South Island Explorer Expedition Cruise

Includes all shore excursions and sightseeing

Last Cabin Remaining | Hotel stays in Queenstown and Wellington

Get the full experience...

Experience the wonders of New Zealand’s South Island during this unique coastal adventure, paired with hotel stays in Queenstown and Wellington. 

Explore New Zealand from a very different perspective during this unforgettable expedition cruise on board the 2019-launched Coral Adventurer. This remarkable vessel was built specially to venture into untouched destinations, bringing small numbers of like-minded guests closer to nature and fascinating cultures.

Begin your holiday with a one-night hotel stay in magical Queenstown, gateway to New Zealand’s Fiordland. You’ll then transfer to Milford Sound to board the 120-passenger ship that will whisk you away from the tourist trails and offers access to remote and pristine wilderness areas, stunning coastal landscapes and small seaside towns. You’ll begin your South Island expedition discovering the country’s wealth of stunning natural landscapes, majestic wildlife and charming cities.

Savour a scenic cruise through the beguiling Fiordland’s enchanting Sounds. Glide along, drinking in the mesmerising scenery of lofty forest-clad mountains beautifully reflected in the glossy emerald waters. Next, the alluring oasis of Stewart Island awaits. Escape into the rainforest wilderness of Ulva Island during a guided walk and relish a catamaran cruise at dusk. Savour a series of tours in Dunedin and Akaroa, exploring beautiful landscapes and historical treasures.

Drink in the captivating sights of Marlborough Sounds following a call in Kaikoura - known for its abundance of wildlife. Here you’ll witness the majestic views of sperm whales cresting the sapphire waters. You’ll disembark your cruise in Wellington, where you’ll bring your holiday to a close with a hotel stay in the cultural capital of New Zealand. Savour some of the city’s celebrated craft beers, explore the wealth of fascinating museums and enjoy a ride on the iconic cable car to admire spectacular views from the top.

Package Includes

All flights, taxes & transfers

Expedition Cruise

  • 8 night South Island expedition cruise on board Coral Adventurer
  • All meals and selected wines, beers, juice and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • All excursions and sightseeing
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and Kayaks
  • Daily lectures and briefings
  • All entrance fees to National Parks and ports
  • Covid SailSAFE Plan

Expedition Highlights

  • Experience the grandeur and remote beauty of Fiordland National Park
  • Kayak and bush-walk in National Parks less accessible by land
  • Visit remote Stewart Island, home to vast numbers of iconic native birds and wildlife
  • Spend two days exploring the more inaccessible and spectacular areas of Marlborough Sounds
  • Explore some of the beautiful and historic east coast cities such as Dunedin
  • Get close to marine wildlife on a whale-watching cruise to view the giant Sperm Whale in its natural environment

Hotel Stays

  • 1 night four-star hotel stay at the Crowne Plaza Queenstown with breakfast
  • 1 night four-star hotel stay at the Novotel Wellington with breakfast

At a glance

10 nights
Departing 18 Jan 23
All flights and taxes

Prices from

Promenade Deck
$8,999 pp
Price based on 18 Jan 2023 departure

Here to help

Call to book:

(09) 941 2549

Holiday code:


Opening hours:

Mon to Fri: 10am - 8pm | Sat & Sun: 11am - 7pm

Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park is the pinnacle of New Zealand’s natural wonders and offers you a spectacular welcome to this beautiful country. Situated on the southwest coast of the South Island, this enchanting landscape is peppered with towering spires of rock, like the formidable Mitre Peak, and waterfall-streaked sheer cliff faces.

Your Itinerary

DAY 1 | 18 Jan 2023
Queenstown - Hotel Stay

Begin your South Island adventure by flying to majestic Queenstown and transferring to your hotel. Poised on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, and set against the impressive Southern Alps, Queenstown is renowned for adventure sports, lush vineyards and historic mining towns. For those who seek adventure, explore the surrounding area during a jet boat ride. Culture lovers can embark on a wine tour or pay a visit to the picturesque Queenstown Gardens, home to a variety of native and exotic flora.

Coral Adventurer (1).jpg
DAY 2 | 19 Jan 2023
Queenstown - Embark Coral Adventurer

Today you’ll embark Coral Adventurer, an upmarket Australian small ship purpose-built for expedition cruising and featuring an array of modern facilities and elegant décor throughout. Raise a glass to your adventure in the Explorer Bar on the sundeck – perfect for drinks over the views of the setting sun, lose yourself in fascinating topics from the onboard library and savour an after-dinner walk around the promenade deck, drinking in the panoramic views. With a capacity for 120 passengers, this ship boasts luxurious public spaces to unwind in whilst offering personal attention to detail and professional Australian service.

A classic picture of the famous Milford Sound in New Zealand.
DAY 3 - 4 | 20 - 21 Jan 2023
Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound, Milford Sound (Scenic Cruising)

You’ll cruise through spectacular natural fjords in South West New Zealand, where mountain peaks are reflected in mirror-smooth waters. In this important wildlife habitat, you could spot a Little Blue penguin or two, as well as resident fur seals and playful dolphins, as you sail past breathtaking scenery where waterfalls plummet down sheer cliffs into still, deep waters. This unspoilt and rugged landscape will captivate even the most experienced traveller.

DAY 5 | 22 Jan 2023
Stewart Island

Enjoy a slower pace of life on the paradise island of Stewart Island. A destination in rhythm with the sea and balanced with the natural beauty of bush and beaches. Escape into the wilderness of Ulva Island where you’ll savour a guided walk through the lush forest. You’ll then explore Oban and the surrounding bays. This evening, you’ll embark a catamaran for a cruise to Little Glory Cove. Savour a walk through the native forest, guided by magical star light, to Ocean Beach. Here you’ll get to see the Southern brown kiwi searching for food.

Old university campus building surrounded by winter trees under a vibrant multicoloured cloudy sky
DAY 6 | 23 Jan 2023

Begin your day with a historic tour, which will introduce you to a city blessed with scenery and a rich history. Visit Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world, witness views from the Signal Hill lookout and admire Dunedin Railway Station, the most photographed building in the southern hemisphere. Next, relish a city and Otago Peninsula tour. Head through scenic inlets where you’ll spot a variety of penguins and fur seals and wander the beautiful gardens of Larnach Castle. Bring your day to a close with a rail journey through the spectacular Taieri Gorge.

DAY 7 | 24 Jan 2023
Akaroa (Christchurch)

Set against a stunning backdrop of green hills and rolling countryside, Akaroa a beautiful location. Begin your day exploring the region’s beautiful Paua Bay Hill Country Farm, where you’ll be introduced to the unique environment, the farm and its family. From here, you’ll embark on a discovery tour of Akaroa’s beautiful landscapes. Stop at the Hilltop Tavern for panoramic views, delve into the delights of Little River and indulge in cheese tastings. Your day ends with an unforgettable experience swimming with the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin in the beautiful sheltered setting of Akaroa Harbour.

DAY 8 | 25 Jan 2023

A small coastal town on New Zealand’s South Island, Kaikoura is known for its abundance of wildlife and its sperm whale population. Spend time in captivating landscapes and savour unforgettable experiences with the region’s majestic wildlife. Embark on a specially designed, high-speed watercraft to seek out the astounding views of whales in their natural habitat, gently cresting waves. Back on dry land, you’ll enjoy an overview tour of this enchanting destination. Highlights include the beguiling view from the Kaikoura Peninsula Lookout area, the seal colony at Point Keen, Fyffe House – Kaikoura’s oldest surviving building, and the Lavender Farm.

DAY 9 | 26 Jan 2023
Marlborough Sounds (Scenic Cruising)

The stunning Marlborough Sounds area can be accessed by boats and offers fishing trips and picturesque secluded bays. Queen Charlotte Sound is ideal for water sports including kayaking, diving, hiking, cycling, fishing or just taking a scenic trip and admiring some of New Zealand’s most incredible natural areas. A boat trip around the picturesque harbour offers the opportunity to swim with dolphins.

DAY 10 | 27 Jan 2023
Wellington - Disembark Coral Adventurer & Hotel Stay

Today you’ll disembark Coral Adventurer and transfer to your Wellington hotel.  Curving protectively around its harbour with a white lighthouse guarding the bay in the distance, New Zealand’s compact capital is a charming city to visit. Head to one of its many museums and art galleries, sample some of the city’s celebrated craft beers or embark on the historical Wellington Cable Car, an attraction widely recognised as a symbol of the city. Taking five minutes to reach the top, you’ll roll through the landscapes and capture fantastic views of the ocean and sprawling city below.

DAY 11 | 28 Jan 2023
Wellington - Fly Home

Your epic expedition complete, today you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Welcome aboard the Coral Adventurer

Prepare for the adventure of a lifetime on board Coral Adventurer, a tropical expedition ship purpose-designed to access remote wilderness shores in Australia and internationally. Launched in 2019, Coral Adventurer reaches destinations that are often inaccessible to large cruise vessels.

Coral Adventurer features spacious and vibrant living spaces created by Brisbane interior design firm, Arkhefield, inspired by the company’s Australian ethos and the wide-open spaces the ship visits. The ship’s lightweight dual Xplorer expedition tenders, another trademark feature of all Coral Expeditions vessels, extend the capabilities of the ship by allowing deeper exploration on shore excursions.

SailSAFE Plan is Coral Expeditions priority to keep their guests and crew safe while travelling. Partnered with Respond Global, a specialist medical advisory agency, to assist in developing these protocols that are among the most thorough in the world. With a focus on prevention, to target a 100% COVID free environment when we set sail, they have a three-tiered medical screening system in place before boarding.

SailSAFE Plan is Coral Expeditions priority to keep their guests and crew safe while travelling. Partnered with Respond Global, a specialist medical advisory agency, to assist in developing these protocols that are among the most thorough in the world. With a focus on prevention, to target a 100% COVID free environment when we set sail, they have a three-tiered medical screening system in place before boarding.

Lecture Lounge

Soak up a wealth of knowledge in the lecture lounge where you’ll enjoy daily expedition briefings and expert presentations.


Savour single seating dining with a communal table which serves buffet breakfast and lunch, and multi-course table d’hote dinners and a communal ‘wine table’

Open Bridge

Discover the navigator lounge for the vantage point of ship operations. Or embark on an engine room tour and enjoy the high level of interaction from the crew.

Prices & Departures

  All flights included
regional flights available at a supplement
Departing 18 January 2023
Promenade Deck
Promenade Deck $8,999
Departing 18 January 2023
Promenade Deck
Promenade Deck $8,999
Departing 18 January 2023
Promenade Deck
Promenade Deck $8,999

CALL TO BOOK: (09) 941 2549