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Cruising Down Under: Australia and New Zealand | SkyMed Travel

Sydney Opera House

So, you want to travel down under, but where to? Australia? New Zealand? They both look amazing, and if you’re going to go that far already, lucky for you, you don’t have to choose when you cruise—and Celebrity Cruises has just the ticket!

For 11 nights in March 2023, the Celebrity Eclipse will take you to six ports with four days at sea, showing you the very best of both Australia and New Zealand and, in case that’s not enough, there are post-cruise multi-day adventures you can add on (more on that below)!

Arrive in fabulous Sydney, Australia, home to the stunning Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. This iconic city is not only the country’s oldest city but also one of the most ethnically diverse cities globally, with many cultural opportunities, museums, and cuisines. A visit to Sydney has a cosmopolitan edge, for sure, but you’re never far from nature: national parks, zoos, beaches and more, not to mention wildlife tours, including whale watching. Just FYI: the cruise begins and ends in Sydney, so there’s no reason not to take full advantage of that.

Two days at sea follow, giving you a chance to explore the ship. Lounge by the pool, indulge in a massage, explore the restaurants, gaze out over the ocean with a cocktail in hand at the Sky Lounge, try your hand at archery, take a yoga class at the fitness studio, bet a few dollars at the casino or become a kid again at the video arcade—on the Celebrity Eclipse you’ll never be at a loss as to what to do and, if you’re traveling with family, you’ll never hear the dreaded “I’m bored!”

Prepare to be wowed as you sail into New Zealand: this is, after all, Lord of the Rings territory. Three days mean three sounds: Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, and Dusky Sound—each more spectacular than the last. Milford Sound is all about fjords and towering mountains covered in lush green: the ship sails into the Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage Site that’s a sight to behold. Doubtful Sound is home to fur seals and two kinds of penguins that frolic in its unique marine ecosystem, a combination of fresh and saltwater. Day three is Dusky Sound, a wildlife paradise of seals, dolphins, and seabirds wheeling over the cliffs.

Cruising Down Under: Australia and New Zealand | SkyMed Travel

Doubtful Sound, New Zealand.

A day in Dunedin, New Zealand, follows the wildness of the fjords: this is a proper city reminiscent of Edinburgh, with stately architecture and fun neighborhoods just waiting to be walked: breweries, galleries, shops, restaurants, bars—take your pick. Or, take a tour outside the city limits: pick a train excursion past old gold-mining sites or head to 19th-century Larnach Castle for a day of history and all its tragedy and intrigue—plus highland dancers and bagpipers.

The following day you’ll wake up in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Spend the day walking along the bay, popping in and out of cafés, bars, and ice cream shops; drive to Wellington Zoo; or check out the Zealandia ecosanctuary. But the real showstopper is Miramar Peninsula—this is Middle Earth territory, so prepare to be completely wowed. The biggest treat is a visit to Weta Workshop, the design and effects facility for “Blade Runner 2049,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Man of Steel,” several Hobbit movies, and much more. After getting your fill of films, head back to the city for a fantastic afternoon of food and drink—of just about anything your palate desires, especially craft beer.

Christchurch is up next. The largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, expect a mix of cutting-edge architecture and historical buildings, a perfect base of operations for exploration beyond. Art, culture, heritage, and adventure are here for the taking.

Cruising Down Under: Australia and New Zealand | SkyMed Travel

Napier, New Zealand.

Day 8 is Napier, New Zealand, a seaside town filled with a fantastic amount of Art Deco architecture and some outstanding wineries—think wine tasting of some of Hawke’s Bay’s most refined. This is a town begging to be walked, with a delightful array of cafés, restaurants, and shops waiting to be explored. Prefer the great outdoors? Tour Cape Kidnappers, explore sheep farms or head to the top of the mountain. By the following day, you’ll be in Picton in Queen Charlotte Sound: award-winning restaurants, art galleries, and adventure hikes galore. Prepare for waterfalls, unending views, and lots of wildlife.

The following two days at sea are perfect for recharging your batteries! Remember the post-tours we mentioned at the beginning? This is when you’ll want to talk to your SkyMed Travel Advisor. There are hop-on hop-off bus tours of Sydney (which you can even take during the day of your flight if you choose to leave), The Ulu-Ring Red Center multi-day adventure to the indigenous heart of Australia, a four-day tour to The Australian Tropics to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, an immersion in the indigenous Aboriginal culture at Sydney Harbor. There’s so much to choose from!

Not sure if you need a Travel Advisor? A SkyMed Travel Advisor can sit with you and help you pick the best post-tour for you and your travel companions based on your likes and schedule. Let’s add you’ll get the best value and the lowest prices—sometimes hundreds of dollars off the published rates. And, as the pandemic demonstrated, there is nothing that replaces having a travel advocate on your side in case issues pop up—and they will—before, during, or after your trip. All at no extra cost to you. Win-win! Call today at 800-568-8994.

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