After flying nearly 10,000 miles my wife and I were excited to land in beautiful Queenstown, New Zealand to begin our New Zealand cruise tour on the Clipper Odyssey of Clipper Cruise Line www.clippercruise.com. This was our second visit to New Zealand but our first cruise on a small adventure ship. After several dozen cruises on larger mega ships, we were not sure how the Clipper Odyssey would compare. Well, it really did turn out to be “the thoughtful alternative to conventional cruising”.
The Clipper Odyssey with a passenger capacity of only 128 guests is a delightful ship with a wonderfully accommodating, professional crew. The beauty of small ship adventure travel is that the small size of the ship, with a limited number of fortunate guests, led by well trained expedition leaders and naturalists allowed us to visit ports, coves, and fjords unseen by larger ships. All excursions were included in the cruise tour, and they all were excellent. Our expedition leaders and naturalists took us to such places as paths and trails once explored by Captain Cook to truly experience Milford Sound and it’s natural inhabitants, to the famous Shotover Jet boat ride, to some of the few Albatross, Yellow-eyed Penguin, and Gannet colonies in the world, swimming with Hector Dolphins in the wild, to the Tranz-Alpine train to the Southern Alps, wine tasting at some of the famous Marlborough region’s finest wineries – the Napa Valley of New Zealand, to some of New Zealand’s most beautiful gardens and museums, on a tour of quaint Art Deco Napier, and to the Maori and geo-thermal treasures of Rotorua.
The navigational bridge was open to passengers 24 / 7. Captain Mike was an interesting mix of sea captain and naturalist. He woke us early one morning for a unique up close and personal look at White Island – an active volcanic island home to rare Gannets.
My wife and I have traveled to most parts of the world, and New Zealand is certainly one of our favorite places, especially after this wonderful cruise tour on the Clipper Odyssey. We truly visited places and enjoyed tours unseen by “conventional” cruise ships.
Don’t miss the other great small ship adventure itineraries of Clipper Cruise Line to the Trade Routes of Asia, Russia and the Kamchatka Peninsula, Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound and Alaska’s Inside Passage, Mayan Reefs and Temples, Southern Intra Coastal Waterways, Chesapeake Bay, and so on. There are just too many great itineraries to name them all. Check out the itineraries at their web site www.clippercruise.com.
The beauty of small ship adventure travel with Clipper is that they really do get you up close and personal - “The thoughtful alternative to conventional cruising”. Clipper did a great job.