by London Quay, which looks up Queen Charlotte Sound to the bays beyond. High Street runs down to London Quay from the hills, and between them these two streets make up the center of town.
Day 30 — Wellington
Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington, New Zealand

New Zealand's capital is, arguably, the country's most cosmopolitan metropolis. It's world-class Te Papa Tongarewa-Museum of New Zealand is a don't-miss attraction, and the burgeoning film industry led, of course, by the Lord of the Rings extravaganzas has injected new life into the local arts scene. Attractive and compact enough to be explored easily on foot, Wellington is a booming destination. Modern high-rise buildings gaze over Port Nicholson, surely one of the finest natural anchorages in the world. Known to local Māori as The Great Harbor of Tara, its two massive arms form the jaws of the fish of Maui from Māori legend. Sometimes referred to as the windy city, Wellington has been the seat of New Zealand's government since 1865.
Day 31 — At Sea
Day 32 — Waiheke Island
Day 33 — Auckland
Auckland Skyline

Auckland Skyline

Auckland is called the City of Sails, and visitors flying in will see why. On the East Coast is the Waitemata Harbour—a Māori word meaning sparkling waters—which is bordered by the Hauraki Gulf, an aquatic playground peppered with small islands where many Aucklanders can be found "mucking around in boats."Not surprisingly, Auckland has some 70,000 boats. About one in four households in Auckland has a seacraft of some kind, and there are 102 beaches within an hour's drive; during the week many are quite empty. Even the airport is by the water; it borders the Manukau Harbour, which also takes its name from the Māori language and means solitary bird.According to Māori tradition, the Auckland isthmus was originally peopled by a race of giants and fairy folk. When Europeans arrived in the early 19th century, however, the Ngāti-Whātua tribe was firmly in control of the region. The British began negotiations with the Ngāti-Whātua in 1840 to purchase the isthmus and establish the colony's first capital. In September of that year the British flag was hoisted to mark the township's foundation, and Auckland remained the capital until 1865, when the seat of government was moved to Wellington. Aucklanders expected to suffer from the shift; it hurt their pride but not their pockets. As the terminal for the South Sea shipping routes, Auckland was already an established commercial center. Since then the urban sprawl has made this city of approximately 1.3 million people one of the world's largest geographically.A couple of days in the city will reveal just how developed and sophisticated Auckland is—the Mercer City Survey 2012 saw it ranked as the third-highest city for quality of life—though those seeking a New York in the South Pacific will be disappointed. Auckland is more get-up and go-outside than get-dressed-up and go-out. That said, most shops are open daily, central bars and a few nightclubs buzz well into the wee hours, especially Thursday through Saturday, and a mix of Māori, Pacific people, Asians, and Europeans contributes to the cultural milieu. Auckland has the world's largest single population of Pacific Islanders living outside their home countries, though many of them live outside the central parts of the city and in Manukau to the south. The Samoan language is the second most spoken in New Zealand. Most Pacific people came to New Zealand seeking a better life. When the plentiful, low-skilled work that attracted them dried up, the dream soured, and the population has suffered with poor health and education. Luckily, policies are now addressing that, and change is slowly coming. The Pacifica Festival in March is the region's biggest cultural event, attracting thousands to Western Springs. The annual Pacific Island Secondary Schools’ Competition, also in March, sees young Pacific Islander and Asian students compete in traditional dance, drumming, and singing. This event is open to the public.At the geographical center of Auckland city is the 1,082-foot Sky Tower, a convenient landmark for those exploring on foot and some say a visible sign of the city's naked aspiration. It has earned nicknames like the Needle and the Big Penis—a counterpoint to a poem by acclaimed New Zealand poet James K. Baxter, which refers to Rangitoto Island as a clitoris in the harbor.The Waitemata Harbour has become better known since New Zealand staged its first defense of the America's Cup in 2000 and the successful Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in early 2009. The first regatta saw major redevelopment of the waterfront. The area, where many of the city's most popular bars, cafés, and restaurants are located, is now known as Viaduct Basin or, more commonly, the Viaduct. A recent expansion has created another area, Wynyard Quarter, which is slowly adding restaurants.These days, Auckland is still considered too bold and brash for its own good by many Kiwis who live "south of the Bombay Hills," the geographical divide between Auckland and the rest of New Zealand (barring Northland). "Jafa," an acronym for "just another f—ing Aucklander," has entered the local lexicon; there's even a book out called Way of the Jafa: A Guide to Surviving Auckland and Aucklanders. A common complaint is that Auckland absorbs the wealth from the hard work of the rest of the country. Most Aucklanders, on the other hand, still try to shrug and see it as the parochial envy of those who live in small towns. But these internal identity squabbles aren't your problem. You can enjoy a well-made coffee in almost any café, or take a walk on a beach—knowing that within 30 minutes' driving time you could be cruising the spectacular harbor, playing a round at a public golf course, or even walking in subtropical forest while listening to the song of a native tûî bird.

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