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The Great Escape cruise offers first class excursions, led by expert guides who travel with you and uncover the mysteries of the region’s wildlife, guided walks, kayaking, fishing, small boat exploration, shore transfers and island tours.
Or you may choose to relax with a good book from the library or laze on a steamer chair in the sun. You decide… Great Escape cruises include; luxury accommodation, all onboard chef prepared meals, juices, water, exclusive shore excursions, snorkel equipment, kayaks and small boat exploration, onboard expedition leader, fishing equipment and guides. The “Island Passage” has accommodation for just 20 guests. The ten spacious en-suite cabins have rich timber panelling and hand made kauri furniture. All are individually styled with original NZ artworks, are fitted with DVD, Audio, TV and air-conditioning. Most have doors opening directly to the outer teak deck. We take much pride in the fact that our cabins are amongst the largest for a ship of this size. Each day aboard Island Passage is unique and different. The specific programs are decided between 12 and 24 hours in advance, so that activities and expeditions can take into account immediate climatic conditions and other relevant factors such as tides as well as reports we have from the area.
Day 1 : Auckland to Waiheke
We meet with all flights arriving in Auckland on sailing day and transfer you to Princess Wharf. You’ll be greeted by our welcoming crew when you board the ship for your Auckland Hauraki Gulf cruise on Monday afternoon. We allow you to become familiar with the ship and safety drill before we sail at 5pm.
On our way to the anchorage for the night, Waiheke Island, we’ll pass mysterious Rangitoto Island and while sipping cocktails in the company of the fellow guests you’ll become familiar with the island’s interesting history. Dinner will be served from 7pm and tonight you can enjoy the first night on board and cruising life at its best.
Day 2 : Explore Waiheke
You can either start your day with a refreshing swim or you can sleep in until it’s time for a delicious breakfast served on deck. And if you fancy you can also have champagne alongside your breakfast. Afterwards we’ll go ashore for our wine tasting tour.
Waiheke Wine Time - Today you’ll visit Kennedy Point, a privately owned vineyard that since it establishment in 1996 has aimed to produce the very best wines and with use of sustainable methods. Kennedy Point is fully certified organic vineyard and makes use of biodynamic and organic methods to produce its fine wines.
We also visit another interesting vinery namely Obsidian Vineyard which is located in the coastal hills of the Onetangi Valley. This vineyard grows small batches of wine on their four discrete hillsides set out in an Amphitheatre like fashion and this area’s soil and weather condition perfectly suit the noble red and white grapes.
We’ll also visit Passage Rock Wines; this vinery was established in 1993 and holds six gold medals for their Syrah which is recognized to be one of the finest in New Zealand and has been ranked in the top ﬁve in New Zealand.
We’ll finish our wine tour at the Passage Rock Café where we’ll enjoy a delicious lunch with beautiful surrounding views. After lunch we’ll get back onboard and move to our next location.
Day 3 : Great Barrier Island
Today we’ll spend our day exploring Great Barrier Island – a small populated, wild and enchanting paradise with amazing stories to tell. We’ll head to the sheltered side of this beautiful island and visit Fitzroy Harbour, one of the New Zealand’s greatest harbours.
Our lunch today is all about seafood and you’ll be served an exquisite seafood lunch with freshly-caught ﬁsh and green-lipped mussels alongside a glass of New Zealand’s renowned Sauvignon Blanc - the perfect combination to complete your lovely meal.
Day 4 : Great Barrier Island
Today there are plenty of great activities that will suit your interests. You can choose between hiking to Kauri dam, to Kaitoke or to the summit of Mount Hobsons; kayaking in the beautiful harbour; a trip to Miners Head or you can go fishing or seabird photographing from the deck. Tonight is French Fine Dining Night where the menu will include duck and pannacotta.
Day 5 : Kawau Island
We’ll start the day with a tasty all American breakfast before heading out to explore Kawau Island. The island’s former owner, Sir George Gray who owned the island from 1862 and 1888 gave Kawau its unique character.
Colonial Elegance - Kawau Island is almost bisected by the long inlet of Bon Accord Harbour which is geologically a ‘drowned valley’. Within this sheltered haven there are many attractive bays, however Mansion House Bay is the most remarkable. Here you can tour Sir George Grey’s stately home, then stroll along the road that Grey’s carriage (pulled by two zebras!) used to take. From the historic coach road, a track leads to the picturesque ruins of an underground seashore copper mine. Another great Kawau walk is the Redwood Track, which reveals an interesting collection of exotic trees planted by Grey – redwoods, Australian bush cherry and bunya-bunya pines, to name just a few. A visit to the yacht club will uncover some interesting local characters, and you’ll find that the fishing around Kawau is most rewarding.
Day 6 : Matakana
After breakfast we’ll discover Matakana Coast, one of our favourite shore excursions, where you’ll experience the food, wine and arts. This area has the ideal combination of gourmet and retail therapy with unique-must-visit shops such as Morris & James Pottery, where you are greeted by a pure visual spectacle of layer upon layer of design and colour from matt black to luscious red.
Today’s lunch is at Mahurangi River Winery and before enjoying the local cuisine you should tour the winery and barrel room and sample their wine. We’ll also visit Brick Bay Sculpture Trail and explore the exhibition of compelling contemporary New Zealand sculpture by leading New Zealand artists.
The day finishes of with a visit to Chocolate Brown, where they hand-make outrageously ﬁne chocolates. After, we’ll return to the ship, leave Kawau Island behind and head for Rakino Island where we’ll arrive later in time for dinner. Be prepared for a late night as we’ll enjoy our last night with as farewell party.
Payment Terms & Methods :
* Some Advance Percentage of total booking amount
* Airfare/Transport fare to be paid full at one time in advance.
Cancellation & Refund Policy :
* Upon cancellation, refund will be made after deducting the Retention Amount.
* Retention Amount varies as per the number of days left before your package start date.
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Today, 04:35 PM
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