Seeing your own country from the sea is a whole different experience from driving through it. The slow approach to a port, the light on the water, the panoramic views, give a new perspective. That's why we loved the cruise we went on a couple of months ago - with Holland America Line around New Zealand. It certainly gave me a renewed appreciation for the beauty of my homeland, especially when hearing the admiring comments of people from overseas who had never been to New Zealand before. The 14 day cruise was called New Zealand and Australia, departing from Auckland and finishing in Sydney. The ship was the 'Volendam', one of Holland America's elegant, mid-size cruise ships. The itinerary featured scenic cruising around three of New Zealand's most beautiful areas: the Bay of Plenty, the Marlborough Sounds, and the wonderful wilderness of Fiordland.
We visited seven ports of call in New Zealand: Auckland, Tauranga, Gisborne, Wellington, Picton, Akaroa and Port Chalmers for Dunedin. From there, the cruise crossed the Tasman Sea to visit three Australian ports of call - Burnie in Tasmania, Melbourne and Sydney.
It was a wonderful cruise, one I would recommend to anyone. The blue skies, sunshine and calm seas all the way were a definite bonus!