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From the South Island and its mountainous terrain to the North Island with its volcanoes and subtropical forest, New Zealand is home to breathtaking nature. Discover the land during a hike, learn about its culture through the history of the M?ori people, marvel at its majestic landscapes and admire its most emblematic animals: PONANT invites you to explore this insular country through unforgettable experiences. During a 16-day cruise aboard Le Soléal, lose yourself in the mysteries of the place known as 'the gateway to Antarctica'.
Throughout your journey, you will benefit from an excursion included per person per port of call, to choose from a selection offered by PONANT. On this itinerary, take a whale watching cruise departing from Kaikoura, dive into M?ori traditions during an unforgettable activity in Napier or, from Tauranga, explore the extraordinary site of Rotorua, home to volcanic and geothermal attractions. The diversity of experiences on offer promises you intense and varied moments (to discover the full range of excursions, go to the itinerary tab).
From Dunedin, 'the Edinburgh of the South', Le Soléal will head southwestward to reach the magnificent Fiordland National Park. This park is an integral part of Te Wahipounamu, an area granted World Heritage status by UNESCO. Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound: you will discover these fjords shaped by successive glaciations, bordered by majestic cliffs.
In Oban too, Scottish influences remain visible. As the only settlement on Stewart Island, the smallest and southernmost of the three main islands of New Zealand, Oban owes its Gaelic name to the eponymous Scottish town. At this new and unique port of call, take a bird watching cruise, hike along the picturesque trails, or visit the town.
It is now time to sail northward to reach the shores of Akaroa. In this bay formed by an old, flooded volcano crater, the unique mix of the M?ori, French and European cultures offers a different experience.
You will then sail to the rocky peninsula of Kaikoura to admire New Zealand's rich biodiversity.
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is the next stop on your journey. You will have the opportunity to learn more about the M?ori people during a visit to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
When your ship calls at Picton, you will discover the Marlborough region, famous for its vineyards and its submerged valleys.
On the east coast of North Island, Napier unfolds before you, revealing its treasures in a uniquearchitectural style where the sleek lines of Art Deco buildings mingle with traditional M?ori patterns.
Soon, Tauranga will welcome you and open the doors to the many treasures of Rotorua: volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, rivers and gorges, and lakes ranging in colour from deep blue to bright orange.
On Waiheke Island, opposite Auckland, you will be enchanted not only by the authentic villages nestled at the heart of vineyards but also by the attractive coastline that forms heavenly beaches.
In the far north of New Zealand, succumb to the charm of the Bay of Islands, where you will have the opportunity to attend a M?ori ceremony.
Your cruise will end in Auckland. This New Zealand city bordered by two seas will surprise you with its modernity and its cosmopolitan atmosphere.