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19 Night New Zealand and the Subantarctic Islands Cruise and Land Tour from Auckland

Ship: National Geographic Orion
Cruise Line: Lindblad Expeditions
Sailed:  Wednesday, Dec 20, 2023 from Auckland, New Zealand
Ended: Monday, Jan 8, 2024
The itinerary information below reflects the original day-by-day port of call schedule for the Wednesday, Dec 20, 2023 departure of the National Geographic Orion. If Lindblad Expeditions modified this itinerary for weather or operational reasons after departing , the modified schedule would not be reflected here.
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Day by Day Summary and Map

Day 1 - Wednesday - Dec 20, 2023
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand      
Depart on an overnight flight, cross the International Dateline, and arrive in Auckland, where we check in to our hotel. Join us for a welcome briefing this evening to meet your fellow travelers.
Day 2 - Thursday - Dec 21, 2023
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand      
Air Travel      
Dunedin, New Zealand      
Cruise Begins      
Dunedin, New Zealand      
Have breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport for a flight to Dunedin. Spend the day touring before embarking National Geographic Orion in the late afternoon. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - Friday - Dec 22, 2023
Stewart Island, New Zealand
Stewart Island, New Zealand      
Day 4 - Saturday - Dec 23, 2023
At Sea
At Sea      
Stewart Island, known in Maori as Te Punga o Te Waka a Maui, is positioned firmly at the heart of Maori mythology. Today, we'll explore the island's rare native birdlife as well as it's well preserved podocarp forest. In the afternoon, discover Stewart Island's nearby neighbor, Ulva Island, where we'll hike with naturalists to discover its unspoiled rainforest. Enjoy a day at sea getting to know your fellow travelers as we scout for local wildlife and attend briefings and lectures from our staff. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - Sunday - Dec 24, 2023
Campbell Island, New Zealand      
Day 6 - Monday - Dec 25, 2023
At Sea
At Sea      
A large island, surrounded by four smaller islands and innumerable rocks and islets, the Campbell Island group is officially the southernmost territory of New Zealand. Covered with endemic grasses and thick vegetation and boasting steep terrain, Campbell is dramatic and beautiful. Here we will find six species of albatross, an endemic duck (Campbell Island teal), and an endemic snipe, as well as numerous songbirds and sea birds who breed on the island. Three species of penguin also make their home on here. Relax as we spend the following day sailing to our next stop.
Day 7 - Tuesday - Dec 26, 2023
Macquarie Island, Australia      
We will spend two days at remote Macquarie Island, a protectorate of Australia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Macquarie is home to a large variety of wildlife, including thousands of seals and millions of penguins. Four species of penguin breed here. The endemic royal penguin has a population estimated at 850,000. Gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins also breed here. And imagine landing on a single beach with 100,000 pairs of king penguins, the third-largest such colony in the world! Our time at sea between islands presents an opportunity to head up to the bridge to watch the calm business of navigation. Or spend these days enjoying the ship's spa, and fitness center. Take some time to browse the library or play a board game in the glass-enclosed observation lounge. And listen to a variety of engaging talks from the staff, including photo talks. (B,L,D)
Day 8 - Wednesday - Dec 27, 2023
Macquarie Island, Australia      
Day 9 - Thursday - Dec 28, 2023
At Sea
At Sea      
We will spend two days at remote Macquarie Island, a protectorate of Australia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Macquarie is home to a large variety of wildlife, including thousands of seals and millions of penguins. Four species of penguin breed here. The endemic royal penguin has a population estimated at 850,000. Gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins also breed here. And imagine landing on a single beach with 100,000 pairs of king penguins, the third-largest such colony in the world! Our time at sea between islands presents an opportunity to head up to the bridge to watch the calm business of navigation. Or spend these days enjoying the ship's spa, and fitness center. Take some time to browse the library or play a board game in the glass-enclosed observation lounge. And listen to a variety of engaging talks from the staff, including photo talks. (B,L,D)
Day 10 - Friday - Dec 29, 2023
Auckland Islands, New Zealand
Auckland Islands, New Zealand      
Spend the next several incredible days discovering New Zealand and Australia's sub-Antarctic islands and their surrounding waters-the entire marine landscape designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We have special permission to explore these strictly regulated islands, which are protected at the highest level of conservation status by the New Zealand government, and considered "bird central" among top ornithologists around the world. Keeping a flexible weather-dependent schedule, we plan to explore several intriguing islands. Located south of the New Zealand mainland in the remote Southern Ocean, today we begin our exploration of the wild and beautiful sub-Antarctic islands. These remote islands play host to abundant and unique wildlife, with many species of birds, plants and invertebrates found nowhere else in the world. The Auckland Islands are the largest of New Zealand's sub-Antarctic islands, with the richest flora, prolific birdlife, and an interesting human history. If we are fortunate, we may see rare yellow-eyed penguins as they move to and from their nests in the forests beyond the beach. (B,L,D)
Day 11 - Saturday - Dec 30, 2023
Snares Islands, New Zealand      
Two small rocky islands, North East and Broughton, comprise the Snares, the closest sub-Antarctic islands to New Zealand. The islands are covered with heavy tussock grass and wind-beaten forests of tree daisies. The Snares are home to huge numbers of breeding birds: the 99 recorded species include albatross, Antarctic terns, and Snares crested penguins. (B,L,D)
Day 12 - Sunday - Dec 31, 2023
Dusky Sound, New Zealand
Dusky Sound, New Zealand      
Day 13 - Monday - Jan 1, 2024
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Milford Sound, New Zealand      
Day 14 - Tuesday - Jan 2, 2024
At Sea
At Sea      
Over the course of two days we will explore Fiordland National Park, home to fourteen individual fiords. Here we'll discover hundreds-meter-high waterfalls and snowcapped peaks. Enjoy views of New Zealand's southern island as we spend a day cruising to our next stop. (B,L,D)
Day 15 - Wednesday - Jan 3, 2024
Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand
Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand      
Explore this beautiful island where golden beaches and dense rainforests border the snow-capped Southern Alps. By special permission from the Department of Conservation, visit either Abel Tasman National Park or Marlborough Sounds. Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand's smallest national park, is renowned for its golden sand beaches and rugged granite cliffs that kiss the shoreline. Alternatively, discover the stunning, sea-drowned valleys of Marlborough Sounds. Explore either on hikes and walks with the onboard naturalists or just by relaxing at the beach. (B,L,D)
Day 16 - Thursday - Jan 4, 2024
Napier, New Zealand
Napier, New Zealand      
Spend the morning getting to know Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand. Choose to discover the city's unique architecture on an art tour, or leave the city behind and join a Gannet Safari Tour where we'll have close encounters at a large Australasian gannet colony. (B,L,D)
Day 17 - Friday - Jan 5, 2024
Gisborne, New Zealand      
Today we delve into the cultural riches of Gisborne - the site of the first European landing place in New Zealand in 1769. The city's warm, sun-filled climate reflects its disposition and complements its rich soils, bountiful islands, miles of sandy beaches, and resource-rich oceans. Visit a local Marae and gain insight into the history and culture of the people of this region. In the afternoon, discover the greenery of a local arboretum, and cap the day off with a wine tour and tasting. (B,L,D)
Day 18 - Saturday - Jan 6, 2024
Coastal Navigation, United States
Coastal Navigation, United States      
As we continue north along the North Island's verdant coast, we let nature guide us as our captain and expedition leader choose our next site for exploration. (B,L,D)
Day 19 - Sunday - Jan 7, 2024
Coastal Navigation, United States
Coastal Navigation, United States      
Day 20 - Monday - Jan 8, 2024
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand      
Have breakfast aboard the ship before disembarking and joining a tour of this vibrant city center. We'll stop for lunch midday before transferring to the airport for flights home. (B,L)