• Cast out to the Waitakere Ranges, where soaring cliffs frame volcanic black beaches and lush vineyards
  • Sail away from Auckland with a Champagne in hand aboard Silversea’s Silver Shadow
  • Soak your cares away in the natural hot springs of Rotorua
  • Quaff delicious wines from Hawke’s Bay and the Marlborough region
  • Chug through the Otago countryside along the Taieri Gorge Railway
  • Wake to a sunny Christmas Day on the waters of Milford Sound
  • Make sense of MONA’s controversial exhibitions in Hobart
  • Let the windswept wilderness of Bruny Island take your breath away
Bruny Island. Tasmania

A very professionally run tour. Passenger’s needs were considered at all times. Tour escort team were excellent.

J Hoff, The Silk Road by Private Train

Where we visit

Australia to New Zealand Silversea Cruise Map

Full Itinerary

Depart Australia, Arrive Auckland (New Zealand)

Day 1: Sunday 17 December

The southern hemisphere sun is shining. Christmas is around the corner. What better time to cruise? We take a short flight from Australia to Auckland with Qantas today. Touching down in the afternoon, we are whisked off to the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour. 

Meet your fellow travellers at tonight’s Welcome Dinner.


Day 2: Monday 18 December

The best of Auckland comes to light on a half-day tour. We take in ocean vistas and volcanic mountains, explore green parklands and iconic landmarks. If you don’t have any plans for your free afternoon, join our Your World experience.

  • Escape to the coast and explore the Waitakere Ranges. Gaze upon soaring cliffs and wriggle your toes in volcanic black sand beaches. We enjoy lunch at a local winery.

Dinner this evening is accompanied by traditional Hangi entertainment.


Day 3: Tuesday 19 December

Embark Ship

We spend the morning touring the cultural sights of Auckland before lunch at a cosy inner-city restaurant.

Silver Shadow is docked at Queens Wharf. We board this afternoon and settle in to the Silversea way of life with a welcome Champagne in hand.


Day 4: Wednesday 20 December

Sweep across the waves to Tauranga, in the Bay of Plenty region. Perhaps this cheerful coastal city, with its beaches and blue skies, will tempt you to stay put. Or, venture further afield on one of two exciting Your World experiences.

  • Nose pressed to the window, drive through the beach town of Mt Maunganui before arriving at a kiwi fruit orchard. Onwards to Rotorua where we have time for a soak in the natural hot springs.  
  • J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle Earth comes to life amidst picturesque private farmland at the Hobbiton movie set. Peer into hobbit holes, visit the Green Dragon Inn and saunter across the double arched bridge.


Day 5: Thursday 21 December

On a trip to Napier, we step back to an elegant age when life moved at a different pace. Original Art Deco buildings line the streets, symbols of the optimism felt by the city’s revitilsation after the earthquake of 1931.

We appreciate the unique architecture on a tour, before quaffing renowned Hawke’s Bay wines at a nearby vineyard. The region is renowned for its chardonnay and Bordeaux-blend reds.

Napier, New Zealand

Marlborough Sounds, Picton

Day 6: Friday 22 December

A labyrinth of islands and islets surrounded by dark waters. This morning we cruise through Marlborough Sounds, reaching the small town of Picton in time for lunch aboard
our ship. We explore the town and its surrounds this afternoon, including a visit to Awatere Vineyard of the Marlborough region. Here, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir and pinot gris
vines cover ten hectares of glacial river terraces.


Day 7: Saturday 23 December

Set on a tranquil harbour, Akaroa is nestled in the centre of an ancient volcano. British and French colonial architecture defines this small town as you may discover at your leisure. Or, join one of two Your World experiences today.

  • Get your bearings, exploring Akaroa on foot.
  • Spend a full-day in Christchurch. Wander through the city centre, almost completely reconstructed following the disastrous earthquakes of 2011. Named the ‘Garden City’, Christchurch is famous for its gardens and green spaces. 


Day 8: Sunday 24 December

It’s a treat to spend Christmas Eve in Dunedin. The ‘Edinburgh of the South’ is dressed up for the occasion. If it weren’t for the sunshine, it would almost feel as if we had stepped off the ship in the UK. Elegant bluestone buildings line the city centre. A stately castle surveys the area from above. You may wish to enjoy some time at leisure. Or, select a Your World experience and see where the day takes you.

  • Tour the city’s main sights. We delve into the fascinating history and admire heritage architecture. Wander through the grounds of New Zealand’s oldest university and along the world’s steepest suburban street.
  • A ride on the Taieri Gorge Railway takes you along the shores of Otago Harbour, across the Taieri Plains to breathtaking Taieri Gorge.

Milford Sound

Day 9: Monday 25 December

The sublime beauty of New Zealand’s fjords are at our doorstep today. We experience a Christmas Day like no other. Rest assured, the day will feature all of the Yuletide trimmings you’d expect. And perhaps a few more.

It’s a joy to cruise the remarkable Milford and Dusky sounds with a celebratory drink in hand. Enormous mountains covered in green forest rise up from the dark blue water. Waterfalls cascade down vertical cliffs, and, on an overcast day, clouds puff up like smoke from a volcano.

Milford Sound, Waterfall, New Zealand

At Sea

Day 10-11: Tuesday 26 December - Wednesday 27 December

A relaxing two days at sea following the festivities. On board, we sink into a leisurely pace, relishing time to appreciate the finer things in life - delicately prepared meals and exceptional wines, spacious private sanctuaries and elegant surrounds. All this while we make our way across the Tasman Sea to Australian shores.

Hobart (Australia)

Day 12: Thursday 28 December

In the gaze of Mt Wellington, the Tasmanian capital of Hobart presents a blend of art, culture and scenery. Georgian architecture adorns the city’s colonial heart, while the country’s convict past very much remains entwined in daily life.

We leave the city for another day and discover Australia’s most talked about gallery, MONA. With controversial exhibitions that challenge and push the boundaries of art, you will certainly have something to discuss during lunch at The Source restaurant, MONA’s signature restaurant.

Return to the city aboard MONA’s ferry. Have your camera at the ready as we glide along the Derwent River and under the Tasman Bridge.

Bruny Island

Day 13: Friday 29 December

Just south of Hobart lies an island of wild beauty and abundant wildlife. Of immaculate beaches and pristine bushland. A place where you can truly get away from it all.

The day unfolds as we desire, discovering Bruny Island on one of two Your World experiences.

  • The quality of Bruny Island’s produce will floor even the most well-travelled gourmand. We linger over an indulgent cellar door lunch, showcasing locally sourced ingredients. Admire the views from Cape Bruny Lighthouse and search for the island’s native white wallaby.
  • Step aboard a boat and spend three hours navigating the shores of this windswept isle. Watch for seals, dolphins, seabirds and migrating whales. 
Fur seal
Bruny Lighthouse, Tasmania

At Sea

Day 14: Saturday 30 December

Unwind during a leisurely day at sea. Silver Shadow crosses Bass Strait bound for the mainland today.


Day 15: Sunday 31 December

Disembark Ship

Why not allow your butler to pack your suitcase? After breakfast, we disembark in Melbourne where our journey concludes.

You may wish to consider spending an additional night or two in Melbourne - the city puts on a spectacular fireworks show to ring in the New Year.

No matter your choice, we hope to see you again on your next Captain’s Choice adventure.

Everything has been Considered & Included

Sometimes travelling can be a chore, distracting you from the fascinating places you are in. That’s why everything mundane has been moved behind the scenes. You will never have to carry a map, luggage, small change for tips or bargain for a taxi fare.

Travel without the hassles

Everything is included – international flights to and from Australia, your luxury cruise with Silversea, outstanding accommodation, all dining and drinks, and every sightseeing trip including Your World experiences. Yes, even the taxes,  transfers and travel insurance.

Our Luggage Valet service is also included. Simply pack your bags (or ask your butler to pack them for you) and leave them in your suite. We pick them up and make sure that they arrive safely at your next hotel. We also provide home-to-airport-to-home transfers. And just in case, a doctor travels with us too.

We go even further to include exclusive travel arrangements. Every sightseeing experience throughout your cruise is custom-designed by Captain’s Choice. You also have the option to join us for a night or more before stepping aboard your ship and often at the conclusion of your cruise too. You can even embark on a longer immersion into the region.

With Captain’s Choice, there are no hidden costs, or optional extras. Because that would be breaking our promise of travel without the hassles.

Silversea Cruises

Your World Experiences

We have crafted an exclusive collection of included experiences that are unique to every Captain’s Choice journey. We like to call them Your World. From a helicopter flight over smouldering Mt Etna to an afternoon spent sailing around the Balearic Islands on a private yacht, it’s your invitation to take part in rare and amazing events of which other travellers could only ever dare dream.

It's not what you know

Your World Hosts are made up of a Tour Manager and a doctor, and often Tour Hosts as well, who will accompany you from the moment you leave Australia until your return home. Additionally, English-speaking local guides join you in many locations.

A place to call home

Away from your fine ship, Captain’s Choice has chosen only the very best purveyors of hospitality each destination has to offer. Residences are benchmarks of luxury, usually in a central location. More often than not, they have a history to tell. You might find yourself, on one night, in a magnificent castle turned luxury hotel, standing proudly on its own island. The next, tucked away in a private residence favoured by royals and dignitaries alike.

Culinary Excellence

With an Italian heritage, Silversea encourage you to enjoy la dolce vita – from the moment you step aboard to the time you wave arrivederci. So, as you’d expect, cuisine is a high priority, and you’ll always eat exceptionally well thanks to the culinary influence of the prestigious Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux. Dine when you please in any one of the numerous gourmet venues. Or, choose to enjoy meals in the privacy of your suite. Beverages, in-suite and throughout the ship, flow freely at all times.

Silver Shadow

Silver Shadow

One of two Millennium Class ships, Silver Shadow is slightly larger in size than Silversea’s other luxury vessels yet offers guests an experience and atmosphere more befitting of an intimate boutique hotel. From open waters to secluded inlets, life aboard is a haven of relaxation and pleasure. Suites are quiet and elegant sanctuaries at sea, and the diversity of dining options will delight all palates.

The high life on the high seas

On an intimate and luxurious small ship such as Silver Shadow, you’ll enjoy the best of everything, including a range of sublime restaurants, lounges and bars to complement an extraordinary array of facilities. The size means we can dock right in the heart of big city ports one day, and explore rarely seen harbours the next. When you are one of just a few worldly guests on board a small ship, your experience is highly personalised. And with almost one staff member to every guest, you will always be indulged with the kind of service that encourages you to completely relax – with a perpetually full flute of Champagne if you wish.

never a dull moment

There’s always something for you to do if your schedule includes sailing days. Wake early and join a yoga class, grab a coffee with a historian as you approach your next port, or while away an afternoon by the pool. After dinner, perhaps meet friends at the bar for a night of cocktails and dancing, try your luck at the casino or head to the Show Lounge, where performances range from opera to Broadway-style. Or, delight in the rare opportunity to do nothing at all.

Silversea Cruises

Vista & Terrace Suites

Features large picture windows (Vista) or shared teak veranda (Terrace); sitting area; walk-in wardrobe; and a marble bathroom with full-sized bath and separate shower.

Christmas on the Tasman

Aboard Silver Shadow
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Journey Packages

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Fares are based on a Vista Suite aboard Silver Shadow. Per Person, Twin Share. 

Fares include one-way Qantas flight to Auckland from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Prices from other cities available on request.

Land Only Guests join the tour in Auckland for dinner on Day 1 and depart Melbourne after breakfast on Day 15.

Suite Upgrades add per person, twin share
Veranda Suite 1 $2,500
Veranda Suite 2 $2,700

Solo Suite Supplements add per person
Vista Suite $5,770
Veranda Suite 1 $9,620
Veranda Suite 2 $13,290
Includes supplements for single hotel rooms. Solo suites at above prices are limited. Contact our Tour Sales Consultants for details on other suite upgrades.

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